JHSC Club and Community Nordic Update
Happenings of the JHSC Nordic Program, Trail Creek Nordic Center, and Local Nordic Community
Welcome to the January edition of “What’s Going On” for the 2020-2021 season!
Lollipoppers are off to a great start, with 21 kiddos each Monday and Wednesday—our largest enrollment ever! With so many families looking for ways for their kids to get outside, we expanded our capacity this year and added multiple additional coaches and volunteers to help us wrangle the additional little ones and facilitate our small-group adventure skiing. Many thanks to Abby, Grace, Rachel, Angela, Caroline and, of course, Coach Ann!
As always, we focus on FUN with Lollipoppers, which is actually pretty darn easy since they have fun just BEING here! We have done classic skiing thus far, and will continue with classic for most of our youngest skiers. We will include skate instruction as the season progresses as kids are ready for new skills. Some of our adaptations for dispersed games included an expanded version of Horse-and-Carriage, and we have been doing our relays using lots of visible cones as reminders.
We have already had great success with our herringbone and sidestepping lessons up Grunt Hill and Son of Gutflop, and played in Sky Stadium, and some kids have taken on the challenge of Gut Flop already! Snack break/mask break occurs in the middle of practice to allow the kids to enjoy some of that magical unfiltered Trail Creek Ranch air!
Cheers to 2021!
Lollipopper Team Head Coach
Teewinot athletes have been showing up with great Nordic enthusiasm and high adventure stoke! Our team is nearly 40 athletes strong and, with our clan of awesome coaches, we are able to keep our groups relatively small, giving us the ability to be nimble with our explorations and games and, most importantly, remain safe. I’d like to extend a big shout out to Bill, Calvin, Charlie, Haley, JT, Lauri, and Lizzie for all their hard work with our Teewinots!
In January Teewinots explored Woolsey Woods, Sam the Truck, Grunt Hill, Gut Flop, East Fields and Beaver Ponds. Every Teewinot is gaining stamina and strength, and learning more about what their amazing bodies can do! Our classic weeks have been focused on fundamental body positioning, striding and balance, with an introduction to double pole technique. Skate weeks have seen kids really starting to understand weight transfer and forward motion, and many are learning timing with poles. In February, as confidence and skill continue to develop, we will venture farther out to the always popular Face Plant Hill, Armin’s, Homesite and Suicide Hills.
We have branched out this season with a number of new games including Noodle Tag, Squirrels & Nuts, Space Ball, Mr. Wolf, Fox & Eggs, Horse & Carriage and more. We have seen kind sportsmanship and lots of laughter from the kids during game play. Not only are games fun, they give us the ability to train agility, balance and speed work all under the guise of a good time!
At the Teewinot level, we largely focus on Type 1 fun, (good fun while it’s happening) but don’t be fooled! Skiing up Grunt Hill comes with a dose of Type 2 fun (tough in the moment, but fun in retrospect). Parents and observers alike often marvel at the sight of Teewinots climbing up and zooming down the biggest, steepest Trail Creek hills, and every one of our Teewinots is already doing this!
Thank you to all the athletes and their families for adhering to our covid protocols. We are seeing solid attention to these details and are so grateful for the opportunity to continue sharing cross country skiing with your amazing young Nordies! With a big dump of fresh snow, Trail Creek is skiing beautifully, and it’s a treat to share it with your children.
Head Teewinot Coach
Alternating skate and classic weeks is one way the Development Team builds all-around ski skills. January brought in varied weather with snow, cold, wind, and even some melting. The Development Team stays flexible during these periods and is always ready to go adventure skiing no matter the weather. Relays and agility courses keep up our skills and add some challenges.
The team is continuing to focus on foundational skills built on fundamental body position. The addition of fundamental movements to our skillset highlights the importance of body position. Building this foundation of body position and movement is how the Development Team prepares for the addition of speed and power at the older levels.
The Devos finished up January with a short time trial to see how our skills were developing. Based on our observations, February will include work on transitions between V1 and V2 and discuss when to use each technique. The Devos will continue to work on fundamentals, but also focus on fun for the rest of the season. The new snow will keep our jumpers and powder skiers busy while giving us more places to adventure ski. The team is skiing well together, and we can range all over the Trail Creek system.
Thank you, parents and athletes, for following our protocols and keeping us all safe. We look forward to the Winter Carnival in February. Details will follow as they are finalized.
Rob, Mark, Pippa, Kim, Anna
Development Team Head Coach
Junior Nordic Team
Junior Team athletes have been hard at work this past month. They continue to train 3x per week out at Trail Creek. With ample race opportunities here in the Valley this season, many Junior Nordic athletes have seized the opportunity to get in race starts and measure their growth.
Since the beginning of the season athletes have been working on becoming more and more efficient in their technique, and it is really showing. From classic striding, to V2 skating, all Junior Nordic athletes are looking more confident and efficient in their overall ski abilities.
