Life as a Skier

Life As A Skier On the Ely High School Nordic Ski Team 2018-2019

Ely Memorial High School Nordic Ski Team 2018-2019

Welcome to the Ely Memorial High School Nordic Wolves Ski Team. Every student who wants to learn to cross-country ski and race is welcome on this team. It is our goal as coaches to give everyone who desires to participate the opportunity to do so. Whether you have been skiing since you could walk or have never skied before, we are happy you are here and look forward to a fun season. Our goals for all of our skiers are:

  1. You will develop a love for skiing so it will become a lifelong sport for you. 2. You will develop the strength and conditioning to enable you to improve as a ski racer. 3. You will learn to become a technically proficient skier, both classic and skate. 4. You will learn how to set personal goals. 5. You will learn to wax your skis for all conditions. 6. You will understand the basics of training and training plans.

Your coaches are:

Paula Anderson – Head Varsity Coach 218-365-2785 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Tyler Fish – Assistant Varsity Coach 218-235-8696 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Jerritt Johnston – Head Junior High coach 612-251-0937 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Liz Anderson – Assistant Junior High coach This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Information and Communicationfor athletes and parents

E-mail Make sure we have your correct e-mail address and check your e-mail daily so you know what is happening. It is helpful to have parents’ e-mails on this list as well. Make sure you are added to the Ely Nordic Wolves Google Group.

Team website The team website is your source for all information. I will send out a link that you should bookmark. It is not a public site.

White board at Hidden Valley Daily information and weekly training schedules are posted on the white board at Hidden Valley.

Other important websites Check out the Ely Nordic website at Also check out for information on Nordic skiing in the Midwest including high school results, race calendars, trail reports, equipment and more. Weekly race results for Section 7 can be found at:

Parent’s responsibilities

Nordic skiing is extremely demanding. It requires both aerobic endurance and physical strength and is technically very complex, requiring the skier to be continually refining and improving technique. In addition, a skier must be familiar with equipment, know how to dress for the conditions, and know how to wax for the never ending realm of possible snow conditions. This is a lot to learn for the first year skier and his/her parents. It is our experience that skiers with parents who are highly involved, especially the first year, have a better season in every way.

Wax and equipment

Wax and equipment can be complicated, but we try our best to keep it as simple as possible. First year skiers and younger skiers need lots of help and so it is valuable for parents to learn along with them. To help you get started we will have waxing demonstrations and will match new skiers with experienced skiers who will act as waxing mentors. Team waxing benches are available to use for the season at no charge; please talk to us if you need help buying wax or other waxing equipment.


Skiers will need transportation to and from practice each day. Parents of younger skiers are encouraged to carpool.

Home Meets

We usually have two home meets per year at Hidden Valley. Parents run concessions, help with timing and starting skiers, and are needed on various parts of the race course for course control. Sue Pasmick is the meet manager for our home meets; you can contact her to volunteer


between parents, skiers and coaches is very important. Let us know early if there is a problem of any kind. Make sure we have your e-mail address and current information. New skier parents need to talk to “old” skier parents as they have lots of valuable experience!


The Nordic Wolves receives partial funding from ISD#696. 60% of our total budget must be raised through fundraising. Through our three annual fundraisers, activity fees, and the generous support of our community we are able to raise the additional $16,000 needed to meet our needs.

Our annual fundraisers are:

  1. The Taco Dinner – Sue Pasmick (parent organizer) 2. The Blueberry Arts Festival Parking Lot – Joanne Hakala 3. The Peach Sale – Molly Olson, Kris Bercher, Heather Durkin, Barb Thompson 4. Concessions for home meets – (helping with concessions does not count as a fundraiser).
  2. Treasurer – Mary Schwinghamer 6. Race director – Sue Pasmick

Each skier has the following fundraising responsibilities:

1 Sell or purchase 12 tickets to the Taco Dinner fundraiser (We love it if you sell

more!) 2 Volunteer with a parent for AT LEAST ONE of our 3 major fundraisers listed

above. Please plan to work one volunteer shift per skier if your family has more than one skier.

