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Archive | Vasaloppet USA

The Trails are Beautiful

After 10 inches of snow, our all-volunteer trail team has been busy grooming the trails at the Nordic Center and they in excellent condition. The Nordic Center is open to the public every day 8 am to 10 pm.

There is no charge to visitors to come and enjoy the trails, but we do ask for a donation to help manage the cost of maintaining the facilities and trails. You will see donation boxes at the nordic center or you may make a tax-deductible donation online.

The Nordic Center building is open, and has restrooms, a kitchen, which are all available to use, and changing rooms for men and women. However, due to COVID the saunas and showers have been disconnected so we apologize for this inconvenience.

If you are coming to Mora for the first time, we encourage you to stop by one of our local restaurants or shops and enjoy the local fare and shopping as well.

Bring the family and enjoy the warm hospitality of Mora and a wonderful day on the trails.

 

IMPORTANT Updates for this Weekend.

As we get closer to the race, we have a few updates for this weekend for skiers to take note. Please stay tuned to this page for additional updates as they come up.

Parking – there is ample parking everywhere in Mora. All street parking and all parking lots are open for skier parking. Just please respect the handicapped parking signs.

Transfer races – The deadline to transfer to a different in-person race has passed. However, you can still transfer to virtual up to 30 minutes before the start of the in-person races as listed below.

Same-day registration – this year we are offering race-day registrations. Registration will close 30 minutes before the start of the race.

Cold weather protection – we have baggies with mole skin and vaseline available if needed, and they are available at the information booth, packet pick up and at the soup stops.

Bag drop – there will be an area for skiers to leave their bags at the start/finish line on a self-serve, leave-at-your-own-risk basis.

Race start times – After carefully watching the weather report, the temperatures for both Saturday and Sunday is forecasted to warm only about 2 or 3 degrees from 9am to 10am. After much discussion and considering the logistics involved in having to reschedule all of the volunteers, and contact all of the skiers of a potential schedule change, the board of directors opted to keep the start times as originally planned rather than delaying the start. The race start times are as follows.

Saturday 2/12 9:00 am – The Vasa and The Dala mass start in downtown Mora

Saturday 2/12 12:30 pm – The Bellringer and The Team mass start in downtown Mora

Sunday 2/13 9:00 am – The Classic 48K and The Classic 24K mass start in downtown Mora

Sunday 2/13 1:30 pm – The Miniloppet at the Mora Elementary School

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.

 

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