- November- Youth Ski League and Race Team Sign up contact- Vicki Longhini
- Nov.22-26 West Yellowstone Ski Festival – Check Conditions. They have snow, but it’s thin right now
- Dec. 7th Free Wax Clinic taught by Eric Mittelsteadt- Toko Rep. 5:30 pm; 411 S. 3rd (behind McDuffs)
- Dec 15th- SNC club meeting- McDuff’s 5:30 pm
- Dec. 15-18 Methow Valley Ski Camp
- January 7- Free Ski Day- Schweitzer Round About- Volunteers and Instructors Needed contact- Rick Price
Back in the 60’s and early 70’s ski manufacturers were looking for a way to make skiing easier for the recreational Nordic skier. Two grip systems were developed, fish scales, which were great for climbing but didn’t offer much downhill glide and mohair strips that adhered to the kick zone. Mohair provided better glide but wore out fairly quickly and were difficult to replace. As base materials and fish scale patterns improved, mohair went by the wayside.
After a nearly 50 year hiatus, mohair has returned and is well worth a look. I regularly ski with folks who are skiing on mohair and it seems to be a little harder to keep up.
My wife and I typically spend Thanksgiving in West Yellowstone. Last year, our goal was to try all available mohair demos, Madshus, Salomon and Atomic. We were able to ski everything by the end of the morning and decided to start the afternoon with another ride on our first choice skis. The morning tech had gone skiing and the new tech looked at my wife’s beautiful silver hair and re-positioned the bindings for a “little old lady”. The different binding location gave the skis a totally different feel, like trying to ski on contact cement. Once the bindings were relocated to a more proper setting, her smile returned. Out came the credit card!
After logging a season on our mohair skis two things stand out as important. It is critical that the skis are the right flex for the skier’s weight. Some manufacturers provide three flexes per size. The other critical issue is binding location. Moving the binding fore and aft as little as a half centimeter can be the difference between having a great day or throwing the skis in the trash. NNN NIS bindings allow for binding movement without having to remount the skis. Mohair makes the skis quieter than their fish scale counterparts and makes the kick more consistent in all snow conditions. In addition, I was nearly as fast on downhills as friends on skate skis.
Although I haven’t tried it, I’m told that the mohair is relatively easy to replace and is replaceable on all brands. You may want to purchase replacements if you purchase skis so you have it available. The mohair on Atomic skis is attached to a plate which is removable using a key and can be quickly exchanged. The Atomic mohair comes in a wider version and a narrow version for differing snow conditions.
Whether you are curious or are serious about new classic skis, get out and try some mohair skis. They ski as close to waxable skis as you can get.
A recent article in AARP magazine (yes, I’m that old) describes a “silver bullet” in dealing with age related decay. As we age, our body ceases to emit signals for our cells to grow thus causing our body, including our brain to decay. The “silver bullet” described in the article is aerobic exercise. Aerobic exercise can help reduce your risk of heart disease, some cancers, as well as Alzheimers. Our bodies are hard wired to move, it’s in our genes. Our ancestors were hunter/ gatherers that spent much of their time walking, running, and sometimes sprinting. How long you live is mostly genetics, how well you live is mostly up to you. The article references a book entitled “Younger Next Year” written by Chris Crowley and Henry Lodge MD. They recommend exercising six days per week including four days per week of aerobic exercise. Exercise combined with a heathy diet and an emotional commitment to connecting and caring can actually be a “silver bullet” to a long and happy life.
Nordic skiing fits well in this “silver bullet” scenario. A recent article in Outside Magazine claims that Nordic skiers can burn up to 952 calories per hour. This probably is a little high for us mere mortals, but you get the idea. Nordic skiing is a full body workout that utilizes both arms and legs in a variety of terrain. It’s also a great way to combat the lingering dark, grey days of winter. It not only helps improve your cardio vascular system, but strength, balance and mental focus as well. However, the biggest reason to do it is that it’s fun, really fun. There’s nothing like propelling yourself across the snow while enjoying the hidden beauty that winter has to offer, not to mention the exhilaration from cruising down steep hills on skinny slivers of wood. Get out and ski this winter. If you want a little motivation, participate in the 200K challenge, you may even find that “silver bullet”.
