cross country skiing

Snow Brings Skiers
3:21 pm
Tue November 11, 2014

Ski Resorts and Trails Prep for Winter Recreation

Ski trails typically won't be groomed until after the gun-deer season.
Credit http://pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biegi_narciarskie#mediaviewer/File:Ski_trails.jpg

All this snow is likely to make for some good skiing conditions.  Many downhill runs are opening for business, while cross country skiers may have to wait longer for groomed trails. 

Rib Mountain’s Granite Peak is set to open this weekend, while Ski Brule near Iron River, Michigan has already opened a few of its runs.

But Operations Manager Jessica Polich says more snow falling from the sky doesn’t actually make trails open any faster.  Ski Brule just needs cold temperatures to run its snow making machines 24/7.

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Skiing the Nikkerbeiner
4:00 am
Thu February 27, 2014

Good Old Days of Wooden Skis

Nikkerbeiner skiers line up, sporting their finest knickers, sweaters and wool socks.
Credit Natalie Jablonski / WXPR News

The American Birkebeiner is well known for its difficulty and impressive distance: a course more than 30 miles long that takes hours to complete. 

But Birkie weekend hosts other events, including one that celebrates the Nordic roots of cross country skiing: the second annual Nikkerbeiner race on wooden skis.

On the streets of downtown Hayward, it’s easy to spot the Nikkerbeiner skiers among the fray.  They’re the ones wearing woolen knickers, knee socks, and an occasional Vikingish helmet. 

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Marathon-Length Race
4:43 pm
Mon February 24, 2014

Skiers Persevere Through Cold, Snowy Birkie Course

Skiers crowd the starting line at the 41st American Birkebeiner.
Credit Natalie Jablonski / WXPR News

More than ten thousand skiers competed last weekend in the American Birkebeiner ski race.  A foot of snow leading up to race day made for challenging conditions.

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. 

Pam Fashingbauer of Minocqua prepared for her first ever 54 kilometer classic race, after overcoming a shoulder injury from last summer.

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On the Way to the Races
5:46 pm
Thu February 20, 2014

Birkie Skiers May Face Weather Challenges On Race Course and Off

Northwoods travelers to this weekend’s American Birkebeiner ski race may face a snowy trip.  

More than ten thousand skiers from 21 countries are flocking to Hayward, many braving significant snow and ice.

Rhinelander resident Joel Knutson delayed his travel plans until Friday morning in hopes of letting the storm pass.  He says the weather just adds another layer of logistics. 

“And then you add that to the already-neurotic pre-race preparation of wax, and lodging and food – it makes for a pretty interesting mental cocktail!”

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Skiing in Torino
12:01 pm
Wed February 12, 2014

Former Olympian Remembers Racing on the World Stage

Chris Cook competed in two cross country ski events at the Torino Olympic games.
Credit Jeremy Bronson

A Rhinelander man offers insight into what it’s like to compete in the Olympic games.  Chris Cook was on the United States ski team at the 2006 Torino Olympics. 

Cook describes being on the start-line as a moment of clarity. 

“Everything else about the Olympics is a huge distraction, and pulling you in all sorts of directions.  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.” 

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A Different Way to Be Outside
10:00 am
Fri January 24, 2014

Crossing a Snowy Landscape, by Candlelight

Organizers say a one-mile trail lined with candles can make for a magical outdoor experience.
Credit Helena Jacoba

Winter brings a special evening opportunity for snow enthusiasts: skiing and snowshoeing by candlelight.

The events are common across the state of Wisconsin, some organized by the DNR and others by independent groups.

MECCA, the Mercer Cross Country Association will host one such event this Saturday night, with hundreds of candles set along a mile-long loop. 

Spokesman Dan Bormann says it’s a lot of work to set up but it’s worth it. 

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More than two feet of snow
4:11 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

Ski Conditions: Like February in December

Cross country ski trails are in great shape this winter.
Credit Tim Gillin

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. 

Tim Collins, Director of Minocqua Winter Park says the park had its biggest day ever the Saturday after Christmas. 

“We had over a thousand people out at Winter Park, on Saturday December 28.  And the numbers before and after were very close.  So all of our trails, 100 kilometers of ski and snowshoe trails have been groomed to perfection this season.”

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