JHSC Club and Community Nordic Update

JHSC Club and Community Nordic Update

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

Wyoming State High School Championship Girl's Nordic Team

Welcome to the March 8th edition of “What’s Going On!”  Read on for the whole scoop…

Lollipopper Team

Lollipoppers are putting it all together as the end of the year approaches, and every single one of them made it out to Sam the Truck.  For some this was an easy ski, for others definitely a push, but we accomplished it as a group!  (Having multiple adult helpers makes this possible--we keep the kids in small groups).   Miss Libby looked like she was feeding wild birds during a gummy bear break on our Wednesday group!  Most of the kids are able to get in and out of their equipment without assistance now, which is a big step. 

In the never-ending quest to come up with new ski games for the kids we set up a 9-hole (okay 8) disc golf course.  The kids were enthusiastic about trying this sport, even though Coach Kathy didn't realize until we started that most of them didn't know how to throw a Frisbee yet!

Almost every practice ends with some sort of free-jump activity—these kids really like "sending it" and getting their skis off the ground.  They are fearless about falling—sticking the landing doesn't seem to be a priority!  We've seen so much improvement in all the kids this year.  It's really been quite special to be part of their early skiing experience. 


Coach Kathy Neily

Lollipopper Head Coach


Teewinot Team

Winter does not want to quit!  We were hoping for some warm sunny weather for these last couple of weeks, but we’re going to make the best of it regardless!  This week we had a fun classic practice out on the East Fields, with diminishing relays and crust cruising, and we wrapped up the week with a B.B. Gun Biathlon!

Next week is our last week of practice, and as per tradition, we will keep fun and play the focus to celebrate a great ski season!   We will ski the NordicX course and have snow machines haul the kiddos back up to the top.  The last day will be a donut obstacle course!  The Teewinots have been skiing so well this season and have made huge improvements in both classic and skate skiing.  It has been such a great experience for the Teewinot coaches to watch this progression, and we hope to see them out at Trail Creek next year!


Sevi Hagen

Teewinot Head Coach


Devo Team

The Development Team has had a great last few weeks.  We did a detailed study of the effect of gravity on a 70-pound object; variables studied included slope angle, depth of drag surface and whether or not they were pointing straight downhill or launching off jumps. Several team members landed complete front flips during a further study of air drag on spinning objects. All of this intellectual work was interrupted by the Intermountain Youth Championships, which saw many strong performances by the Devo Team.

The last week has comprised more traditional Nordic activities with our World Cup-style BB Gun Biathlon on Monday, and an Olympic style 3 x .1K team relay on Wednesday. The team relay included the famous donut eating station. This traditional carbo-loading event is always a fun athlete favorite. Well, it is hard to believe that it’s almost over.  This has been one of the best Devo Teams we have had. From team comradery to true Nordic spirit, this group has the qualities that build great Nordic athletes and community members. I speak for Rainer, Taylor and myself when I say that coaching these athletes was challenging, entertaining and rewarding.


Rob Murphy

Development Team Head Coach


Junior Team

The Junior Team has been busy wrapping up the season with IMD Youth Champs two weekends ago, where we had some standout performances including Lena Poduska winning the classic mass start and NordicX, and coming in second in the skate individual start. On the boys’ side we had some great performances from Peter Concannon (won the Nordic X) and Lucas Wilmot, who both ended up in the top 10 overall for the season long IMD U-14 Cup. Since those races we have been busy squeezing in as much fun as possible into the last couple weeks of the season, with jump days, crust cruising, dual slalom races, and culminating in a biathlon/NordicX event next week. This weekend we are headed down to Soldier Hollow for Western Club Championships, which should be a hoot!  Thanks again for all of the grooming work this winter!


Calvin Wight

Junior Nordic Ski Team Head Coach


Prep/Comp Teams       

Seven athletes from the Prep/Comp Team qualified for Junior Nationals at the last qualifier in Bogus Basin two week ago. This is a club record ever since there has been a qualification standard, and speaks to the athletes’ dedication and love of the sport. There were a handful of athletes who were very close to making the team and are in a position to make waves in the future. They will be focusing on the Western Club Championships in Soldier Hollow on March 9 and 10. Athletes from across the West who are not competing at Junior Nationals will be in attendance. JHSC athletes are vying for strong results in some different and interesting race formats, like the team sprint and pursuit. These athletes will continue to train with JN athletes as the championship events coincide. 

