The 21st Women’s XC Ski Day is in the books and what a day it was! It was extra special to all be back together after last year’s small state-based clinics, although perhaps a mix of both will be the way of the future. We are so grateful to Rikert Nordic Center and their excellent staff for hosting us and sharing their fun trail system with the 178 participants and 18 instructors. They did a fabulous job with the grooming and we really lucked out on the weather front with plenty of snow. We are also grateful to the women at Frost Mountain Nordic as well the NENSA Women’s Committee for their support of this event.
Here’s a little background for those of you who may not be familiar with the event. Women’s XC Ski Day was started in 2002 by Olympian Trina Hosmer of Stowe, VT. Trina was inspired by her “Sisters in Skiing” in Anchorage, Alaska, who started the Alaska Ski for Women in 1997. Like the Alaskans’ original event, Women’s XC Ski Day chooses a non-profit women’s organization to benefit, and gathers as many participants as it can for a day of cross country skiing which includes lunch and a raffle. The highlight of the day is learn-to-ski clinics with women instructors; the emphasis being on relaxed, fun learning in a supportive and encouraging environment. All ability, skill, and experience levels are welcome.
This year’s event offered 9 clinic options ranging from Introductory Classic to Skate Uphill/Downhill and everything in between including guided ski tours. We are eternally grateful to the many women instructors who share their expertise, enthusiasm, and love of skiing with the participants.
After the morning clinics, everyone enjoyed a bagged lunch and listened to Olympian Sue Wemyss talk about the new book “Trail to Gold: The Journey of 53 Women Skiers.” The presentation was followed by a book signing with the five women Olympians in attendance–Trina Hosmer, Sue Wemyss, Leslie Bancroft Krichko, Dorcas DenHartog, and Kait Miller. Proceeds from sales will be donated to organizations that support women ski coaches including the Women Ski Coaches Association.
Following the afternoon ski clinics where women fine-tuned skills they learned that morning or challenged themselves to something new, the event wrapped up with a fundraising and sponsor raffle while everyone enjoyed some tasty snacks from Cabot Cheese Coop and UnTapped Maple. This year we were honored to raise money for Stride, an organization whose mission is to remove barriers to entry and get girls in the game and on the trails by providing mentorship, gear, and learning opportunities to young female athletes in Vermont. The star of the fundraising raffle was a for a framed photo of the Bower Ski Trail from Vermont photographer Anne Majusiak. Thank you Anne for donating your beautiful work!
We are very grateful to the following NENSA sponsors for their ongoing support of this event– L.L.Bean, Swix, Salomon, Allagash Brewing, Cabot Cheese, UnTapped, Skida, Fischer, and Rossignol. A special shoutout to the folks from Fischer, Salomon, and Skida who attended the event in-person with product for participants to try and buy. And last, but not least, thank you to everyone who attended this year’s event and we hope to see you out on the trails!