February 2017 Newsletter


Volume 3 Issue 5: February 2017
Picture of the Month
Lisa Portune – Schweitzer’s new Nordic Supervisor!

Here’s What’s Happening

  • March – Wednesday Ski Group continues
  • March 14 – SNC General Meeting – 5:30pm at MickDuff’s Beer Hall on Cedar in Sandpoint

Check out our calendar and events pages on this website for more information.

Local Grooming Reports

Schweitzer Mountain Resort
The Nordic ski trails at Schweitzer are in fantastic condition. All of the trails are open and groomed on weekends with some groomed on a daily basis. Trails are groomed for both skating and classic skiing with a track set on most days.

Western Pleasure Ranch
Western Pleasure is closed for skiing but open for snowshoeing and biking.
SNC North Boyer U of I Trails
The SNC trails are temporarily closed but may reopen with colder temps.

Selle Nordic Trails
The Selle Nordic trails are closed for the season.
Schweitzer Roundabout Trail
The Schweitzer Roundabout is a multiple use trail that is groomed on several days per week.

Meet Lisa Portune, Schweitzer’s new Nordic Supervisor

I don’t know how many times in the last several years I have skied to the Schweitzer Nordic hut expecting first tracks and I’m told, “Lisa and Sean are ahead of you!” If you see them on the trails, Lisa is easy to spot. She’s the skier with the biggest smile. Lisa Portune was recently hired as Schweitzer’s new Nordic Supervisor replacing Debbie May who retired last month.
If you get a glimpse of Lisa’s resume you quickly realize that she is about all things outdoors. She earned a B.A. in Biology in 1993 followed by years of outdoor work and play experience. Her resume includes avalanche forecaster, mountaineering guide, wilderness ranger, wild-land firefighter and this just names a few.  In addition, she has a long list of certifications and training designed to make her more effective at helping others in the outdoors.
Over the years she has dabbled in quite a few winter adventures ranging from dog sledding and skijoring to ice climbing and snow kiting. Her current passions are skate skiing and back-country split-boarding. If you aren’t familiar with split-boarding it requires a snowboard that is split lengthwise to be used with skins to climb to a location where your snowboard is reassembled for the trip down.
Lisa and Sean moved to Sandpoint after 10 years in Alaska to work for the Forest Service.  In reality, the Forest Service jobs were secondary to one of their other passions, whitewater rafting. Idaho has some of the best rivers in the lower 48 states.
On the list of pluses to living in Sandpoint for Lisa is close proximity to great skiing and hiking. Trains and winter rain were the negatives.
As far as the future, Lisa would like to bring back some races next season as well as the possible development of some dedicated single track snow-bike trails.
​If you are heading out skiing stop by the Nordic hut and say hello.

Bill Tregoning

Take Two

The recent resurgence of mo-hair waxless skis has caused many a secret classic ski lover to “come out of the closet”. Many people find kick waxing to be complicating, frustrating, and sometimes messy. Waxing classic skis for grip can be all these things and more, but it can also provide you with a totally free feeling ski with incredible grip and superior glide. Mo-hair, fish-scale, and zero skis are easy; simply wax the tips and tails and go. They work in a wide range of conditions and really specialize in the kick wax nightmare zone of 0 degrees (32F). That special place between freezing and thawing that has caused many a wax technician to seek out a new profession and caused some of the most competent classic skiers to become completely undone. For those who haven’t given up on your waxable classic skis, I’m going to give you a simple guide to success.

