Nordic trails may soon be ready for skiing | ParkRecord.com

Nordic trails may soon be ready for skiing

Jen Watkins, Of the Record staff

The Park City Golf Course has officially closed for the season but will open again very soon. Snowmobiles have already packed down what little snow the golf course has received to build a base for cross-country skiers, but more snow is needed before the snow will be deep enough for skiing.

"Hopefully the (snowstorm) coming this weekend will be the one we’ve been waiting for," said David Hanscom, race director for The Utah Nordic Alliance.

Hanscom said the start of the Nordic ski season unofficially begins when there is snow and a ski track at White Pine. White Pine operates a cross-country ski center on the Park City Golf Course and a ski shop in the pro golf shop. A five-kilometer track is groomed on the south end of the golf course and a three-kilometer track loops on the north end, he said.

"The first thing that will open up is the golf course because you can ski on that without a lot of snow," he said.

Nordic Center Manager Isaac Wilson said the three-kilometer course is a beginner trail and the five-kilometer is for beginners or intermediate skiers. Rentals for both classic and skate skis are available at White Pine, as well as, private and group lessons. Wilson said they also offer snowshoe rentals and tours.

White Pine also has a 2.5-kilometer expert trail at the McPolin barn and another 10-kilometer expert trail on the south side of the highway at the barn. He said White Pine will have its own groomer this year to maintain the trails.

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Wilson said that although there is a storm expected this weekend, he doesn’t think it will be enough.

"We’re really weather-dependent," he said. "(But) it will be open earlier this year than last year because we were able to mow this year."

More information can be found at http://www.whitepinetouring.com.

This year the Mountain Trails Foundation also will be grooming several trails near Round Valley. According to its website, http://www.mountaintrails.org, the foundation will be providing more cross-country trails than last year.

Basin Recreation will have trails groomed from the recreation center, around Willow Creek and McLeod, into Park City and to the Radisson Inn. More information on those trails can be found at http://www.basinrecreation.org.

While Park City must wait for Mother Nature, the Soldier Hollow track near Midway will begin making snow as soon as the nighttime temperatures get around 10 degrees, Hanscom said.

"Sometimes (we) ski there sooner than here, depending on how many snowstorms we’ve got and the nighttime temps," he said.

The Nordic racing season will begin with a relay race on Dec. 12 at White Pine, he said. The three-by-five kilometer race is a three-person race with the first skier racing with classic skis and the other two skiers racing with skate skis.

"This race is unusual because each racer is handicapped according to your ability based on how well you’ve done in previous races," he said.

For those who never been in a relay race, their handicap is based on age and gender, he said.

"You never know who wins the race until it’s all over and the handicaps have been applied and the race is calculated," he said. "Usually it’s the kids who win, which is great because they get all excited, so that’s a fun event."

The next scheduled race is the Smartwool Wasatch Citizen’s Series at Soldier Hollow on Dec. 19. The race is a 10-kilometer classic race where the skiers are split into age group. There will also be an expert class.

"All the hotshots from the U.S. Ski Team and the University get into their own class," he said. "And there is a novice class for people who want to ski a shorter distance."

For more information on the races, visit. http://www.utahnordic.com.

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