Monday, December 29, 2014

Grooming Update and Ski Etiquette

Skate Track is Set

Randy did a quick grooming of the skate track today.  The base has set up nicely, but he said all the new, cold, light snow didn't compact well.  The track is definitely skiable, and over time it will settle.  Because of some equipment problems, the skate track won't be tuned up and the classic track won't be put down for a few days.  You're welcome to set your own track alongside (off) the skate track.  Many thanks to Randy for all the time he spends out on the course completely voluntarily!

Know the Groom that's Right For You

In case you are unaware, the skate track is specifically for skate skiing.  Skate skiers should stay off the classic tracks, and classic skiers should stay off the skate track.  Classic skiing (the kind most people think of when they hear "cross-country skiing") is meant for tracks that run parallel to each other. When possible, please keep the classic skiing off the skate track.

Because skate skiing runs in a V shape, the parallel ruts left by classic skis can ruin the skate track and trip up skate skiers.  If a skate skier is moving quickly, the fall can be painful and can leave the skate track in even worse condition.  Also, skate skiers can damage classic tracks if they skate over them.  Please try to stay on your appropriate track as much as possible.

However, if a classic skier is pulling a child or if someone needs to be on the skate track (to ski next to someone in the classic track, for example), please keep as close to the edge of the skate track as possible.

Snowshoers, please stay off all skate and classic tracks.  That's the beauty of snowshoes - you don't need a groomed trail!  Additionally, snow bikes are not allowed on groomed tracks at all.  Please.

Just be considerate of all types of skiing and help educate other skiers in a kind and understanding way.  We don't want anyone to have hurt feelings if they are unknowingly skiing on the wrong trail.  We would rather have people out skiing (even if it's on the wrong trail) than not skiing at all.

Welcome to winter in Rexburg!

See the diagram at the bottom of the blog for a quick reference on groomed tracks.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Christmas Break

Just a reminder, we're taking a break for Christmas.  We'll resume practices  on Mondays and Thursdays at 4:15 when school starts up again (January 5th).  We have 14 kids signed up so far (and this without even having snow yet!).  Spread the word.

Remember, we can help track down equipment if people are interested, and skis can always be rented through BYU-I's Outdoor Resource Center (ORC) on a daily basis (and they're pretty inexpensive to rent!).  If I get your name, I can send a list to the ORC where they'll give you a discount on rentals, so let me know.  Text me at 317-1365.

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Busing Info, and Skis still Available

We've been having great practice sessions at Teton Lakes Golf Course.  Despite the lack of snow, we're still progressing in our skills by doing dry land training.  Coach has us playing games, running drills and working on form.  You don't have to have skis to come!  We will do our best to outfit everyone.  Dress warmly.


I talked with the School Transportation Department again, and they're pretty sure that they'll get kids to the golf course around 4pm (practice starts at 4:15).   PLEASE let your bus driver know you're going to Teton Lakes Golf Course.

Junior High Busers:

First, remember that on Mondays the bus will drop you off an hour early (because of Early-out), so if you can get a ride that day, please do.  Otherwise you have to hang out at the golf course until 4:15.

On Thursdays, kids from the Junior High will ride bus 06-2 to Valleywide, where they will get off and transfer to Bus #13-2 (the high school bus).  Bus #13-2 takes them to the Teton Lakes Golf Course.

Note:  The Transportation Department told me that if there's ever a need for a different numbered bus to take this route, it will still pick kids up from the same place in line at the Junior High. It will be Slot 2, no matter the bus number.  (But double check with the driver that you're going to Valleywide for a transfer to Bus 13-2 which is coming from the High School).

High School Busers:

Kids from the High school will ride Bus #13-2.  Please be aware that it comes a little later than the other buses, since it stops at the Middle School first.  It parks near the Ag Building, by the classrooms by the library (northwest door, behind the school, not in front).  This bus stops at Valleywide were the Junior High kids will get on, then it's off to the golf course.

No Skis on Buses

If kids are riding the bus, then parents can drop off skis at my house (in Rexburg, near the temple) by 3pm and I'll drive the equipment to practice.  Contact me (Stephanie) at 317-1365 for my address or further information.

Skis Still Available

We have a set of skis from a private donor up for grabs for the season (the last three city sets were spoken for today), and possibly more from other community members - just let me know!  Truly, we want this to be accessible to everyone.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Monday Practice (Dec 14)

Snow! Hooray! We need lots more, though, and we need it to stay below freezing. Still, at least we see white on the ground.
I'm not sure what the conditions will be like for Monday afternoon's practice. Dress warmly, go ahead and bring your skis (and poles and boots) if you can but don't worry if you can't or if you don't have them - just come and we'll work with you. 
Keep doing the snow dance!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Rexburg Ski Trails: Cupid Cup Video

If you want to see our local Nordic Race and get a feel for how much fun this sport is, check out last winter's video of the Rexburg Cupid Cup.