With snow coming down and more snow in the future, we are looking forward to another awesome month in February. This weekend a handful of Junior Nordic athletes will venture their way through the blizzard to Bozeman, MT in order to compete against other athletes from around the region. Good luck to all!!
Charlotte, Johnny, Everett and George
Junior Nordic Team Head Coach
Our oldest age group has been hard at work representing Jackson Hole around the West. We have raced for seven consecutive weekends at home and farther afield. At every race we have seen great performances from a wide variety of athletes. JHSC athletes have won every boys and girls race on the Wyoming High School circuit this year, with frequent podium sweeps. At the last Intermountain regional races in Soldier Hollow we had many great performances, with five podium finishes for Intermountain on both the classic sprint and skate distance days!
In addition to the great results, we have had tons of fun on skis with games, speed days, and distance in the woods at Trail Creek. We are looking forward to some stacked IMD races in Bozeman, then some well-deserved easier weeks before the beginning of championship season! Wyoming State Championships are in Cody February 26-27; Western Youth Championships are at Trail Creek March 6-7; and Western Junior Championships are in Soldier Hollow March 8-14. We are looking forward to a fun and fast end to a uniquely challenging season.
Head Coach and Nordic Program Director
We are in the heart of winter and JHSC Nordic is fully mobilized! With over 190 athletes registered for our programs and 270 more kids involved in our Winter Sports sessions, JHSC Nordic is on track to reach well over 400 local children and youth with high-quality programming this winter!
Since the last newsletter our Lollipopper, Teewinot, and Winter Sports programs have all gotten off the ground and have seen record participation. Any given day at Trail Creek you will find dozens of local kids exploring the woods and learning valuable skills under the close supervision of our coaches. While many of our youngest athletes don't participate in racing, our Junior and Prep & Comp programs have all been in the thick of race season! There will be multiple opportunities for racing the rest of the winter, including Winter Carnival February 20 and Western Youth Championships March 6-7!
Finally, thank you, JHSC Nordic community, for your continued diligence in regard to public health measures, such as social distancing and masking at Trail Creek and elsewhere. Hope is on the horizon with increasing vaccination, but I implore everybody to continue to mask, distance, and make safe choices outside of practice for the rest of the winter season. Stay healthy, ski fast, have fun!
Head Coach and Nordic Program Director
The Junior Nordic Team is incredibly fortunate to be joined by Everett Sapp who has been helping out with the team. Everett skis for Harvard University and is in Jackson for the winter months studying remotely. Everett has brought awesome energy, as well as expertise, to the Junior Nordic program. Thanks Everett for all you do!
Nordic History Minute
One of the most significant historical events in the recent history of Nordic skiing is arguably the acceptance of skate skiing as a viable racing technique; however one doesn’t have to go back much further to discover that the original Olympic racing venues were only skied on skier tracked trails. In fact, the first Olympic Nordic race in which skiers raced on mechanically groomed trails was at the 1960 Olympics at Squaw Valley California. The following excerpt from xcresorts.com sums it up:
The 1960 Winter Olympics were the first time the winter competitions were ever nationally broadcast on TV. This was also the first time that sno-cat grooming vehicles were used to mechanically groom the race courses. Tucker Sno-cat machines towed agricultural choppers and tines to “tenderize” the snow conditions. They had yet to think of track setters in today’s terms, so skiers set the tracks by skiing behind the grooming machines. The downhill sections were raked by hand.
No images of the Olympic grooming equipment could be located for this newsletter, but below are pictured a 1960 vintage Tucker and a flail chopper.
While the current Trail Creek Pisten Bully is a huge step forward from the 1960 Olympics, modern machines are able to be controlled by GPS, have variable tilling depths, speeds, pressure, cruise control, and about any other feature one could imagine. Even luxurious heated seats are common place. The one option however that doesn’t seem to make it into the grooming world is air conditioning. You might think that something that operates on snow wouldn’t need AC but, on a sunny warm afternoon, temps in a snow groomer can reach the unbearable range quite quickly.
Isn’t it fascinating to see the progress that has been made, and fun to imagine the future?
As Coach Will mentioned, January has been a busy month for racing. Racers travelled to Soldier Hollow, UT for a FIS meet January 2-3 and again for an IMD Junior National Qualifier on January 16-17; results for both of these races area available at Summit Timing.
Wyoming High School Nordic racing happened at a record pace this month, with second and third races of the season held January 8-9 and 22-23. Our team did extremely well; results are available at the following links: January 8-9, January 22-23.
Regional citizen racing has continued, with the Teton Ridge Classic over the hill held on January 9th. The 134 racers skied courses ranging from 2 to 24 kilometers. Results for this race are available here.
As this newsletter goes to the press, IMD racers are off to Bozeman for the JNQ race. Results will be available on the race web site.