Ski Practices

Varsity/JV skiers practice Monday – Friday, 3:15 – 5:30

Junior High skiers practice Monday – Thursday, 3:15 – 5:00

6th grade skiers practice on Mon. and Wed.

Please note that Varsity/JV/Junior High designations are not necessarily age-determined categories, rather they are competition level groupings. Our goal for our skiers is to place them in the competition grouping where we feel they will have the most success at a given time. Experience has taught us that success breeds confidence which then translates into more success down the road. A note to parents: please be patient with your skier’s progress and trust us in our placement decisions. We have lots of experience with the process.

Dryland (before snow) practices – Starting locations will vary due to deer hunting and weather conditions during this time. Practice locations will be either the Hidden Valley, golf course, Semer’s Park or Trezona Trail. Parents and skiers need to stay posted to the website and e-mail in order to stay up-to-date on dryland practice locations. Parents and skiers need to arrange transportation to and from these sites each day. On-Snow practices – Early season locations will vary until we have enough snow to ski at Hidden Valley. We usually start on the Ely Golf Course until there is enough snow at Hidden Valley after which we practice there every day.

Section Teams The Section Teams consist of 7 skiers plus 2 alternates. Our goal is to put together the most competitive team. If we have seven skiers capable of scoring for us then our job is simple and those seven are on the team. Most often we have 4 or 5 potential scorers, which can then make the selection of the 6th and 7th skier somewhat more subjective. The following information is a general outline of the process we use.

Section Team Selection Process

  1. Finish orders on the team from January and February* races are added together for a final ranking.

Mesabi East Invitational is not included unless the skiers being compared skied in the same race (same technique). Sprints are not included. 2. Skier rankings are arranged from low to high. 3. The following factors are then considered. They are listed in order of importance. Not all of these

factors apply or are necessarily taken into consideration every year because every year is different. Final decisions are based on what combination of skiers coaches feel will make up the best Section teams.

a. Pursuit race results – these are heavily weighted b. Likely Section outcomes or trends, i.e. which skier is on an upward trajectory at this time in the season c. Consistency -*this is where we may look back at December races if necessary d. Unusual races -unusual conditions that might affect outcomes, i.e. bad falls, illness, wax, etc. e. Work ethic during practice f. Attitude g. Age h. Dedication to the team

Limited Entry Meets

There are a few meets during the season where we can only bring a certain number of skiers to the meet. The Mesabi East Invitational is a limited entry meet. The coaches will select the skiers they feel will make up the best team. The Charlie Banks’ Relays is a MN High School Nordic Ski Coaches’ sponsored event held the day before the State Meet. It is designed to be a fun event for skiers who didn’t advance to the State Meet. Each team brings 4 skiers of each gender. The next 4 skiers after the State Meet qualifiers from the finish order at the Section meet will make up the Charlie Banks’ relay team. Lettering In order to earn a Varsity letter in skiing a skier must:

  1. Compete regularly at the Varsity level 2. Show improvements in both results and technique 3. Show dedication to the team and loyalty to one’s teammates 4. Show respect for competitors, coaches and officials 5. Practice hard and be “coachable” 6. Have no MSHSL violations 7. Have no unexcused absences

Team Captains

Our captains play an important role on our team. Their roles are to encourage, support and act as a go-between for coaches, skiers, parents, etc. If you have questions, comments or suggestions please see them, they are here for you! 2018-2019 Girls’ captain – Lucy Stouffer 2018-2019 Boys’ captains – 2018-19 Team managers –Maarja Faltesek, Grace Erickson

