Hello Skiers, I hope that you enjoyed “the other seasons” and, like me, are looking forward to the return of Winter, Snow, and the Ski Season! I delayed posting this update as I was waiting for confirmation of some exciting news (read on), but first a quick look at the 2020/21 Season…
- Our first skiing was on Oct 17, 2020 and our first grooming was on October 25th. We had 6 days of groomed 6K trail before it melted.
- Snow and cold returned on 10 November, we groomed on the 11th, and with the exception of a few warm/wet days our trails were open until the end of March. Our final grooming of the season was on 18 March.
- Covid concerns and protocols impacted normal activities: The 2020 Ski Swap was cancelled; the chalet was closed; we did not offer rental equipment during the season; we had to cancel the 2021 Snowflake KidSki program due to a shortage of coaches, lack of warm shelter for the kids, and parental concerns.
- Despite (or because of) pandemic life, we had a record number of memberships last season! Since we could not do sign-ins, I don’t have a daily or season count but the trails were very busy every day into February.
- We were a designated “Virtual Birkie” venue and 30 skiers, from as far away as Michigan and Chicago, completed their 2021 Birkie or Kortie at Snowflake! I completed my 20th Birkie and it was extra-special to ski it on trails that Jim Wood and I had groomed.
- Spring temps came earlier than usual and by 19 March we had no way to get the Ginzus from the garage to the trailhead.
- Off-season trail work began in May and we have worked throughout the Summer and Fall to maintain and improve trails, cut & remove dead trees, and operate our campsites.
LOOKING AT THE COMING SEASON
Once we get groomable snow, the chalet will be open everyday, from 8 a.m.-8 p.m. Trails open at 7:00 a.m.
Skiers must sign-in at the counter, preferably before you go out.
Non-vaccinated/Immune skiers should wear a mask in the chalet. Common sense social distancing courtesies should be practiced.
The bathrooms will be open and users are requested to use the provided disinfectants after use.
Ski rentals will be available and the counter will be manned on weekends to assist with visitors and rentals.
2021/22 SEASON MEMBERSHIPS AND PASSES
DNSC Memberships/Snowflake Season Passes for the 2021/22 season are available for download at skiduluth.com, and are also available at the Chalet.
Inflation and gas prices will push operating costs up, but we are keeping our prices the same. We’ll see how that works.
“Early Bird” pricing (a substantial discount) will be available throughout November. Early Bird priced applications must be received by December 2nd!
Download, read, and fill out the form, mail it with your payment, or drop it in the payment box at the chalet, and you are a 2021/22 member/season pass holder!
Your membership is effective as soon as you mail your payment. Members are required to sign-in at the chalet before skiing, and that’s all. Memberships will be entered into our database for communications and to verify eligibility for other Member benefits. We don’t share info outside of Snowflake/DNSC.
SNOWFLAKE SKI SWAP
The Snowflake Ski Swap is operated as a fund-raiser for the East High Nordic Team. Due to Covid concerns and its affiliation with the school and ISD-709 protocols they have decided not to do the event this season.
Recognizing that folks need to buy and sell gear, especially since new gear is in short supply, we have an alterative plan…
I purchased my first pair of skis in 1988 at a community ski market, in Baerum, Norway. It was an outdoor event and all transactions were directly between the buyers and sellers. We can do that!
This year we will host a “Snowflake Ski Bazaar” on Saturday, 13 November from 9:30 a.m. until 12:30.
The venue will be OUTSIDE of the chalet. We will provide ski racks, chairs, and some tables. Sellers should bring their wares and stake-out a spot between 9:30-10:30, and must then stay with their stuff and handle their own sales. You keep what you get. We are doing this as a service to skiers, and make nothing.
Buyers will be allowed into the market area beginning at 10:30.
We will have hot cocoa available at the chalet, Membership forms, and folks may warm-up in the chalet, but all business will be done outside.
It may be cold, but this is the best solution that I can come up with for this year.
We are planning to conduct the Snowflake Kidski* program during January/February 2021. Last year’s plans were dashed by a combination of circumstances, the lack of Group Coach/Instructors being decisive.
We are presently putting the program together and the number of participants that we can accept will depend upon the number of high school and local college skiers that volunteer to instruct/coach the groups. If any adult skiers would be interested in coaching or helping-out with snacks, etc, please email or text me.
We also want to offer the “AdultSki” program for parents, new to skiing, who would like some group lessons while their kids are doing KidSki.
Snowflake KIdSki Registration Forms will be available for download on our website (skiduluth.com) by 15 November.
Trail improvement work began in May. The piles of wood mulch, chipped last October, were hauled out to level the holes and low spots that nature provides each year after the thaw and melt. Lot’s of dead/dying trees to remove. We were unhappy with the tight U-Turn that we had created on the 8K, at the River Runs Thru It trail section, so we opened a new trail into the turn, which will be more skiable.
The biggest news concerns the restoration of lighting to the 6K (Jane’s 5K) trail:
We just contracted electricians to begin work on 8 November. Due to cost/budget considerations and the looming possibility of snow, I divided the lighted section into three separate “phases”, each about 1.6K in length. Phase 1 will begin at the 5K trailhead, go out to the 2nd KidSki Cutoff, then follow the 5K return trail back to the trailhead. We hope to have that 1.6K/1M of lighting restored, with new wiring and LED lights, by 12 November! If the weather allows, we may be able to continue the lighting into Phase 2 for this season, which would add another 1.5K of lights, but that remains to be seen and Mother Nature will have the deciding vote. Work on the remaining phases will be done next summer.
WE’RE LOOKING FOR GROOMERS
Jim and I love to groom, but we want to add a few more folks to the line-up.
Must be willing to groom at night. No experience necessary, you’ll be wingman with one of us. It’s very fun and satisfying, and you get paid.
I must THANK the folks who worked so hard during the off-season:
The Trail Crew: Ben Fena and Owen Fischer
The Chief of Trails: Jim Wood
Our ATV and Sled Maintainer: Mark Maciewski
Our Electrician: John Pouchak
Our Snowplow Guy: Randy Baumgardner
Our Webmaster/Digital Communicator: Emma Watson
Rick’s Tree Service, who turn our woodpile into chips and won’t take any money!
And Thank You! Your membership and support keep Snowflake going!
John Graham, Snowflake Manager