January 2016 Newsletter


Volume 2 Issue 4: Jan 1, 2016

Picture of the Month
Thanks to Rick Price! And what are these people doing? See Rick’s article about Learn to Ski Day!
Submit your picture for the next edition by emailing it to SandpointNordic@gmail.com

Here’s what’s happening:
    LOCAL SKIING STARTS! All local sites are groomed and in good shape. If you aren’t skiing, it’s your own fault.
    Learn to Ski Day a.k.a Ski Free Saturday, 1/9. Volunteers needed! Tell your friends about it. See Rick’s write up below.
    Club Meeting Tuesday 1/12, 5:30pm. McDuff’s Brewhouse on Cedar.
    Skate Clinics Friday – Sunday, 1/29-1/31. See Bill’s article below and the Schweitzer Nordic Ski Clinics page.
Learn to Ski Day
    Our biggest outreach day of the year is coming up Saturday, January 9. Our Nordic Club, along with Schweitzer Mountain Resort will be putting on our annual Learn to Ski Day. This day offers free ski rentals and free group lessons for beginner skiers. For club members, this is a great day to show off why we love this sport. This all takes place in a trail that will be groomed at the Roundabout just before you get to the resort. We will have two sessions of lessons along with a bonus session exclusively to share the benefits of cross country skiing with members of the Sandpoint Strikers Soccer Club. We have gotten a hundred new people comfortable on skis each of the last several years and are looking forward to doing it again next Saturday.
    Club members who want to help for all or part of the day should contact Rick Price at sandpointprices@frontier.com. If you have friends that you have been wanting to get on skis, have them call the Schweitzer Ski and Ride Center at 208-255-3070. They’ll need to provide height, weight, shoe size, and contact information.
    The morning session starts with ski fittings from 8:30-9:30 and lessons from 9:30 until 11:00  The second session starts with fittings from 11:00 to noon and lessons from noon until 1:30.  The Strikers session follows immediately afterward.  We will be wrapping the day up at 3:45.
    If you have your own equipment, no reservations are needed. Just show up in time for the lessons. There will be lessons for both skate and classic technique.
Come join us for a great day spreading Nordic joy.  – Rick Price
Where Can I Ski?
    Right now all venues are open, most trails are groomed and the skiing has never been better so early in the season.
    At Schweitzer all but the most challenging trails are being groomed on a regular basis. Recently even classic tracks have been available. And don’t forget the Roundabout Trails.
    U of I on Boyer is being groomed regularly and tracks are being set.  Skiing at U of I is free for club members. There is a $3 trail fee for all others.
    Western Pleasure Guest Ranch has early season conditions. The Meadow trails are enjoyable for classic or skate. They are working to improve the grooming on Big Hill Trail. – Bob Love
Wednesday Ski Group
    The Wednesday Ski Group started 3-4 years ago with a group of friends getting
together to ski on Wednesdays. Last season we opened the group to anyone interested in
making new friends and who could ski on Wednesday mornings. You can think of this group as a “no drop bike ride” on skis. The group meets at the Village clock tower at 9:10AM ready to ski. Many skiers ride the 8:30 bus and have time to visit with their new ski friends. Every Wednesday we have a mix of both classic and skate skiers. We also try to send out an early morning E-mail with a best guess on what conditions we expect to see.
    Last year, as the group grew, we often split into classic and skate groups. We don’t look at this group as a lesson or a training group. We expect to get underway just after the new year on January 6th. If you are interested we’ll see you at the clock tower at 9:10. Questions? Btrego2811@msn.com
Bill Tregoning
Schweitzer Nordic clinics with Kevin van Bueren – 1/29/16-1/31/16
    Join guest instructor Kevin van Bueren, a Level 3 PSIA certified Nordic instructor from Methow Valley Ski School in North Central Washington for the last 15 years. Four skate clinics will be available over the weekend for a variety of ability levels. In addition, Kevin will be available for private skate or classic lessons Friday from 9AM to 3PM and Sunday from 1PM to 3PM. For more information or to make reservations call (208) 255-3070.
                                          GROUP LESSONS
Friday night clinic, 4:30PM, 1 ½ hours          Beginning Skate
Saturday AM clinic, 9:30AM, 2 ½ hours       Advanced Beginning/Intermediate Skate
Saturday PM clinic, 1:15 PM, 2 ½ hours       Intermediate/Expert Skate
Sunday AM clinic, 9:30 AM, 2 ½ hours        Advanced Beginning/Intermediate Skate
    Make your reservations early to ensure a spot in the clinic of your choice. – Bill Tregoning
200 k Challenge – How Far Did I Ski?
     Need some help figuring out how far you skied? Try these maps. Click on the trail or trail segment in question and the pop up should give your the distance. Note: The Roundabout Trail is 1.5k. – Bob Love