Clothing for Nordic Skiing

Clothing should provide protection from the wind, insulation from cold weather, and should wick moisture away from the skin. Dressing in layers is best, allowing the addition or removal of clothing in order to maintain a comfortable temperature. Here are the suggested layers: Long underwear – this layer sits next to the skin and wicks sweat away through layers of clothing so it can evaporate. It is essential that this layer be polypropylene, NOT cotton or a cotton blend. Cotton will stay wet and the skier will get very cold. Many of the local outdoor stores offer discounts to Nordic Wolves, check them out! Middle layer – this is the insulating layer. This should be either polarfleece or wool (not cotton) and can be made up of multiple pieces of clothing when the temperature drops (for e.g. a light polarfleece top with a fleece vest over it). Outer layer – this layer protects the skier from the wind. This piece needs to be a breathable windbreaker roomy enough to go over all the other layers. Each skier will be assigned a team jacket which serves as this layer. Skiers will also need a very warm parka, warm-up pants with ankle zippers and a dry hat and mittens for before and after practice and at races. Legs and feet – the legs need long underwear with a pair of wind pants with ankle zippers over them. Feet need two layers – a thin, polypro liner sock with a wool sock over the liner. Boys need a pair of wind briefs. Head and hands – skiers MUST wear a hat every single day. Lightweight ski hats work best, as they wick moisture away and aren’t too warm. If skiers are to stay healthy all season long they must take care of themselves and the first step in taking care of oneself is wearing a hat! A neck gaiter is essential as well as a very thin balaclava for cold days. Each skier needs at least one pair of Nordic ski gloves, ideally two. These must be specifically for Nordic skiing, check the local shops. Buy them to fit snugly, if they are too roomy they will interfere with technique. There are various styles out there – the lobster gloves work very well for skiing when it gets really cold and we recommend lobster gloves for all Junior High skiers.

Equipment for the High School Racer

The team has equipment to loan to newer skiers. Please talk to the coaches before purchasing any equipment.

Skis – DO NOT BUY WAXLESS SKIS. The skier will need to learn both classic and skating techniques and so will need two pairs of skis. High school skiers do not need really expensive equipment; remember it is the operator, not the equipment that wins the race! It is most important that the equipment is affordable and that it fits well. Skis should be personalized to a skier’s weight and skiing ability. Height isn’t that important. Boots – The skier will need comfortable, well fitting boots. First year skiers usually start out with a combi boot which will work for both classic and skating. Once feet stop growing skiers usually purchase two pairs of boots, a classic pair and a skating pair. Poles – The team has a limited number of poles to lend. A skier needs two pairs, one for classic and one for skating. Buy an entry level racing pole, not a touring pole. Classic pole length should be such that the top of the pole grip hits the skier between the top of the shoulder and the armpit. Skate poles should hit the skier between the upper lip and the chin. Remember to try them with skis and boots on or else they will be too short! We also recommend replacing existing glove type straps with biathlon straps (ask for them when buying, they will sometimes just swap them out). Extras - Every skier must have a ski bag; the team has plenty to lend if needed. Skiers need a hip belt water bottle carrier designed for skiing or running. They also must have a watch! Buy an inexpensive, digital watch with a stopwatch feature. Every skier must wear a watch every day!!!!! Every skier is responsible for equipment checked out to him or her and will be billed accordingly if not returned at season’s end. LABEL ALL EQUIPMENT, ESPECIALLY GLOVES!!!!!

Waxing Information

The following is a list of equipment necessary for waxing Nordic skis. Waxing knowledge requires time, effort and lots of experience. It isn’t something gained overnight or easily taught as the variables for which we wax change constantly. Our goals are to keep it as simple as possible and to get the skiers independently waxing their own skis as soon as possible. Initially, this will take some effort on the parent’s part.


Waxing equipment – We have team wax kits for new skiers. You can also buy some wax and equipment in town at Pengals and Piragis.

