Nordic skiing survives with no snow

Nordic skiing survives with no snow

Anna Landis, Staff Writer

With record-breaking warm temperatures paired with a lack of precipitation, difficulty in finding practice time and arranging snowy meets has drizzled on Nordic and Alpine ski teams’ seasons. If weather conditions don’t provide a winter wonderland soon enough, the skiers may be stuck in the slush until springtime.

The Alpine team has spent every Monday through Thursday from 3:30 to 5:30 at the one race hill and two training courses at Hyland Hills, preparing for their races. “The only time we’re not [at Hyland] is when we’re at a race, and fortunately [none] have been cancelled yet this year,” said Senior Alpine captain, Reilly Dillon.

But the Nordic ski team hasn’t been as lucky, with multiple races cancelled this year already and many TBA’s covering the schedule. “Unfortunately, around six or seven meets have been cancelled so far,” said Senior Nordic captain, Brian Tobelmann.

The weather conditions have been bearable enough for the use of snow makers, which create the minimum four or six inches. “We’ve never not been able to ski, but the conditions usually take a hit. The only time practice got cancelled was because it started to rain,” said Senior Alpine captain, Conlon Gillespie.

But artificial snow also has it slopes, especially if it’s too warm for the snow to stay on the ground. “Artificial snow is a lot more abrasive, granular, and doesn’t stick together. And it’s just really annoying because our good skis will get torn up,” said Tobelmann.

Not only are the snow conditions less than satisfactory, but due to the inadequate access to trails, the slopes are becoming more crowded with practicing teams. “It’s a lot more crowded in practices because there are like six teams in a two kilometer racing track,” said Tobelmann.

When the Nordic team isn’t able to ski on the already crowded slopes, they train by running. “It’s not as fun as skiing. I mean, I didn’t sign up for running, I signed up for skiing,” said Tobelmann.

But even though Mother Nature hasn’t been in favor of the ski teams this year, skiers return to the slopes and, to the best of their ability, enjoy their sport. “Skiing, in general, is more rewarding than fun, but I guess it’s good in the long run,” said Tobelmann.