February 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 February Edition of “What’s Going On” for the 2023-2024 season!

Everything is “full speed ahead” in the JHSC Nordic program and at Trail Creek Nordic Center!  All seven of our teams, plus two elementary school winter sports programs, have been racing, jumping, cruising, gliding, kicking, and anything else that can be done on Nordic skis.  The busiest days at Trail Creek are Monday and Wednesday, with slightly lighter loads on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.  The weekly schedule is below.

Winter has arrived in the Tetons and we have had a fantastic start to the New Year across all ages and teams!  We have had athletes competing all over the map including in Jackson, Lander, Pinedale, Soldier Hollow, Victor, West Yellowstone, Sweden, and others!  There was huge athlete participation at the Betty Woolsey Classic with over 120 attendees, and record numbers of participants in the Lollippper, Teewinot, Ositos, and Development teams. 

Earlier in January, Comp Team athletes headed to Soldier Hollow for US National Championships, where there were many great performances, including two current JHSC athletes and one JHSC alum qualifying for international development opportunities in Europe!  Lena Poduska and Lucas Wilmot qualified to compete in U18 in Falun, Sweden, and Lucas also qualified for World Junior Championships in Planica, Slovenia!  Alumni Elijah Weenig qualified to U23 World Championships in Planica, with a 3rd place overall at National Championships.  Lena and Lucas both raced on the World Championships courses in Falun and performed fantastically well, both landing in the top 11 U18s overall at a Swedish Cup race.  As I write this, I am with the World Junior Team in northern Italy preparing for the big championship weekend ahead. 

Last weekend a record large squad returned to Soldier Hollow for the Western Superqualifier races, where top juniors from all over the West come to compete.  We had amazing performances across the board, with Isla Everett, Aurora Stiles, and Nate Streubel all winning races against stacked fields and numerous other top 10s and fantastic performances.  12 JHSC athletes are currently in positions to qualify for JNs, so we are stoked to see what happens in the final races in McCall! 

Last but not least, the Skinny Skis Moose Chase is coming up on Saturday, February 17th!  This great community event brings together skiers across all ages and ability levels to celebrate skiing and have tons of fun!  Parents, community members, and others are all encouraged to participate.  Mark the date on your calendars and plan on coming even if you don't race!

Will Wicherski

Nordic Program Director & Head Coach


Lollipoppers are into another giant season, with maxed out numbers for the three days per week that the program is offered!  We follow a consistent skill development progression each season, with the goal of building confident, independent skiers.  The early-season focus is on self-sufficiency in putting on equipment, understanding how to get up from a fall, and basic techniques like gliding, herringbone, sidestep, wedge, track agility, and kick turns. 

Then it's off on the track for adventure skiing, putting those skills to use in real-time, in order to experience all that Trail Creek can offer with its varied terrain and beautiful scenery.  While the primary focus in Lollipoppers is on classic technique, double poling and herringbone skills readily transfer to skate skiing, and after a few weeks, skate technique is introduced.

Head Coach Sam Johnson and crew have too much fun coaching this group to call it a job!


Teewinot Team jumped into January loaded with big Nordic enthusiasm!  This season there are two Teewinot Teams, one on Monday/Wednesday and another on Tuesday/Thursday, the latter being led again this year by Kirsys Campbell. A total of 45 kids are enrolled--a record for the program!

Games and adventure skiing form the foundation for learning fundamental body positioning, balance, agility and technique. Teewinots are confidently climbing and descending hills including Gut Flop, Faceplant and Grunt. Some groups are venturing to farther flung trails like Armins and Homesite, while others are lapping Woolsey Woods. We have been playing games including Juggling Balls, Easter Egg Hunt, Squirrels & Nuts and the fan favorite, What Time Is It Mr. Wolf. These kids are quick on their skis!

Teewinot Team looks forward to February Fun traditions like word scrambles and scavenger hunts and hopefully more snow. Queue up your snow dance! Tandem ski races where two skiers work together on one pair of long skis to celebrate the American Birkebeiner are also on the February Fun list. We are expecting a number of Teewinot skiers at the upcoming Skinny Skis Moose Chase at Trail Creek and can't wait to cheer them across the finish line!