Rexburg Ski Trails: Cupid Cup Video:

Awesome promo video of the Cupid Cup! The Cupid Cup -Teton Lakes Nordic Trails at Teton Lakes Golf Course from Tyler Shearer on Vimeo...

After-School Buses to Teton Lakes Golf Course


Please double check with the bus driver and transportation department before relying solely on this information.  We had one student end up downtown instead of at the Golf Course yesterday (he'd forgotten to tell the bus driver his intended destination, which may have helped).  Also, your arrival time might be a little late if you are coming on the bus, but better late than never!

To our Madison High School and Madison Junior High School members:

The Madison School District Transportation Department said I could spread the word that there are buses that go to Teton Lakes Golf Course after school  (parents, I know you're just as relieved as I am!).  You'll need to arrange a ride home after practice (ending around 5 or shortly thereafter).

Transporting Gear 

Also, once we get snow I'm not sure how transporting gear will work for kids who take the bus.  If necessary, parents could bring me the gear before 3pm on practice days and I can drive it out.  Ideally we'd have a secure storage facility at the golf course to store gear.  If anyone has a spare trailer or something, or knows of any options, please tell me!  (Stephanie Hancock, 208-317-1365).

High School

Club Members from the High School should ride Bus 13-2.

Junior High School

Please note that because of the Jr. High's early-out on Mondays, I'm not sure the bus will be your best bet for Mondays, unless you plan on hanging out at the golf course for an hour or so before practice starts.
Club Members from the Junior High School should ride Bus O6-2 to Valleywide, where they will transfer to Bus 13-2.

Please tell the Bus Drivers

The Transportation Dept. asked that Club Members please tell the bus drivers where you're headed (you're headed to Teton Lakes Golf Course).

Just an FYI, there is no port-a-potty at the golf course yet, but we'll get one our there when the snow comes and the golfers aren't out.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Contact Info


Contact Coach Steve Barrus: (208)403-9298 (text is ok) or
Stephanie Hancock: (208)317-1365 (text is ok) or

Monday, December 8, 2014

Join the Club!

Snow or no snow, you're invited to join us at Teton Lakes Golf Course at 4:15pm to 5:00pm on Mondays and Thursdays (or just one of the days if you can't make both).  Wear cold weather running clothes and shoes until we get snow. Spread the word.
Coaching is specific for grades 7-12, although anyone can listen in and learn.

Report on First Day

We had our first ever Nordic Ski Club practice today.  It was awesome to see the inaugural group of seven kids (one had to leave early and one came late, but we're counting them!) who showed up despite the lack of snow.

Coach Steve Barrus had some good stretches, warm-ups, and dry land drills that will help not only with skiing form and fitness, but also will translate into strength, balance, agility, and endurance for the upcoming track season (and will benefit the kids in any sport).

Thanks to Tom Anderson (uber skier) for the pics.

So as we develop a training schedule and get into a rhythm, I think we'll start to see not only gains in physical fitness, but we'll also be able to show how much FUN this sport can be!
See what you're missing? C'mon, you know you want to hop, too.
And bound.  And be awesome.

We had some serious fun.

Speaking of fun, I talked with a high schooler this evening, inviting her to "Join the Club".  She was a little hesitant, thinking that cross-country skiing is boring.  Well, if we only had some snow I'd love to show her otherwise.  If you like speed, if you like a strong body, if you like being outdoors, if you like trying new things, then you should try Nordic skiing.  I admit it isn't the same as Alpine skiing or snowboarding, just like running isn't the same as cycling or skate boarding.  And I understand that some people might find running boring, and would perhaps (initially) feel the same about Nordic skiing.   But, like anything else, if you stick to it and as your skills and comfort level and stamina build, you may just find yourself itching to go cross-country skiing and loving the thrill of flying over the snow under your own power.  You won't want to stop.

For now while we wait for snow, we'll have fun as Coach gets us ready for winter skiing (if winter ever comes) and ready for spring racing.  So come join the club.  It'll be fun!


Note for grades 7-12: If you don't have skis, we still have three sets of City skis, poles and boots (limited sizes) available to loan (for free) for the season for the junior high and high school members of the club.
We aren't skiing without snow anyway, so don't let the lack of gear stop you from coming!

Thank you!

Many thanks to the folks at Teton Lakes Golf Course and the City of Rexburg for letting us do our dry land training there.  Everyone remember: stay with Coach and stay off the greens.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Attention Nordic Ski Club - Change Start Date!

Skip this Saturday BUT Still Come on Mondays & Thursdays

Due to the disappointing amount of snow on the course (none!), we're going to skip this Saturday's "Cross-Country Ski Kick-Off".

HOWEVER we are still going on as planned with the High School and Junior High kids who want to be part of the first ever Rexburg ('Burg) Nordic Club.

So, snow or no snow, please meet at the Teton Lakes Golf Course on MONDAYS and THURSDAYS at 4pm, or as close to 4 as you can.  We'll plan on being done by 5, or shortly thereafter.  You might want to bring a headlamp...