Must haves:

Waxing bench – team will provide this item 1 synthetic (not cork!) cork 1 Toko brand copper brush* - first brush for almost all waxes 1 white nylon brush* - second brush *(Toko makes a nice combi copper/nylon brush) 1 plastic plexi-scraper (buy the thicker one) 1 groove scraper Waxing iron – these sell for around $55 but you can use an old household iron if you are very careful. If you can afford it I recommend a real ski iron. Citrus wax remover – ski shops sell this but you can also use “Citra-solve” or “Goo-gone” which is available at hardware and grocery stores. Small fanny pack for holding wax (see hip-belt water carrier above). Nice to have:

1 polishing brush (either Toko or Swix) – finishing brush 1 horsehair brush (either Toko or Swix) – great brush for cold waxes Scraper sharpener (buy the Swix one) Extra scrapers Extra corks

Wax – There are two types of wax, glide wax and kick wax. There are many different brands of both. Glide wax is used on the entire skate ski and on the tips and tails of classic skis. Kick wax is used under the foot of the classic ski. We use Swix wax for our glide wax and Toko wax for our training kick wax. Glide and kick wax are available through a special team order through Pengals. Skiers will need the following waxes:

Beginning skiers’ wax needs/the minimum you need to get by (we have wax kits to lend):

Kick wax – 1 Toko Base wax Green, 1 Toko Grip wax Blue, 1 Toko Grip wax Red, 1 Toko Grip wax Yellow Glide wax –3 packages (small size)Swix CH4, Swix CH6, Swix CH8

Advanced skiers (other waxes you will need eventually) Glide wax – Swix CH7, LF3, LF4, LF6, LF7, LF8, Toko Black NF (don’t buy LF) Talk to your coaches if you have questions!

“Pain is temporary. Quitting lasts forever.”

Glide Waxing – post this sheet above your wax bench See the Race Prep sheet and do that first if you have new skis or freshly stone ground skis

  1. Racing skis have bases that are porous and act like a sponge. When you put glide wax on a ski you are actually putting the wax into, not onto the ski base. Waxing skis is a messy business. Find a spot to set up your wax bench near an outlet where you can leave it set up and can make a bit of a mess. The room temperature must be 65 degrees or above. Set your iron to the temperature recommended for the wax you are using. If your iron smokes, it is too hot. 2. Apply the wax to the ski by warming the block of wax on the iron and then crayoning it on the ski. The harder waxes (CH4 and Start Green) may require you to both drip and then crayon over the drips right away. Iron the wax starting at the tip (always work tip to tail) and move the iron just fast enough to melt the wax while creating a pool of melted wax behind the iron of about 2-3 inches. With softer waxes you will move quickly, with harder waxes you will need to go more slowly. BE CAREFUL, especially at the tips and tails! It is very easy to melt the base of the ski if the iron is too hot or stops moving. Make 2-3 passes with the iron, but err on the side of less ironing, not more. 3. Let the skis cool inside with their bottoms up for 10-15 minutes. This is when the pores in the ski base contract to absorb the wax. When using CH4 or Start Green you will need to re-iron very briefly before scraping to soften the wax in order to scrape it. All other waxes scrape when they are cool. Scrape carefully with a sharp scraper. You can damage a base by over scraping, so make sure your scraper is sharp so you can make as few passes as possible. Scraper sharpeners are available at Pengals. Clean the groove with your groove scraper before and periodically during scraping and brushing (I use my fingernail to make sure I’ve removed all the wax from the groove). 4. After scraping, use the copper brush to brush out the ski (tip to tail always) to remove most of the wax. Finish removing wax by brushing with the nylon all-purpose brush and the horsehair (cold waxes) and polishing brush if you have them. Feel the base and look closely in order to know when you have all of the wax out of it – you should be able to see the structure (no flat spots – they are wax) and shouldn’t have any more wax coming off with the brush. 5. Polish with the polishing brush or with some final touch fibertex. Polish until it looks shiny and greasy. A frequently waxed ski is a faster ski. Skis should be waxed every 15-20 kilometers so bring those skis home and wax them!

