Casper, Wyoming might not be the first place that comes up in a discussion of world-class Nordic skiing in North America. Rob Rosser – a 5-time US national biathlon champion, and 1998 Olympian – and his colleagues at the Casper Mountain Biathlon Club (CMBC) are working hard to change that perception.
In the past two years they have built 15km of race trails designed by the Morton Trails team to meet FIS, IBU, and World Para Nordic standards. The new race courses complement an existing 50km trail system on Casper Mountain, and boast an international standard 30-point biathlon range – complete with covered targets and lighting.
“The venue is world class across the Nordic disciplines, and the trails, stadium, and planned infrastructure reflect what you would find on the World Cup circuit,” says Noah Brautigam, Morton Trails designer and FIS Homologation Inspector. While the Casper Mountain trails are too high to host World Cup events – the trails range from 2370 m. to 2460 m. – they offer the perfect venue for Continental Cup races, training camps, and early and late season skiing. Gifted with consistent snow and cold temperatures, CMBC hosted an IPC North American Cup and National Guard Western Biathlon Regionals in Spring 2017, and will host the US Biathlon Western Championship in 2018. In the future, they hope to host SuperTour races, Spring Series, and Fall and Spring training camps.
Despite the elevation, the race courses hold nothing back, and offer technically challenging and exciting terrain that will prepare athletes for European race courses.
Nordic Skiing in the US relies on passion – it does not have the visibility or following that it does in European countries, and would suffer without the enthusiasm and hard work of the Nordic community. Rob Rosser and his wife Cathy Rosser (CMBC Managing Director) live and breathe skiing, and their desire to raise the standard of US Nordic skiing is infectious. Established as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization in 2010, CMBC aims to “provide an avenue for athletes to reach their Olympic and Paralympic goals and objectives,” as well as enhance the local Wyoming community and economy.
The trails at the CMBC were originally designed by John Morton, founder of Morton Trails, and homologated by Noah Brautigam of Morton Trails’ western office in Salt Lake City, UT. Morton Trails was founded in Vermont 20 years ago by two-time Olympic Biathlon competitor, John Morton, and has designed over 200 trails worldwide.
Link to Morton Trails’ Website: https://www.mortontrails.com/
Link to CMBC Website: http://caspermountainbiathlonclub.org/