Where to go and who to sign up with this Nordic Season
It’s no secret that this year, Park City and Utah in general is suffering from a lack of snow. But until the powder starts to fall, all Nordic and cross-country skiing organizations can do is sit back and wait.
“We’re supposed to have a relay race over at White Pine on Saturday, but I think we can safely say at this point that’s not going to happen,” Dave Hanscom of The Utah Nordic Alliance said Wednesday. “Our next race will be in two weeks from Saturday at Soldier Hollow, and I don’t know if they have even been able to make snow over there. This is pretty grim for starting off the season.”
Pretty grim indeed.
But if the snow ever comes, Parkites will be spoiled for choice. Here are the organizations and locations you should know.
White Pine Nordic Center
White Pine is one-stop shopping for Nordic skiers. Its store sells equipment and tuning as well as lessons, along with passes for the trails it grooms on the Park City Municipal Golf Course.
The organization has three-kilometer, five kilometer and 10-kilometer tracks for skiers of all levels. Because White Pine does not allow hikers or dog walkers on its trails, Nordic skiers get a pure Nordic experience. According to Rob Lang, the White Pine Touring Nordic Center’s director, White Pine will start grooming the tracks when they reach a snowpack of six inches.
For passes and information go to whitepinetouring.com. As of Friday, none of the trails were open due to warm weather.
The Utah Nordic Alliance (TUNA)
Formed in 1990, The Utah Nordic Alliance provides cross country skiing around Utah through facilitating races and grooming trails. For example, TUNA grooms the Mountain Dell golf course off Interstate 80 in Parley’s Canyon and upper Mill Creek Road.
For information on race dates, registration and access to Nordic trails, go to utahnordic.com.
Park City Nordic Club
The Park City Nordic Club combines Nordic Skiing (both skate and classic) and ski jumping programming, and offers it to people of all ages and abilities under the umbrella of the Utah Olympic Legacy Foundation. In 2015, the club was named USSA Club of the Year. All told, the club offers 12 different levels of programming for Nordic and ski jumping. For more information go to utaholympiclegacy.org/pcnsc/.
Basic Recreation maintains winter trails from Park City Market to Kimball Junction, including additional loops in the area below the Utah Olympic Park and behind Ecker Hill Middle School and The Woods, a section of trails in western Jeremy Ranch.
The organization also grooms McLeod Creek and the Millennium Trail, which extend out to Kimball Junction from downtown Park City. With the exception of the five-kilometer trail at Kimball Junction, most of Basin Recreation’s trails are dog friendly.
Basin Recreation starts grooming trails after about eight inches of accumulation, Bob Radke, Basin Rec’s open space manager, told The Park Record last fall. For more information on the trails that Basin Recreation maintains, check the trails tab at basinrecreation.org.
Wasatch Nordic Academy
This club offers premier programming to skiers between the ages of 12 and 22.
“We offer a proven, world-class physical training program and advanced elite technical coaching,” Wasatch Nordic Academy’s website states. “Year-round participation is not required of program participants. Team members are encouraged to set achievable goals based in part on each athlete’s commitment to sport-specific preparation.”
Those in its winter program will be immersed in an intense training program with dedicated training for athletes four to six days a week and twice a day, and support for junior national qualifying events, a couple regional events and most local races.
For more information go to wasatchnordic.org.
Round Valley, located at Quinn’s Junction, is groomed by the Mountain Trails Foundation and is free to use for Nordic Skiers, hikers and fat-tire bikers. The area encompasses 700 acres of preserved open space.
Charlie Sturgis, executive director, said the organization has put markers out and has graded the area. All that’s lacking is the snow.
He said some years it takes some ingenuity to make winter programming go as planned
“We’ve been creative about races at times but this doesn’t even allow for creativity,” he said.
For a map of Round Valley’s groomed trails, go to mountaintrails.org and select the interactive winter map.
The Nordic Betties is a club for female Nordic skiers looking to join a community of skiers and develop their technique and camaraderie together.
The Betties ski a wide selection of Nordic trails around Park City.
“All it takes is signing up,” founder Annie Morgan said. “We have women that have never been on a pair of skis to women that have been Nordic skiing for a long time that want to improve or connect with other women in the sport.”
The organization offers two courses of differing lengths, has eight coaches and breaks into small groups each week. There are no age limits.
Morgan said between 100 and 150 women have signed up each season since the club was formed five years ago. For more information, go to parkcitynordicbetties.com.
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