Libby Hall

Teewinot Head Coach

Tuesday/Thursday Teewinot Coach Kirsys reports, “The full Teewinot Team just started in January. They have been exploring Trail Creek, playing games. They have tried tandem skiing and 'tractor relays' where they pull each other on their skis.”


The Devos have been seriously honing technique in both skate and classic, and had a strong turnout of racers and sportsmanship at the local JNQ.

Of course, we have also been keeping it silly, with donut relays, combined snoccer games with the Juniors, ski trains, and daring laps down Faceplant! 

Big shout out to Isla Everett and Liza Mayer for their strong skiing at the Soldier Hollow super qualifier last weekend!

Kaya Morelli

Head Devo Coach

Junior Team

Junior Team

Junior Nordic athletes showcased exceptional talent and determination in the recent winter races! Dominating the Teton Ridge Classic, conquering the challenging Jackson IMD qualifier, and leaving an impressive mark at the Soldier Hollow races, our young skiers are making us proud.

Focused on honing technique and speed, this motivated group is eagerly anticipating upcoming events. Next on their radar are the thrilling Moose Chase and the Bozeman Tune-up, setting the stage for the pinnacle IMD Youth Championships in Sun Valley in early March. Their enthusiasm and dedication make them an absolute joy to work with, promising an exciting season ahead!

#JuniorNordicSuccess #FutureChampions


George Cartwright

Junior Nordic Team Head Coach


The Ositos have been blazing down the Nordic X course and testing the new fleet of skate skis. There are skiers of all backgrounds in Ositos, ranging from their first time on Nordic skis to seasoned cross country beasts. We have split into a few groups: The Fire Dragons, Slay Queens, and Tigers.

We look forward to more time on the skate skis and cheering on some feisty competitors at the Moose Chase. Say hi to us if you are out skiing on Tuesdays or Thursdays!

Kaya Morelli

Head Ositos Coach

Prep/Comp Team


Race season is in full swing for the Prep/Comp Team! We went straight into a week of racing at US Nationals in Soldier Hollow at the beginning of January, where 10 JHSC athletes participated in these big races with lots of tough competition. Our athletes rose to the occasion, demonstrating lots of impressive racing, and learning a lot from the experience in the process. At this event, JHSC athlete Lena Poduska qualified for the 2nd year in a row for the U18 trip, and Lucas Wilmot qualified for the U18 trip, as well as the World Junior Championships. Huge congratulations to these athletes for this accomplishment!

Lena Poduska and Lucas Wilmot racing in Europe

Poduska and Wilmot represented Team USA in a Skate Sprint and a 10k Classic in Falun, Sweden, on the U18 Trip in mid-January, where they competed against the top junior racers from all over Sweden. Lucas Wilmot has remained in Europe for a training camp with other Team USA World Junior Championship racers, and will soon be competing at the championships in Planica, Slovenia. Go USA, and go JHSC! JHSC Alum Elijah Weening will also be competing at this event in the U23 World Championships, and program director Will Wicherski is attending World Juniors as a coach.

We hosted the first IMD Junior National Qualifier of the year on our home courses at Trail Creek, where JHSC had many podiums and personal best finishes. It is always great to host on our home trails and show the rest of the region what Trail Creek is all about. The first significant snowstorm of the season made for challenging travel, but fortunately cleared for two beautiful days of racing and allowed excellent grooming on all of our race courses and training trails.

In between racing, we have been taking advantage of the improved ski conditions to get in some technique and intensity sessions and sharpen our skills. Last weekend we traveled to Soldier Hollow, UT, for the second weekend of JNQ races. JHSC brought 45 athletes to this race, across Prep/Comp, Junior, and Devo age groups. An excellent staff of coaches from across the programs allowed us to smoothly and effectively prepare our athletes for the weekend of racing. Prep/Comp Team athletes Aurora Stiles and Nate Streubel both won their respective classic sprint races on Friday!

Preparation for the third and final JNQ in McCall, ID on February 10th and 11th, will include interval sessions, specific strength training, and of course enjoying the skiing at Trail Creek. The team is energized and ready to give it their all at this final qualifier!

Luna Wasson

Head Coach and Nordic Program Director

Nordic Masters

The recreational Masters skiers spent January cruising around Teton Pines before closing out the first half of the season and moving to Trail Creek. Skiers focused on fundamental body positions and movements while practicing drills and playing games. Games included diminishing equipment relays, ski soccer, and double pole relays. Masters skiers are using games to solidify the skills we are learning.