View Schweitzer Nordic Trails in a larger map to see full information and to print
Miss Ski Manners Says
    Miss Ski Manners would like to gently remind her readers that while snowshoers and fat bikers can make a mess of our ski trails and classic tracks, Schweitzer has opened the door to them. The majority of these users aren’t aware that their trail use can be detrimental to our enjoyment. Gently educate them in a non-threatening manner as to proper trail etiquette , introduce yourself and make a new friend. It’s great to see others embracing winter recreation instead of television. Maybe our love for our sport will be contagious.
    Have fun while respecting others on the trails. And send your ski etiquette questions to SandpointNordic@gmail.com – MS Manners
What Do you Think About
     Cross-country or “Nordic skiing” can be many things to different people. To some, it is simply a way to get exercise in the winter when days are short and their favorite running and mountain bikes trails are covered with snow. To others, it is a way to “commune” with nature and see the world in a different light. Cross-country skiing may be a time of solitude, collecting one’s thoughts and watching the worries of the world dissipate with each stride, or it can be a social time, skiing together with friends and greeting fellow skiers on the trail. A few skiers like to share their love of the sport by teaching those who have never tried it or coaching young skiers to help them achieve their goals. It’s a sport enjoyed by exuberant youngsters as well as seasoned retirees. Regardless of why you ski or how you ski, the most important thing is that you do ski. We were made to move; it keeps us healthy, happy and helps us through the long months of winter. While you’re on the trails skiing, what do you think about? I asked this question to some of the skiers I met on the Schweitzer trails and here are their responses:

  • Bob-“Pee holes and questions for SC”
  • Michelle- “Sometimes I count strides” (unfortunately, so do I)
  • Bill- “Now that’s the reason I don’t wear lycra” and sometimes “more lycra!”
  • Ned- “Being in the zone”
  • Joyce- “God”
  • Vicki- “Technique all the time including pole plant, crunch, weight transfer, squishy ankles, grooming, and right wax”
  • Chuck- “Sex”
  • Brian- “What’s around me, nature, trees, and clouds”
  • Nathan- “How do I make these things go forward?” and “Why do my kids ski circles around me?”
  • Michelle- “What am I going to eat when I’m done?”
  • Mike- “This hurts”
  • Debbie- “Spiritual things, it’s my church out there”
  • Rick- “Everything and nothing”
  • Gina- “I think about everything, when I was taking pharmacology classes; I used to go over the courses in my head”
  • Coral- “I like to play music so I don’t have to hear myself breathing” and “I wish I’d have done more to get ready for this”
  • Dick- “I’m tired of McPherson getting in my way”
  • Eli- “My grandson’s nursery rhymes Ba Ba Black sheep have you any wool?”
  • Bill- “I didn’t know I was in Dick’s way”
  • Margaret- “Beating the Bobcats, we’ve never lost to the Bobcats”
  • Mark- “Nothing”
  • Cynthia- “Everything” (Mark and Cynthia are married)
  • Kim- “Trying to catch my wife”
  • Michelle- “Technique, timing, body position”
  • Mary- “How lucky we are to have a great trail system so close, how beautiful it is in the winter, and how spiritual it can be gliding across the snow”
  • Ross- “I think about the different technical aspects of skiing and how to best translate them to coaching the junior racers”
  • Alli- “How horrible do I look when I ski?”
  • Lee- “Picturing skiers who are better than me and trying to ski like them” and “How great Allie looks when she skis”
  • Kylie- “The trees look like snow gnomes”
  • Eric- “Keeping up with Kylie”
  • Anonymous- “I think about what I should be thinking about not what I am thinking about”
  • Luke- “Leftover salmon and avocado, hot tub and beer”
  • Peik- “Technique”
  • Hattie- “V1, V2, V2A and sometimes I sing in my head”
  • Annaby- “Random things and stop thinking about random things”
  • CeCe- “Random things and not tenting my poles”
  • Emerson (Answer one)- “When I’m training, I think about technique; when I’m racing I think about skiers around me and staying in the pack; when I’m skiing for fun, I think about how beautiful it is”
  • Emerson (Answer two) – “Star Wars”
  • Michelle- “What am I making for dinner?”
  • Katie- “I think about projects I’m working on”
  • Brian- “Sports, breathing, not falling”
  • Don- “It’s hard to think about anything with Mark skiing behind me, he never shuts up” and “Sometimes I think about this country and politics, but mostly I think about my kids”
  • Richard- “Getting up the next hill”

    As for me, yesterday I thought about what a beautiful day it was at Schweitzer. The snow was cold and dry, the sun was sneaking through the clouds, the grooming was fantastic, and I was skiing with family and friends. Could Schweitzer be improved for Nordic skiing? Sure, it’s not ideal for beginners and senior citizens wanting to get some winter exercise, but we’re lucky to have a good place to ski at elevation.
    A couple of days ago, while skiing at the U of I property on Boyer I was thinking about how frustrating it can be to those that groom the trails for skiers and have people post holing on them and rutting them up with snow bikes. After seeing some senior citizens skiing and everyone having a great time outdoors with their friends (even the four legged kind), I thought about what a great benefit this is for the entire community how everyone is appreciative. – Jared France

The Caldwells
    Starting out as a junior cross country ski racer in the 1970’s, I was hungry for all information on the sport.  At that time, there were few participants in my hometown of Missoula, Montana, and little direction for aspiring Nordic racers.  Luckily, I came across a book written by former Olympic athlete and coach John Caldwell.  John competed as an athlete in the 1952 Olympics and was the coach of the US Cross country team for the 1968, 72, 80 and 84 Olympics.  He is the father of four time Olympian Tim Caldwell, and grandfather of current US ski team athlete Sophie Caldwell.  His book, Caldwell on Competitive Cross Country Skiing, provided me with expert advice on training and racing, much of which is still relevant today.  I embraced John’s common sense approach to training and racing, and I memorized the “Caldwell Principles of Training” (CPT) sprinkled throughout his book in bold print.  Much to the amusement of my training partners, I could quote them.  My favorite Caldwell Training Principle is still CPT 2; “Athlete’s tend to train hardest using methods or activities in which they are successful, or which they enjoy most”. 
    At this point in my life, it is difficult to drag myself out the door to do intervals or lift at the gym.  When I look back at my years of skiing, it has been the camaraderie of my fellow skiers including both family and friends that I have enjoyed the most, and this is what motivates me to train and ski.  Even the toughest workout can be a memorable, fun event based on the shared misery with training partners.  I’ve read that a big part of John Caldwell’s success at nurturing great skiers was his ability make training fun. I found an article online by John Morton that said a favorite training game of John Caldwell’s was to get far off the beaten path, and then disappear, leaving his tired skiers to find their way home. Although I never had the opportunity to train with John, I did spend some time training with his son Tim.  Back in the early 1980’s a group of local Missoula skiers spent several days with Tim running the trails of Glacier National Park.  We had a grand time, blasting past shocked tourists, glissading snowfields and diving into half frozen lakes.  I hardly even remember the hours of pain trying to keep up with Tim.  I do have a vague memory of Tim saying “Ned didn’t just hit the wall; he slammed into it”. 
    An activity that has always motivated me to get outside in the fall is hunting.  I enjoy hunting, and I incorporate it into my fall training as much as possible.   As a junior racer, I rigged up a homemade biathlon sling for my rifle and would literally run from the house into the woods several nights per week during the fall.  I wasn’t the most successful hunter, but I did get in some quality distance.  There is a skier in Canada who has incorporated hunting into his training program and who was recently named to the Canadian Senior Team.  Knute Johnsgaard  is former resident of Whitehorse in the Yukon.  If you look at his website (http://knutejohnsgaard.blogspot.com/) you will see a skier that incorporates hours of hiking, hunting and fishing into his training regime.  Knute’s training program is based on the activities that he enjoys most, and it’s clearly  working.
    According to Caldwell, “If you read far enough into sports literature, or talk to enough athletes, trainers and coaches, you can find justification for any number of seemingly conflicting training method” (CPT 1).  I’ve been skiing all my life, and I’ve had a number of coaches and training partners.  If it’s not fun, it’s not worth it. – Foreign Corespondent