Newbies through Experts

Many, if not most, of you are new to this sport.  Don't let that deter you from learning. It's not that hard, it just takes a little practice, and it is fun.  We will work with all levels of fitness and all levels of experience, so just come and try it!  (And stick to it.  Like everything else, with practice it gets easier and more fun).

Remember, those who know a little more will help those who know a little less.  

Dry-Land Training

Please wear appropriate winter work-out clothing and running shoes. We can still work on fitness and technique using "dry-land training" so be prepared to run, walk, or jog.  If you have ski poles, please bring those for ski bounding and ski walking.


 If you have your own cross-country ski equipment, please bring it this Monday for a Gear Check and for some ski bounding/walking dry-land training.  If you can't bring your gear this Monday, then you can just let us know on Monday what you have and the condition your gear is in.

If you do not have your own ski equipment, we will work to outfit you as best as we can.  The City has about 10 sets of classic skis for our use for free for the season.  There is still the option to rent skis on a daily basis at BYU-I's Outdoor Resource Center. They have a new nifty way to reserve your equipment.

For more information, please check out this previous post about the Burg Nordic Club.  You may also contact Steve Barrus at the High School or email Stephanie at (I'll try to reply quickly, although I don't always check that mailbox).

Nordic dry land ski bounding/walking

Dry Land training

West Yellowstone Clinic Re-Cap

The West Yellowstone Ski Festival was a huge success.  For those of us who attended the one day clinic, we found we have lots of room for improvement.  I can only imagine how much improvement would come from a multi-day clinic! Here's a synopsis from our one-day "Improve Your Skate Ski Clinic" taught in the morning by a former Cross-Country Ski/Biathlon Olympian Erich Wilbrecht, with the afternoon taught by another amazingly successful skier, Greg Rhodes.

We'll be happy to explain these throughout the season.

Efficiency was the catch phrase:                                                                                
Shorter/Quicker (more efficient) pole strokes, and skate steps with glide
Pole plant at your toes, elbows always bent, stroke to hips, don’t let the poles fly out the back, and loosely hang on to the poles

  • Shorter poles can help - about lip level, (height times .91)
  • Arms at 90 degree angles
  • Progression:
    • Crunch
    • Swing
    • Release
  • Arms swing parallel to body, don’t flail arms, keep elbows out instead of tight, efficiency no wasted movement out the back
  • Keep the shoulders and hips square and facing down the track
  • Think of flex at ANKLES instead of knees (this will keep knees bent too)
    • Slide onto each ski, (move onto a sliding ski don’t stomp down) 
    • Generate power from the ankles -  skis will feel like they squirt at the end of glide
    • No heel click (keep feet shoulder width) - feet will come closer the faster you go
    • Still upper body, propulsion comes from the ground up (i.e. ankles)
    • Vertical upper body, hips over the foot (poop in the boot)
  • Stay in your Happy box (shift weight side to side)
    • About pole width
    • A few feet deep
    • Don’t step forward - doing so will turn the hips
  • Commit and balance to each ski for efficient glide
    • Keep body facing down the track
    • Don't twist or bob the upper body
  • Keep a quick cadence
  • Pace so Heart Rate stays the same on hills
  • Glide as you stride up hills - light on feet, 
    • Don’t let the ski stall out (from bending foreword at the waist)
  • Ski like a cowboy - bow legged (opposite of knock-kneed)
  • No pole skating (can hold poles mid-shaft)
    • Arms at 90 degrees using an efficient arm swing
    • Brush to the hips and back, don’t reach out in front.
  • One pole
    • Swing both pole and non-pole arms, don’t cross over center line of body
    • Speed skating w/arm swing, down not across centerline of body going down the track
  • Double pole progression
    • Crunch (keep arms static as you stand and slightly crunch your torso) (4 min)
    • Swing w/arms at 90 degrees (3 min)
    • Release arms to straighten as they brush past your hips (2 min)
    • All together (5min)
  • Happy box - Mark a "box" with your poles about a foot in front of you and a foot behind; stay in that box as you hop back & forth balancing on each foot
STRETCHING EXERCISES For Cross-Country Skiing:

These stretches are explained here.
  • One knee on the ground and other leg 90 degrees, press forward and back
  • On your side and one hand on your hip and the other on the ground, lift up your hips
  • On your back put one foot on the opposite knee, pull the opposite knee towards you
  • On your back elevate your hips to stretch your lower back.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Nordic Skate Ski Glide waxing

Here's a nice series from the folks at FastWax on getting your skate skis ready for the season. Similar approaches can be used on the glide surfaces of classic skis (tips and tails) if you want to go extra fast.

For most of us the steps outlined in the first two videos are all that need to be done to get ready for the season. The final two videos are more for race prep.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Join the new Burg Nordic Club!

12/03/14 Update
Please check the update here.

Information on the new Burg Nordic Club is posted here.  Remember, we have ten sets of classic skis available for free for the high school kids, and the Outdoor Resource Center (ORC) at BYU-I has both classic and some skate skis for rent on a daily basis (first come, first served).