The Masters Team has enjoyed beautiful weather for every session this year. Students are improving their skills, fitness, and agility. This month we will be exploring Trail Creek while we continue to work on coordinating body positions and movements to become efficient skiers. In February, off-trail adventure skiing, drills and games will be on the menum, along with a healthy dose of hills at Trail Creek.

The Master’s program will wrap up at the end of February. Look for some changes next year to make the program even more fun and accessible.

Rob Murphy

Nordic Masters Head Coach

As mentioned earlier in the newsletter, Lena Poduska and Lucas Wilmot have recently been busy racing in Europe.  Lena was kind enough to send in a report and some pictures.   Thanks Lena!

Lena racing in Europe

 In mid-January my teammate, Lucas Wilmot, and I traveled to Falun, Sweden to race representing the United States on the 2024 U18 trip. The whole experience was amazing; being able to race on an iconic World Cup course, meeting new people, and learning so many things about skiing and myself are only the highlights of this trip.

One of the best parts of the whole experience in Sweden was being a part of a strong and supportive team. I learned so much from the other athletes and coaches. Being on a team with these people made the new concept of international travel and racing a lot less stressful. Together the team had so much fun exploring Sweden and racing hard. We worked well together and lifted each other up. I am so glad to have had the opportunity to meet and perform with these fast kids. 

Thanks so much, Lena, and best wishes for all your races!



If you have been following JHSC Nordic skiing closely this winter, you may have heard the term "FIS" floating around.  A quick definition from Wikipedia is as follows: The International Ski and Snowboard Federation (Fédération Internationale de Ski et de Snowboard in French), also known as FIS, is the highest international governing body for skiing and snowboarding. It was previously known as the International Ski Federation until 26 May 2022 when the name was changed to include snowboard.

JHSC is honored to be hosting a FIS race in late March, and many JHSC skiers have FIS points. 

Founded on 2 February 1924 in Chamonix, France during the inaugural Winter Olympic Games, FIS is responsible for the Olympic skiing disciplines, namely Alpine skiing, cross-country skiing, ski jumping, Nordic combined, freestyle skiing, and snowboarding. The FIS is also responsible for setting the international competition rules. The organization has a membership of 132 national ski associations, and is based in Oberhofen am Thunersee, Switzerland.

FIS is a huge and complicated organization.  The first chart below is the simplified version of the organizational structure; click on the second image to get an even more detailed diagram. For the purposes of JHSC, our interests mainly fall under the Cross Country heading.

As early as 1883, individual countries began forming their own ski federations or associations, with the predecessor association to FIS, the International Ski Congress (CIS), being founded on February 18, 1910.  On February 2, 1924, in Chamonix as part of the "International Winter Sports Week", which was later to be recognized as the first Olympic Winter Games, 36 delegates from 14 countries including the US decided to found the FIS, which replaced the CIS.  Until 1930 FIS was only responsible for cross country skiing.

Today, the FIS Congress meets biannually with over 1000 delegates and provides guidance for--in addition to Cross Country--Ski Jumping, Nordic Combined, Alpine Skiing, Freestyle Skiing, Snowboard, and other disciplines.

Skiers who participate in FIS races can score FIS points.  Having lots of them can lead to inclusion on national teams or other honors.  The point calculations are quite complicated; if you want to delve deeper, FasterSkier.com has a good article here.  Wikipedia also covers FIS in some detail on their FIS page.

This link takes you to the FIS Cross Country calendar, and if you scroll to March you will see our very own Trail Creek listed.  Click on that link and you will see the schedule below, which should be an amazing race for Trail Creek.

 January has been a very busy racing month for IMD, High School, and citizen racing.  A massive three-day IMD, High Plains Nordic, and Wyoming High School race was hosted January 12-14 at Trail Creek.  Around 400 skiers participated over the weekend, with the entire community pulling together to produce a great race.  Results can be found at the Johnny Curtis Memorial JNQ website.

IMD racing continued with Junior National Qualifier #2 at Soldier Hollow in Utah January 25th and 26th.  Results from this race are available here.

In addition to racing at Trail Creek, Wyoming High School skiers competed in Casper January 5th-6th and in Pinedale January 19th-20th.  Results from these races can be viewed on this High Plains Nordic page.

