Ski team starts season with Yellowstone tripTen Two Harbors skiers got some early on snow training at elevation in West Yellowstone, Mont., over the Thanksgiving holiday.
By: Sara Byrnes, Lake County News Chronicle
Ten Two Harbors skiers got some early on snow training at elevation in West Yellowstone, Mont., over the Thanksgiving holiday.
Six Two Harbors’ girls, including captains Kira Peterson and Katie Ringer, and four boys, including captains Sam MacEneany and Jamie Merrill, joined 38 other high school skiers from the region to attend the West Yellowstone Ski Festival.
This year’s group was considerably smaller due to the fact that there was no snow in West Yellowstone as the buses rolled out of Duluth on Friday, Nov. 16. Twenty hours later, our group arrived to a still brown West Yellowstone.
Spirits were low on our first hike up a muddy road in the cold rain. The next two days consisted of more dryland training, which included rollerskiing, pole hiking/jogging and biking. The weather was warm and the variety of training was fun and new for many in our group.
Without snow on the Rendezvous Trail system, we also had the opportunity to ski on the plateau (about 7 miles further up the mountain). The plateau trail was icy with bare patches of dirt and filled with people, but who are we to complain…we were skiing!
On Monday afternoon the wind began whipping, bringing down a number of lodge pole pines close to the entrance of the park, keeping our rollerski technique work short. The temperature dropped overnight and the next morning we were greeted with over a foot of snow.
The rest of the week became more routine with a 2-3 hour morning ski and a 1-hour afternoon ski including a technique session. The trails were in beautiful condition with a fabulous classic track set.
Without snow earlier, it seemed that a lot of skiers chose not to attend the ski festival this season, leaving the trails more open for the rest of us. The high school skiers had a wonderful opportunity to have an afternoon technique session with some of the best skiers from around the country on Wednesday, and to work with a former Minnesota state champion and former University of Vermont skier on Thursday.
Other festival highlights included the opportunity to demo top-of-the-line equipment during training sessions and getting some free goodies (stickers and posters) at the ski expo.
Even with a short week on snow, the Two Harbors skiers logged over 100K of skiing. Early season training at elevation is wonderful, but meeting and making new friends from other Northland schools is another reason this trip is so valuable.
Throughout the week the skiers participated in initiative activities, trained together, ate together (it is amazing what meals the parent chaperones can whip up in roasting pans), and planned and performed very entertaining acts in our Thanksgiving Day talent show. The week trip brought our whole group closer, making for another fantastic trip to West Yellowstone.
Oh, and the snow was nice, too.