First Nordic Article


Aidan Garcia, Junior Editor

Nordic Skiing has begun at Wahconah! Although we do not have snow on the ground, skiers are preparing for their Nordic season as athletes from middle school and the veterans in high school started practicing the week after Thanksgiving. They are running, lifting, and roller skiing on the track. All of this will prepare them for the long racing season to come. 

Nordic Skiing is an umbrella term for skiing done away from the large mountains. It doesn’t mean they do not go downhill or even uphill. In Nordic, skiers travel on groomed snow left by a snowmobile. The skis are specially designed to be used on uphills, flats, and downhills, as well as being thin for sharp turns in the woods. 

Additionally, there are two disciplines to Nordic. 

The older, and more resource-demanding, is Classic Skiing. In this technique, the person uses sticky wax in the center of a very long ski to stick and then lifts their weight to the other to glide. Then the other foot will stick with the shifted weight, and each foot continues to glide. It looks a lot like sliding while running. Because of this, classic skiers tend to use tracks to keep their skis sliding parallel. The arms move in a running motion, which helps the poles to stick into the snow. 

The newer, quicker version of Nordic is Skate Skiing. Much like skating on a rink, skis glide outward in a V motion, one foot after the other. The skis are shorter and the poles are longer to push away while swaying from side to side. In this manner, the skis require glide wax on the bottom depending on the temperature of the snow. The wax actually interacts with the snow to partially melt it and make it more slippery. This is why wax changes depending on the day. 

Skiing Cross Country is incredibly rewarding once you get the hang of it. In Berkshire County, many of the hiking trails are groomed for the winter. This means that all the views and exploring of the summer are only that much better on skis! At dusk, in a sunset-lit field, skiing across the snow is a spectacular feeling. Even when it starts to storm, returning to the lodge in a flurry can be lots of fun. The whole experience of traveling through the woods and at new vantage points offers things that cannot be found in other sports.

This year, the races will be held on most Saturdays between New Year’s and February break. Some will be Nordic Cross races with jumps and 360 sections where the skiers do tricks and others will be relays where the teams use their individuals to create groups that combine each skier’s talent. After the regular season, the Wahconah Team will be heading to States to see how the Berkshire County Skiers compare to their competitors in the Eastern Mass leagues. Last year, the boys placed third and the girls fourth in the state. This year, both teams have very ambitious goals to beat their previous performance which was already very lofty. With the returning fitness of the team, however, their aims are certainly within reach.

If you have any questions about watching races or joining Nordic, feel free to reach out to Jared Shannon, the Assistant Coach, as well as our Athletic Director.  Try to make it to some races and I hope you’ve learned something about one of the oldest winter sports in the world!