Free ski lessons draw crowd
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By Paula J. McGarvey - 01/09/2010 | Posted: Sunday, January 10, 2010 12:00 am | (0) Comments
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Anya Moline helps her 3-year-old daughter, Kaelynn, down a gentle slope on a groomed trail at Homestake
; More than four dozen people took advantage of free cross-country ski lessons, trail passes, and rental equipment on Saturday through a joint venture sponsored by Homestake Lodge and the Mile High Nordic Ski Club.
"We coordinated with them and worked together," said Chris Axelson, who owns the lodge with Mandy Bowden. The free lessons will continue through Sunday, Jan. 10 at a second venue — the Mount Haggin
cross country ski area.
Dave Williams, Mile High Nordic Ski Club president said that the Nordic ski group has held annual, free cross country ski lessons for a number of years. This is the second year the club has partnered with Axelson and Bowden on Saturday to host the free weekend introduction to the sport.
"Mandy and I are avid, lifelong cross-country skiers. We love the sport, and we're really excited about introducing new skiers to the activity," Axelson said.
Williams said that the number of participants was up this year to almost 50 from a count of 35 on the first day of the event last year.
"I don't why. It may just be that there are more people becoming aware of it," Williams said. Saturday's instructors divided participants into groups according to their abilities and took them out on the ski trail to coach them on technique.
"This is an awesome way if people want to discover if it's something they want to do before investing in equipment," Amanda Connett said. Connett attended the free lessons along with her two children, Rose, 16, and James, 12.
"I just thought, ‘why not?' I think everyone should try it once," Rose said.
Anya Moline was without skis, but helping to keep her 3-year-old daughter, Kaelynn, stay upright on the trail.
"I'm getting back into it, and I wanted her to learn and get experience," Moline said. Moline described the activity as being family friendly, especially when some members of the family tire easily. "It's very easy to go. We don't have to be out here all day," she said.
Kody Larson, 12, came to the free classes with his grandmother. Larson had skied downhill, and had one big comparison to make of Nordic to Alpine skiing.
"You have to work more," he said.
James Connett agreed, but offered a different perspective.
"It's way different from downhill skiing. With downhill, you have to find a resort. With this you can go just about anywhere," he said.
Got kids and missed out on free lessons? Homestake Lodge is offering a beginner's class for children at the lodge on select Saturdays throughout the season. For more information, call 585-8052 or visit www.homestake-lodge.com.
Reach Paula J. McGarvey at email@example.com.
Learn to cross-country ski for free today Sunday's cross-country skiing lessons begin at 11 a.m. at the Mount Haggin Nordic Ski Area south of Anaconda. Participants should meet at the warming hut before 11 a.m. For more information, call 498-9615.
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Posted in Local on Sunday, January 10, 2010 12:00 am
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