November 2017 Newsletter


Volume 4 Issue 1: November 2017
 Winter is Coming!
Here’s What’s Happening

  • November 14th    – SNC General Club Meeting -5:30pm at MickDuff’s Beer Hall on Cedar in Sandpoint
  • Coming soon – On-line registration for the Sandpoint Nordic Club and Youth Ski League
  • December 16th – Free Ski Day-Schweitzer Mountain Roundabout

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

Is that duct tape holding your old skis together slowing you down? Are the 3 pin holes in your old boots worn out? The Sandpoint Nordic Club may have just the answer for you, ski leasing. In addition, if you have guests coming to town who would like to try X-C skiing, equipment can be rented by the week. These packages include skis, boots, and poles. Whether you’re leasing or renting, SNC, in conjunction with Syringa Cyclery can help.

If you have checked the price of a skate ski package these days then you know they are pricey. Leasing offers similar equipment at about a quarter of the cost. Take the package home for $149 and they are yours until spring, plus Syringa Cyclery will include two wax jobs during the season. The savings could help finance next summer’s new bike. Classic packages are also available for just $115. Wouldn’t new ski equipment make your ski experience more enjoyable?

Both skate and classic packages are available on a weekly rental basis. Skate packages rent for $50 a week and classic packages rent for $40. These packages are a great value as daily package rental around town is about $25. Weekly rental allows for you to rent a la carte. Skis and boots rent at $25 per pair and poles for $10 a pair.

The SNC hopes that this program will help get more people involved in the sport we love. Leasing and rentals will be handled through Syringa Cyclery, 518 Oak. If you have questions, they can be reached at (208) 610-9990. It looks like we are in for another great season, let’s make the most of it.
Bill Tregoning

Early Season Ski Camps
West Yellowstone Ski Festival- West Yellowstone- November 21-25

The West Yellowstone Ski Festival has been an early season Nordic ski destination for over 30 years. The festival takes place over Thanksgiving week and draws Nordic enthusiasts from all over the country. At over 6000’ in elevation, the Rendezvous Ski Trail system is blessed with fantastic snow conditions most years and gets the attention of some of the best groomers and grooming equipment in the country. The festival offers skiing clinics in skate and classic techniques as well as a beginner biathlon course. Skiers can choose 1 – 5 day instructional lessons ranging from introductory to competitive skiing abilities. Skiers are grouped by ability and the instructors have loads of experience and passion.

You don’t have to participate in a clinic to enjoy the West Yellowstone Ski Festival. The Rendezvous trails are open to everyone although a trail pass is required. In addition to skiing on beautiful rolling trails with exquisite grooming, you can also try out new equipment from the “on snow” gear demo. An indoor ski show and a variety of presentations are also offered.

Oregon Fall Camp- Mt. Bachelor/Bend- December 1-10

The XCOregon fall camp at Mt. Bachelor is geared for Master level skiers with a focus on technique and training. The camp offers a very personal experience with ten consecutive days of on-snow sessions, wax clinics, video analysis, in-door strength training, and physiological testing. This camp is geared toward the serious racer. Participants can sign up for 1 – 5 day packages or more.
Methow Valley Ski Camp-Winthrop, Wa- December 14-17
This early season ski camp is set at Sun Mountain Lodge in the beautiful Methow Valley. Skiers of all abilities are encouraged to attend and participants are grouped according to ability. The camp offers lessons in both skate and classic technique.  Proceeds from the camp benefit the Methow Valley Junior Racing Team and the Methow Valley Trails Association. At $420, the camp includes trail fees, coaching, yoga, breakfasts, lunches and snacks.
Silver Star X-C Super Camps- Silver Star/Sovereign Lakes,B.C.- Begin Nov. 20
The Silver Star XC Super Camps are geared for all ages and abilities and are located in the beautiful Okanogan Valley near Vernon, B.C.. You can participate in 3 or 5, half or full day, sessions in skate or classic techniques. You can even sign up for a five-day camp that includes both. Silver Star and Sovereign Lakes Nordic centers offer 105 km of wonderfully groomed trails in mostly rolling terrain. The Super Camps run from November 20th to December 10th with a couple of options in January and February. Instructors focus on improving your technique to help you glide longer and become more efficient on your skis. A couple of biathlon camps are offered for beginner to advanced skiers where morning sessions focus on skiing and afternoons are spent at the shooting range.

