The minimal snow conditions in Fairbanks were just enough for the US and Canadian
National Team to train on for a week. But when wet, warm weather moved in on
Sunday, they had no choice but to leave town. The Birch Hill and Salcha ski
trails were skiable all week on only 2 inches of snow, but rain on Sunday made
the conditions at Birch Hill deteriorate in a hurry.
Both National Teams left on Monday to return to their respective headquarters,
which have much more snow. US Ski Team member Andrew Johnson said, "The
warm weather, rain, and general lack of snow in Fairbanks was starting to make
training pretty tough. We got in a solid week of pretty good training. Not the
best conditions but we were able to get the volume we wanted. However, by yesterday
afternoon the ski areas were looking pretty bad. "
Torin Koos reports, “The US and Canadian teams had been training for a weekÂ on 15 kilometers of trails in Salcha on 1.8 inches of snowpack.Â The lack of snowÂ allowed forÂ little more than distance training, althoughÂ the team did get in oneÂ 15 kilometer pace workout lastÂ Saturday.
'I was looking to putting in some quality hours,Â getting to know my new skis,' remarked Wendy Wagner, on herÂ recent switch to Atomic.Â Â
Trond Nystad credited theÂ 'John the Salcha groomer'Â for hisÂ shoveling andÂ maintainceÂ ofÂ the trails.Â But when the temperatures were barely reaching freezing at night the team changed plans, heading back to Park City.Â ”
The US Team returned to Park City, Utah, while the Canadians headed home to
Canmore, Alberta. TheÂ Utah ski scene look promising for the Americans, withÂ Mountain Dell, the White Pine Touring Center and Soldier Hallow open.Â
Factory Team skier Scott Loomis reports that in Park City, "It has pretty
much been snowing since the evening of Oct. 30th. This morning the sun
finally came out and there is a good 2+ feet of snow on the ground. It
is unreal. White Pine has been using the piston bully for four days now.
You can even use your good skis…it is supposed to stay cold for the next week
Johnson also said things look good in Park City, but he is disappointed to
miss the first races of the season, provided Alaska has enough snow to pull
"Park City…is looking pretty nice. the golf course is groomed and Soldier
Hollow has supposedly done some grooming and is making some snow. Unfortunately
we'll be missing the Fairbanks and Anchorage SuperTour races which is kind of
a bummer, but we figured that the better training here is worth missing a couple
races that may, or may not, actually happen."
Fairbanks News-Miner: Lack
of snow sends skiers out of state
The Canadian team headed to Canmore, which has reported to have about 15 centimeters
of snow and about 20 km of skiing. There were concerns about getting quality
grooming, but the National Team decided that a stop in Canmore was better than
trying to tough it out in Fairbanks before heading to their next camp in Silver