January has seen more JHSC skiers than any month in history, with completely booked programs for all age groups. Peak times for youth skiers are Monday and Wednesday afternoons, while mornings, weekends, and usually Thursdays are a bit quieter. Thanks to all who have worked together to pull off a thus-far successful pandemic ski season; hopefully you’ve all been able to find plenty of trails on which to ski.
While cumulative snowfall is still slightly below normal, the last week of January has gone a long way toward catching up. Early season big dumps made for a nice base, and steady light snows, with no major thaws, have resulted in generally really nice conditions.
The Pisten Bully has been plugging away faithfully, continuing to make great Trail Creek Nordic trails, as it has done for many years. If anyone is interested in plans for an upgrade, please feel free to contact JHSC Director, Ali Sehnert.
Critters continue to share our wintry wonderland; moose and squirrels have been the most common sightings. A small herd of elk is residing at Trail Creek, although they are shy and tend to be on the trails only at night; pine martens and numerous winter birds show up from time to time; tracks of a very industrious fox are often seen in the mornings, as well those of an occasional coyote.
Thanks again to all for the continued patience with the busy race schedule. Things should somewhat return to “normal” in February. Remember that Mondays and Wednesdays after school are very busy. Keep watching for more information about the JHSC Nordic event on February 20th.
Skiers have been doing a great job of following covid protocol this winter, which is crucially important for the continued enjoyment of all that Trail Creek has to offer. Keep on keeping safe and keep on skiing!
The JNQ second qualifier is happening in Bozeman, MT January 30-31 as this newsletter goes to press. Looking into February, the IMD teams have one final qualifier at McCall, ID February 13-14. Wyoming High School charges ahead full speed with meets in Lander February 5-6, Cody February 12-13, and the state championships in Casper February 26-27.
Citizen racing is a bit of a mixed bag with the Boulder Mountain Tour going virtual this year. The registration closes January 31st so if you are interested, get on it. A limited and virtual American Birkebeiner is happening February 24-28; looking ahead to early March, one of the favorites of many locals, the West Yellowstone Rendezvous, is going ahead with a limited racing field of only 200 racers.
At home at Trail Creek the JHSC Nordic Club Championship is February 20. Stay tuned for more details in the days to come.
The full Nordic Calendar with clickable links is available here or by clicking on the image below.
Thanks so much to the skiers and sponsors who make this all possible, with an extra special thanks to our season pass holders! Ablondi/Wuersche Family, Dave Adams, Barret Family, Mark Baudenstiel, Binning Family, Bosch Family, Brigham Family, Lori Cahn, Callaghan Family, John Clegg, Coburn/Thunder Family, Curtis/Adams Family, Arielle D’Arge, Darin Family, June Darin, Peggy Davenport, Dunbar/Wattenmaker Family, Everett Family, Gingery Family, Alex Gingery, Caroline Girling, Gordon/Mick Family, Lena Goss, Gross Family, Hagen Family, Ann Harvey, Henderson/Ratcliffe Family, Scott Horn, Eric Huber, Laurie Huff, Maggie Hunt, Karns Family, Kern Family, King Family, Koch/Nyrop Family, Kohlhardt Family, Nancy Lee, Leeds Family, Nancy Leon, Amy Lorenz, Lovett Family, Kristina MacLeod, Ann Makley, McGee Family, Hannah McKenzie Black, Wyley Menolascino, Moller Family, Moss Family, Neterre Family, Newcomb/VonMaur Family, O’Brien Family, O’Malley/Jensen Family, Peacock Family, Annika Peacock, Peck Family, Wayne Petsch, David Plunkett, Jim Roscoe, Catherine Rose, Schilling Family, Segal Family, Shriver Family, Sluszka Family, Parker Smith, Roger Smith, Springer Family, Sullivan Family, Avery Sullivan, Kaitlyn Sullivan, Thal Family, Charlie Thomas, Meaghan Tozzi, Brian Van Hatten, Polly Wakeman, Jocelyn Wasson, Olivia Weenig, Boden Welch, Chad Whaley, AJ Wheeler, Ben Williams, Steph Williams, Chris Wimberg, Wiswell Family, Wolff/Wild Family, Liam Wylie, and Nico Yeomans.
Thanks to our amazing staff!
Pippa Blau, Charlotte Cadow, George Cartwright, Patrick Dominick, Alissa Ehrenkrantz, Jon Filardo, Anna Gibson, Charlie Gorski, Libby Hall, Lauri Harris, Lizzie Johnson, Haley Mahar, Ann Makley, Rob Murphy, Kathy Neiley, Mark Newcomb, Bill Oliphant, Johnny Springer, Steve Swan, Luna Wasson, Will Wicherski, Calvin Wight, Tyra Wynn, and Kim Young.
Thank you to the multitude of youth athletes, for whom this program is designed and would be impossible without their dedication and support!
A special thanks to Jackson Hole Nordic for being a strong supporter of our programs.