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Calling All Skiers

Welcome to Ski Tracks, the newsletter of the Vasa Ski Club. Finally, it feels like Fall might just be in the air! Your club has been extremely busy ramping things up for the rapidly approaching Winter season. Get outside and get ready because skiing is just around the corner. Read about it here and get involved in your Nordic community.

Ski Swap Coming Up 

Day by day we are moving closer to the start of cross country ski season.  As usual, the Vasa Ski Club (VSC) revs up our anticipation by hosting its annual "Ski Swap" on October 22nd at Brick Wheels in Traverse City.  This will be a great chance to look over both used and new ski equipment--or sell some of your used gear to others who are getting into the sport.  The best deals available on used Nordic gear PERIOD will be found here. Drop off your used Nordic skis, boots, or poles on Friday, October 21st after 5:00 pm.  The swap begins at 9:00 am on Saturday.

In addition, plan to do the following: 1) renew your VSC membership; 2) participate in roller ski activities on the TART Trail behind Brick Wheels; 3) purchase a Vasa Ski Trail grooming badge; 4) look over VSC racing suits and other apparel that will be on sale at great prices; 5) chow down on delicious free refreshments; 6) sign up to volunteer for upcoming VSC events and activities; and 7) learn about the upcoming Michigan Cup race season.  Plan to support the Vasa Ski Club team with your participation.  (Our club is the defending Michigan Cup champions!)

Come out and enjoy the camaraderie of others like you who embrace the winter season by gliding over the snow.  Bring the family and catch the fever of the upcoming ski season! Proceeds from the sale benefit the clubs mission: To promote and encourage cross country skiing in the Grand Traverse Region through recreation and competition. Grab your gear and save the date!


Sundays, January 15, 22, & 29, 3:00 – 5:00 PM at Timber Ridge. “WeSki” is the popular program open to the community and designed to introduce beginning skiers to the fun and basic skills of XC skiing. VSC members serve as volunteer instructors and cheer leaders. Kids of all ages participate in a 1-hour lesson, followed by a light meal. Orientation for instructors will take place the week before at Timber Ridge, also 3:00 – 5:00. Stay tuned for more information! Contact Linda Deneen


Wednesdays, 6:00 – 8:00 starting October 12 at Timber Ridge.  SheSkis is a weekly program for women skiers of all ages and abilities. The 1st session is to plan the season, followed by dry land training on the following Wednesday, the 19th. SheSkis will continue on Wednesday evenings – same time and place - throughout the winter season. As the program moves from “dirt to snow”, there will be several lesson nights offering both skate and classic instruction, as well as other programs to improve your fitness and skills. Questions? Contact Linda Deneen


Lakes of the North Race

Saturday, December 17.  This is the Michigan Cup opening race sponsored by the VSC. If you’re not racing, we could use your volunteer help! More details coming. Contact Curt Peterson.


North American Vasa

February 11-12 at Timber Ridge. The North American Vasa is changing course! It will be an exciting event this year, with a new course and new format. Plans are underway for a NEW! EXCITING! Vasa in 2017.  The best news is that the course will NOT take you up “the wall!” Racers will instead be going around it - on a course that’s the reverse of what it normally is. A wall bypass is being explored so racers don’t have to risk life and limb by going down it.

The other big change being pursued is having separate freestyle and classic days. Saturday will be the freestyle day, with 48K, 28K, 11K and 6K races. Sunday will be the classic day, with 34K, 16K and 6K races on a 2-track course. The change is to provide a better quality race experience for the classic skiers and encourage more classic skier participation.  If a classic skier really wants to slug through a 48K race (e.g., to prepare for the Birkie), they can still do so on Saturday with the freestylers because there will be a set of tracks.  There are plenty of logistics yet to be worked out, but the planners are working full steam ahead to make these changes a reality.  Fat bike races will also be on the agenda, as well as the Junior Vasa. Race weekend is February 11-12. Plan to participate, either as a racer or volunteer! Contact Gussie Peterson for more information.


Fall Membership Drive

Yes, it’s that time again…. Time to throw a few more dollars into the VSC kitty so we can continue all the great programs that help keep XC skiing alive and vibrant in the Grand Traverse region. Our annual membership dues are a major revenue source for our activities, but if you take advantage of all our membership benefits, it’s quite a bargain! To sign up, go to vasaskiclub.org and click onto the appropriate link at the top of the home page.  Or you can saunter on down to our annual Ski Swap at Brick Wheels on Saturday, October 22, and a friendly VSC volunteer will help sign you up.  Cost is still just $25/person or $50/family.


New to the VSC Board

The VSC would like to take the opportunity to introduce you to a new board member (sort of). Gary Faria joined the VSC Board in January 2016, and this past August was named Secretary.  Gary and his wife, Patty Mallon, are both retired lawyers, who moved to Traverse City in the summer of 2015 from the Detroit area.  Before joining the VSC, Gary was a member of Team Nordic Ski Racer which competes with the VSC for the Michigan Cup.  “After moving here I sought out a position on the Club board as a way to get involved in the community generally, and to hopefully contribute something to the local Nordic skiing community. 

Now that I have gotten a look at the other Board members in action I could not be happier with that choice.  I feel privileged to work with such a talented group of proactive and creative people, who take very seriously the Club’s mission to promote Nordic skiing among all age groups, and all skill levels, in the area.”  Gary is a life long Michigan resident, except for his time away at college and one year following that which he spent in France playing hockey.  “My very first cross country ski experience was on one of the mountain trails outside of Grenoble used for the 1968 Olympics, on a warm sunny March day, when I was 22 years old.  I was hooked.”  Welcome Gary we are glad to have you.

Do you have skills and possibly some energy to contribute? We are looking for additional board members to help us with our mission. The board meets once a month on the first Thursday at Timber Ridge.  If you are interested please email: Eric Jean.

Junior Program Expansion

Nordic Rocks skis are on the way! As mentioned in the previous newsletter the skis will go to four local elementary schools in the area to be used daily throughout the winter months. The skis will be loaned to the school for use during PE and after school activities. Club member/volunteers will serve as coaches and guides for the schools. Please let us know if you are interested in volunteering for this exciting role.  We hope to continue the expansion of this program in the future. The program will be modeled after the highly successful CXC Nordic Rocks program in Wisconsin and Minnesota. http://cxcskiing.org/pages/programs/youth-and-kids/Nordic-Rocks-for-Schools-Program.html



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