Nordic Notes

The PistenBully does its thing recently at Trail Creek.

An early spring has sprung. With daytime temperatures in the 40s but nights dropping into the teens, this week may offer the year’s first chance for morning crust cruising — a rare opportunity and available only for a short while in late winter and early spring. Take advantage of it while you can, but beware that a delightful crust cruise can morph into a discouraging slog if the snow warms, the crust fails and you find yourself trapped kilometers away from the trailhead. Plan ahead, watch the temperature, and you should have a great time.

Tech Tip of the Week

Last week we discussed how classic and skate skiing feed into one another, helping you to synergize your skills and improve overall. Here are a few more ways to improve your technique, either to gain basic skill or to take those skills to the next level.

• Take a lesson from a professional instructor who emphasizes the appropriate body position and body movement for each technique.

• Watch videos of proficient skiers with a keen eye for detail.

• Practice your skiing while keeping these instructions and details in mind. It’s easy to lose track and slip into bad habits, so try to refocus several times as you ski, to make sure these skills are driven into habit.

• Finally, have your instructor or a friend video your skiing, and review the video later. Afterward, try comparing your body position and movements with those of proficient skiers.

With just a little focus and effort, you’ll be skiing with the best in no time.

— Courtesy of Scott Horn

Scott Horn conducts a Masters Clinic biweekly, this week at Trail Creek Nordic. This week’s clinic is from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Thursday and will focus on classic skiing.

Grooming reports

Bridger-Teton National Forest and

Teton County Public Trails

As temperatures spike, busier classic tracks may vanish into the softer snow and waxing might become difficult, requiring the more complex klister waxes. This may be a good week to break out the fish scales. Skating will also be fun, if a bit soft.

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 and Wilson Centennial Pathway. Wednesday and Friday: Cache Creek, Wayne May Park, Game Creek and South Park Pathway.

Grand Teton National Park

Grand Teton park won’t dodge the heat this week. Skiing should still be fast and fun, and with softer snow to fall into, not to mention plenty of warm sun to dry you out after the fall. This is a perfect time to get out and have a great time.

Cross-country skiing, skate skiing, walking and snowshoeing are permitted on the groomed trails; use the designated tracks for the appropriate uses. Dogs are permitted only in the multiuse lane (west side) of Teton Park Road trail (Taggart to Signal) and on the Moose-Wilson Road trail section only, no side trails. Dogs must be on leash at all times to protect wildlife.

Grooming schedule: Tuesday and Sunday: Taggart trailhead to Jenny Lake via Teton Park Road; Friday: Taggart to Signal Mountain via Teton Park Road — roundtrip.

Nordic Center trails

Trail Creek Nordic

Because Trail Creek is a bit higher in elevation, expect lower temperatures and harder trails this week than many trails in the valley. Adventuresome skiers should be sure to check out this year’s Nordic X course, located next to the stadium. There won’t be a better excuse to try out Trail Creek.

Daily trail passes are available for $15 each, payable at the cabin or online at JHSkiclub.org/trail-creek. Groomed daily.

Consider supporting the Trail Creek PistenBully campaign. The current model is showing its age, and it’s time to upgrade to ensure the perfect corduroy that skiers know and love. Go to JHSkiclub.org/support/cat-campaign.

A free option, although ungroomed, is the Old Pass Road at the end of the road that accesses Trail Creek. Be sure to keep an eye out for descending skiers.

Turpin Meadow Ranch

The last week of skiing begins at Turpin. If you haven’t tried its trails this season, this is your final opportunity. The season ends Sunday. Trails should be warm and fast, a great opportunity for beginners as well as seasoned skiers to learn from their experienced instructor, Elee.

To help with social distancing and to get on the trails faster, purchase trail passes and sign waivers in advance at TurpinMeadowRanch.com, where you can also check out the Ranch Cam. Masks are required to enter the Lodge. Groomed daily.

Teton Pines Nordic

Forecast is for soft but fast trails this week. Morning skiing will likely offer the most solid trails; afternoon skiing will be fun, but corduroy tends to disappear in short order as temperatures rise, so get it while it lasts.

Indoor facilities remain closed due to the pandemic, but rentals and retail are still available outside. No snowshoeing or dogs are allowed on the trails.

Groomed daily. Open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Shooting Star

With warmer weather this week, Shooting Star will be shifting gears, applying black sand to parts of the area to accelerate the melting process as spring progresses. Grooming from Tuesday to Friday will switch to afternoons. Skiing should still be smooth and fast, even if a bit soft. Give the groomers a friendly wave if you see them.

Dog-friendly loops, rentals and retail are available. Open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Groomed daily.

Snake River Sporting Club

Snake River Sporting Club offers opportunities for skiers nearer to Hoback than to Jackson.

Groomed daily.

Teton Village Pathway

Groomed periodically and offering an excellent place for exercise near Teton Village. Fat bikers and skiers can also use it to commute. If traffic congestion is getting you down, this is a perfect alternative. Fat bike commuters should be especially careful of warm trails this week; morning conditions may be hard and fast, leaving users stuck at the wrong end when trails soften.

Teton Valley, Idaho

Grand Targhee Nordic

With higher elevations and lower temperatures, Grand Targhee will be a premiere location for all types of skiing this week. Trails should be fast but more solid than those at lower elevations, offering some of the highest-quality skiing in the area.

Remember to clean up after your dogs and keep them leashed in the parking lot. Groomed Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday.

Alta Track

May be a bit soft this week. Do not park in the library parking lot. Groomed Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday.

Driggs Track

More desirable conditions will be in the morning a short time after grooming for the most solid trails of the day. Groomed Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Sherman Park

Warm during the days, but it should set up nicely overnight. Groomed Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Teton Canyon

All tracks have been reset; should be in good springtime condition. Keep dogs leashed for the first 100 yards of the trails. Groomed Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.

Southern Valley Nordic

Southern Valley is still awash with the past month’s heavy snows. Somewhat limited trail access at the beginning of the week should transition to more full access, especially moving into the weekend. Skiing on available trails should be very nice.

No dogs allowed through April 15. Groomed Tuesday, Friday and Sunday.

Teton Springs Nordic

Fast and soft this week, with the best trails available on grooming days. No dogs allowed. Groomed Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.

Pinnacle Trail, Darby Canyon, S. Leigh Rd.

These three trails have been groomed recently, and may offer fun, less-trafficked options for classic skiers and fat bikers. Groomed as needed.

Fat bike reports

While morning commutes should be firm, higher afternoon temps can soften trails, trapping you at the wrong end. Recreational bikers can still have a great time riding in the morning.

Emily’s Pond Levee: Soft in the latter half of the day. Bikers will have the best time riding in the morning.

Teton Springs Singletrack: Hard and fast in the mornings.

Grand Targhee Singletrack: Remains closed at the writing of this report. It may reopen before the end of the season but, for the most part, bikers should focus their efforts elsewhere.

Southern Valley Singletrack: Heavy snow over the last month has limited grooming to just a few trails. Hopefully that will change as the week progresses. Do your part by riding on ungroomed sections and helping to set new trails, a perfect opportunity to leave your mark and get a great workout at the same time!

5th Street Singletrack: Riding will be soft but fun this week. Be sure to adjust tire pressure to minimize potential damage. Alternatively, avoid the issue entirely by getting out early while trails are still hard and fast.

See JHNordic.com for all trail maps and descriptions, dog access, driving directions, and daily trail grooming reports.

—Gannett Swan

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