With intermittent snowfall and pleasant temperatures throughout the week, the bold skier — or one who especially wants a good workout — could try backcountry Nordic touring, where deep snow will offer opportunities for all the exercise they could ever want.
For those in search of something more moderate, the more sheltered groomed trails will offer the best opportunities. Canyons such as Cache or Game Creek or wooded sections of Nordic centers will avoid drifting seen in the open fields.
Tech tip of the week
Excluding perhaps those of Scandinavians descent, none of us were born with skis on our feet. When making movements on skis, keep the movements small and concise; otherwise you will begin to step on the tips or tails of your skis — definitely not a Scandinavian look.
When not in the tracks and turning in either direction, do so by lifting the tip of the ski closest to the direction of travel and pointing it in that direction; then follow in a similar small step manner with the other ski. These movements are initiated by lifting the toes of each foot; don’t focus on the heel of the foot or tail of the ski. Imagine there is a clockface in the ground surrounding your body and you are simply taking little step turns around the clock face.
This practice will become even more useful as you progress as a Nordic skier, allowing you to step through downhill turns like Lars or Sven.
— Scott Horn
Scott Horn conducts a Masters Clinic biweekly at Teton Pines. Check out the next one, Thursday Feb. 4, 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m., which will focus on skate skiing. Read more at Blog.JHNordic.com.
Bridger-Teton National Forest
and Teton County Public Trails
Teton County trails are a bit soft in the midweek, as last week’s snow gradually settles and new snow arrives. As the week progresses and lower nighttime temperatures arrive, skiers can expect bases to firm up, but surfaces may remain relatively soft, making for challenging skating. Walkers should be especially mindful to avoid doing damage to the trails, as a crust may form that skiers can sail over while boots punch straight through.
Dogs must be leashed in the Cache Creek trailhead, the Game Creek trailhead, the first 1.3 miles of the Game Creek trail, and the entire Putt-Putt trail out of the Nelson trailhead in East Jackson. Remember to avoid parking directly in front or behind the grooming trailer.
Grooming schedule: Monday: Cache Creek to Noker Mine; Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday: High School Fields, Emily’s Pond Levee, Wilson Centennial Pathway; Wednesday, Friday: Cache Creek, Wayne May Park, Game Creek, South Park Pathway.
Grand Teton National Park
With the continuing trend of above-average snowfall, Grand Teton is in good condition but may experience gusty and drifty conditions over the weekend in exposed areas.
Cross-country skiing, skate skiing, walking and snowshoeing are permitted on the groomed trails; recreationists are reminded to use the designated tracks for the appropriate uses. Dogs are permitted only in the multiuse lane (west side) and must be on leash. Check out the webcam on JHNordic.com for trail and weather conditions.
Grooming schedule: Tuesday, Sunday: Taggart trailhead to Jenny Lake via Teton Park Road; Friday: Taggart to Signal Mountain via Teton Park Road, round trip.
Nordic Center trails
Trail Creek Nordic
The Trail Creek schedule returns to normal this week, with youth teams returning from Bozeman, Montana. All trails are in great shape but are very busy Monday and Wednesday afternoons due to youth team practice sessions. A Trail Pass costs $15, payable at the cabin or online at JHSkiClub.org/trail-creek. Groomed daily.
Turpin Meadow Ranch
Turpin Meadow continues to offer good trails and plenty of snow this week. Restaurant facilities (reservation required) are available for those wanting to make a full day of it.
To help with social distancing and to get on the trails faster, purchase trail passes and sign waivers online in advance at TurpinMeadowRanch.com. Masks are required to enter the lodge. View the Ranch Cam online to see current conditions and weather in real time. Groomed daily.
Teton Pines Nordic
Expect good, even if a bit soft, skiing this week. Some drifting may occur following snowfall. Indoor facilities remain closed due to the pandemic, but rentals and retail are still available outside. No snowshoeing or dogs allowed on the trails. Groomed daily. Open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Shooting Star Nordic Trails
Hardening trails will fight with ongoing snowfall as the week progresses, making timing especially important for skate skiers, while classic skiers can expect a good experience all around. Dog-friendly loops, rentals, and retail are available. Open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Groomed daily.
Teton Valley Idaho
All Nordic trails at Grand Targhee are open and in excellent condition. Remember to clean up after your dogs, and keep them leashed in the parking lot. Groomed Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday.
Skate and classic tracks are set, but the groomer is still catching up with snowfall. Expect gradually improving conditions as the week progresses. Do not park in the library parking lot. Groomed Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday.
Warmth on Tuesday may bring icy conditions on Wednesday; this could cause some difficulties in waxing as fresh snow arrives and some drifting occurs, leading to variable snow conditions. This should largely smooth out by the Friday grooming. Groomed Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
With significant snowfall expected following Wednesday’s grooming, classic may be the best option until the next grooming on Friday. Groomed Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
Conditions are soft at Teton Canyon, with skaters leaving tracks about an inch deep, but perfectly set classic tracks are available. Keep dogs leashed for the first 100 yards of the trails. Groomed Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.
Southern Valley Nordic
Sheltered from the wind, Southern Valley should afford excellent skiing this week and is a great choice. No dogs from Dec. 1 to April 15. Groomed Tuesday, Friday and Sunday.
Teton Springs Nordic
Teton Springs may be a bit drifty this week, due to exposed conditions. However, the Thursday grooming should give a great window of opportunity between snowfall on Wednesday and Friday. No dogs allowed. Groomed Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.
Fat Bike Reports
Snowfall and softer conditions may make this a challenging week for biking. Giving trails time to set following snow will help ensure a pleasant experience for all.
Emily’s Pond Levee: A bit soft this week, but should harden over cold nights.
Grand Targhee singletrack: Closed at the writing of this report. Trails will be closed if there has been more than 3 inches of snow in the past 24 hours. Check up-to-date conditions before riding.
Teton Springs singletrack: The groomer will try to keep this rolled and available, but inclement weather may make that difficult. The best bets for good riding will be on Thursday and Saturday.
Southern Valley singletrack: Conditions were perfect going into the new weather cycle, which should make resetting an easier task. Riders can be cautiously optimistic about conditions. No dogs.
5th Street singletrack: Should have good conditions overall, will make for a great ride near town.
See JHNordic.com for all trail maps and descriptions, dog access, driving directions, and daily trail grooming reports.
— Gannett Swan