Some Are Skiing On Donner Summit

Some Are Skiing On Donner Summit
Auburn Ski Club Installs Glacier for Summer Skiing

Photos by MacBeth Graphics
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Some are skiing. Get it? Sum…R…Skiing…Oh, never mind…

This past winter; Auburn Ski Club, installed a large glacier on their property just south of I-80, on Donner Summit. The massive installation has allowed them to groom XC ski trails for their Nordic Teams all of June, with planned operations into July. “The late season storms we received were an insulating blanket for the glacier and almost no melting has occurred until recently,” says Auburn Ski Club Training Center Director, Bill Clark.

“The skiing has been phenomenal,” says Auburn Ski Club Coach, Ben Grasseschi. “I can’t tell the difference between February 24 and June 24 out here. The tracks are holding up well and the athletes who are taking advantage of this on-snow training are really making technique progress and will have a head start going into next winter. Installing the glacier was one of the best things we have done for developing our skiers.”

In addition to having great skiing, Auburn Ski Club and Far West Nordic are hosting an Athlete Residency Program for skiers in college, on their summer break, to come out and train in the amazing environment that is Lake Tahoe. To be able to ski on snow while they are here is just icing on the cake. Bates College coach, Martin Benes, a former Far West Nordic Junior and coach, says of the conditions, “We cooked up this residency program idea in January this year. I told the prospective athletes, all from East coast colleges, that we might be running in snow up on the high peaks around Lake Tahoe and that there is a slight chance we will ski into May. Obviously, the huge winter and spring has allowed us to exceed that forecast by leaps and bounds. It is so good for these athletes to be out here skiing. Many of them have never been to California or Lake Tahoe. They are also really good role models and inspiration for the junior skiers. We try to combine workouts with the Juniors whenever possible.”

One of the ways the coaches plan to combine the Juniors and the older skiers is with a Nordic ‘Team Sprint’ Sunday, July 3 at Auburn Ski Club. Each Junior skier will be paired with a Senior and they will take alternate laps on a predetermined Sprint course.

“I hope the glacier holds up throughout the summer,” says Coach Grasseschi, “We would have a nice base for this coming winter and beyond. And, I hope we can do it again next Summer.”