Sandpoint Nordic Club Free Ski Day- Saturday December 16th     
The Sandpoint Nordic Club in cooperation with Schweitzer Mountain Resort are once again sponsoring a free ski day at the Round-A-Bout trail near Schweitzer. Free ski rentals and lessons taught by club members are available in both classic and skate techniques. Free Ski Day is geared toward introducing people to the fantastic sport of cross-country skiing. More information will be available at
Jared France

Youth Ski League
The Youth Nordic ski team is off and running.  After a high energy summer “ski fitness” program, kids transitioned to their fall sports.  Then, mid-October, we re-grouped to start our pre-ski season dryland training.  This fall we teamed up with the SARS alpine ski team to train twice a week.  Kids meet at the Shed Fitness gym and then we either shuttle them in the SARS vans to parks/trails to hike or train outdoors or we stay inside at the Shed and do circuit strength training.  It gets pretty hilarious and loud with 30+ kids working out together.  We all love snow and sliding on it so whether we are Alpine or Nordic, we have a lot in common.  Winter program sign up started early November and kids are starting to pick up their ski equipment for the season.  Let it SNOW!!!

SNC Ski Trails
The SNC has already begun grooming trails at the University of Idaho property on Boyer Avenue in Sandpoint.  This is our earliest start by far!  The club will groom the trails daily as weather permits.  One complete loop around the trail is 4.0km.  SNC members ski free at these trails.

Ole and Lena
The Norwegians and Swedes have, by and large, dominated the elite Nordic skiers. This occasional newsletter column will be used to relate a joke in each issue to help establish a Scandinavian mood. These will be drawn from the vast set of ‘Ole and Lena’ jokes, especially popular among the Scandinavians in the Dakotas, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. There is no unanimity about the nat
ionality of the personalities in the jokes, so I will make these assumptions:

Ole is Norwegian
Lena is Norwegian
Sven is Swedish
Lars is Swedish
Other characters may appear, as well. Ole and Lena progress from sweethearts and eventually marry, which doesn’t always go well.
This first attempt actually goes to the end of Ole and Lena’s relationship.
Ole died. So Lena went to the local paper to put a notice in the obituaries. The gentleman at the counter, after offering his condolences, asked Lena what she would like to say about Ole. Lena replied, “You yust put ‘Ole died’.”  The gentleman, somewhat perplexed, said, “That’s it? Just ‘Ole died?’ Surely, there must be something more you’d like to say about Ole. If its money you’re concerned about, the first ten words are free. We must say something more.”  So Lena pondered for a few minutes and finally said, “O.K. You put ‘Ole died. Boat for sale.’ “
Dick Sevenich
(Ned’s Nordic News)
New to the SNC Newsletter this year is Ned’s Nordic News. Enjoy interesting articles and information relating to cross-country skiing. Just another xc skier….
The SNC Newsletter team is encouraging readers to submit stories relating to their favorite ski trails. The first story was written by Jois Child and relates to the Cloudwalker ski trail on the Schweitzer Nordic trail system.
Cloudwalker Whiskey
Old Sam McRae was the best cloudwalking whiskey maker in the whole county. Everyone for miles around knew Old Sam and loved to tell how his whiskey had cured Columbia Goodman’s rheumatism outright, or how one time Tad Smith had a little too much of it and harnessed himself to his plow.  Well, he turned up a quarter section before he realized the horses were still in the barn.
Old Sam’s cabin was way up the valley at the end of Lavender Creek Road, and Sam’s still was hidden even farther up the mountain.  Every fall and spring, when the clouds were thick and common over Coachman Lake, Sam would go cloudwalking to harvest the secret ingredient that made his whiskey special. He would throw a gunnysack over each shoulder and follow an old logging road to Winsome Point, where he could look out over the lake. When the clouds covered the water and squeezed themselves up into the valleys, he’d stride out on top of them and gather up the top layer of crystals, which held an essence of sun, moon and stars.  He’d fill both sacks as full as he could, and start back home.  Sometimes he walked softly back, but sometimes, especially if the clouds were moving around or starting to break up, he took such great bounding leaps, always landing with just one foot at a time, that his footfalls set off a line of rain or snow showers all along his path.
One of Sam’s customers for this fine whiskey was a no good mean son-of-a-gun called Cuff Jackson.  Cuff bought a rain barrel full of Sam’s whiskey whenever he could scrape together enough money or firewood or venison to pay for it.  Since he almost never had money and usually couldn’t see straight, he mostly paid in firewood, which suited Old Sam fine, because he needed a lot of wood for his cookstove and his still.  But Sam felt bad about it because Cuff’s pretty, plump little wife, Destiny, had to split and stack all the wood, Cuff being too mean and too lazy to lift an axe himself. In fact, he was too mean and too lazy to do much of anything except eat and drink and cuss at Destiny.
And that’s just what he was doing when Old Sam delivered a rain barrel full of whiskey up to the Jackson place on a day when storm clouds were starting to build over the lake.  Well, Old Sam had had enough of watching that pretty, plump little woman suffer.  So, he settled the barrel right next to Cuff’s woodshed, cocked a weather eye at the sky, and invited Cuff to go cloudwalking with him.  Now, Cuff had never been cloudwalking, and he thought maybe he’d like to know what it was like out on the lake above the clouds.  Sam waved goodbye to Destiny, who was bringing in washing from the line and went to get his gunnysacks from his truck.  Cuff hollered at her to get that wood split, so he could pay Sam for the whiskey, and to get it done by the time they got back.  Destiny set down her laundry basket on the porch and wiped her face with her apron as the two men started away.
Well, Destiny looked at the pile of wood to split, and sighed, and picked up the axe.  Right off, she noticed the axe head was loose, so she put the axe into the rain barrel next to the woodshed and went to rest a spell in Cuff’s rocking chair on the porch.  The longer she rocked, the more she fumed about Cuff off cloudwalking, leaving her with all the wood to split and supper to get and everything else.  By the time she figured the axe head was swollen tight again, she was in a temper.  She stalked out to the woodshed and grabbed that axe out of the barrel and threw it at the pile of wood.
Well, that axe flew through that pile and split every round in half.  Then it flew back and thwacked itself into the splitting block right in front of Destiny.  So she picked it up and threw it again, and that axe whirled through the half rounds and split them all in quarters, then it circled around and thwacked itself into the splitting block again.  And Destiny began to laugh.
Meanwhile, Sam and Cuff were about to step out onto the clouds over Coachman Lake.  “There’s a storm maybe comin’,” Sam said, “ so whatever you do, don’t jump with both feet at once, and don’t lose track of your path back.  Because if a thunderhead swallows you up, I won’t be able to find you.  Now, here’s all you have to do.”  And he showed Cuff how to cloud walk.
They set off, Cuff pushing first one foot and then the other, into the softness of the clouds, just as Old Sam had.  Before long, he began to bounce from foot to foot.  Cuff never felt so light and agile in his whole mean, lazy life.  He took little steps, he took big steps, he paid no attention at all to where he was headed.  He came to a series of puffy little clouds with spaces between them and without even thinking, he jumped from one to the next and landed with both feet.  And went right through the little cloud into a cumulonimbus that was building itself into a huge thunderhead.  That storm cloud sucked Cuff right into one of its convection currents, tossed him upside down, shot him a mile or so up, and dropped him at least as far down.  And then it did it again. 
Sam had gathered up two sacks of the very best crystals.  When he looked up from his work, Cuff was nowhere to be seen.  The thunderhead had swallowed him up completely. 
“Oh, well,” said Sam.  “I told him.”  And he made his way carefully back to the road, an
d down the mountain track to the Jackson place, to find a pile of split, stacked wood, and Destiny.
Jois Child
Here’s how the story came to be:
Most of the time when I ski Cloudwalker, I don’t see anyone else.  One cloudy day heading back from Wolf Point, I got to wondering how the trail got its name and as I pondered this, an old man with a gunny sack over each shoulder stepped out of the woods and told me this story as we went along.  Then he disappeared back into the woods and I haven’t seen him again, though I always look for him on cloudy days.