First of all, if the temperature is near or above freezing, leave your waxable classic skis at home. Thank Bill Koch for bringing skating to the masses and grab your skate gear. If you still can’t shake the classic ski urge (I know the feeling), then reach for your mo-hair or fish-scale skis, you’ll have a great time providing the wet tracks haven’t turned to ice. Secondly, If the temperature is below freezing and looks to stay that way, get ready for some classic ski magic by ironing in a base kick layer of Toko green. It’s the best, take my word for it. If you have any other base waxes in your wax box, throw them away. You won’t use them. Thirdly, “take two”, (kick waxes that is), most of the time that’s all you’ll need. Toko makes two waxes- blue and red for sub-freezing temps. Red will generally work in the 20-30 F range, blue works for colder snow. Temperature guides on the wax are for snow temps, remember air temps generally change faster than the temperature of the snow. Start with the colder wax, it you don’t have enough grip you can add the warmer one. Rub the kick wax on in thin layers, corking smooth between layers. Start with 2-3 layers, adding more as needed. I do believe the synthetic corks work best, they don’t leave cork particles in your wax. My favorite “take two” kick waxes are Rhode multigrade and Rhode blue super. Blue super works well in colder, drier snow while multigrade has a very wide range and is the wax I always give my wife. If you like Swix, they have a bunch of below freezing waxes. You can get by just fine with VR45 and VR55, but it doesn’t hurt to have a Schweitzer secret weapon VR60 in your pocket if the tracks are starting to glaze.
​Waxing for kick can be challenging, but the reward is usually faster glide. If you pick the right conditions and keep it simple, you can achieve true poetry in motion. No matter what skis you choose, get out and ski, it’s good for the mind as well as the body.

Jared France

Wednesday Ski Group Slides Again

The goal of the Wednesday Ski Group is to have fun, meet new people, and get out and ski. We’re often an eclectic group of both enthusiastic skate and classic skiers and if we have enough skiers we may break into several groups. We don’t intend this to be a lesson, however we may throw in a few impromptu drills for fun. Come on out and join us. We meet Wednesday morning at the Schweitzer Village clock tower at 9:10. Questions? Btrego2811@msn.com

200K Challenge

Attention Sandpoint Nordic Ski Club members: there’s still time to complete the 200K challenge and enter the drawing for a new pair of skis. Junior skiers can complete a 100K challenge to be eligible for a new ski jacket. Distance logs must be received by March 31st and can be mailed to:
Sandpoint Nordic Club
PO Box 233
Sandpoint, Id. 83864
Forms can be downloaded by clicking on the link below.  You can also bring your completed forms to the next club meeting.  No excuses…. Schweitzer will be open until the middle of April!

Don’t forget, those who ski 500K will receive special recognition form SNC’s very own Ski Curmudgeon.  Get out and ski!!

More info on the 200K Challenge
The Sandpoint Nordic Club is again sponsoring a 200 kilometer challenge this ski season. Last year 21 skiers completed the challenge and SNC hopes to improve on those numbers. Skiers who ski a minimum of 200k will be eligible to participate in a drawing for a pair of new skis (winner’s choice). Good luck keeping up with last year’s winner, Michele Tregoning as she glides along on her new pair of Madshus skate skis. New this season is a 100 kilometer challenge for skiers under the age of 18. 100k finishers will be eligible to win a ski jacket. Participants need to be members of the Sandpoint Nordic Club and keep track of their own kilometers skied. Maps of local ski areas with distances labeled will be posted on the SNC website. Skiers can also track distances with their smart phones or GPS watches. If distances can’t be determined, 15 minutes/km can be substituted. Ski Challenge logs must be received by the Sandpoint Nordic Club before March 31, 2017 and mailed to: Sandpoint Nordic Club PO Box 233, Sandpoint, Id. 83864. – Jared France

Download your 200K Challenge form here:

Ski Curmudgeon Corner

​​Dear Ski Curmudgeon,
What is the best source of information about Nordic skiing? I am new to the sport and feel overwhelmed with all the information out there. Is there one place or website I should go to for practical information on Nordic skiing? Overwhelmed

Dear Overwhelmed,
How lucky you are that you have found me! The Curmudgeon is the best source for practical and useful Nordic ski information. SC
Dear Ski Curmudgeon,
I’ve been trying to get in better shape for skiing and could stand to lose some weight. Do you recommend the Paleo diet, Atkins diet, South Beach diet, or Mediterranean diet? Too Much Tonnage

Dear Two Ton,
I think you should subscribe to the move more, eat less diet. SC
Dear Ski Curmudgeon,
I took my fish scale waxless skis to a local ski shop to have them hot waxed. They not only hot waxed the tips and tales, but the fish scale section too. Now when I ski I don’t have any grip skiing uphill, any suggestions? Slip Sliding Away

Dear Slip,
Yes, find a new ski shop. In the meantime, you can take a nail file and start scraping each and every scale. They should be ready to go by next ski season.

    Comments, suggestions and photos for the newsletter may be sent to: sandpointnordic@gmail.com
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