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

Welcome to the February 21st edition of “What’s Going On!”  Read on for the scoop of the ongoing 2019-2020 season . . .

Lollipopper Team

The Lollipoppers have had a busy winter so far, learning to both Classic and Skate ski.  Six of our youngest Lolli's raced in the Nordic Carnival on February 8, facing the extremely blustery conditions with great aplomb and receiving a lollipop for their efforts.

All of the kids have made it out to Sam the Truck at least once, which is way ahead of last year's schedule!  We've even taken a few trips down the Nordic X track!  We have played some new games this year, with our favorite being Rocks and Trolls (a Nordic version of "Freeze Tag"). 

This last week we went on a Nature Scavenger Hunt, combining a lengthy adventure ski destination with 'found' natural objects like dried berries, bird nests, and moose poop! We take every opportunity to let the Trail Creek track be one of our instructors, and because of that terrain variety our kids are getting very comfortable with steep herringbone ascents and windy, steep descents.   

Coach Kathy Neily

Lollipopper Head Wrangler


Teewinot Team

We had a great showing of our Teewinots this year for the first annual Nordic Carnival!  Our Teewinots mostly raced the 3k race although the Nordic X was everybody’s favorite.  The fact that you couldn’t see the end of the course due to the raging blizzard just added to the fun.  It was great to see such a great turn out from the team, they all skied so well!

In the coming weeks we will continue to alternate between skate skiing and classic, working on technique through games, drills, and of course adventure skiing! As spring approaches we hope to have some warmer sunnier days and we will incorporate a B.B. gun Biathlon and donut relay obstacle course into the last few weeks of practice. Until then, we will continue to take advantage of all the new snow!

Sevi Hagen

Teewinot Head Coach


Devo Team

The current snow conditions have allowed the Development Team to explore anything and everything Trail Creek has to offer! A soft crust under six or so inches of powder has allowed us access to everything, on trail or off.  Being not limited to the trails for our adventures means we have been cruising all over Trail Creek leaving the groomed trails behind (sorry Steve!). Powder downhills and glade skiing up hills have left us with some tired and happy kids.

The recent Nordic Carnival saw some great Devo participation.  Thanks to all our members who made this a special day!

We are looking forward to the upcoming Intermountain Youth Championships at McCall, Idaho on February 29th and March 1st.  Many Development Team members will be competing in the skate, classic and Nordic X races.

March is just around the corner, the adventures will continue, and a BB gun biathlon and donut relay are in our near future.

Rob, Will, Mark, Pipa

Rob Murphy

Development Team Head Coach


Junior Team

Since our last update the Juniors have been focused on racing and preparations for races, from the JHSC Nordic Carnival to the Soldier Hollow Super JNQ this past weekend. We had some phenomenal results across U12 and U14 categories with overall podiums and many top 10s in the IMD division. We have also been having boatloads of fun during practice with adventure skis around the Black Canyon area, Nordic X, practicing our Nordic Combined with jumps off of the berms and rollers of the Nordic X course, and a groomed "mega-jump" found at the bottom of a certain large hill in the National Forest part of our trail system.

We’re looking forward for the Juniors to have the second annual Western Club Championships back in Soldier Hollow March 13-15 that will be a great set of races to cap off the 2019/2020 Nordic Season.

Once again the Juniors would like to thank you Steve for an awesome season of grooming, we couldn't do what we do without all of your hard work and ingenuity out there on the trails. Attached are some photos from the Juniors on the famed Hermod's Hill at Soldier Hollow during the classic mass start races.

-Calvin, Jesse, and George

Calvin Wight

Junior Nordic Team Head Coach


Comp/Prep Teams       

This past weekend the prep and comp team competed in the western regions Super Qualifier in Soldier Hollow, UT. Soldier Hollow, being the 2002 Olympic venue, hosted over 600 athletes from the Rocky Mountain, Far West, Pacific Northwest, High Plains, and Intermountain regions in world class fashion with challenging courses. Having trained and raced at this venue previously, Jackson skiers felt an almost home field advantage with the big uphills, technical downhills and distance pacing.

The Jackson team led up to the Soldier Hollow Super Qualifier with focused, race-specific training. This included working on our top-end speed, transitions at race pace, tactics in groups (such as sprint heats) and more.  At this point in the season the Prep and Comp team is truly honing race skills and race fitness. This paid off as our team showed strong results including many personal bests and top ten overalls in the largest fields seen in junior racing.

With the Super Q checked off, we are back at it with some recovery-based training this week at Trail Creek and enjoying the mid-winter conditions of the Tetons.

Ben Morley

Head Coach


This month we are lucky to be able to feature two of our JHSC Nordic program athletes.  We’ll start off with Birch Komplarens.

Do you remember when you started skiing?

I started skiing in 6th grade with two of my good friends and immediately found my place with the sport and the team.

