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.