Regional citizen Nordic races included the Teton Ridge Classic, the Spud Chase, and the Pinedale Stampede

Lots of racing for lots of people in Wyoming, Idaho, and Utah!

Let it snow!

Usually by the first of January the Husky has been out doing its thing for some time but, except for one early season expedition, serious Husky grooming did not commence until January 10th when some serious snow finally began to arrive.  For a period, the local Snotel reporting station of Phillips Bench was running at record low levels for the date of the year.  Thankfully, snow has returned, the Ginzu groomer is getting a breather, and our trails have been skiing nicely!

All the JHSC programs have been on the snow this month, which means afternoons, and especially Mondays and Wednesdays, have been very busy.  With limited snow in the area, and Trail Creek’s relative abundance of snow, there have been good numbers of citizen skiers at Trail Creek.

Lovable wildlife continues to co-habit Trail Creek.  From the chickadees at the cabin, to the foxes and coyotes roaming the fields, to the moose and elk wandering the woods, and not forgetting a few grouse and lots of squirrels taking advantage of the warm winter (even a pine marten or two taking advantage of those squirrels), it would be a rare day at Trail Creek if you don’t spot some animal out and about.  As of late, an antlered bull moose, has wandered onto the trails.  A little rambunctious upon first arrival, going so far as to chase the Husky for a while one day, he was dubbed fondly as "Cranky"; however, he seems to have settled down to a nice, quiet, winter regimen.

Racing is still ahead, with the Moose Chase on February 17th and the FIS race March 30 through April 1.  Be sure to get your registration in for the Moose Chase. It should be a great Nordic day!

February starts off with the Boulder Mountain Tour in Idaho on February 3rd.  Citizen racing continues with the Moose Chase at Trail Creek February 17th, and regional skiers will have another racing opportunity at the Alta Vista Skiathlon February 24th.  The American Birkebeiner, in spite of rumors of very warm Midwest temps affecting skiing, is also February 24th in Wisconsin, an event which usually draws a number of local skiers in addition to the tens of thousands of skiers from around the world.

IMD racing continues with the third and final qualifier in McCall, Idaho February 9-11.  IMD racers will have an additional opportunity at the IMD Junior Tune-Up in Bozeman February 23-25 to get things tip-top before nationals in March at Lake Placid, NY.

In short, there is no lack of opportunity to ski or spectate in the busy month ahead, so get those skis waxed and be ready to keep on skiing!  Click here or on the image below to go to the full calendar, complete with clickable links.

Thanks so much to the skiers and sponsors who make this all possible, with an extra special thanks to our season pass holders!

The Bitzer Family, Peggy Boggs, the Boltax Gallop Family, Patricia Campbell, the Curtis Family, the Randol Family, Kate Falk, Kylie Fletcher, Bob Gordon, Parker Gotham, Elissa Gramling, the Gross Family, Eric  Huber, the Springer Family, Lindsay Kissel, Jennifer Kohlhardt, Maddie Krasula, Nancy Leon, the Lovett Family, the MacWilliams Family, Ann Makley, Jackson Moss, William Oliphant, the Olsson Family, Sean O’Malley, Teya Paciulli, the Peacock Family, Wayne Petsch, Kristy Rans, the Thal Family, the Wattenmaker Family, Astoria Weenig, the Wheeler Family, the White Family, and Pete Wiswell.

Thanks to our amazing staff! 

Charlotte Cadow, Kirsys Campbell, George Cartwright, Zoe Curran, Jon Filardo, Annabel Hagen, Sevi Hagen, Libby Hall, Elsie Hall, Scott Horn, Lillian Horne, Griffin Hurlbut, Lizzie Johnson, Sam Johnson, Axel Klomparens, Leah Lange, Nancy Leon, Amelia Mayer, Bill Mayer, Trisha Mayers, Adam Meyer, Kaya Morelli, Ben Morley, Rob Murphy, Brent Peacock, Dori Sinclair, Chloe Stines, Megan Tattersall, Stephanie Thomas, Luna Wasson, Will Wicherski, Stephanie Williams, Sydney Wilmot, Matt Wiseman, and Tyra (JT) Wynn.

Thank you to the multitude of youth athletes, for whom this program is designed, and without whose dedication and support it would be impossible!

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