Cross Country Trail Notes by Greg Rhodes

X-Country Notes- Greg Rhodes RM XC Educator/ PSIA-AASI Team Member

The summer of 2020 has been one that many of us might wish to forget, but at the same time we have all learned to adapt, protect ourselves and our community, and start to plan for what our future will look like. One thing we are all learning this year is that nothing is for sure and that we need to be ready to adjust. Even with this new understanding we all know that winter will come and we will be skiing a few months. With this mindset, the PSIA-RM Cross-country staff have been keeping a positive attitude and have been making plans for updates to our annual events as well as the addition of a few more events.

Cross-country skiing will be a hit this winter:

The certainty of winter coming is something we all can be confident that will happen. How we get to enjoy the outdoors and create new memorable experiences is still uncertain, but the cross-country skiing community has been looking at the increased popularity of cycling, running, paddling, and other independent outdoor activities this summer as a positive sign heading into winter. Some industry experts are predicting an increase of up to 30% visitorship at Nordic centers across the USA this coming winter. This predicted increase will lead to larger demands for lessons and usage at Nordic centers around the country. As cross-country instructors we will need to be prepared for this increase and make sure we have established safety protocols for meeting the needs of as many visitors as we can this winter. Being prepared and thinking ahead will allow all of us have a safe, healthy, and successful winter on the cross-country ski trails.

Updated National Standards presented to the National Board for approval:

This summer has been very busy for the PSIA-AASI Cross-country Task Forces. With input from representatives from all divisions, an update to the Cross-country National Standards has been sent to the PSIA-AASI National Board for approval. Similar to the recently updated standards for Alpine and Snowboarding that have already been approved by the National Board, the updated XC Standards will include new Teaching and People Skills learning outcomes and assessment criteria. Once the National Board approves these updated standards we will address the updates in educational clinics, webinars, and additional resources starting this season before the updated standards go into effect during the 21/22 winter season. Attending clinics and educational events this season will provide you with the most up to date information about the updated standards.

PSIA-RM XC Rendezvous is planned: (December 7-8, 2020)

Staying positive about the coming winter is one thing we can control in this world. We all know that planning events that can possible be cancelled at any moment with sudden spikes in COVID-19 is risky, but we want to be ready to host safe, fun, and memorable events if we can get together. With this in mind, the PSIA-RM XC Education Staff moved forward with making plans for this year’s XC Rendezvous in Summit County, Colorado. We have adjusted and added new clinic topics based on the feedback from past attendees and the survey that was sent out earlier this spring. Additionally, we have started to build procedures that will allow attending this event to be as safe as possible. We will have more specifics coming soon about exact protocols, but a few items that we have already decided on are; meeting groups outside and having no inside meetings, smaller groups that will stay together for the entire day (no switching groups at lunch) to limit the number of contacts people have, and requiring masks/face coverings the entire time.

XC Spring Fling 2021 on the Grand Mesa: (April 10 & 11, 2021)

This seasons XC Spring Fling will happen on the Grand Mesa in western Colorado. We are excited about the opportunity to host an event on the Grand Mesa where the spring snow is deep, the crust skiing is endless, and evenings can be spent mountain biking the Lunch Loop in Grand Junction or 18 Rd in Fruita and wine tasting in Palisade. Half-day and full-day clinics will be offered, so make plans to enjoy spring skiing and desert adventures in April.  


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