One of the perks of living in the Park City area is the wealth of ski expertise floating around. Being the US Ski Team’s home base, many retired skiers and coaches fall in love with the Wasatch and stick around even after they’ve closed the chapter on their competitive careers.
When you walk into the White Pine Touring Nordic Center for a new stonegrind, know that Cory Wubbels, currently a tech for the US Nordic Ski Team, has developed the grind menu and does most of the grinds himself. Also on the docket is biathlete Jeremy Teela, whose impressive resume includes 3 Olympic teams (9th in Vancouver) and World Cup podiums. Assisting Cory with grind development, he’s often spotted on the local trails testing fleets of new stonegrind patterns.
If you’re a beginner Nordic skier, don’t feel intimidated by the environment. After all, cross-country ski experts love to spread the knowledge they have. White Pine instructors teach everyone from beginner classic skiers to advanced skaters to have fun on skis.
Teaching ski technique not only requires the instructor to be an expert skier, he or she must also have a planned technique progression, a good eye for body position, an understanding of biomechanics and an ability to adapt cues to different personalities.
Whoa, that was a mouthful. It sounds like a lot to keep track of and that’s why we have our ski instructors take regular clinics to learn not only the latest in Nordic technique but also how to pass it on to others. I was fortunate enough to join in on one of these clinics, taught by Miles Minson, former US Nordic Ski Team Head Coach (yup, another expert resource here in Park City).
The focus of the day was beginner skate progressions. If you’re a skate skier and have attempted to give a newbie friend tips to get them started, it can seem hit or miss as to what works. Miles breaks down skate technique in such a way that good body position and power are established from the start. While I won’t give away all his secrets, he is a big promoter of learning to skate without poles for the first few weeks and doing drills which push your body gradually into a forward body position. Want to learn more? Check out our Nordic lesson schedule and rates here.
Oh yeah, did I mention that Nordic skiers are a friendly crew? I attended Miles’ clinic in jeans and puffy coat, amid the spandex-clad, Swix jacket crowd and no one batted an eye. I don’t recommend wearing jeans to ski in, but if you do, they’ll still let you on the trails.
If you live in the Park City area or are planning a vacation, take advantage of the resources right under your nose. With ski instructors taught by the best and service techs who wax and grind for the top level of competition, what’s there not to like?
Evelyn Dong, Content Writer