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Wild Rumpus Sports

Save the Dates: 2014/2015 NorAm and SuperTour Schedules in a Nutshell

NorAm action in Rossland, B.C., last winter: with Dakota Blackhorse-von Jess  of the Bend Endurance Academy (101) rounding a corner with Sun Valley's Miles Havlik (110) and Graeme Killick (121) of the Alberta World Cup Academy/CNST in the Black Jack NorAm 1.6 k skate sprint semifinals on Dec. 15. Blackhorse-von Jess won the semifinal and went on to place fifth in the A-final. Fourth in the semi, Havlick ended up second overall, and Killick placed 12th.  (Photo: Shelley Peachell/Peachell Photography,

Between the Canadian NorAm and U.S. SuperTour circuits, here’s a rundown of what you have to look forward to this winter, highlighting dates, places and big races.

After Coaching Para-Nordic to Three Medals in Sochi, Upham Joins Bates Staff

James Upham (l) and Para-nordic High Performance Director, John Farra,

James Upham had a good run in Sochi: his Paralympic skiers won three medals – the first by U.S. women in 20 years – and before that at the Olympics Susan Dunklee, a college skier he had recruited to be a biathlete, turned in the best performance ever by a U.S. woman. Now he’s returning to his home of Maine as an assistant coach at Bates College.

What a Little Success Can Do: Lunder Boosted by World Cup Debut in Push for 2015

Emma Lunder competing in the World Cup pursuit in Pokljuka, Slovenia, in March. Photo:

Emma Lunder placed 30th in her World Cup debut last season. The Canadian biathlete has since gained funding, training partners, and motivation: “Anytime I’m doing a really brutal workout, I just think to myself, if you can get through this, you’re one step closer to racing in Pokljuka again!”

Peter Hale Memorial Scholarship Carries On Madshus Rep’s Work: More Than a One-Time Celebration

The legendary Peter Hale, a former U.S. Biathlon member and longtime nordic-ski rep in the U.S. Hale spent the last seven years with Madshus, working until about a month ago. He passed away on Nov. 17 at age 66. (Photo: Master Skier)

Peter Hale didn’t just sell skis: he gave them out, discounted them, and made sure that enthusiastic young skiers had them if they needed them. Madshus is offering a scholarship to do the same thing, based not on a young skier’s speed but also on their involvement in the ski community.

Gallery: 2014 Climb to the Castle

Liz Stephen celebrates her win in the finish area of the 2014 Climb to the Castle. Stephen clocked her fastest climb yet despite a strong headwind and exhaustion from the U.S. Ski Team Lake Placid Training Camp.

Saturday’s Climb to the Castle was a success for both organizers and participants. Despite strong winds, the weather held and skiers were able to ski a challenging 5-mile climb on roads that had been paved just the day before. Take a look at our photo gallery to see the race for yourself.

Stephen, Burke Repeat Wins in Blustery ‘Climb to the Castle’

The women's start of the 2014 Climb to the Castle.

Liz Stephen is a force to reckon with – even when she’s off her game. Both she and Tim Burke repeated their 2013 performances in windy conditions at NYSEF’s 2014 Climb to the Castle.

Canadians Head South to Stratton for New Camp, Combine with SMST2 (with Photo Gallery)

Andy Newell (l) and Alex Harvey (r) lead an over-distance rollerski past the Stratton Mountain School on Aug. 15 in Stratton, Vt.

With the help of U.S. Ski Team head coach Chris Grover and Canadian National Team Head Coach Justin Wadsworth, Tor-Arne Hetland and the Canadian World Cup Team ended up in Vermont last month. “Andy Newell can train here for many years … That’s the reason we are here,” Hetland explained.

VIDEO: Canada/SMST2 Combo Workout

Canadians Alex Harvey (r), Devon Kershaw (front left) lead six others, including Ivan Babikov (third from l), Kris Freeman (second from l) and Andy Newell (l), during a combi over-distance rollerski near Stratton, Vt.

FasterSkier tagged along with the Canadian World Cup Team and Stratton Mountain School T2 squad for a morning over-distance rollerski on Aug. 15 in Stratton, Vt.

Two Clubs to Superclub: Despite Wild Success, Loppet Nordic Racing at ‘The Tip of the Iceberg’

Amanda Kautzer (r) of Loppet Nordic Racing crests the final hill in Wednesday's 1.4 k classic sprint A-final before winning her first title at Junior Nationals in Stowe this March.

Almost three years ago now, Reid Lutter and Piotr Bednarski decided that rather than watching their two Twin Cities training programs compete for skiers and resources, they should join forces. The results are a lesson in what city-based ski clubs can accomplish: in 2014 Loppet Nordic Racing was the most successful junior team in the country.