Do your Mom and Dad Nordic ski?

They do, but usually just recreationally.

Assuming you can beat them, do you remember how old you were the first time you beat your mom or your dad in a race?

I actually think I’ve always been able to beat them!

At what age did you start skiing with the Jackson Hole Ski Club program?

Sixth grade, so I was 11 years old.

What grade are you in now?

I’m a senior at the Jackson Hole Community School.

What are your Nordic goals for this year?

At this point in the season, some goals I have are two solid performances at State to help the girls win again this year, and also just enjoying my last winter in Jackson with the team.

What has been the high point of your year so far?

Definitely the most recent race weekend in Soldier Hollow. I was able to push myself really hard, felt great, and saw some of my best results against tough competition.

It sounds like you are headed to nationals, have you ever gone to the national championships before?

Unfortunately, I am actually not headed to nationals this year and have never competed at nationals before. I missed qualifying by just a few points this year, but I am the first alternate for the U18/U20 JN team. Though I didn’t qualify, I was in the mix with many of the girls going to JNs, and I’m still really proud of my season.

Have you had any special past awards from Intermountain Division Nordic?

No, I have not.

What are your college and career plans for after high school?

At the moment, I’m not sure exactly what I’ll be doing next year, but I will be going to college soon. There’s a chance I may take a gap year after graduating, but I’m still deciding.

Are you planning on participating in Nordic skiing or other athletics in college?

I hope to be on a Nordic ski team next year, wherever I end up. I’m definitely not ready to be done competing, I think that I still have a lot of improving to do in my skiing and racing, and I want to stay involved in the Nordic community.

What is your favorite memory of skiing for JHSC or at Trail Creek?

I have so many good memories with the club so it’s hard to pick just one, but I would have to say the camp we did a few years ago in Park City and Moab is definitely high up my list of favorites. It was such a fun week of training, exploring, and spending time with the team. But really every ski camp we go to and all the big adventure days are always such a great time.

What has been the biggest challenge of your Nordic skiing experiences so far?

Last year, my ski season took a pretty big blow when I got really sick in the fall and was in the hospital and taking antibiotics throughout the winter. It was a hard time for me because I wasn’t able to ski at the level I knew I could be at, but a year later I can say that overcoming it made me much stronger.

In a decade from now do you see yourself living in a place where you can Nordic ski?

Yes, I want to be involved in Nordic skiing and the Nordic community for as long as I can be; I’ve met some of the most amazing people through Nordic and have had the best experiences.

Any other thoughts you would like to share with the Nordic community?

I’m so grateful for everything this sport has given me and taught me over the past seven years. From when I first started to now, I feel like I’ve grown up with the team, and I can’t wait to see JHSC continue to make a mark in IMD and on a national scale in the coming years.

Thanks so much for your contribution and being such a strong member of our club Birch.  Surely your future will be nothing but bright with lots of awesome Nordic experiences along the way!  Best wishes for college and the future.


Mason Wheeler

Do you remember when you started skiing?

I think around second grade so when I was 7 or 8 maybe.

Do your Mom and Dad Nordic ski?

They didn’t before I started but after I got into it my parents started to kind of get into it as well.

Assuming you can beat them, do you remember how old you were the first time you beat your mom or your dad in a race?

Besides when I was very young, my parents have yet to beat me in a Nordic race.

At what age did you start skiing with the Jackson Hole Ski Club program?

Same age as I started skiing, around 7 or 8.

What grade are you in now?

 I’m a sophomore in high school.

What are your Nordic goals for this year?

I want to try and get a top ten at junior nationals.

What has been the high point of your year so far?

Probably my double 3rd place finishes at the Soho super qualifier.

It sounds like you are headed to nationals, have you ever gone to the national championships before?

I went last year as well but didn’t perform as well as I had hoped.

What are your college and career plans for after high school?

Don’t really know, I know I want to ski though.

Thanks so much for being a featured athlete Mason, best of luck at Nationals!


Since the last Newsletter we our members have had two big events.  First off on February 8th we held the first annual JHSC Nordic Carnival at Trail Creek.  Even though we experienced some of the wildest weather Trail Creek has to offer with raging winds and snow, nearly 100 athletes and lots of spectators turned out for some awesome Nordic fun.  We had race distances ranging from ½ to 10 kilometers plus the incredible Nordic X competition which is always a favorite.

Thanks to all who turned out and competed.  Race results are available here.

Since then the teams headed off to Soldier Hollow in Utah for the third and final IMD qualifier.  Coach Ben contributed the following:

What an amazing weekend February 15th and 16th in Solider Hollow for JHSC Nordic! Everyone deserves a pat on the back for excelling in their skiing throughout the entire year and showing up with passion and focus. Team support and sportsmanship has reached peaked in ways we haven't seen. A big congratulations to Sam J, Elijah, Des, Bridger, Mason, Mac, Will, Natalie, Kate, and Aurora for qualifying for Junior Nationals and to Birch for securing the 1st alternate spot.

