…and Then it Snowed

…and Then it Snowed

IMG_0024Today we saw spring skiing at its best!  Temperatures in the low 50s, bright sun, and plenty of snow.  Five of our Bill Koch Youth Ski League members turned out for a fun ski.  You can see a couple of them in tee shirts.  We skied a loop that must have been a kilometer then settled in for a favorite game of red rover.

It became obvious to me that over the season these youngsters have grown more confident on skis and have developed some lasting friendships and an appreciation of the great outdoors even in winter.  Even though we’ve been on snow only a handful of times the improvements are most noticeable.

As for coaching I have to thank the supportive parents and thank Mary Duclos for her help, the extra pair of eyes, and her contributions this season.  This concludes my thirtieth year volunteering as the club’s youth coach.  Sure I come home sore and tired, but these youth keep me young and share their enthusiasm.  This is the most rewarding part of Nordic Ski Sport.

What’s best of all?  These guys are already talking about next season.  And Matt, second from left, volunteered to be in charge of snow.  How about before the next spring skiing event the club invests in a bunch of sunglasses?


Where’s The Snow


This is less than half of our crew shows up when there’s no snow.

Like the rest of us the Bill Koch Youth are baffled by the warm weather.  Here you see our crew ready for snow and we are left with games like Red Rover and Dodge Ball tag.  These youth plant ice cubes, wear their P Js inside out, and sleep with a spoon (scoop side down) under the pillow?

We still have a couple of weeks left to winter and who knows what April will bring.  Don’t put your skis away, yet.  Put a bit of F4 or similar glide wax on them so they will be ready to use on heavy wet snow we usually get these last few days of winter!

Also check to make sure you have the end of season dinner on your calendar for Friday, March 24, 6 PM at the Shenendehowa Methodist Church hall.

More Snow Coming

We all know that we have at least three more weeks of winter, right?


Grace, James and Nolan are in the excavation mode.

With the recent warm weather our Bill Koch Youth are concerned about the ground thawing too fast.  So along with coaches and parents they were out today in force to cool the earth so the late season snows will hang around longer. Two teams fanned out on the Shenendehowa Campus today armed with trowels and ice cubes to do their part to prepare the surface for the coming March snows.


Sabrina and Mohi picked out the top of a favorite hill and set to work!

The key is to pick out a high point, get the ice to the high point, and bury it before it has a chance to melt.  With temperatures near 60 degrees we had to move swiftly, move from high point to high point and spread out the areas planted.



Mohi shows how to do it efficiently: scoop, plunk, stomp, and move on.

During the process our youth came up with other suggestions like wear your pajamas inside out, sleep with a spoon under your pillow. Consensus was that the spoon needs to face down under the pillow.

Coach assures us that March will come in tomorrow “…like a lamb.”  As the old timers all say with certainty and experience, “If March comes in like a lamb, it will go out like a lion!”

Okay March show us your stuff: end this season with a good one!
– Photos by Mary Duclos and Jen Gillooley

Family Moonlight Ski

Family Moonlight Ski


Sharing marshmallows and hot cider and cocoa after skiing the canal towpaths – photo by Charlie Huff

Moonlight skis are hard to schedule because of changeable weather and even more changeable snow conditions.  The trick is to have them several days before the full moon so that the moon is overhead during the evening.

February 9 we had perfect conditions. Not only did we have an excellent moonlit trails and five inches of new snow, we had eight skiers turn out to kick off the Clifton Park Winterfest.  We skied along the original 1825 Erie Canal,  across the towpath for the 1842 enlarged Erie Canal and back along the now abandoned first town road and the historic reconstructed cast iron Truss Bridge designed by Union College graduate Squire Whipple.  The members of the bridge were cast in 1862.


Backlit by the moon one of the club’s Bill Koch Youth is king on the mountain – photo by Uwe Weidmann

To share all that history along with a perfect and memorable moonlit evening reminds us how fortunate we are to have these recreational opportunities right here in our back yard.



Ready for the start of the youth and citizen’s race.  No wax concerns here! – photo by Tracy Moore

Many of our competitors were having difficulties with wax with the new snow and temperatures right around freezing.  The new snow along with frequent snow squalls within the rolling foothills of the Adirondacks made the day a memorable experience!

Results are posted here.

Thank you to all the club volunteers for making the event special!  Tim Huneck’s open minded approach and quick effective decisions kept the event going with out a hitch.  Curt Schreiner our course setter and his grooming sidekick Darryl Rikert had trail conditions perfect.  Volunteers Mona Caron, Emma Huneck, and Jake Madelone assured that registration went smoothly.  Darryl Caron’s early executive decisions kept the check in and registration process running smoothly.

Charlie Huff had the computer up and running early getting day of race registrations entered.  Tim Huneck and his crew of Uwe Weidmann and John Salls had the start line running smoothly.  There are some humorous stories about two racers who missed their start.  Perhaps these stories would be good fodder for a future article.

