R Months Signal Start of XC Ski Season
Posted by Howard on October 10, 2013
The cross-country ski months are here again, welcome to the 2013-14 ski season. September through April, all of these months have an "R" in them. In Pennsylvania's logging era in the 1800's, farmers, loggers, and raftsmen, used the "R" months for cutting timber and preparing it for market. During the spring floods this timber would float down rivers to sawmills and ship building markets. For skiers in Pennsylvania today, September through November are the months to prepare the body for skiing. Usually, by December there is snow to ski on and if this season is like last year, there will be skiing in April. Early predictions indicate the weather will be warm for us in the early season and colder in the second half of the winter. However, long-term forecasts are rarely spot on. It is time to prepare for snow and to be ready to take advantage of it when it comes. In the coming months look for articles about where Pennsylvania skiers show up in the cross-country ski world. Last year some PA skiers went to Idaho, the Birkie in Wisconsin, Quebec for the Canadian Ski Marathon, and many other areas of the country and world. If inspiration is needed for your ski season try reading Beyond Birkie Fever by Walter Rein. This book is about the Birkie and much more. If you are thinking of trying roller skiing, this book will inspire you and make you laugh. Finally, the book has a cultural component, as the author recalls his experiences with international skiers as they came to compete in Hayward, Wisconsin. Speaking of cultural experiences, I had an opportunity to travel to Sweden and Norway this summer. In upcoming blogs I'll share some cross-country ski history and photos from Sweden and Norway. The "R" months are here and I hope you "R" excited for another winter. Howard
Looking forward to plentiful snowfalls like this one in the Moshannon State Forest.