December Nordic Newsletter

JHSC Club and Community Nordic Update

Happenings of the JHSC Nordic Program, Trail Creek Nordic Center, and Local Nordic Community

Welcome to the December Edition of “What’s Going On” for the 2021-2022 season!

Lollipoppers and Teewinots start their season in January.

Devo Team

The Development Team had a great November of dryland training. Highlights included hikes up Josie’s Ridge and the High School Butte. Each practice began with active stretching exercises and led into vertical and lateral strength work.

Some fast running on the HS track and scavenger hunts are other favorites of the athletes. Games like soccer or sharks and minnows end every session. We will continue with dryland in December as we pray for snow and look forward to skiing at Trail Creek Ranch.

Rob Murphy

Development Team Head Coach

Junior Nordic Team

Junior athletes have been hard at work since beginning practice on October 1st. We have been doing dryland training at the Middle School, where we are fortunate to be within running distance of both High School Butte and Josie's Ridge. We also have access to the Alpine fields for games and drills, as well as the track for running.

Some days athletes do high-intensity shorter efforts going uphill, run for a sustained time period, or do strength training to improve upper body as well as lower body explosiveness. Almost every practice is finished off with some sort of game. Junior athletes have been focusing on maintaining/improving their shape from the summer, and are looking forward to getting on snow soon (fingers crossed)!

Coaching the Junior Nordic Team this year are Johnny Springer, JT Wynn, Ben Morley, and George Cartwright.

Let it snow!

George Cartwright

Junior Nordic Team Head Coach

Comp/Prep Teams       

The Prep/Comp Teams have had an awesome time in November getting ready for the coming season!  Although low snow conditions caused West Yellowstone to cancel the Rendezvous Ski Festival, we were able to scramble and spent Thanksgiving break skiing on Togwotee Pass!  We had fantastic conditions and put in a huge block of on-snow training! 

No other place in Intermountain had as good of skiing, with other teams having to travel to Canmore or Silverstar, over 12 hours away in Canada.  We honed our classic and skate technique, put in a lot of easy volume, and even got in a fast time trial!  The athletes put in tons of work and were amazing with handling the variables at play.  Turpin Meadows Ranch was gracious enough to open their doors to us and they accommodated us in their chalets for the week.  They even had their chef cook for us and the food was amazing all week. 

It has definitely been an adjustment going back to reality, but the athletes are in the best possible position moving into the season!  While Trail Creek is still dry, we will continue to ski on Togwotee and we have our first competition of the year at Targhee this weekend (12/4).  Our first races in Intermountain will be in Bozeman on the 18th and 19th, so our season is in full swing! 

Will Wicherski

Head Coach and Nordic Program Director

JHSC Nordic is in a great place moving into the ski season!  We have over 230 athletes enrolled, all the way from Lollipoppers to Masters, which is a huge increase from the 175 we had last season.  We are currently working on distributing lease equipment, prepping Trail Creek for the snow, adding kilometers to the trail system, and gearing up for the race season ahead!  This season will look crowded at Trail Creek, but we will have the addition of a new Prinoth Husky snow groomer to handle all the volume and make sure that we keep good tracks for all the skiers out there. 

With so many new faces, equipment, and items, things will look different but it will be the same JHSC community as always.  Please be respectful and welcoming to the newcomers and enjoy the facilities we have!  All hands on deck!  This will be a huge year!!

Will Wicherski

Head Coach and Nordic Program Director

Let’s start the year with a list of all the dedicated people who work so hard to provide our youth amazing Nordic opportunities.  The pool of athletes involved in our program this year is huge, it takes a talented and sizeable staff to keep everyone heading in the right direction. 

Will Wicherski returns as Nordic Director and Head Coach.  Additionally, the coach roster includes the following:  Jon Filardo, Luna Wasson, Ben Morley (former Nordic Director), George Cartwright, Johnny Springer, JT (Tyra) Wynn, Rob Murphy, Andy Cavallaro, Connor Phillips, Matt Wisecomb, Libby Hall, Haley Mahar, Calvin Wight, Lizzie Johnson, Lauri Harris, Kirsys Campbell, Kathy Neiley, Ann Makley, Rody Hagen, and Grace Smith.

Thanks so much to these Nordic professionals who dedicate themselves to furthering the sport. 

Trail Creek Update

First off, a huge Thank You to all who have made possible the procurement of the new Prinoth Husky.  It is amazing to see it sitting in front of the cabin at Trail Creek.  While our old Pisten Bully Paana made a lot of nice tracks for many years, we are extremely excited to have upgraded to this technologically advanced snow cat and have every expectation that it will bring positive results to our trails this winter.  Let is snow!

Like everyone, we had hoped that Covid would be over by now, but that just isn’t the case; however, we are learning to live with it a little better and are hoping that the fulfillment of our Nordic mission won’t be adversely affected by the continuing pandemic.  The cabin will be open this year, although masks are required when more than one family is in the facility.  We look forward to a full racing and skiing season and will do our best to provide a safe way for people to exercise and be healthy. 

The basic rule is to socially distance, mask if distancing is not possible, be wise, stay healthy, and have fun while getting your exercise!

Grooming on Togwotee Pass
Grooming on Togwotee Pass

One positive is the return to shuttling kids this year so hopefully the traffic situation will be a little easier to navigate.

We had a great clean-up day and the trails are overall in pretty good shape.  There has been some helpful tree removal in the woods which has relieved some of the old pinch points.

As of report day the snow depth was pretty much in the zero range.  But, as everyone is aware, a balmy fall can turn to full winter in a matter of days if a big storm system moves in, so make sure you get your passes purchased and are ready to go!  Passes can be purchased at the Trail Creek page.

In case you missed it last year, the Jackson Hole News and Guide Sport Section includes a feature in the weekly edition entitled Nordic News.  JHSC Nordic alumnus, Gannett Swan, returns as writer this year, with the season debut the first week of December.  Each column features places to ski, latest conditions, and relevant and timely tips from experts.  In addition to the JH Nordic emails and websites and various local grooming reports, Nordic skiers have one more good resource when searching for their perfect Nordic ski.

Gannett Swan

A busy and full schedule is on deck for the 2021-2022 season.  Click on the image below to link to a Google document with clickable links for the individual events that are happening throughout the season for all members of the Nordic community.  The first event of the winter at Trail Creek is the Betty Woolsey Classic which is scheduled for December 26th.  Also note that there is a full schedule of masters' clinics this winter at both Trail Creek and Teton Pines; more information is available at this link.  To see the complete calendar with clickable links check out the Winter Nordic Calendar link.  

Thanks so much to the skiers and sponsors who make this all possible, with an extra special thanks to our season pass holders!  Thanks also to our amazing staff, including the coaches listed above, and the amazing people in the JHSC office who allow all of us to do our "Nordic Thing."

Thank you to the multitude of youth athletes, for whom this program is designed.  It is through their dedication and support that the program is possible!

A special thanks to Jackson Hole Nordic for being a strong supporter of our programs.