Monthly Archives: March 2019

Teaching Beginner skiers balance, weight transfer and timing in the first lesson

Steve is a longtime Trakkers member and a dedicated ski instructor for many years. He shares his advices based on observing and teaching beginner skiers. Cross-country skiing is an accessible winter sport and a few tricks makes a big difference to enjoy the glide.

When I teach beginner skiers the diagonal stride with poles, a common problem is that students tend to be too upright such that there is little balance over the glide ski, and the timing of the pole action with the skis is off. Many isolated exercises can be used to try to correct this, but the best method I find that makes a big difference early on is to emphasize putting the poles on correctly and gripping the pole handle between the thumb and forefinger. Then it is possible to fully extend the pole backward in a straight line with the arm by opening the hand and pushing on the strap. The action can be demonstrated statically with the student by grasping the student’s pole and moving it through the extension and recovery cycle. The straight back extension does these things:

  1. The opposing force on the upper body naturally projects it forward over the glide ski.
  2. Weight transfer is more complete.
  3. Timing of the pole action with the skis is smoother and rhythmic.
  4. Correct poling action, timing, balance and posture are learned at the beginning and committed to motor muscle memory. It is much more difficult to modify motor muscle memory later if the student develops bad habits.

President’s Broadcast March 2019

Hello Trakkers!img_1730-2

What a winter it’s been! With record snowfall and fantastic conditions, we may keep going a bit longer yet!

We are so lucky this year to have made it up to Arrowhead.  

 

20190209_125426-1

 

 

 

We  had a fantastic weekend trip to the Blue Spruce Resort, near Algonquin Park. A good time was had by both regular and new participants.

 

This Sunday we are going to Georgian Nordic.  Remember, tomorrow night is Daylight Savings Time, so don’t forget to set your clock one hour forward before going to bed!

Wine & Cheese – March 17, Scenic Caves

We are not going down without a fight for the chance to have a visit, shoot the breeze, and lift a glass with our friends.

We have, once again, booked the log cabin at Scenic Caves, so let’s hope that conditions hold.  ullrpodfull1Festivities will start at 3 pm. Remember to book early for this popular trip. We will be going with two busses only.

I would like to introduce you to Ullr, the God of Skis. Here’s hoping for ongoing good conditions!

 

 

Save  the Date: AGM and Year-End Social — Thursday, April 11

With last year’s Annual General Meeting and Year-End-Social being so well attended, we have decided, once again, to hold both at the Madison Avenue Pub in the Annex. Here are the details:

Thursday, April 11
Madison Avenue Pub
14 Madison Avenue (near Bloor Street West and Spadina Road)

6:30 p.m. — Annual General Meeting business
7:00 p.m. — Food and drinks

All Trakkers members are invited to attend the AGM. The board will report back on club activities and finances. Members will be able to vote on the proposed board slate for the 2019-2020 ski season.

Immediately following the AGM, we invite you to join us for our year-end social. Not only will you see your Trakker friends, but you can also join us for ample, yummy food and drinks.

Tickets are $20, which includes appetizers and two drink tickets.

Tickets must be purchased ahead of time through the “My Account” page, similar to the way you register for a Sunday trip.

A formal invitation and Notice of AGM will be sent to members in the near future. This and other key information will be available on the Club Operations page.

Volunteers Needed

Trakkers is an entirely volunteer-run club with so many of you helping to make it all come together.

We are still looking for someone to assist our Webmaster with various tasks. For details see last month’s President’s Broadcast found at this link.

If you have graphic design or artistic skills to help us re-vamp some of our materials for promotional events (Open House, MEC Snowfest), we would love to hear from you.

As a club, we love and really appreciate all our volunteers!

Other News

Big congratulations to Michael Kerwin, who recently obtained his Level 2 certification with the Canadian Association of Nordic Ski Instructors (CANSI).  We are very much look forward to learning from him!

Katja Lutte

President, Trakkers XC Ski Club

 

Kawartha Nordic – a Wintery Best

Gillian is a long-time cross-country skier. She joined Trakkers this season after many years of cross-country skiing at Kawartha Nordic with her family. Read about their second visit back to this idyllic park with the club.

On our second Trakkers trip to Kawartha Nordic, it was Family Day weekend.

My mother used to live next to this non-profit community-run ski club. 20 years ago, all members volunteered, and they used to spend two weekends a year as “cabin keepers” starting and tending the fire in what used to be a small trailhead cabin. With growth in community, and new resources from partners and Trillium Foundation, the club has grown. But it maintains a distinct non-commercial feel.

My daughter (17) agreed to come along. She joined our regular Trakkers gang – myself, my partner, my son (13), and his school friend (who keeps pace with us after just two lessons through the club). And the gang was larger as we also skied with another Trakkers member and her son (14) who we had met on our first Sunday trip. There was fresh snow, and lots of energy as we set out on the trails.

My kids learned to ski here, on the easier Beaver and Kawartha trails, but we headed straight to our favorite intermediate trail: Red Fox. This trail is narrow and isolated, following slight winds, dips and rises. We are spellbound again by the exquisite sunlight cast through the trees. It is 1km of heaven, between two of the larger routes in the 46km trail network.

Kawartha Nordic is also special for the two trail-side cabins heated by wood stove. From Trakkers weekly posting of insider information for the coming Sunday’s destination, I gained a tip to wrap our sandwiches in foil and heat them directly on the stove. We brought cheese sandwiches, for melting! And a new invention: a foil bundle of black and green olives, which we warmed and shared with other Trakkers members in the cabin 🙂

We usually ski to our favorite Laderach cabin (we like the classic trails around there), but today we had ventured farther to the Tanney cabin. Both cabins stock birdseed so skiers can commune with local winged creatures. All three boys spent their entire lunch outside, feeding the delightful soft-bellied chickadees and nuthatches.   

The return trail was a slight downhill most of the way, so we glided back quicker than expected.

… despite irresistible stops for nature pics.

With time to spare, the youth in our gang sought the thrills of downhill: my daughter hit the informal toboggan hill near the main cabin, and the boys headed to a newer switchback trail called “the hills”. We adults couldn’t resist a return loop to run the Red Fox … yet again. 

As time neared 4pm, all Trakkers skiers converged towards the two-storey trailhead cabin.

Outside, some members sunned on the porch. While inside, others sat around the wood stoves. I enjoyed a snack huddle with the kids, while we perched on homey, member-built tree-trunk stools. It was a perfect wind-down to an energetic day.

On the bus home, we continued to snack, in style with our cheese and fruit tray. Then, most of the bus dozed off and I got back into my second read of a fine book set in a fictional country of beautiful East Africa. I enjoyed immersing myself in the sensuously described paysage. Of course, returning from another ski Sunday with Trakkers in the “rugged Canadian Shield at its wintery best” … I couldn’t be envious at all.