Nordic Volunteers, Poutine For Calories, Exoskeleton Helps Legs, More Incidents & Accidents, Southern Skiing, Mystery Team, Weather Report.

Early morning finds a groomed trail ready to go. Credit: MDM

This co-publisher of loves to cross-country ski. Since we live directly across the street from a 900-acre tract of conservation land, owned and managed by the Trustees of Reservations, we head over the stone wall whenever there is decent coverage.

In former days, we bushwhacked our own trail through the woods until we connected with the network of tracks made by the early birds. (There are always earlier early bird tracks.) And we followed the early bird trail loops until we decided to bushwhack again back to home base.  Fun, but kind of tough for a seventy-five year old, especially at the beginning of the season and deep-ish snow.

NSNA Crew grooms all night for a wonderful trail in the morning. Credit: NSNA

Enter the North Shore Nordic Association. This is an all-volunteer, non-profit, community-based group which forms alliances with large landowners, most of whom are also non-profit organizations or municipalities, to maintain and groom existing hiking and biking trails for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and snow skating. For the past four years, NSNA has bought and maintained a collection of equipment through donations from local people and businesses.  Every time it snows, the groomers are out there, usually right after the snow stops falling, often in the middle of the night or early morning.

Your retro-attired co-publisher at the Farms. Credit: AAM

The grooming machines create two ski tracks, one a broad corduroy for skating and two pairs of grooved classic tracks on each side. There are many benefits to having these ready and waiting for a senior skier. It is obviously easier to ski, for both beginners and, well, everyone. The packed snow also lasts longer. The machines also loosen up hard pack to extend whatever snow is down.

The NSNA uses social media to alert folks about conditions every day. The group also maintains trail maps on a Smartphone app.  When we encountered a grooming crew on the trail one morning, the young man took our picture and immediately posted it on the group’s Facebook page.

All this is free for the skier. Enthusiasts and occasional visitors can donate to the NSNA to keep the machines turning. The group is well-run, organized, and community-focused. In the long term, they hope to create a racing league, offer lessons, and run a rental program.

The Point: If you don’t live near a cross-country ski area or resort where trails are groomed and maintained and rental equipment is available, consider forming a group like NSNA. All it takes are people who love to cross-country ski or snowshoe, some willing land organizations or town governments, and some energy to get all this organized.

Trail Masters Update

We have mailed out over 150 Trail Master patches to readers who responded to our Spring Survey as having skied more days than their age.  Most were sent to US and Canadian readers, but there were also numerous addresses in Sweden, Finland, England, and Australia.  Please note because some addresses were not completely filled out in our survey form, we were not able to send patches to all qualified readers.

This Week

Poutine, a Frency Canadian comfort food dish. Credit:Yvette Cardoao Northwest correspondent Yvette Cardozo  reports on a Canadian cuisine specialty at Silver Star Resort in BC. Ever have Poutaine? It’s a hearty meal designed to replace calories lost to a heavy day of skiing.  There’s more.  Ever had a Caesar? Not a salad.  Find out here.

We have a contributor review of the skiing assist aid Againer Exoskeleton.  This device can actually extend your skiing career by supporting your legs and back. Consider our reviewer’s experience here.

What’s the highest mountain on the East coast of the US? If you said Mt. Washington, you’d be wrong.  Mt. Washington tops off at 6,288 feet, but Mt. Mitchell reaches up 6,684. Where is Mt. Mitchell? North Carolina. Surprise.  Co-publisher Jon Weisberg reveals more secrets about Southern geography and skiing in his book review of Southern Snow: The New Guide To Winter Sports From Maryland To The Southern Appalachians. Read more here.

Correspondent Jan Brunvand reports an Incident & Accident that he actually filmed taking place.  His on-scene photos and report are astonishing.  As readers know, we are collecting a portfolio of collisions to see if there are comment threads.  With that information, we hope to influence ski industry practices and policies on managing unruly and dangerous skiers.

Correspondent Jan Brunvand captured an incident in action.

Last week’s Mystery Glimpse photo was Rip McManus in action. We provide a capsule profile of Rip and his impactful but all too short career in the skiing world.  This week’s Mystery presents a jumping team from long ago from Alan Engen’s collection of historic ski photos.

Finally,  Herb Stevens, the Skiing Weatherman, gives us a round up of regional forecasts as well as a tutorial on what a “trough” is. Here’s his story.

Thanks for reading  Tell your friends and remember, there are more of us every day and we aren’t going away.

Feb 1941. Ski Jumper. Can you name them? Credit: Alan Engen Collection





  1. Kelli Majiros says:

    I love cross-country skiing in Laurel Mountain State Park in southwest PA! The all volunteer crew at Laurel Mountain State Park has been expanding trails and grooming every year. For some reason I can’t paste a link here from my phone, but you can find more information via There’s also a concession and trails at nearby Laurel Ridge as well.

  2. Martin Griff says:

    Just got my Trail Master patch in the mail. What a pleasant surprise.

    Only 58 ski days away from qualifying for at 2019-20 patch 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *