President’s Letter – January 2012

Rob getting out with the kids on some real snow at ABR in Ironwood, Michigan.
Rob getting out with the kids on some real snow at ABR in Ironwood, Michigan.
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Good snow, decent tracks and a good, young crowd to share the trail with as the Co-President cruises the green trails at ABR.

The lack of winter has put the damper on many a Mad NorSki’s plans.  After three great early snowfall seasons, this year’s beginning has a caravan of  MadNorSkis travelling north to find snow.  Even Ironwood Michigan has had lower than “normal” amounts of snow, with less than great conditions. These conditions have finally changed in the last few days with a foot of snow in the UP.  Reports across the world show a snow drought; Minnesota, Maine, Sweden, and Russia all with too much brown and not enough of the white.  Club member Nicole Bathe is out in Rumsford Maine at Junior National Championships waiting for the rain to cease so the races can be held on artificial snow.  The Juniors are hoping to travel to Iola and Rhinelander for the first races of the season this weekend. Around Madison there has been enough ice to mess up rollersking- we just can’t seem to catch a break.

The board continues to meet to negotiate an agreement with the City of Madison to make and groom snow- details will follow as agreements are worked out. This is still at the planning stage and start-up looks to be in 2013.  If successful, it will provide an opportunity for the club to fill in the present gaps in city grooming and allow the club to make a difference. Current grooming levels of service by the city would be maintained.  Insurance requirements and costs will be a factor as well as the need to acquire equipment and recruit & train volunteers to groom trails.  At this time, even what locations to groom have not yet been determined. If you’d like to be part of this initiative, contact Brock Woods of the trails committee or any other board member.

Clothing order: Last report from Dick Steinle our clothing project manager was that the design proofs had been approved and delivery was anticipated in late January.  Future orders should be able to have a quicker turnaround as we will have our designs on file with Mount Borah.

Ned Zuelsdorf, Director of the Birkenbiner,  will be the featured speaker at the January meeting.  He should have some updates as to the race preparations as well as the purchase of land for a new trail-head just south of Cable, WI, off highway 63 and Leonard School Road. The Birkie Board has decided to continue use of the Cable Airport for the start of the Birkie ski races as long as possible.

Ever the optimist, John Dee’s long-range forecast shows snow in the forecast for next week, so get out there, do your snowdance, stop by the club meeting to commiserate with your tribe and soon we’ll be on snow!  Best of the New Year to you from the MadNorSki board.  Rob