Tracy Moore helped guide athletes as they lapped through or finished.  The important job of recording bib order and finish times fell to a team of Mona and Darryl Caron and a duplicate, back up team of Emma Putnam and Bernadette O’Brien.  Joanne Burns made sure someone didn’t inadvertently drive home with our race bib still their torso. Tracy Moore did a great job providing food and drinks for finishers.

Tim Huneck started of the last leg of the event with a mass of Bill Koch Youth and Citizen racers each doing a 3.3 k loop.  Once everyone was finished, the awards ceremony in one way or other recognized each competitor’s successes.  Tim Huneck, Tracy Moore and Eric Hamilton did the honors.  Now all we need is some photos to accompany this article.

Shenendehowa Classic

Shenendehowa Classic

img_0112Skiing Sunday morning was good at Saratoga Biathlon.  They have good coverage on over 3.5 k of groomed trails.  Further back in the trail system there seems to be even more.  All that will freeze into an excellent base.  What they need is several inches of new snow this week to have something to set tracks.

It is snowing now.  Register for Saturday’s race. You don’t have to pay until you arrive on site Saturday morning.  The first racer will go off at 11 AM.  Don’t miss it!


Great Start

The flurries were attacking the headlights as we drove to the season kick off dinner and the high school team was pumped over the successful day of skiing on man-made snow at North Creek Ski Bowl.  With great food, raffles, games, prizes, topped with deserts everyone was a winner.  [ please someone send me a picture or two!]

Next day the Shenendehowa crews were out trimming back brush and making the trails at Garnsey Park ready for snow.

This all made a fun filled active weekend for our Community.  Keep up the impressive teamwork!

As promised here are the winners of our fund raiser 24 Days of Christmas raffle:

  • Dec 1 – $25 Olive Garden gift card – Nolan Gillooley was the winner (ticket sold by Jen Nolan);
  • Dec 2 – $25 Home Depot gift card – Julianna Mather (ticket sold by Meghana);
  • Dec 3 – $20 99 Restaurant gift card – Nancy Butler (ticket sold by Julianne Burns);
  • Dec 4 – $25 Starbucks gift card – Kim Nemeth (ticket sold by Daniel DeSalvatore);
  • Dec 5 – $25 Stewart’s Shops gift card – Julianne Burns (ticket sold by Julianne Burns);
  • Dec 6 – $30 Clifton Park Pizza gift card – Lauren Mundinger won (ticket sold by Lauren Mundinger);
  • Dec 7 – $25 Chili’s gift card – Gillian Austin (ticket sold by MacKenzie Ryan)
  • Dec 8 – $25 Panera gift card – Uwe Wiedmann (ticket sold by Lionel Wiedmann);
  • Dec 9 – Ausable Chasm Explorer Pass for six – Dawn McCurdy (ticket sold by Brendan Pingelski)
  • Dec. 10 – $20 Five Guys Burgers gift card – Anne Benson (ticket sold by David Benson)
  • Dec. 11 – $25 Yankee Trails gift card – Julianne Burns (ticket sold by Julianne Burns);
  • Dec  12 – Two passes for 2 games each at Zero Gravity Laser Tag – Don Herrick (sold by Sidney Herrick);
  • Dec 13 – Two admissions to the National Baseball Hall of Fame – Anne Cargile wins (ticket sold by Xin Wang);
  • Dec 14 – $25 gift certificate to Parkwood Wines and Spirits – Laura Gable won (ticket sold by Brendan Pingelski);
  • Dec 15 – $25 Gift certificate to Cheesecake Factory – winner is Jennifer Hoech (ticket sold by Chloe Hoesch);
  • Dec 16  – Tubby Tubes family of four all day downhill Tubing Pass – Deborah VanTine  (Justin Caron);
  • Dec 17 – Two Regal Cinema tickets  – winner Joe Bonitatibus (Joseph Archambeault);
  • Dec 18 – Four admissions to Boldt Castle – Damien Cetnar (ticket sold at ADK Expo);
  • Dec 19 – $30 Texas Roadhouse Gift Certificate – winner Athorra Ganck (Sohyun Park);
  • Dec 20 – Admission for 4 to a Ballet at SPAC – Dawn McCurdy (Brendan Pingelski);
  • Dec 21 – $25 Wheatfields Gift Card – Dan DeGennaro (Emily DeGennaro sold ticket);
  • Dec 22 – $25 Carrabba’s Gift Card – Chris Lee won (ticket sold by Dorothy Lee);
  • Dec 23 – $50 Mafield Jewelers Gift Card – Jason Schoen wins (ticket seller – Eve Schoen);
  • Dec 24 – $50 Paste Pane Gift Card and Dave Matthews Dreaming Tree Wine Gift Basket – winner is Susanne Tomb (ticket sold at Adk Sports & Fitness Expo).

…and best wishes for peace, happiness, and a wonderful holiday season to all.