After Retiring from Pro Cycling, Durtschi Turns to Biathlon

After four years of professional cycling Max Durtschi has made the decision to join the biathlon  community. (Photo: Max Durtschi)

Max Durtschi left cross-country ski racing in 2009 for a professional career in cycling. Now that he’s retired, Durtschi has his sights set on a new frontier: Biathlon.

USSA Shares $150,000 Piece of Fundraising Pie with U.S. Nordic Combined

Adam Loomis leads U.S. Nordic Combined teammate Michael Ward during a rollerski workout at a mini camp in August in Aspen, Colo. (Photo: USA Nordic Combined/Facebook)

Late last month, Billy Demong spoke on behalf of his sport at the U.S. Ski & Snowboard Foundation trustees’ annual meeting. What came out of it was 15 Gold Passes, valued at $10,000 apiece, which U.S. Nordic Combined is currently trying to sell to help pay for its 2014/2015 season.

Australian Olympian Callum Watson Recovering after Ski Punctures Lung in Sprint Crash

Callum Watson (left) racing in New Zealand in 2012. Photo:

When Callum Watson crashed in the sprint at Australian National Championships, it seemed like any other crash. But the consequences were devastating: the other racer’s ski punctured and collapsed his lung. Watson is looking towards the future as he recovers, but is set back by the cost of the ambulance helicopter flight that saved him. This article includes a link to his fundraising page.

Falun World Championships Gain ISO Certification for Sustainability

A photo provided by Falun2015 pictures the jumps that will be used in the 2015 World Championships in February. Falun2015 recently gained ISO 20121 certification for sustainability. (Photo: Falun2015)

Organizers of the 2015 FIS Nordic World Championships in Falun, Sweden announced August 27 that the culminating event of the 2014/2015 ski season has received the ISO 20121 certification of sustainability.

From The Pack: Ricardo Izquierdo-Bernier

Ricardo Izquierdo-Bernier during a  training ride on Mont-Ventoux in France. (Courtesy photo)

We caught up with Canadian Junior National Team member Ricardo Izquierdo-Bernier, of Montreal and now Quebec City, who reached his goal last season of a top 20 at Junior World Championships in placing 14th in the 10-kilometre classic in Val di Fiemme, Italy.

Norway’s 10,000-Meter Champ, Steira Taking One Step at a Time

Kristin Størmer Steira in 2012 (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

Kristin Størmer Steira’s in the game for another season, but she’s not so sure what the next four years hold — definitely some school and not another Olympics. “I learned from my earlier mistakes saying this is my last year, but I don’t think longer than Falun … we’ll see,” she says in an exclusive interview.

An Editor’s Report of the Bridger Ridge Run

Mountain goats are a common site during the Bridger Ridge Run.

FasterSkier’s Associate Editor Lander Karath recently ran the Bridger Ridge Run in Bozeman, Mont. This is his account of the 20-mile running race.

Team Hardwood Seeks Beach Time, Beneficial Training in Tobermory

Team Hardwood explores shipwrecks in Big Tug Harbour. (Photo: Patricia MacDonell)

Team Hardwood President Patricia MacDonell recaps her team’s annual junior camp on Bruce Peninsula in southern Ontario.

Pros of Tomorrow: Two-Time NCAA Champion Gruber Aims to ‘Blow Them Away’

Anja Gruber (University of Vermont) racing to fourth in Saturday's 10 k classic mass start at Soldier Hollow for her best U.S. nationals result by more than 20 places. (Photo: Bert Boyer/ All proceeds from photo sales will be directly donated to NNF.

Anja Gruber thought she was done with skiing after finishing high school in her native Germany. However, she received a call from Partrick Weaver of UVM that changed everything. Now, Gruber is a two-time NCAA Champion with eyes on the World Cup.

North American Biathlon Rollerski Championships in Photos

2014 North American Rollerski Championships 7.5 k sprint at Ethan Allen Firing Range in Jericho, Vt.

Lowell Bailey went 2 for 2 on the weekend in Jericho, and two different U.S. women edged Canada’s Rosanna Crawford for victories at the North American Rollerski Championships at the Ethan Allen Firing Range.

As IBU Congress Nears, Many Rule Changes Up for Debate

IBU race officials were forced to call off a World Cup relay mid-race last season when fog rolled in and obscured the targets. Now, they are considering rule changes to better deal with these situations in the future.

Up for voting at the IBU Congress in September will be proposals for how to deal with mid-race cancellations, whether to amend the penalty in youth individual races, and whether age limits are appropriate at Open European Championships – as well as the creation of an entirely new junior racing circuit.