Author Archive | Debbie Morrison

An Inside Look at the Snow Farmers. What it takes to create excellent ski trails.

You have heard us talk about the incredible work that our all-volunteer snow farmers and trail team does to create some pretty spectacular ski trails. So what exactly do they do?

Spring, summer and fall. The work begins in the spring. After the snow melts, the team will begin evaluating improvements needed, trimming the trails, smoothing out the ground, removing boulders, stumps, debris, shrubs and sometimes even trees. They widen some of tight spots, and find some fun places add some more curves and challenges for skiers to enjoy. Then in the fall, they mow all the trails and get the trails cleaned up before the cold season begins.

Making a crop of snow. Snowmaking begins as soon as the weather is cold enough to create a large mountain of snow. This entails setting up the snowmaking equipment at two different snow depots (one at the Nordic Center, one at the north end of the trail system). The first step is to fill up the holding pond with water. While the pond is filling, they get the pumps set up, and install the snow guns (30-foot tall pipes with a large shower nozzle-type fixture on the top). When the system is turned on, a fine mist is sprayed into the brisk, cold air, and a mountain of locally made snow is ready to go.

Spreading the snow on the trails. This is where the snow farmers and the trail team really do their magic. The volunteer farmers donate the use of their big tractors, manure spreaders, skid steers, payloads and other big equipment and start hauling and spreading the snow on the trails. You will see this team of hard-working volunteers working on the trails every week throughout the cold season beginning in as early as Thanksgiving, and all the way through February. With the skid steers, they scoop up the locally made snow, plop it into a huge manure spreader which are hauled by big tractors, where they spread the snow on the trail, then go back for more. One load at a time, the snow mountain is conquered and the trails are born. Then the groomers come through and groom the trails to perfection – as frequently as needed for all to enjoy throughout the entire ski season.

Snowmaking by the numbers. For the 2022 Vasaloppet ski races, this is what they did to prepare the trails:

1 – skid steer, 1 payloader, 1 backhoe/excavator, 1 bulldozer, 1 riding lawnmower

2 – pisten bully groomers

4 – four tractors and four manure spreaders

10 – 23 – Each tractor hauls anywhere from 10 to 23 cubic yards of snow with every load

1300 – Hauled 1300 loads of snow

100 yards x 10 feet – This is the equivalent of spreading enough snow on a football field 10 feet deep

500-plus – Expended over 500 volunteer hours over the course of 3 to 4 months

12 – all of this is accomplished by about 12, very dedicated, very hard-working volunteers

Since the water content of locally made snow is much higher than natural snow, it would take about three feet of natural snow to equal the amount of snow they place on the trail. The higher water content also means that the locally made snow is great for creating really fast ski conditions as well.

We are so very blessed to have this highly skilled and generous team of volunteers who step up every year and accomplish something that even Mother Nature can’t do. Without them, Vasaloppet USA would not be the same.

Thank you, gentlemen, for everything you do.

We also look forward to having you join us this year here in Mora as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of Vasaloppet USA. Then you too, will get to experience these incredible trails that this exceptional team of volunteers have prepared for you to enjoy.

Happy Trails to You.


Moraloppet and Träloppet Race Results.

Thank you to all who joined us at the Nordic Center today for the Moraloppet Ski for the Cause and our first Träloppet Wood Ski race. Here are the results for both races.

Photos of of award winners


The Top Individual donor award went to Sally Ahlgren. The Top team donor award went to Team Kroll consisting of Phoebe and Dave Kroll with children Daschle, Miles, and Beckett.






The top male 21km winners were: First place-Jakob Wartman, Second place-Zachary Nelson, third place-Jordon Woods.








The 21km female winners were: First place-Maggie Bowman, Second place-Rebecca Kolstad, Third place-Brittney Martin.








The top female 10.5km winners were: First place-Macy Kerr, Second place-Lacey Danelski, third place-Sarah Mount.








The 10.5 km male winners were: First place-Aaron Nelson, Second place-Ted Anderson, Third place-Chris Bowman.








The top Träloppet 21km male winners were: First place-David Anderson, Second place-Karl Nelson, Third place-Bryant Tolles.








The Träloppet 21km female winner was First place-Josie Nelson.

Not pictured. The Träloppet 10.5km male winners were: First place-Jack Schwinghamer, Second place-Robert Mckim, Third place-Milton Gunderson.  The Träloppet 10.5km female winners were: First place-Caitlin Anderson and Second place-Kajsa Nelson.