Elijah Weenig, Sam Johnson, David King, Mason Wheeler, Bridger Stiles, Kate Brigham, and Natalie O'Brien will be attending Junior Nationals in Anchorage, Alaska this year. The venue is at Kincaid Park, which skis much like Trail Creek in the sense of longer gradual climbs, steep uphills, and whipping downhills with sharp corners. JHSC athletes will be staying and teaming up with the Intermountain Team at the Coast International Inn, 10 minutes from Kincaid. Their schedule will look something like:

Friday, March 8                    Arrive to Anchorage

Saturday, March 9               Official training at Kincaid

Sunday, March 10               Official training at Kincaid

Monday, March 11               Individual Start Distance Freestyle 5km/10km

Tuesday, March 12              Official training at Kincaid

Wednesday, March 13        C lassic Sprint; Mid-week Awards Ceremony

Thursday, March 14            Official Training

Friday, March 15                  Mass Start Classic Distance 5km/10km

Saturday, March 16             3x3km Freestyle Relay; Final Awards Celebration

Alaska, Far West, PNSA, Rocky Mountain, Intermountain, High Plains, Mid West, Mid Atlantic, New England, Alaska, and Great Lakes will be in attendance and are given a quota of 50 athletes to compete. 

JHSC Coaches Ben Morley and Scott Lacy will travel with the athletes and will have specific roles throughout the week, but will still have time to interact and coach JHSC athletes. Scott will be on the wax tech team as a classic test pilot and Ben will be the U16 boys’ coach for all Intermountain athletes. 

For more information on the event and to follow results see http://www.juniornationalsxc2019.com/


Ben Morley

Nordic Director


Birkebeiner Season

We all know that our Nordic community has amazing depth and connections.  Many of our locals travel to the big regional events like the Boulder Mountain Tour or the West Yellowstone Rendezvous, but if you look to THE biggest events in the Nordic world, you can’t help but see the Berkebieners.

There are actually two of these massive races each year, the American Birkebeiner in Hayward, Wisconsin and the Birkebeinerrennet, from Rena to Lillehammer in Norway.  The American Birkebeiner is capped at 10,000 racers while the Norwegian version boasts around 16,000 racers.  The American Birkebeiner already occurred on February 23rd while the Birkebeinerrennet is on March 16th

“The Birkebeinerrennet has been held since 1932, and commemorates a trip made by the Birkebeiner loyalists Torstein Skevla and Skjervald Skrukka to save the infant heir to the Norwegian throne, Håkon Håkonsson, in 1206. All participants carry a backpack weighing at least 3.5 kg, symbolizing the weight of the then one-year-old king. Till 1991 the start city was 1 year Lillehamer (finish Rena) and then the next year Rena (finish Lillehamer). Last year in Lillehamer the start was on the site where the ski jump area was built for the winter Olympics 1994.”

“The American Birkebeiner (or Birkie) is the largest cross-country ski race in North America, and one of the longest. It debuted in 1973 and was a founding member of the Worldloppet federation of cross-country ski marathons.  The two premier events are the 50 km (31 mi) freestyle and the 55 km (34 mi) classic races from Cable to Hayward, Wisconsin. Each year more than 10,000 skiers participate in the Birkie, 29 km Kortelopet, and 15 km Prince Haakon events. The 45th Birkie was held on February 23, 2019” (Wikipedia)

You can find how our locals did at either Birkie Results or Birkebeinerrennet Results.  Hats off to those who make these epic journeys, making our communit

The past two weeks have been jam packed with racing.  Jackson Hole Ski and Snowboard Club and Jackson High School Nordic skiers participated in the Wyoming High School State Championships February 22nd and 23rd with our local skiers pulling off another team victory for both boys and girls.  Elijah Weenig won both of the boy’s skate and classic races; Annabel Hagen finished third in the classic race; and Kate Brigham was 4th in the freestyle race.  The Jackson Hole News and Guide has a great article here and you can see all the results at High Plains Nordic.