So it’s official; the winter of 2015/2016 was the warmest in history. 97% of climatologists agree that the world is heating up. If you’ve been a skier for as long as I have, you don’t need a scientist to figure it out that each of the last three decades has been warmer than the preceding.
Since the industrial revolution humans have been pumping CO2 into the air, and the earth is heating up. Higher levels of CO2 equate to higher temperatures. We’re talking science here. It’s based on research, data, results, history and facts. According to the EPA, “Average global temperatures are expected to increase within the range of 0.5°F to 8.6°F by 2100, with a likely increase of at least 2.7°F.” So what does this mean for local skiers? Typical daytime winter temperatures for Schweitzer (2000’ Higher) are 31 degrees in the daytime and 17 degrees at night. The lapse rate is approximately 3.5 degrees cooler per 1000’ of elevation. So, the “likely” result is that your grandkids will have to rely on stories of how it once was, versus experiencing it for themselves.
There is hope. Just one year ago, 195 nations reached a landmark accord in Paris that will commit every nation, rich or poor, to reduce greenhouse gases. The goal is to limit the global average temperature increase from pre-industrial levels to 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit. It may not save skiing at Schweitzer, but the agreement is intended to stave off some of the more extreme effects of global warming. For example, scientists are concerned that there may be a tipping point where even the West Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets will melt. Skiing at Schweitzer may be the least of our worries.
It is critical that we act now. Donald Trump has called global warming a hoax, and has vowed to cancel the Paris accords. Political affiliation aside, we are skiers and we are sensitive to the changes in the environment. We must continue to sound the alarm that winter is disappearing, and we need to fight to reduce global emissions.
In the last newsletter we discovered Bob Love, longtime club member of the Sandpoint Nordic Club had moved to Bozeman. Bob was giddy in early October when an unusual snow event allowed him to post a picture of himself skiing in a field near his home. Unfortunately, a return to near record temperatures east of the Rocky Mountains has eliminated the euphoria of an early La Nina winter. To pass the time while he waits for a return of the blessed white stuff, Bob has joined a local knitting club or to be more specific, a “knitting support group”. We’re not sure how much knitting is involved with this group, but it does seem to involve the testing of local micro brews. Hopefully the snow will come. Stay tuned….
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, 2015 and mailed to: Sandpoint Nordic Club PO Box 233, Sandpoint, Id. 83864. – Jared France
Ski Curmudgeon Corner
I regularly ski at Schweitzer. I am often intimidated when I try to ski through
the crowds of oblivious alpine skiers clogging the village. They treat me as if I am invisible. My heart rate actually declines once I reach the trail system. What can I do. Intimidated
Ski fast and make yourself as big as possible. Google “roller derby” for some other great ideas. Good luck. SC
Dear Ski Curmudgeon,
My husband is always buying new skis, new ski clothes, and new wax even when he already has everything. Is this a sickness and should I be worried? Concerned Spouse
Dear Rightfully Concerned,
I’m probably not the best one to give advice on this matter, but I do believe it is a bit of a sickness or he may be doing it to stay fit and look good just for you. Gently suggest that he possibly pick up a part time job at a local ski shop to support his habit and in the process, he should be able to get some good discounts. In my case, the addiction went away (and my spare cash) as soon as my kids started skiing. SC
Dear Ski Curmudgeon,
My girlfriend is a faster skier than me. I’m afraid it’s putting a rift in our relationship. I don’t want to quit skiing. What should I do. Humiliated
How about “growing a set”… of lungs that is. You don’t improve your skiing by watching football and drinking beer. SC
Previous editions of the newsletter are available on the Club website.
And we are on Facebook at “Sandpoint Nordic Club”.