2011 December
Dec 312011

Pictures and some video from day three are posted.  Thanks parents and alumni for helping unload and organize last night – it made for a very quick arrival and departure.  Thank you for taking a few loaves of bread home and other assorted goods.

Skiers, make sure you are taking Saturday and Sunday off.  Relax and get some rest and sleep.  Monday – try and get out for some skiing, long easy ski at Elm – depending on the weather that is coming.  We have a classic race scheduled for Elm on Tuesday, the bus schedules will be the same as last week.  Right now we have practice at Elm scheduled for Thursday this week – we’ll see what this storm brings to see if anything changes.

Dec 292011
Well folks – tonight is our last night here.  I know our kids are pretty exhausted and have been almost skied out.  We’ll ski for a few more hours tomorrow and then head home after a late lunch.  Just a reminder parents – your skiers are tired after all the skiing – they would love to tell you all about the trip but they probably won’t want to answer questions on the way home.  They’ll need some dinner and then a nice long sleep and then maybe they will be ready to share some of their crazy stories.  Just an observation from previous years.  They have been surrounded by 70+ people in tight quarters and been on their best behavior…patience is key once they return home.  Thanks for sharing your kids with us, they have been great!!
We had our time trial today and it was quite the events with classic in the morning and skate (with a pursuit ordered start) in the afternoon.  We kept the kids busy and skiing and they looked great out on the course.  We were able to see some great things with both the boys and girls teams and are excitedly looking forward to the future events coming up for our skiers.  Results are posted below, we are still working on uploading pictures and we’ll get those linked up after they have a chance to load.  Have a great night!  We’ll see you at home tomorrow evening.
Dec 282011

Wow – Half way through the trip already, how can that be the case?!  We had decent skiing again and with the additional snow last night.  ABR could still really use some more snow but we’ll settle for what they have.  There are a few spots that are a little low on snow but overall we are pretty lucky to be on snow considering where other teams are at.  We skied for about 3-3.5 hours of classic this morning and then had a wonderful lunch - sandwiches, baked potatoes and a fantastic chili provided by the Websters – that really was the hit!!  Thank you Websters!!  Lunch was followed by an additional 3 hours of skate skiing so we have some tired kids here tonight.  Tacos were for dinner and they are now playing a huge game of spoons and some strange orange throwing game – while the oranges may have been harmed in the game – none were wasted and all were enjoyed!

Tomorrow we have another long day but there is also some racing on tap with a pursuit format with our team.  We’ll be starting with classic in the morning some extra cool down km and then skate in the afternoon.  Should be an exciting, challenging and very tiring day!

Dec 272011

Well, we found snow.  Finally.  About 20 mins from ABR there is nothing, and then slowly…ever so slowly snow started to show up on the ground…and – there was enough to ski on.  It wasn’t the usual conditions that we have in Ironwood but with the minimal snow coverage we have anywhere else, we are grateful for what is available.  The snow was falling all afternoon and while the wind was a bit blustery, the skiing was reasonable.  We are hoping for a bit of grooming to chew up the snow a bit and then in might be pretty good skiing.

We pulled into camp pretty close to 5:30 and dinner was well on it’s way thanks to the alumni group.  The trailer was quickly unpacked with all the hands we had and then dinner was on.  Lasagna, salad and Diamond City bread – mmmm, excellent and they sure ate a bit!  They have settled into their rooms, most of them have had showers and they are now entertaining themselves with games – tag it looks like… apparently we need to ski harder tomorrow.  We are in the process of uploading a few pictures so we’ll get those linked up shortly.

Dec 242011

For those of you celebrating Christmas, Merry Christmas!  For everyone – it might be even more beautiful if there was snow on the ground but it is still shaping up to be a gorgeous day tomorrow, enjoy it!

We just wanted to take a few moments to thank some special contributions that have come in over the last few weeks.  Every year we try to make sure that this sport does not limit because of costs.  Skis, boots, poles, clothing, fees, trail passes…it all adds up and we know how expensive things become, especially if you have more than one skier or if jobs have become uncertain.  The winter trip has become an added expense that isn’t able to be covered by some families and we don’t want that to be the case.  This year we learned of a few families that were not going to be able to make that commitment.  At the same time we had past families offering to support/sponsor skiers without even knowing or being asked that it was needed.  Thank you so much for being part of a caring community and family of skiers and ski families.  This extends far beyond just your years on the team as you will forever be part of the nordic community in some way we hope.  We also want to say a huge thank you to another of our alumni who has very generously donated to the team to purchase new race skis.  Through his contribution it looks like we will be able to purchase two new pairs of racing skis to help those skiers that can’t afford their own.  He skied on the team a few years ago and is now serving our country in the Army and is currently stationed in Afghanistan.  I’m going to quote a portion of the letter and will hopefully be able to post it in it’s entirety later.

“None of us make it through this life without relying on others for help. That is why I have helped to provide new equipment for the team to enjoy. Please take care of it so that others may enjoy it when you graduate. My family was not able to afford all of the equipment needed for skiing and I relied upon others and the school for equipment to participate in the sport.  Enjoy the winter trip, work hard at Conference and Sections this year, and don’t forget to recruit younger athletes so that they are able to experience the best sports high school has to offer.”

We are very fortunate to be living where we are and to have the opportunities that we have here.  These alumni were part of our program in the past and while they may have graduated from the high school and moved on to different futures, they are forever part of our Elk River Nordic family.  Thank you to all the past, present, and future skiers and their families for what you bring to our program and for being a part of a very special thing here in Elk River.  We have some fantastic kids here and we want to keep providing those same opportunities for the future generations of skiers.  Have a wonderfully joyous and happy holiday season, we are looking forward to seeing your kids on the 27th for 4 solid days of skiing.  Thank you!!!