"All the art of living lies in a fine mingling of letting go and holding on.”

Kick waxing for Classical skis

  1. Remove all kick wax from kick pocket by scraping and using wax remover; let dry.
  2. Cover entire wax pocket with wide painter’s masking tape
  3. Apply glide wax to tips and tails of ski. Scrape and brush as directed above.
  4. Remove the masking tape. Lightly roughen the kick pocket with 100 grit sandpaper; rub very lightly 3-

5 times in a perpendicular motion to the ski.

  1. Crayon on the Toko base green wax (it is a binder wax) very thin! Never go behind the heel. Iron in the

binder and smooth out with a cork as you go; you want the binder as thin as a piece of scotch tape. Remember- thin to win!

  1. Remove any binder that has oozed over the edge of the ski, and then place the ski outside to cool.

Prepare the second ski.

  1. Bring the cooled ski inside and cork the binder smooth, including the groove. Crayon on 2-3 thin layers

of the kick wax of the day. Remember: use multiple thin coats of kick wax rather than one thick layer.

Race Prep for New Skis or for Stone ground Skis

  1. If you have newly stone ground skis get them hot boxed. It is well worth the money as it will save you lots of time and wax. If you have brand new skis I recommend having them stone ground and hot boxed.
  2. Hot boxed skis just need 1-2 coats of base prep wax (talk to Paul first), then 1 layer CH6 followed by 1 layer CH4 to harden the base off. Then put on your wax of the day.
  3. For new skis, or newly stone ground skis not hot boxed: start with a very warm wax like CH10 or Swix base prep wax. Soft wax will penetrate deeper than a harder wax. Apply 3 layers of the soft wax, scraping and brushing between each layer. The scraping and brushing cleans and “opens” the base, allowing more wax to enter.
  4. Use a sharp scraper and allow the wax to cool completely before scraping and brushing.
  5. Apply 2 layers of a harder wax like CH6, scrape and brush and then 2 layers of CH4, scrape and brush. If you have some of the Toko Moly then substitute the Moly for one of the CH4 layers. Scrape and brush. Now you are ready for your wax of the day.

“The artist is nothing without the gift, but the gift is nothing without the work.”


Ely Nordic Wolves Ski Team 2018-2019 Race Schedule Section 7

Date Day Race Location Start time Technique

11/12/18 Monday Ski practice begins Hidden Valley 3:15 pm Bring classic poles

12/8/18 Saturday Early season race TBD 11:00 am TBD

12/13/18 Thursday Early season race TBD 11:00 am TBD

12/19/18 Wednesday Early season race TBD 11:00 am TBD

1/2/19 Wednesday Proctor Invite Spirit Mtn. 11:00 am Skate

**1/5/19 Saturday Mesabi East Invite Giant’s Ridge 10:00 am Classic/skate

1/8/19 Tuesday Cloquet Invite Pine Valley 2:00 pm Classic

1/12/19 Saturday Cook Invite Pincushion 11:00 am TBD

1/15/19 Tuesday Two Harbors Invite Korkki Nordic 11:00 am Classic

1/19/19 Saturday Marshall Sprints Marshall 11:00 am Skate

1/25/19 Friday Duluth East Invite Snowflake 11:00 am Pursuit

1/31/19 Thursday Ely Pursuit Invite Hidden Valley11:00 am Pursuit

**2/7/2019 Thursday Section 7 Meet Giant’s Ridge 10:00 am Pursuit

2/9/19 Saturday J.H. & J.V. Champs Spirit Mtn. 11:00 am Classic

**2/13/19 Wednesday Charlie Bank’s Relay Giant’s Ridge 1:00 pm Cl/Sk

**2/14/19 Thursday MSHSL State Meet Giant’s Ridge 10:00 am Pursuit

**limited entry meets

  • • 6th graders race home meets and Junior High championship only.




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