No previous experience is required, truly.   As Jeff said, those who know a little more will be there to help those who know a little less.  Come have fun, learn new skills, get in fantastic shape (if you feel like pushing yourself), and learn to love winter like never before.  Join us on Dec 6 for the Nordic Ski Kick-Off.  We will coach the high schoolers at 4pm-ish (come when you can) on Mondays and Thursdays, starting December 8th, at the Teton Lakes Golf Course, but anyone can show up to ski.

Note, there are no additional fees for the Monday/Thursday ski club.  You bring yourself and your equipment, and just show up and have fun.  Any extra activities (like races) are completely up to you.

Nov 24 Ski Report

It's 10:45am, just finished skate skiing  at the golf course. The base track is firm and icy, but the new snow from the weekend is cushion enough to make for some fun stretches. It's actually like spring crust cruising. There are a lot of bare patches. Don't try to do everything. Stay off the Cow Pasture for sure, and avoid the Clover Leaf. There are some good areas, but enough bare spots to not make it worthwhile on the Clover Leaf. The best skate skiing is on The Boot, especially the south side. 
Also, be aware that someone rode their bike down the first half mile or so of the Perimeter (from the parking lot, to the West side, and straight north). I caught my skis in that rut several times. Please spread the word that bikes are not allowed on the skate track. They're even worse than classic skis (which aren't good for the skate track either), since the bikes leave a much deeper rut.
The descent at the northeast corner is very ice, so take it easy there.
If you get out before it gets warm, I think you'll have a satisfactory ski.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Nordic Skiing Stunts

For anyone who thinks nordic skiing is boring...

(Thanks for sharing this, Dave).

P.S.  No, we will not be doing this.  Yet.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Nov 21 Track Report

Teton Lakes Ski Report

I skate skied this morning and was surprised and pleased that the track had held up since yesterday.  After yesterday's warming, I thought there would be little left of the track, and that anything left would be too icy to be fun.  But it actually was practically identical to yesterday morning's conditions - not icy, a little soft, but slippy enough for a good skate.  Snow and rain are predicted this weekend, so we'll see how things turn out at the golf course.
I was really happy to see a couple of ladies I know out there classic skiing this morning - they are regulars and I saw them lots last winter.  I also ran into a friend who was scoping out the skate track.  It's pretty early in the season to have any sort of track or to have people interested already, so this is pretty exciting and it will only get better.   I think this will be a great year for the Nordic community (as long as there's snow!) with hopefully lots of people joining in the sport and spreading enthusiasm.  The more the merrier!


Don't forget the upcoming Cross-country Kick-off!  If there's no snow, then we'll figure something out, maybe just getting fit for skis, some basic instruction on dry land, and outfitting the High Schoolers with the city skis that we have.

Ski Festival

Also, a lot is going on in West Yellowstone this weekend and next week.  Check out the West Yellowstone Ski Festival to get an idea of how interesting and popular this multi-day event is.  We will take our kids up for the one-day kids clinic (and a clinic for ourselves) next Saturday.  It'd be fun to see any of you up there if there are slots still available!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

City Offering Family X-Country Ski Clinics

The City of Rexburg is going to offer a clinic for families.  Tom Anderson is spear-heading this event.  He is a great skier with lots of experience.  He will definitely make it a fun activity for all ages (bring the kids!).  Here's the info:

Beginners Cross Country Ski Clinic

If you have always wanted to give cross country ski a chance, now is the time. We will have 2 family clinic days in January. You must provide your own equipment: equipment can be rented at the ORC at Brigham Young University – Idaho. Come out and give it a try. We will have instructors there to help all ages. Make it a family night out and come out and enjoy the snow.

Dates:                                                                   January 12th & January 26th
Day:                                                                       Monday
Time:                                                                     4:00 – 5:30 pm
Where:                                                                 Teton Golf Course
Activity Fee:                                                       $20.00 per family
                                                                                $10.00 per person

Roller Ski to Skate Ski Transition

I need to report on how a summer of roller skiing helped with today's skiing:

I had my first ski of the season today.  Randy groomed the course two days ago, and I stayed off it yesterday to let it set up (well, truthfully I stayed off just because I hadn't prepped my skis yet).  This morning I spent too much time scraping off the storage wax Jeff had put on my skis at the end of last season, then applying a couple of layers of new wax.  I was anticipating a third application when Randy called to tell me I'd better just go ski before it warmed up too much.  So I finished scraping and brushing and buffing the second layer, then drove to the golf course, a little worried that the track wouldn't be skiable.  But it was great (I skated on CH7 wax), especially for so early in the season.  The base had set up well in many areas, although there were plenty of bare places I had to step around.  Do the snow dance, everyone! It won't take much more snow to even out the track.
So for my inaugural ski, I was interested to see if it would take much time to find my ski legs again.  Usually it takes me a fair bit before I feel comfortable again at the beginning of each season.  Three years ago it was a couple of weeks; two years ago it was a couple of days; last year it was about two hours (improving with age!).  But this year I have a whole summer of roller skiing under my belt, and I was really hoping I'd have zero trouble transitioning to snow.   Well,  I think roller skiing helped because today, although not zero minutes, it did only take about 15 minutes on the snow before I felt stable.  However, I was still surprised at those first 15 minutes.  I slipped and slid and caught my tips and wobbled all over the place like I'd never skated before.  I had to relearn to lift my ski higher than a roller ski and remind myself what it feels like to skate on slippery snow rather than skate on bumpy asphalt (I prefer snow any day.  It doesn't hurt when you fall).  I had to practice skating without poles, and then with poles.  Then the most bewildering moment was when I wanted to stop to adjust my gloves.  I leaned back on my right leg and waited for the stop to come.  It was a confusing moment as I kept gliding, until I realized I was trying to lean back into a non-existent roller ski brake.

Roller skiing is not the same as skate skiing.  The motions are extraordinarily similar, but there are still differences, even if only subtle ones. Anyway, when I stopped acting as if I was roller skiing on the snow today and started skating in earnest, I had a great time.   There were some really good, long stretches of fast track (mixed in with some patches of grass and gravel).  I can tell I am not as strong now as I was at the end of last season, but the fitness will come back.  Still, I was pleased that roller skiing has made me better at V2, and also doing V2 Alternate on my right side.  Last season I spent probably 90% of the time doing V2 Alternate, pulling only on my left side, and never felt entirely comfortable switching sides or switching to V2.  Roller skiing also made me better at pulling on both sides of V1 when climbing hills.  Finally, I noticed that roller skiing has helped my arm and core strength go from negative to just-barely-positive (I'm a wimp!).  Previously, I've skated with most of the power coming from legs only, even skating pretty much the same speed with or without using my arms.  That's not good.  So although I felt like my legs weren't as strong today, I think my whole body was more balanced.  Improvements in form, and yet a loss of fitness, made for a moment of mixed feelings.  But then the euphoria of just being out there trumped everything.

Roller skiing was a ton of fun this summer, and like skate skiing, it makes me feel like I'm flying.  It helped me get ready for winter, and it was fun, but nothing is as fun as actual on-snow skating.  And how nice is it that we have the golf course just a few minutes away?  Thanks to Randy for grooming and making this possible.
Groomed and put down a base for the track, it is skiable but try not to get on it when it is warm from noon on. Stephanie and I got our legs, arms, and lungs broke in this morning and enjoyed our annual re-learn session. Hopefully we will get some snow this weekend so we can build on a great start to the season. There are section that set up real nice, short grass in the fare ways, but the rough is rough. Any sun at all will take what snow there is in those sections from exposed grass. Two sections to avoid is, the road around the river, especially on the north side and the short kick up on the home stretch by the club house (by #1 tee box up to hole #27 on the middle nine) the sledders have kicked up some pea gravel there. Try to spread the word that snow bikes are not welcome on the track, we have limited resources ( my time) to keep the track in shape.
Anyone know what a good wax would be for grass?

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Attention High Schoolers: Several City Skis Available for Free Use

Exciting news for our High Schoolers  

The City of Rexburg has about 10 pairs of classic skis that they will loan out to our high school club members for the season, free of charge.  I'll post more about how we'll check them out as I get that information.
We really want to make the sport accessible to everyone, so this is a fantastic development.


Please refer to the Nov 16th Post on the Burg Nordic Club for start-up information.  As a quick recap, here's what you need to know: all ages and abilities are welcome to join in at the Teton Lakes Golf Course at 4pm Mondays and Thursdays, starting December 8th (conditions permitting).  Coaching and individual training will be geared to the High Schoolers, but all are welcome to learn as we go.

The Cross-Country Kick-Off will be Saturday, December 6th at the Teton Lakes Golf Course (NOT the municipal golf course) at 11am.  Bring your gear.  You can rent from BYU-I, and we will have city equipment for the high school kids, although I'm still not sure about boot sizing.  We'll figure it out.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Consignment Shops

Update on Purchasing Equipment

The Outdoor Resource Center (BYU-I's "ORC") does not sell equipment, but Scott Hurst made me aware of some nearby consignment shops you should check out:

Victor Outdoor Seconds in Victor, Idaho
Headwall Recycle Sports in Jackson,Wyoming

Also, I've been told that Play it Again Sports in Idaho Falls sometimes has good nordic ski equipment.  

Happy trails, and keep doing the snow dance!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Skate vs. Classic Skis

(Please see the post following this one for start-up information on the 'Burg Nordic Club)

Nordic, or Cross-country, Skiing includes two styles: Classic and Skate.


Classic skiing, also known as diagonal stride or parallel skiing, requires less effort to learn, is cheaper (and also slower) than skate skiing, and is more versatile.  We will be learning on groomed trails (as opposed to back-country skiing), where two tracks are set in the snow, so learning will be easy and fun.

