Lack of substantial snow not slowing down area ski events
Despite a lack of the usual heavy snow cover at area resorts and recreational areas, several outdoor events set to be held this weekend will continue as scheduled, while others remained up in the air as of press time.
Maplelag Resort near Callaway will be host to Winter Trails Day 2012 this Saturday, Jan. 7.
"I'm sure the ski conditions are going to be OK, unless it gets too warm," says event organizer Ray Vlasak. "But if we can't ski, then we're going to have a hike at 1:30 p.m. It should certainly be OK for snowshoeing."
There will also be a presentation from Willis Mattison, silent auction and dinner, all starting at 3:30 p.m. Call 218-573-3243 for more information.
Also on Saturday, Itasca State Park is planning to host a Lantern Lit Ski event from 5 to 7:30 p.m., but organizers had not yet made a decision as of press time on whether the skiing conditions were favorable.
If the event is held as scheduled, participants will be able to ski, classic or skate style, from 5 to 7:30 p.m. along a lantern-lit trail under the stars.
For added fun, there will be a campfire for roasting marshmallows and hot dogs, or participants can warm up at the Jacob Brower Visitor Center before venturing back out onto the trails.
The event is free; call 218-699-7251 for more information.
Rainbow Resort near Waubun is also planning on holding its annual Finding Rainbow Cross Country Ski Races on Saturday, starting at 10 a.m.
However, according to resort co-owners Doug and Linda Schumann, weather conditions could alter the route and type of race that will take place.
"At present, it is going to be a 20K freestyle race, and we recommend older skis, because of the fact our average snow pack base is two inches," said Doug Schumann, who handles most of the trail grooming for the resort.
"It's going to depend on what this weather does to us -- we're marginal like everybody else. We've had six inches of snow out here since the holidays, which has stayed, but when you get done packing that you're down to an average two-inch base."
"We have a group coming out here, so we are going to be having some type of event," Linda Schumann added. "We just don't know what that will be yet."
Doug Schumann said that they will be posting updates on trail conditions at the resort's website, www.rainbowresort.com, and at skinnyski.com, up until race day. Those who are planning to come out for the event can also call the resort at 888-734-1140 (toll free) or 218-734-2241 on Friday for a final update on course conditions.
"The plan is that it would be a ski race, but it's hard to say when you just don't know what the weather is going to do," Linda Schumann said.
"What the weather does to us today (Wednesday) and tomorrow is going to make a big difference to us," Doug Schumann added.
Also this weekend, Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge will be hosting its annual Winter Hike on Sunday, Jan. 8 at 2 p.m.
"We'll meet at the Visitors Center and do a regular hike, with or without snowshoes," said Kelly Blackledge. Tamarac park ranger.
As is the case with all the outdoor events listed above, participants are asked to dress in appropriately warm clothing. Call 218-847-2641 for more information.