Glacier Nordic Center Sees Changes For Winter

By Beacon Staff

Local skiers will find new things afoot this winter at the Glacier Nordic Center in Whitefish. The Glacier Nordic Club that maintains the golf course ski area is raising their rates and adding new programs.

The club, which launches the season with its annual potluck and auction on Dec. 6, has already been working at the golf course to repair the lighted loops. The night loops have shrunk over the recent winters, not due to loss of terrain, but failures in the ancient lighting system.

Volunteers made repairs to the system and installed the bulbs in early November to prep the course for winter. The light string is now functional again back at its near three-kilometer length. To raise funds to design a better system, the club developed their Keep It Lit program. Plans this winter include experimenting with solar-powered lights to see how effective they are for lighting the track.

Skiers will also find an increase in the fees at the golf course. Daily trail passes bump from $5 to $8 per day. Season passes are available at last year’s prices–$40 per individual, $75 per family—prior to Dec. 6. After that, the 2008-09 season pass rates take effect. Individual passes will cost $45, and family passes will go up to $90. All season passholders will be issued a button, which they are asked to wear while skiing. Passes can be purchased at the Outback Ski Shack.

In addition to the successful Chet Hope Ski League instruction program for kids and youth race programs, the club is launching a new Masters Program for adults taught PSIA certified instructor Brenda Winkler. The program will offer clinics in both skate and classic skiing and plans to travel to several Flathead Valley cross-country ski areas.

With Todd Anderson retiring after 15 years, the club also hired a new head groomer–Marc Verery. After buzzing around the course in the freezing pre-dawn on a snowmobile, the groomers will update daily grooming reports on the club’s website (http://glaciernordicclub.wordpress.com).

The club plans to begin grooming the golf course for skiing as soon as the snow is deep enough. Stillwater Mountain also plans to open for cross-country skiing as soon as snows permit, but Whitefish Mountain Resort no longer plans to groom it Nordic trails.