We recommend beginners lean toward the classic method while they get comfortable on skis, learn balance, and then work on fitness and form.


Skate skiing requires more overall physical effort and know-how but is also much faster.  You need a wide groomed trail, longer poles (about 10cm longer than the classic poles), and skate specific skis - although I learned and raced (not very well!) on old classic fish scale skis.

Skate skiing is really a lot of fun, and we will be happy to coach anyone on skating if they desire.

FYI, while classic and skate require different skis and different poles, there are combination boots that serve both classic skiing and skate skiing (combi boots), which would be a great investment for entry-level skiers.

Here is one of the many youtube videos on classic and skate skiing.

The 'Burg Nordic Club

12/03/14 Update

Please Check out the full update here.

Skip this Saturday BUT Still Come on Mondays & Thursdays

After months of discussion, we are finally putting together a volunteer-based Nordic Ski Club, serving Rexburg and surrounding areas (read: everyone is welcome).  Starting in December,  Steve Barrus (Madison High School cross-country running and track coach) and Stephanie Hancock will meet for race training and coaching.  At this point, the training is specifically for high-school age kids, although everyone is welcome to join in as long as the teens get the front-row for now. Eventually we hope to provide coaching for all ages.



Rental packages are available (first-come, first-served) at a very reasonable cost at BYU-Idaho's Outdoor Resource Center (The "ORC").

Everyone is in charge of their own gear, however I know many of you are new to the sport and may be overwhelmed with the start-up costs of outfitting yourselves or children with ski equipment.  I suggest starting off with renting before you buy anything.


The ORC does not sell equipment.  There are some area ski shops, though, which include:

Peaked Sports (Driggs)
Free Heel and Wheel  (West Yellowstone)
Skinny Skis (Jackson, WY)
Idaho Mountain Trading  (Idaho Falls)

Also, you can check out consignment shops in Victor and Jackson (see blog post for 11/17).

Online purchasing can be hit-or-miss.  I suggest you rent first, and then if you decide to purchase online, make sure you have your fitting information from the rental before purchasing.

Cross-Country Kick-off

Feel free to drop in at the ORC for rental fittings on your own, or meet there on Saturday, December 6, 10am.  Please bring money for renting that day.

We'll be on snow at the Teton Lakes Golf Course on Saturday, December 6th, starting at 11am.  We'll hang around for a few hours, depending on how things go.


High School kids, please plan to practice on-snow at Teton Lakes Golf Course on Mondays and Thursdays at 4pm (or as soon after 4 as you can get there).


Please be in charge of your own transportation.  I'm sure carpooling can be arranged.  High Schoolers, feel free to talk to Steve Barrus with any concerns about transportation.


We want to make the Nordic Club available for everyone.  As of now, there is the potential for scholarship monies to help the High School kids with equipment rentals.  Please talk with Steve Barrus.


There are some nearby races coming up, including the Cupid Cup here in Rexburg.  We'll put more information up throughout the season.

The snow machine is getting a yearly service and check up and hopefully we can have some trails groomed later this week. Great start to the season, face shots on the pass last couple of days!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Yellowstone Ski Festival

It's time to begin thinking of the upcoming season, and there's no better way to get started than going up to West for the premier kick-off of the season:

The Yellowstone Ski Festival!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

More Wax Tips from SkiPost

For a long time I've noticed that after the end of a ski (particularly on hard snow) that the glide areas of my skis will turn whitish.  Here's a nice answer from SkiPost that addresses the issue and gives a nice easy test to see if it's a base issue or no.  (Hint: the answer is to brush out the ski and see if it goes away).

White Marks on Bases?

I skied 42k classic race today in firm tracks. Skis were white 8" before & 8" behind kick zone.  WM

Dear WM,
You ride a classic skis flat over a longer time than a skate ski so the glide zones will magnify any issues even more than skate skis will.   Classic skis often have shorter higher pressure glide zones just ahead and just behind (especially behind) the kick zones which again magnifies any issues. These higher pressure zones with long flat contact times can cause a ski to "get white" if you have a sealed base, or even if you had excess wax in the base and did not  brush enough.

If you did not brush your skis out enough with cold hard wax the white may be excess waxed pushed out of the base during the ski. If you brush it slightly and the white disappears it was likely due to excess wax remaining in the base. Next time on cold days brush inside and then after a warm up in the cold snow brush again to remove any wax that was pushed out during the contraction of the bases when it got cold.

If the white remains after a slight brushing then it is likely base damage.  If the base is in fresh open condition you would see little whitening, but if the base is sealed slightly or more your bases will dry out quickly especially in cold fresh snow.

I suggest you get some base work done on your skis. Either a complete stone-grinding to bring up fresh base material. Or get a coarse steel brush and brush the heck out of the base, then fibertex coarse... What you want to do is remove the very outermost base material to expose fresh base material. Then start with a soft wax like Start SG2 and soak the base then SG4 and then proceed to colder harder waxes....