Sophie Caldwell of the U.S. Ski Team en route to the second-fastest qualifying time of the day in the World Cup sprint in Lenzerheide, Switzerland, the first stage of the FIS Tour de Ski. http://fasterskier.com/blog/article/caldwell-fourth-in-lenzerheide-as-falla-extends-sprint-cup-lead/
Need advice? Ask the Ski Curmudgeon!

Dear Ski Curmudgeon,
    While skiing at Schweitzer, I encountered a guy with snow shoes hiking down the middle of the set track, what gives? Aggravated
Dear Aggravated,
    Don’t get your “dander” up. Snowshoeing is a viable winter activity unlike something that I won’t mention. It’s no excuse but the only reason I can think of is that he was pretending, in his own mind, he was wearing skis. SC

Dear Ski Curmudgeon,
    I am a dedicated bike rider during the summer months and I have several friends that have tried skate skiing. They tell me that skating is the way to go to stay fit in the winter. And that classic is just for walkers. I have seen classic races in the Olympics and those guys don’t look like they’re are walking. What is your take on this? Roller
Dear Roller,
    Obviously your biker friends are skate snobs and probably never tried to classic ski. A skier can redline his heartrate with either technique. The benefit to skiing classic AND skate is that every ski day is different. Six inches of snow on a skate lane can make it difficult to skate, but an exceptional classic day. My advice…do some secret classic training and when you’re ready, invite your friends to go with you and smoke ‘em. SC

Dear Ski Curmudgeon,
    This year I’m training for the Rendezvous, BMT, OSCR, Stagecoach Classic, American Birkebeiner  and the Rendezvous. My friends think I’m crazy. What do you think? Energizer Bunny
Dear Bunny,
    I think they’re right! SC

Dear Ski Curmudgeon,
I’m new to Nordic skiing and noticed some ladies wearing what I would call a ski skirt. Do you think they are a necessary item for skiing? Fashion Sense
Dear Fashion,
I’m really not much of a fan. SC

Dear Ski Curmudgeon,
    What is your take on the contentious controversy regarding high tech brooms in the sport of curling? Sweeper
Dear Sweeper,
    I’m not sure what this has to do with Nordic skiing, but I think instead of worrying about high tech brooms, WADA should be testing curling athletes for using “roids” and EPO. SC

     Send your question for the Ski Curmudgeon to sandpointnordic@gmail.com The views expressed by the Ski Curmudgeon are his own and hardly ever reflect the views of the SNC.

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