There is a great article in the Jackson Hole News and Guide about the results from the final qualifier of the season that you can check out here.  Way to go team!


It kind of seems like we’re over the hump at Trail Creek this winter.  With the Betty Woolsey Classic Race, the Sandbag Competition, the Junior National Qualifier, and the Nordic Carnival all under our belt, we are done with big events for the year.  Even though the big events are done, we still have three weeks of busy practice days for all of our youth program participants so things continue to hop along in a busy fashion.

We have been having a few issues with the Pisten Bully but as of today it is plugging along faithfully.  What we thought was a turbo charger control issue ended up being a leaking coolant sensor that was dripping onto a computer.  By replacing the sensor and cleaning some wires we fixed that problem.  We did have a leaking final drive which powers the tracks but luckily found a replacement in Reno, NV which we installed and is running nicely.  We are still detecting some weird contaminants in the final drive oil but are meticulously monitoring the situation in hopes of preventing any other issues.

Snowfall has been coming just about as needed this winter.  The obstacles are buried deeply and even most of our canted trails have been leveled.  As of 2/20/20 the closest reporting snotel station at Phillips Bench was reporting 101% of normal snow.  Mostly moderate temperatures with no major thaws have resulted in mostly really nice skiing except for a few stormy days along the way.  To see the “Snowy Cabin Edition” grooming report showing images of the famous snowy cabin going back a number of years, click here.

The moose and elk continue to enjoy residing on our Nordic trails with the elk mostly retiring to their day beds early in the morning with the moose hanging around a little more throughout the day.  The moose count is around a dozen with probably around 18 elk coming through most days.  Coyotes and foxes are out nightly, pine martin tracks have been spotted a few times, and the squirrels have been pretty dormant lately in the heart of winter.

The JHSC youth will be still full speed ahead at Trail Creek until March 14th and from that point onwards we will watch the weather with a potential last day of skiing on the last day of March.


One of the biggies, the American Birkebeiner is just around the corner on February 22nd.  No word yet, but we usually have a good crowd of locals.

Next weekend is the Wyoming High School Nordic Championships hosted by Cody and held at the Pahaska Teepee Resort.

February 29th and March 1st are the dates of the IMD Youth Championships held at McCall, Idaho.  This is a great chance for our younger skiers to learn about high level racing, have a great time, and finish the season in style.

March 7th is the legendary West Yellowstone, Montana Rendezvous.  Racers have the opportunity to compete in 2 to 50 kilometer races with this race being the season finale for citizen racers in our region.

March 8-14 a large group of our JHSC skiers will be off to Donner Pass for the Junior National Finals.  This will be an awesome event, check out the website as there will be lots of live time things happening if you can’t make the journey.

March 14th and 15th is the Western Club Championships, the last Intermountain Division event of the season and one last chance for our skiers to compete on snow.

Finally, there’s plenty of time for you to get your tickets to Norway and compete in the granddaddy of them all, the Birkebeinerrennet.  This classic event has been happening since 1932, with the race starting at Rena and ending at Lillehammer, a distance of 54 km. If you are thinking of going you had better make sure the registration is still open however as the limit for number of participants has been set at 16,000.


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

David Adams, Keith Austin, Brigham Family, Heather Budge, Brot Coburn, Janet Conway, Curtis/Adams Family, Arielle D’Arge, Mike Evans, Goodrich Family, Roman Goralski, Gordon/Mick Family, Charlotte Gross, Andy Hall, Rachael Harrower, Ann Harvey, Huntington/Finlay Family, King Family, Thomas Kohlhardt, Lee/Clegg Family, Leeds Family, Lovett Family, Kristina MacLeod, Maria Mahood, Ann Makley, Clara McGee, Finley Miller, O’Brien Family, Annika Peacock, Chris Peck, Wayne Petsch, Pruzan Family, Ratcliff/Henderson Family, Schilling Family, Parker Smith, Springer Family, Stanley Family, Thal Family, Thomas/White Family, Brian Van Hatten, Jocelyn Wasson, Olivia Weenig, Bode Welch, Chris Wimberg, the Wiswell Family, and Patrick Wright.

Thanks to our amazing staff!

Pippa Blau, George Cartwright, Derek Collins, Jon Filardo, Sevi Hagen, Libby Hall, Lauri Harris, Jesse Knori, Haley Mahar, Ann Makley, Ben Morley, Rob Murphy, Kathy Neiley, Mark Newcomb, Bria Riggs, Ali Sehnert, Steve Swan, Will Wicherski, and Calvin Wight.

Thank you to the 131 and counting 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.