Most serious cross-country ski racers in Pennsylvania made their goals for 2014 back in the summer.  However, newbies and late comers may be using the New Year celebration to set some goals for the remainder of the season. In 2013 the Pennsylvania nordic community was represented at national and international events.  Nittany Nordic and PACCSA skiers headed to the American Birkebiener.  Greg Harkay of State College did amazingly well in the classic division at this race. Greg and other Nittany Nordic members also went to Lake Placid for the Lake Placid Loppet. This is a challenging course slightly modified from the 1980 Winter Olympics.  Many PACCSA skiers also attend the North American Vasa near Traverse City Michigan.  Steve Moore of Towanda and a friend (Scott) went to the Masters National race at the Boulder Mountain Tour.  This race starts at 7200 feet and ends 32K later near Sun Valley Idaho 1100 feet lower.  Don't be fooled, there are some long climbs too.  Ed Prince and I (Nittany Nordic members) went to the Canadian Ski Marathon in Quebec. This is a two day event with 80k each day. Forest, fields, lakes, villages, and streams are skied in this gem.  There are plenty of hills for climbing and screaming down and wonderful food stops. This is not a race but there is a cut off time for being able to ski all ten sections. It tests all the classic skiing skills. You start in the dark with a headlamp and ski in some cold conditions. The best part is a skier can do one section or all ten sections or any number in between.

Canadian Ski Marathon Day 1   

The Canadian Ski Marathon Trail Day 1 2013

If you are new to nordic events you do not need to travel so far for the thrill of being part of one and you need not be into racing.  However, the nordic citizen racing crowd is about the friendliest bunch of people to ski with on the planet. Faster skiers zoom off and the rest go their own pace and enjoy a wonderful track.  Most events have several distances to ski to match different levels of experience and fitness. Try one and you won't be disappointed.  New skiers are always welcome and the post race festivities are fun. You might win some swag in the drawings that are held at some events. 

Pennsylvanian's have access to several local events. There is the Erie High Mark Quad race at Peek'n Peak, PA Nordic Championships to be held at Wilderness Lodge, Art Roscoe Loppet not far from Bradford near Salamanca, PA, Crystal Lake Ski Chase, and the 25k Mountain State Marathon at White Grass in WV.  There are several non-racing events at ski centers and state parks.  Oil Creek State Park and Crystal Lake have moonlight skis.  The state park Winterfests also have cross-country skiing built into their events. There are telemark events at Seven Springs and Ski Denton. As 2014 approaches it is time to make some goals.  Check the Calendar page for information on dates and links to the events. Why not put a few cross-country ski events on your calendar?   HP

Nittany Nordic At Art Roscoe

Nittany Nordic members show off hardware, swag, and ski wear. Art Roscoe Lopett 2013