A million thanks to all the racers, spectators, and especially volunteers who were part of our very own Intermountain Division Youth Championships February 23rd and 24th.  Nearly 300 “middle school age on down” racers gathered for a spectacular weekend of racing and Nordic X’ing.  Full results can be found at Sportstats.us.

The two big citizen races affecting our local Nordic community have been the February 23rd American Birkebeiner mentioned above and the March 2nd Yellowstone Rendezvous.  Our very own Coach Rob put in an admirable performance at the Birkie, and lots of other locals made our community proud at the Rendezvous.  You can see either the Birkie results or the Rendezvous results by clicking on the links.

Well to put it quite simply, things have been trending to the kind of crazy side at Trail Creek.  Not only are we in the middle of one of the busiest racing season we’ve ever had, we are also vying for one of the top snow years.  While the mountaintops are slightly above average for the year, the general consensus is that the valley is getting as much as ever.  The two images below are of a cabin located on one of our trails, one image from 2017 and the other 2019.  While it is a little hard to tell which year has the most snow, 2019 is winning the vote so far.  To see all of the pictures since 2012, check out the February 27th Grooming Report.


Elk and moose continue to be primary utilizers of our wonderful trails, especially in the woods closer to the cabin.  A few grouse have been spotted lately and we haven’t had any recent mountain lion reports.

Shy Woolsey Woods Elk

It looks like grooming should be able to continue to at least the Pole, Pedal, Paddle this year.  It would be inconceivable that all the snow could melt by then, not to mention that the longer range forecasts call for cooler temperatures.  Adventure skiing on the National Forest could last well into the spring this year as well.

There are two major events happening in the next week.  First off are the Junior National Nordic Championships in Anchorage, Alaska, which Coach Ben referred to in his report above.  A wealth of information is available at juniornationalsxc2019.com.  It will be a spectacular event with 7 of our athletes competing!

Closer to home, Trail Creek is hosting the USCSA National Championships March 12-16.  Skiers from all across the continent will be competing in races throughout the week to see who is the fastest in the nation.  It should be a great spectator opportunity and while the fields around the cabin will be maxed out with the races, our members are welcome to ski in the woods throughout the week.  Details about the event can be found on the USCSA website.

Our citizen racers have one last chance to compete at the Sandbag Final at Trail Creek on March 16th at 10:30.  Due to the collegiate racing occurring at the same time, the venue will be slightly different this year.  Racers are asked to park at the end of the Old Pass Road and ski or walk into Mug’s Meadow where the race will begin.  The course is more or less finalized, with two 5K laps.  If we get enough younger skiers we could also offer the option of a single lap.  The course map can be viewed here; even if you haven’t raced yet you are invited to come on out and, for a modest registration fee, you can have a fun end of the season race.

Finally the Nordic Banquet for all JHSC Nordic youth members is 6 PM Tuesday March 19th at Snow King.

A hopefully somewhat accurate tabulation of all the multitude of events for IMD, High School, and the community are below.  If you would like to add an event, email trailcreeknordic@gmail.com

Thanks so much to the members and sponsors who make this all possible!

Adams Family; Keith Austin; Eric Balog; Matthew Brazell; Brigham Family; Kristi Brown; Derek Collins; Broughton Coburn; Janet Conway Heslin; Culver Family; Curtis-Adams Family; DesLauriers Family; The Everett Family; Goelet Family; Gordon-Mick Family; Eliot Goss; Ann Harvey; Hall Family; Scott Horn; Jen Kandolin; King Family; Klomparens Family; Kohlhardt Family; Nancy Lee; Mark Lovett; Rob Mahoney; Ann Makley; Kelly McCloskey; McGee Family; Lars Moller; Neal Family; O'Brien Family; William Oliphant; Wayne Petsch; Michael Price; Pruzan Family; Monroe Rosenthal; Susan Segal; Sheafor Family; Roger Smith; Springer Family; Stanley Family; Stiles Family; Thal Family; Jocelyn Wasson; Chris Wimberg; Wiswell Family

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