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Even in an El Nino Year...There is Still Nordic Skiing

We here at Skihut are well aware that it may be difficult to get in the Nordic ski groove when the natural snow situation is as it is at the moment.  We all want to be out enjoying a beautiful trail covered in sweet, sweet, NATURAL snow.  But, alas, this season has had a challenging, low-snow start.  We get it.  It’s easy to throw up your hands and give up.  But, please, keep the faith!  Here are a few items of interest that may help you with your low-snow depression:


Watch the Tour de Ski!!  The World Cup Nordic season has been going incredibly well for Team USA!  Jessie Diggins is currently leading the race for the overall Crystal Globes in both the “distance” and “overall” categories. Rosie Brennan is also close to the top of the standings.  And, the American men are doing much better than expected.


 Currently, World Cup Nordic is deep into the “Tour de Ski”.  A 9-day test of stamina and strength.  Modeled after the cycling world’s well-known Tour de France, the Tour de Ski determines the best overall skier over 7 stages in 9 days.  From sprints to 20k races, classic and skate techniques.


  The event can be watched live, or via replay, on the skiandsnowboardlive app.  The races of the Tour de ki, as well as ALL the World Cup races in Nordic, Alpine, Snowboard, ski jumping, and Nordic Combined, are available here for a rather reasonable fee!  Once the season is over, you can simply cancel your subscription. 


  The Tour de Ski ends January 7th with a 10K mass start that goes straight up the Alpe Cermis, a DOWNHILL ski area!!  It’s a brutal stage, and makes for great spectating! Jessie Diggins should be in the race for the overall title, as another American, Sophia Laukli, will be making a bid for the stage win.  We would expect Rosie Brennan to also be vying for a podium spot!


  Another amazing snow sport for spectating is Biathlon.  For those not familiar, Biathlon combines two very different sports into one.  Nordic skiing and rifle target shooting.  Imagine having a heart rate well into the red zone, your heart and lungs pumping and gasping for air, and then be expected to hit 5 targets from a distance of 50 meters (about 165 feet)!!  Athletes shoot from two positions, prone and standing.  In the standing position, the target is 4.5” wide.  In the prone position, it is only 1.8” wide!  If an athlete misses a target they are penalized.  Penalties range through different stylistic races.  Some events add a full minute to the athlete’s time.  Others make the athletes ski an extra penalty loop for each miss.  Still others allow for extra bullets in order to complete the shoot.  But, if all the extras are used and a target still stands, the athlete has to do the penalty loop for each remaining target!  Brutal and demoralizing for sure.  The really crazy thing about Biathlon that makes it so fun to watch is its unpredictability.  Yes, there are some athletes who seem to rise to the top.  But, overall, you really never know who’s going to win.  An athlete could be in first place by 30 seconds after the first shoot, and fall to 60th after the second shoot!  It’s nuts!  


  Check out Biathlon World Cup live or via replay, entirely free(you just need to create an account), at Biathlonworld.com.  


  Keep your heads up, folks.  Winter will be here, and Skihut will be ready for it!!  Hopefully, so will you!