 Andy at SkiPost/Start

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Standard Journal Write-up

For any who aren't subscribers, the Upper Valley Standard Journal did a very nice full page write up of the Cupid Cup.  Many thanks to those who took pictures, and to Joseph Law for being there to cover the event.

Click on the pictures below for the full resolution images.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Wax Nerd Info

If you ever wondered what your coefficient of friction would be with that new HF wax on your cold stone ground base, this site is for you!

Why Do Cross-Country Skiers Always Collapse Across the Finish Line?

A nice explanation from a few physiologists (with video).  And here I thought it was just part of the drama (ala WWF) ;)


Grooming report

Track cleaned up real nice and is setting up well. Set diagonal on Cow Pasture and all skate loops are done.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Grooming Report

After all the racing today the perimeter loop was pretty tracked up, but we tuned things up this evening.  Hopefully this has time to set up nicely as the temps drop.  The Boot and the Clover Leaf were rolled out as was the Cow Pasture.  Hopefully this will provide an ongoing base for the new snowfall.

Cupid Cup Race Redux

An excellent day for the inaugural Cupid Cup at Teton Lakes here in Rexburg.  We were glad to have several folks from the surrounding area join us, and look forward to even bigger and better things in the years to come.  Until we have official results to post along with more extensive photos, here are a few to tide you over.

No post would be complete without a word of thanks to Tom for putting it all together, the cadre of race volunteers who helped pull it off, and last but most certainly not least, a great big huge thanks to Randy, without whom none of this would have been possible.  We all owe him a huge debt of gratitude for spending countless hours outlining and grooming the course, paying for the upkeep and then the maintaining of the machine itself, and generally making Rexburg Skiing the success it is today.  Our hats off to you Randy!

Friday, February 7, 2014

Race Day

The course will be closed until tomorrow morning for the Cupid Cup Race.  We're super excited and hope you'll register for this inaugural event.

As a reminder:

The Cupid Cup Nordic Race is a freestyle race open to all ages.

The race will be held at Teton Lakes Golf Course. A 10K race will be held for ages 15 and up with a 2K race for kids 14 and under.

Men’s division, women’s division, and couple division winners will be recognized.

Kid’s age division winners will be recognized as well.

Competitors who register on or before January 29th will receive a race hat, race hats are not guaranteed to registrations received after the 29th.

Registration is available on Race Day from 9:00 - 9:30 am at Teton Lakes Golf Course. Race day registration is $30 for individuals and $60 for couples, the kid's race price stays the same $10.

You can find the registration link here:

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Grooming report

Made two passes late tonight with the roller of all the trails. Will need some cleanup work but it'll be skiable - just wicked cold!

Friday, January 31, 2014

Grooming Update

All trails groomed - soft powder. Classic track set in both sides. Should be really nice for tomorrow. 

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Grooming report

Headed out for a ski around the course just as the snow started flying. Decided to do one pass around the full course with the exception of the Cow Pasture to keep the track visible. Some sections will be covered in a couple of inches of fresh powder as the real snow dump was coming down as I was going around. The classic track should be just barely visible but was not reset. Hope to get out again tomorrow to clean things up. 

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Grooming Report

Finished setting the classic track late tonight.  Did a couple of passes on all the skate loops and combined trails earlier.  Hopefully it won't be blown in overnight.  We'll try to keep up with the new snow and wind as best we can.  Should be nice packed powder for the time being.  Much softer now than the past couple of weeks.

It's snowing!

Depending on the weather we'll plan to be out tonight to roll the track at least once to pack the snow. We'll keep the blog updated with any new developments. 

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Grooming Report

Just a dusting of new snow, but did two passes on the skate track to tune things up. Hopefully we have more snow soon, but for right now the track is holding up!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Grooming Report

The Boot and Clover Leaf are back on track having been tuned yesterday morning. The whole track was tuned later yesterday.  Snow dance in order!

Don't know how much longer the track will hold up- might need a shovel brigade to touch up the thin spots.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Grooming Report

Went over the boot and clover leaf and we are back on track. Hopefully we get some new snow so we can tune up the whole track later today. Snow dance in order!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Cupid Cup

Here's the info from the Rexburg City Website - we hope to have more details here soon!

The Cupid Cup Nordic Race is a freestyle race open to all ages.

The race will be held at Teton Lakes Golf Course. A 10K race will be held for ages 15 and up with a 2K race for kids 14 and under.

Men’s division, women’s division, and couple division winners will be recognized.

Kid’s age division winners will be recognized as well.

Competitors who register on or before January 29th will receive a race hat, race hats are not guaranteed to registrations received after the 29th.

Registration is available on Race Day from 9:00 - 9:30 am at Teton Lakes Golf Course. Race day registration is $30 for individuals and $60 for couples, the kid's race price stays the same $10.

