cross country skiing en Good Old Days of Wooden Skis <p>The American Birkebeiner is well known for its difficulty and impressive distance: a course more than 30 miles long that takes hours to complete.&nbsp;</p><p>But Birkie weekend hosts other events, including one that celebrates the Nordic roots of cross country skiing:&nbsp;the second annual Nikkerbeiner race on wooden skis.</p><p></p><p>On the streets of downtown Hayward, it’s easy to spot the Nikkerbeiner skiers among the fray.&nbsp; They’re the ones wearing woolen knickers, knee socks, and an occasional Vikingish helmet.&nbsp;</p> Thu, 27 Feb 2014 10:00:00 +0000 Natalie Jablonski 14912 at Good Old Days of Wooden Skis Skiers Persevere Through Cold, Snowy Birkie Course <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">More than ten thousand skiers competed last weekend in the American </span>Birkebeiner<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> ski race. &nbsp;A foot of snow leading up to race day made for challenging conditions.</span></p><p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Single digit temperatures and fierce winds made for a cold start line early Saturday morning. Cross country skiers in brightly-colored spandex stretched their limbs and sprinted to make their start time.&nbsp;</span></p> Mon, 24 Feb 2014 22:43:25 +0000 Natalie Jablonski 14812 at Skiers Persevere Through Cold, Snowy Birkie Course Birkie Skiers May Face Weather Challenges On Race Course and Off <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Northwoods travelers to this weekend’s American </span>Birkebeiner<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> ski race may face a snowy trip. &nbsp;</span></p><p>More than ten thousand skiers from 21 countries are flocking to Hayward, many braving significant snow and ice.</p><p>Rhinelander resident Joel Knutson&nbsp;delayed his travel plans until Friday morning in hopes of letting the storm pass.&nbsp; He says the weather just adds another layer of logistics.&nbsp;</p> Thu, 20 Feb 2014 23:46:12 +0000 Natalie Jablonski 14652 at Former Olympian Remembers Racing on the World Stage <p>A Rhinelander man offers insight into what it’s like to compete in the Olympic games.&nbsp; Chris Cook was on the United States ski team at the 2006 Torino Olympics.&nbsp;</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Cook describes being on the start-line as a moment of clarity.&nbsp;</span></p><blockquote><p>“Everything else about the Olympics is a huge distraction, and pulling you in all sorts of directions.&nbsp; But at the end of the day when you get to that starting line that’s where you’re comfortable, that’s where you’ve had all the training, all the preparation.”&nbsp;</p> Wed, 12 Feb 2014 18:01:36 +0000 Natalie Jablonski 14310 at Former Olympian Remembers Racing on the World Stage Crossing a Snowy Landscape, by Candlelight <p>Winter brings a special evening opportunity for snow enthusiasts: skiing and snowshoeing by candlelight.</p><p>The events are common across the state of Wisconsin, some organized by the DNR and others by independent groups.</p><p>MECCA, the Mercer Cross Country Association will host one such event this Saturday night, with hundreds of candles set along a mile-long loop.&nbsp;</p><p>Spokesman Dan Bormann says it’s a lot of work to set up but it’s worth it.&nbsp;</p> Fri, 24 Jan 2014 16:00:00 +0000 Natalie Jablonski 13490 at Crossing a Snowy Landscape, by Candlelight Ski Conditions: Like February in December <p>The frigid weather may have kept skiers indoors for a few days…but otherwise this season’s conditions have been prime for cross country skiing.&nbsp;</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Tim Collins, Director of </span>Minocqua<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> Winter Park says the park had its biggest day ever the Saturday after Christmas.&nbsp;</span></p> Tue, 07 Jan 2014 22:11:04 +0000 Natalie Jablonski 12875 at Ski Conditions: Like February in December