November 2014 Newsletter

Sandpoint Nordic Club NEWSLETTER

Volume 1 Issue 2: Nov 1, 2014

We’re getting ready to ski! Here’s what’s happening:

     Dryland Training. Contact Vicki (

     SWAPnWAX 11/2, 11-2pm. Eureka Institute Annex, 513 Oak St. See article below.

     Youth Ski League sign up 10/18-11/3. Youth dryland started 10/31. Contact Vicki (

     Trail Work Day 11/15. See announcement below. Contact Ross

     Schweitzer Winter Trails Day 1/10. Free XC lessons. Details to come.

     Schweitzer Nordic Ski Clinics 2/6-2/8

     Explore Schweitzer 2/22


Have any skate or classic X-country gear you want to sell?  Looking for boots to fit your growing kids?  Want a new Nordic club ski hat?  Want expert wax techs to wax up your skis for the first ski of the season?  Want to learn how to wax your Nordic skis yourself?  The SWAPnWAX is the event for you!!

At the Eureka Institute Annex, 513 Oak St., across from Evans Bros

Nov 1 – 3-5pm – Drop off gear, clothing to sell and XC skis you want waxed ($30)

Nov 2 – 11am-2pm – Shop the SWAPnWAX, bring your skis and learn how to wax ($15) – Vicki Longhini

Trail Work Day

On Nov 15th at Western Pleasure Guest Ranch, 8am meet at the lodge.  Let Ross Longhini know you are available –

Trail Survey

Do you care about trails in Bonner Co?  Ski trails, road bike trails, hiking/walking trails, mountain bike trails……Wish there were more? Wish more of them connected?  The city of Sandpoint’s Trail Mix committee wants to hear from you. If you want a say in the type of trails and where trails should be, take the online survey at Longhini

Would you like to ski with other Club members?

The Club is surveying to find out if there is interest. The proposal is this: The Club would match skiers of similar abilities and interests to start ski groups with regularly scheduled outings. If needed the Club will try to provide an experienced skier to act as guide. These would not be lessons but an opportunity to get into a regular routine, build your skills and have some fun. If you’re interested, send an email telling what you would like in a group to

Keep Quiet About This

I’m putting this next to the poem so the Ski Curmudgeon won’t see it but I want to let you know there’s a problem. You aren’t submitting many questions and, in spite of appearances, SC is a very sensitive guy. So, what’s wrong? Are you shy? The only stupid question is the one you don’t ask. Do you already know everything? Then certainly there is something that you think should be explained to others. Phrase it as a question and send it in. I am begging you because I guarantee no one wants to see SC depressed. Save the Ski Curmudgeon! And shhh… – A. Friend

First Tracks

The woods are grey, and green, and white

with bare trees and creeks black

and just the sound of skis tonight

kicking and gliding on the hard track

my triceps and fingers are getting tight

but my feet have started to get the knack

of weighting and unweighting left and right

to the slippery rhythm despite the lack

of practice    almost    not quite

to muscles memory coming back

the snow falls softly in the fading light

and the end of the trail comes in sight

       Kim France

Schweitzer Nordic Ski Area

Last month I touched on the early season snow at West Yellowstone. Many years early season skiing can be found right here in our own back yard at Schweitzer Mountain Resort. Schweitzer’s Nordic ski trails are one of the best kept secrets in the Northwest. Local Nordic enthusiasts are spoiled by the exceptional grooming. Portions of the trail system are groomed on a daily basis with the entire trail system groomed most weekends. The access trail can be challenging for beginning skiers, with it having local nicknames such as Dammit, Oh Sh*#, and Buzz Killer. The trail is only ~ 1km long and once you get to the “Y”, the real skiing begins. Picnic Point is a popular out and back where the skier is rewarded with exceptional views of Lake Pend Oreille and the city of Sandpoint. From Picnic Point one can drop down Overland for an 8 km round trip back to the village or continue up to Bear Ridge and enjoy a small series of loops with rolling terrain. Cougar Gulch provides an exhilarating decent or grueling climb depending on which direction you take. If you are looking for a pure cardio workout mixed with a limited fun factor due to its relentless climbs as well as plenty of solitude, then Coyote Canyon is the trail for you. From Picnic Point, you can continue up to my personal favorite, Cloud Walker. This5 km trail is an out and back with a small loop at the end. The views can be stunning especially late afternoon when a pink hue accentuates the Cabinet Mountains to the east. This is also the highest point on the Nordic Trail system. An easy out is to return to the village via the cat track. It is not unusual for Nordic skate skiers to test their speed with those on alpine skis and snow boarders on this cruise to the village.

Schweitzer provides ski patrol on most days and a small Nordic hut exists near the trail entrance across from the tubing yurt. Grooming is expensive so a trail pass is required. Daily passes, season passes and Alpine add-ons are available providing one of the best Nordic ski values in the region. Be aware that the trails are multi-use and you may encounter people on snowshoes, snow bikes and an occasional moose. For more information and trail maps visit the Schweitzer web site. – JF

Need advice? Ask the Ski Curmudgeon!

Dear Ski Curmudgeon,

What is a Morris Mile?

     Dear Morris, Approximately 1 kilometer. Apparently someone didn’t have a clue about the metric system. S.C.

Dear Ski Curmudgeon,

My friends always talk about skate skiing. What is the difference between cross-country skiing and skate skiing?

     Dear Confused, Skate skiing is cross-country skiing; it simply involves a technique often referred to as skating. Cross-country skiing also includes the classic or diagonal striding technique as well as randonee or alpine touring. Nordic skiing generally refers to skate or classic, but may also include telemark skiing. All require different equipment. If you are still confused blame Bill Koch! S.C.

Dear Ski Curmudgeon,

I showed up for Free Ski Day last year and it was cancelled due to inclement weather and poor road conditions. Who do I complain to? Piste-off

     Dear Off-Piste, Really….. IT WAS A FREE SKI DAY. You got what you paid for. S.C.

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

Comments and suggestions for the newsletter may also be sent to

The Sandpoint Nordic Club is on Facebook at “Sandpoint Nordic Club” and online at