Three times the fun: Classic ski, skate or snowshoe the Tahoe Rim Tour |

Three times the fun: Classic ski, skate or snowshoe the Tahoe Rim Tour

Courtesy Gene MurrietaDespite poor weather, 76 skiers started the Tahoe Rim Tour classic race at North Tahoe High School last year. This year's race, set for Jan. 25, will take cross country-skiers and snowshoers from Tahoe City to Northstar-at-Tahoe.

It’s about that time to prepare for the second annual Tahoe Rim Tour cross country ski and snowshoe race, scheduled for Sunday, Jan. 25. The event takes racers from Tahoe City to Northstar-at-Tahoe on a groomed trail with panoramic views of the lake.

The Sierra Sun’s Emma Garrard caught up with the race director Jeff Schloss for a question-and-answer session about this year’s race.

SS: What are conditions looking like for this year’s race?

Schloss: People are worried about the snow, but the snow is in excellent condition on the course; we are excited.

SS: Describe the course.

Schloss: The 30K ski race starts with a lot of climbing, about 12K, like in the Great Ski Race, but it’s not too steep of a grade. Then you hit the high point at Starratt Pass, where there’s an aid station. Then it’s downhill to Northstar-at-Tahoe, where there’s 5K of rolling terrain and finishes at the Northstar-at-Tahoe Cross Country, Telemark and Nordic Center Lodge. The 21K snowshoe race has the same climb and descent but with a shorter route at the beginning and end.

SS: What do you like about the course?

Schloss: It’s really neat to be able to go through wilderness on a groomed trail. I also like the point-to-point format because you are really going somewhere.

SS: Obviously the logistics are harder for a point-to-point race. What are you doing to make it easier for the racers?

Schloss: The race fee includes a bus ride back to Tahoe City and a shuttle to bring clothes to the finish.

SS: Do you think more people will classic, skate or snowshoe?

Schloss: Last year there was a bigger turnout for classic, but we want to encourage people to do whatever technique they like. Classic was popular because the race is the only long-distance classic race in the area.

SS: Last year you did some classic skiing clinics to prepare skiers for the race. Are you doing anything similar this year?

Schloss: We are hosting a classic skiing clinic this Saturday, but it’s already sold out.

SS: If people don’t have classic skis can they rent them for the race?

Schloss: Yes, they can rent them from Tahoe Cross Country but would have to do it the day before the event.

SS: Any advice for racers?

Schloss: They need to make sure they have enough kick (wax). Using a binder (kick wax applied with an iron) helps the wax stay on the skis for 30K. We’re going to have wax tables set up at the start, and we will be able to give waxing tips. Also, don’t start too hard. Pace yourself; 30K is a long way!

SS: The course has a similar climb to the Great Ski Race. Is this a good race for skate skiers to “test the waters” for the race in March?

Schloss: Absolutely. It’s great training for the Great Ski Race, as you ski on (part of) the course.

SS: How about those skiers who don’t race but may want to experience the not-usually-groomed trail?

Schloss: It’s a hard course, but if they’re fit, I greatly encourage tourers. It’s not really groomed any other time.

SS: Who benefits from the race?

Schloss: The event is a fundraiser for Far West Junior Nordic programs.

SS: How many people do you expect to show up?

Schloss: I’m guessing between 150 and 200.

SS: Putting on a new race is always challenging. Where do you see this race in the future?

Schloss: It’s a really unique race, and I think it will grow into a really big event.

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