Ski Race Course Distances Finalized.

Our incredible team of volunteer snow farmers continue to work hard and are putting the finishing touches on the trails for the upcoming ski races. The trails are groomed, tracked, in excellent condition, with really fast snow. Now that the courses have been finalized, there are a few changes of the distances for each race. Here is what you can expect:

Saturday 2/12 Races:

The Vasa Freestyle is now 48K See course map

The Dala Freestyle is now 34K See course map

The Bellringer Freestyle and The Team Freestyle are now 15K See course map

Sunday 2/13 Races:

The (long) Classic race is now 48K See course map

The (short) Classic race is now 24K See course map

Skiers who are already registered for one race but would like to transfer to a different race (including the virtual option) may do so up until Noon Thursday 2/10/22. If you would like to transfer your registration to a different race, just contact the race office at or call 320-679-2629 and the staff will be happy to help you.

More fun news – with the freestyle ski races on Saturday and the classic-style ski races on Sunday, skiers have the option to ski in two different style ski races over the weekend. Plus, this year we will be offering race-day registrations as well.

We look forward to having you join us here in Mora as we celebrate our 50th Vasaloppet USA ski race.

What’s New in 2022

Four Fun Things to Know

The Dala Horse has been restored – The much-loved, and favorite photo op Dala Horse that has been in front of race headquarters since 1987 has been completely restored. She now has a beautiful, shiny coat and is eager to photobomb every chance she gets.

Saturday Freestyle, Sunday Classic – Saturday’s ski race line up is the freestyle ski races (The Vasa, The Dala, The Bellringer, and The Team) and Sunday’s line up is the classic-style races (The Classic 42k and The 21k Classic). This gives skiers the chance to compete in two different styles of ski races over the weekend if they desire.

New bib numbers – We have streamlined and updated our race bib numbering system to be just three colors, the same for both men and women. Red number bibs: The Vasa (Saturday) and The Classic 42k (Sunday); Green number bibs: The Dala (Saturday); Black number bibs: The Bellringer (Saturday), the Classic 21k (Sunday). The solid red bibs are for The Team race on Saturday.

Race day registration – By popular request for the past few decades, we now offer same-day race registration on both Saturday and Sunday. You can now register for your race up to 1/2 hour before the race start time.

Just a reminder that the registration fees increase on Sunday February 6th, and then again on Friday 2/12. REGISTER HERE.

And don’t forget, the fun begins this Saturday, February 5th with the The Träloppet wooden ski race (21k and 10.5k options) and the Moraloppet Ski for the Cause (21k, 10.5k races plus 5k tour). Both races are at the Vasaloppet Nordic Center and it’s a great chance to try out a portion of the ski trail and get in a little extra training before the big races on February 12-13.

We look forward to having you join us here in Mora celebrating our 50th Anniversary.

Happy Trails,

Vasaloppet USA

Customize your Ski Race Experience for 2022.

This year when you register for the race, you will find a number of ways you can customize your race experience. If you have already registered, you can easily tweak your preferences as well. Here is what we have:

IN PERSON OR VIRTUAL – you can choose to ski your race here in Mora in person on race day February 12-13, or ski it virtually – anywhere in the world anytime between now and February 28th. Just send us your race time and we will add it to the official finishers results. Please understand that only in-person skiers are eligible to earn a Dala Horse trophy. If you want to change your race from in-person to virtual, just send us an email and we will get you all set up.

MASS START OR DELAYED START – All races will be a mass start. But if you would prefer to social distance from the mass, you may start your race on your own, anytime up to 15 minutes after the mass start has left the starting area. Just keep in mind that your race time will be based on the clock time of the mass start.

MAIL YOUR BIB OR PICK UP ON RACE DAY – For your convenience, you can have your race bib mailed to you prior to the race or you can pick it up here in Mora. To take advantage of this convenient option, you will need to register by January 31st. If you have already registered and would like to have your bib mailed to you, just sign up right here to HAVE YOUR BIB MAILED. Skiers who register after 1/31 will pick up their bibs here in Mora on race day.

REGISTER HERE and customize your 2022 Vasaloppet USA Ski Race Experience.

While we are all disappointed that we had to cancel the celebration tent this year, the health and safety of all skiers, volunteers, and the community of Mora is the highest priority. So just a reminder, that you will need use your own vehicle as your warm-up area before and after your race.

We hope you will join us this year as we celebrate our 50th ski race. The friendly, and warm-hearted community of Mora looks forward to welcoming you to our town February 12-13

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