You can find the registration link here:

Skiing Cadence

Here's some good info from our friends over at SkiPost:


I'm a subscriber to the SkiPost emails, and had a question that might be worthy of a response :)

In the summer I'm a cyclist, and the goal in cycling - for ultimate efficiency - is to keep a high cadence. How does this transfer to skiing, specifically striding? I'm guessing that one should do "what feels right," but I find that if I'm focusing on a strong kick and long glide, but cadence slows. Should I be working to keep a high cadence?

Thanks for any reply, you guys do a great job, please keep up the good work!

Dear DM,

Jon Engen goes into greater detail below. but one (large) difference between skiing and cycling is the lack of mechanical advantage in gears in skiing that you have in cycling. High RPM's in cycling are good and always obtainable because you can change gears and keep pretty much the same technique to maintain a set RPM. But in skiing you cannot change any actual gears you can only change technique. I feel most people do not glide enough and go to the next ski to quickly. (often because they do not work on their balance and a complete stride) If more people learned how to glide more they would enjoy skating much more ( and go faster.) Work on the big things first.

Andy at SkiPost
Dear Dan,

You correctly point out the importance of high cadence in efficient power generation on a bicycle.  Without any numerical references, bicycle racers spin at higher frequencies than untrained cyclist for good reasons.  Also, recent research shows that pedaling at slower cadence has its applications in bicycle racing.  Keep in mind that cycling is minimally weight bearing. 

Running is 100% weight bearing and each stride packs significant impact with the ground.  As the forward displacement is minimal while on each foot, the quick turnover supports the "in-flight" travel better than longer strides.  We clearly see elite runners move at quicker cadence than recreational joggers. 

Although metabolically very similar to cycling and running, cross-country skiing is weight bearing and has the added dimension of gliding in a weight bearing position.  Forward propulsion is generated with an impulse-momentum kick-exchange as an integral part of the glide, and all forward displacement includes ground contact.  The whole body is at work with full foot to foot across-the-body weight shift in all classic and skate techniques except straight double poling.  In other words, much more is taking place during each stride sequence than in cycling and running.  Your priorities need to be:
  1.  In faster fitness or competition style skiing, coordinate the posture, positioning and weight shift for sustainable, effective forward propulsion and work at a cadence allowing all these items to take place.  Well trained athletes with advanced skill-set and overall physique will master a higher effective cadence than Joe Citizen skier. 
  2. At slower speeds and lower output, maintain full movement, hold back on the forces put into each kick-exchange and maintain a swift, light rhythm. 
  3. Your work frequency must be balanced with your skiing abilities, regardless where you are on the skill and fitness scale.  Difference in body types, age, terrain, equipment, ski and snow conditions, etc., will also impact what is the most effective operating cadence.
 In summary, good turnover makes for efficient aerobic continuity.  However, the skier's priority in generating sustainable speed is using efficient ski motions; overall work efficiency is then balanced with a turnover matching the skier's skill set and physical ability. 

I hope that helps - Good Luck! 

Best for 2014,  -jon engen

Friday, January 10, 2014

Grooming Report

Rolled all the trails once today.  Then groomed everything except the Clover Leaf skate track. All trails are still soft packed powder. 

We were able to set a classic track that hopefully will stay despite the drifting snow predicted for tomorrow. 

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Some Ski Video

Check this out if you want to see some impressive skiing in the lead-up to the Olympics

Grooming Report

The snow dance worked!  Cleaned up the skate lane early this morning with one pass, hopefully we can get an inch or two so I can reset the classic tracks later today. We don't have to wax for leaves now.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Hydration and Feeding from SkiPost

Dear Skipost,

I'm pretty familiar with refueling and rehydration while cycling but feel like I do a very poor job while skiing.  I am wondering what you would recommend for refueling and rehydration on 10-20K training skate ski runs (easier when you can stop while training) vs. what to do while racing?

Refueling while skiing is necessary, but often difficult. For 10km events you do not need a feed but for longer than 15km and especially marathon events feeding throughout the event is helpful and necessary. It is easy to carry a water bottle with energy drink but in most colder days the bottle is likely to freeze by the time you need it.

For carrying 1 bottle (start with a warm energy drink to keep it from freeing 2 hours later)  I like the Salomon 45 hydro pack because it is easy to get the bottle in and out .
We have had good success with Avex's Peco's  insulated water bottle with Auto spout.

After a bottle the next race option for a marathon is to wear a Hydration vest. Year's ago The Factory Team partnered with Nathan Hydration and made a complete line of freeze proof Nordic products but unfortunately they no longer make these. We like some of the minimalist packs that UltraSpire makes like the Spry if you add on the insulated tube

My favorite piece for bladder systems is the Camelback RaceBack that incorporates a Bladder to the 1st layer so it does not freeze and ads little bulk.

Andy at skiPost

While we wait

Still waiting for some more snow to fall here in the 'burg, but until then here's a site with plenty of XC news and info:

Friday, January 3, 2014

Grooming Report

Randy did a pass on New Year's Day, but without new snow it may be a while before we can do it again. 

Think snow!