January 2017 Newsletter


Volume 3 Issue 4: January 2017
Picture of the Month
Picnic Point on the Schweitzer Nordic Trails

Here’s What’s Happening

  • February – The Youth Ski League (YSL) continues on Mondays and Wedesdays
  • February – The Junior Race Team continues training 5 days/wk, Junior National Qualifying races February 4, 5, 18 & 19
  • February – Wednesday Ski Group continues
  • February 4 – Selle Nordic Trails open for the remainder of the season to SNC Members only
  • February 12 – Langlauf Citizens Classic 10K race at Mt Spokane
  • February 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
Skiing at Western Pleasure has been quite good!  The Big Hill is set for skating and the Meadow trails have been set for both skating and classic.  Day passes are available for $10 and season passes are $65. Sandpoint Nordic Club Members save 50% on the season pass price.
SNC North Boyer U of I Trails
The SNC trails at UI have been skiing great.  Pray for the weather to hold out for a few more weeks!

Selle Nordic Trails
The SNC has received permission to groom a trail system on Schweitzer property at the corner of US95 and Selle Road.  The trails are very fun with gradual rolls and corners. Get out and try out these new trails!
Schweitzer Roundabout Trail
The Schweitzer Roundabout is a multiple use trail that is groomed on several days per week.

Classic Skiing – Weight Transfer

​Do you have difficulty when you are climbing on classic skis? Do you have to use your arms more than you think you should? The culprit could be either skis that are too stiff or weight transfer that is insufficient to engage the kick zone of your ski.  

Classic skis have a zone under the foot which has either fish-scales, mohair or an area for kick wax. This zone is engaged by putting the majority of your weight on one ski allowing the ski’s kick zone to grip the snow giving you a solid platform to thrust the unweighted ski forward. Think about walking.  If you tried to walk with your weight equally on both feet you would be stuck in one place; however, many skiers try to ski that way.
Imagine as you ski down the diagonal track that there is a plumb-bob hanging from your nose. When the right ski is weighted the plumb-bob should hang over the right track. As the weight is transferred to the left ski the plumb-bob should move over the left track. The more weight that is transferred, the more solid your kick becomes.
Using this weight transfer makes skiing hills much easier and the herringbone becomes a thing of the past. On steeper hills you can increase weight transfer by breaking into a jog, taking short steps, and looking uphill. This will maximize grip and keep your skis from sliding backwards. Your arms will thank you.
​Weight transfer is the basis for more efficient classic skiing. Get comfortable using it and you will be less fatigued at the end of the ski day. In addition, your arms won’t be aching after your day of fun.

Bill Tregoning

Skate Skiing – Switching Gears

Early in the season, I like to spend time concentrating on “switching gears” as I skate down the trail.  The gears of cross country skate skiing are the 3 techniques including V1 (hills -1st gear), V2 (Second Gear) and V2 Alternate (3rd Gear). It’s important to change your technique in response to changes in the terrain and conditions, and when I start out skiing, I often find myself falling into poor and similar V1 technique for the majority of the terrain.
First Gear; the V1 Skate Technique.  This is an asymmetrical technique with offset poling for steeper climbs and uphills.  This is often the first technique a beginning skier will learn. The poling action is different than from the V2 Skate and the V2 Alternate skate. The power comes from the “hang pole” next to the skier’s ears.  Even though the poling is offset, it’s a 3-point landing of the two poles and one ski.  The skier plants his poles as one of his skis hits the ground.  If you’re just starting out, pick a side to pole on and then plant your poles as that foot (either left or right) hits the snow.  Although you are only poling on one side, the glide and the push should be equal.  It’s important to keep your body upright, avoid rotating, and to utilize your stomach muscles for power similar to a crunch, for proper poling technique. 
Second Gear;  V2 Skate Technique.  This is what I call the “skating to the chairlift technique” and it is primarily utilized for flatter terrain and gradual uphills. I remember this technique as the V2,  because the poling occurs on both sides.  With this technique, both poles are planted just before the ski hits the snow.  Therefore, there should be two pole plant marks for every ski mark. The upward motion of your poles (and body) should be quick and again, it is important to utilize the “crunch” stomach muscles.  Bending your ankles will assist with power and balance.
Third Gear; V2 Alternate   This technique is for when you are really moving (too fast for the V2).  Also called the “Two Skate” technique, The skier skates on each side and poles once.  The cadence is; pole/skate…skate….pole/skate…skate.  It’s important to bring the hands high and raise the hips forward with the hands.  Again, remember to bend your ankles.
If you make a concentrated effort to practice, and you become proficient at each of these techniques, your response to changes in terrain should become automatic, similar to a bicyclist changing gears in response to changes in terrain.  See you out there!

Ned Brandenberger

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

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,
My buddy has a nearly new pair of cross country boots he only skied in a few times. They look almost new. They fit OK, just a little tight in the toes. He only wants $50 for them. They will loosen up some, won’t they? What do you think?      Big Spender
Dear B.S.,
Wow, only $50 for bleeding blisters, that is a bargain! Save your skin and buy something that fits.    SC
Dear Ski Curmudgeon,
I’m trying to complete the 200K Challenge, but with my new job I’m having difficulty in finding enough time to ski. I’ve only skied 2.4 K so far and it doesn’t look like I’m going to make it. Any suggestions? DT
Dear DT,
Maybe you should try using “alternative facts,” that might help you achieve your goal. SC

Dear Ski Curmudgeon,
As I consider the 200k challenge, I note that as a 76 year-old, I compete against 19 and 20 year-olds. Doesn’t this put those callow youngsters at an unfair disadvantage? Grandpa Shortlegs

Dear Shortlegs,
This is a general problem in Nordic circles. At its worst, it leads to profound discouragement among the younger skiers who then drop out of Nordic skiing altogether – sometimes fleeing in droves for curling. What you and your elder group could do is as follows:

  • never race in the open category; always choose races which are age appropriate and ask the organizers to agree on doubling your times
  • when training, stop and look ahead and slow down if you are about to streak past an unwary youngster
  • similarly, stop and look behind you and slow way down if you see any youngsters approaching
  • if at all possible, train at night, well past bedtime for the youngsters – leap aside for the groomers  SC


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