Snowflake Nordic Skiing

Posted at: 12/11/2012 6:00 PM
Updated at: 12/13/2012 1:39 PM
By: Laura Kennedy

Northland nordic skiiers have been itching to hit the trails at Snowflake Nordic Ski Center. Last weekend, Christmas came early.

After a season without snow, Steve Befort of St. Paul was thrilled when last weekend's snowstorm blanketed the state.

"Last year was just awful. You waited and waited and every storm just went south. It was tough terrain," Befort said. "This year we could have a really good year."

"Already this is the best snowfall we've seen in almost two years," said Chad Salmela of Duluth.

Salmela coaches the St. Scholastica ski team. He is relieved to see the white stuff stick.

"There's a big change when there's snow on the ground in everyone's demeanor, including mine," Salmela said. "We've been going to Giants Ridge every day of the week just to ski around on a loop up there. "

Training has been tough for local nordic teams since last year. but now it looks like their days of skiing in loops may be over.

"Who wants to go around in circles like a mouse in a maze? We want to get out on the trails and take in nature," Salmela said. "That's what's great about cross country skiing."

Paul Diedrich helps groom the trails at Snowflake. He says the conditions are almost as good as it gets.

"This kind of snow is really good," Diedrich said. "Heavy, wet moisture, it packs well. It's what we want on the base as our first snowfall, so when additional snow goes on top, we have great snow to groom right over the top."

All it takes is a little snow to make the holidays bright for skiiers.

"You hate to see a brown Christmas, so when you actually have snow on the ground it really feels like the season is here. "