Auburn Ski Club plans on-snow training into July | SierraSun.com

Auburn Ski Club plans on-snow training into July

Special to the Sun

Mark Nadell / macbethgraphics.comLocal Junior Nordic skiers enjoy a sunny summer day on the trails at Auburn Ski Club this past weekend. With an abundance of snow still on the ground, Auburn Ski Club plans to operate into July.

Auburn Ski Club took advantage of the substantial snowpack that remains from this past winter by grooming its cross-country ski trails for its Nordic teams throughout June. And they aren’t finished yet, as the Donner Summit resort plans operations into July.

and#8220;The late-season storms we received were an insulating blanket for the glacier, and almost no melting has occurred until recently,and#8221; said Bill Clark, director of the Auburn Ski Club Training Center, joking about the large amount of remaining snow resembling a glacier.

Ben Grasseschi, a coach with Auburn Ski Club, added that the skiing has been and#8220;phenomenaland#8221; for the past month.

and#8220;I can’t tell the difference between Feb. 24 and June 24 out here,and#8221; Grasseschi said. and#8220;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.and#8221;

In addition to the summer 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 around Lake Tahoe.

The opportunity to ski on snow while they are here is just icing on the cake, said Bates College coach Martin Benes, a former Far West Nordic Junior and coach.

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and#8220;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,and#8221; Bates said. and#8220;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.

and#8220;Many of them have never been to California or Lake Tahoe,and#8221; the coach continued. and#8220;They are also really good role models and inspiration for the junior skiers. We try to combine workouts with the Juniors whenever possible.and#8221;

One of the ways the coaches plan to combine the Juniors and the older skiers is with a Nordic and#8220;team sprintand#8221; 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.

and#8220;I hope the glacier holds up throughout the summer,and#8221; Grasseschi said. and#8220;We would have a nice base for this coming winter and beyond. And, I hope we can do it again next summer.and#8221;

More photos are available at http://macbethgraphics.smugmug.com/MISCELLANEOUS-PHOTOS/training/ASC-SOLSTICE-SKI-2011.

Check out a video at http://macbethgraphics.smugmug.com/MISCELLANEOUS-PHOTOS/training/ASC-SOLSTICE-SKI-2011/17725868_Q5Pvgv#1356373234_ghh649p-A-LB.

and#8212; Mark Nadell and Ben Grasseschi provided the information for this article.