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Cross Country Skiing

Thanks for a Great Season!

Although our scheduled sessions are done for the year, we encourage you to continue skiing every week (or more) if possible. For those who rented skis through the Eastview Athletic Association, we'll be in touch regarding equipment return dates. Thanks again and we hope to see you next year!

February 24th at Lebanon Hills - Last session of the season

Our final session of the year is tomorrow, Sunday February 24, at Lebanon Hills. As usual, arrive at 12:30 so your skier is ready to head out on the trails when the groups depart at 12:45.

Rumor has it that there may be an informal marshmallow roast around the campfire when the skiers finish, so you may wish to look for that to see if it is happening.

For those of you who rented skis for the season, please keep the equipment and use it frequently over the coming weeks! The more your skier spends time on skis, the more comfortable your skier will become, and the better skier they will become. We’ll be in touch with days/times for an equipment return.

One fun event you may want to consider next weekend is the MyXC Festival and Championship at Wirth Park in Minneapolis on Saturday, March 2 and Sunday, March 3. Skiers from the different MYSL clubs around the state will be there. Although our Lebanon Hills group will not have a formal presence at the event, the festival atmosphere should make it a fun time if you wish to attend and have your skier participate in the fishscale frenzy! Note that the registration deadline is Tuesday.

Here is what the Minnesota Youth Ski League has to say about it:

The Festival on Saturday, March 2 from 10:30-1:00 is perfect for all SkiSparks skiers.  At the festival your skier can try out many activities such as biathlon, giant skis, skijoring (with a real dog!) and top it off with the FishScale frenzy, a non-competitive race for all skiers on fishscale skis at 11:15.  Registration for the festival is $20 when you pre-register online or $30 in person on the day of the festival. On-line registration closes on Tuesday, February 26.  Click here to register.

Competitive races for kids on waxable classic and skate skis are throughout the day on Saturday and Sunday and require a separate registration.  You must register for the competitive races ahead of time, there is no day-of registration. Registration closes on Tuesday, February 26 for all competitive races.  Click here to register.

February 17th Session at Lebanon Hills

It looks kike it will be a great day for skiing at Lebanon Hills. Arrive by 12:30 (or earlier....parking will be tight) so your skier is ready to ski by 12:45.

February 10th is a go!

We've got enough volunteers to have a great session today at Lebanon Hills. See previous post for details.

February 10 Skiing Information

We are ready to ski tomorrow at Lebanon Hills except for one problem. As of noon Saturday we do not have enough volunteers to successfully run the session.

The link to our volunteer sign-up is here. If you have already volunteered in some way….thank you….you have done your part! If not, please remember that volunteering is what makes this program possible!

With that said, we’ll assume that additional volunteers will step-up and we can arrive at 12:30, get your skier’s bib on, and have skiers ready to ski when our skiers and coaches depart at 12:45. Some additional notes to be aware of for this week:

  1. We meet by the Schulze Lake Visitor Center at Lebanon Hills:
  2. TRAIL PASSES: Youth skiers do not need a trail pass, but adult skiers need to buy a pass, unless you are coaching and wearing an MYSL bib ….then you ski free (another reason to volunteer)

Thanks, and we hope to see you Sunday.

P.S. Parking will be scarce. Arrive early and carpool if you can!

February 10th Details

We will be back at Lebanon Hills again this week. If you haven't been there before, check the previous posts to see where to meet. Arrive at 12:30, ready to start skiing at 12:45. Parking will be tight, so carpool if you can.

Also, if you haven't volunteered yet, it is time to do so. Click here to sign-up.

February 3rd Update

Although trail conditions have deteriorated significantly, we can still ski on the lake and it is too late to switch locations Hope to see you at Lebanon Hills at 12:30, ready to ski at 12:45.

Details for February 3rd Session at Lebanon Hills

  1. Meeting Place: Our meeting area will be outside behind the visitor center near the lake. To get there from the parking lot, go between the Visitor Center and the rental equipment building where you will pick up the Minnesota Youth Ski League bib with your skier’s name, and then proceed to the meeting area for your skier’s group. You can determine where to meet based on the color of your skier’s nametag.
  2. Start Time: To minimize the amount of time skiers stand around getting cold, we try to release them with their leaders onto the trails promptly at 12:45.  To make sure they are ready to ski at 12:45, we suggest you allow at least 15 minutes for skiers to get their bib, put on their skis, and get to their meeting area. That means it is probably wise to be in exiting your vehicle in the parking lot at 12:30; earlier if you have multiple skiers to corral. Latecomers will need to wait for their group to return; we can’t have skiers heading off on their own to try and find their group unless they are with a parent.
  3. Car Pooling: Parking can often be in short supply at Lebonon Hills. Please carpool if at all possible so we can have fewer vehicles in the parking lot!
  4. Visitor Center:  We’ve found that it is best if skiers put their boots on at home or in the car to minimize congestion in the building and to help them be ready to ski at 12:45. Please do not bring skis or poles into the Visitor Center.  There are ski racks outside the building to use. 
  5. Patience: With a new location, please please be patient as our volunteers do their best to get your skiers their bibs
  6. Parent Skiers: Coaches, skiers and volunteers wearing an MYSL bib do not need to purchase a trail pass. Otherwise all adults need one.
  7. On Site Rentals: If you are renting skis at Lebanon Hills, as you come down the sidewalk the rental building will be on your left. Ask for the MYSL rate, which is valid for both youth skiers and their parents or guardians. Remember to arrive even earlier to allow for the time it takes to go through the rental process
  8. End of Session: At the end of the session, skiers should remember to a) return their bibs to the group leader or to the tent; and b) thank their group leader and any assistants. In the past Dakota County has sold hot chocolate and other drinks in the Visitor Center, and many skiers find it enjoyable to get a t chocolate drink after their session. Last year the cost was $1.

Thanks and we hope to see you tomorrow.

February 3 session

The trails have been groomed at Lebanon Hills and although conidtions are poor in many places, we will meet there on Sunday. Please arrive around 12:30 so your skier can pickup their bib and be ready to ski at 12:45.

More details to follow.

January 27th update

The sun is out and it looks like a great day to ski. Dress warmly and we'll see you at Hyland!

Update on our January 27th session at Hyland

Our 4th ski session of the season is tomorrow, Sunday January 27th at Hyland. As always, arrive by 11:30 so your skier has their bib on and is ready to ski by 11:45. We’re seeing great progress with the skiers who show up consistently!

As you are likely aware, the temperature for tomorrow is going to be extremely cold. However, this doesn’t mean we can’t have a good time skiing. We certainly understand if you or your skier aren’t ready to ski in the cold. If you aren’t sure about whether or not to attend tomorrow, see the guidelines below. 

SKI ON SUNDAY IF:

  1. Your skier has quality, cold-weather pants, hat, neckwarmer, gloves/mittens, coat, and undergarment layers. Without proper clothing it will not be a successful session.
  2. Your skier is healthy (doesn’t have a cold, sniffles, etc)

DON’T SKI ON SUNDAY IF:

  1. Your skier does NOT have the clothing and outerwear mentioned above.
  2. Your skier is NOT healthy. If the immune system is already working overtime to recover from illness, you are better off having your skier stay inside to rest and get healthy.

It would also be a good idea to check the webpage or email before you leave for skiing in case the weather changes and we need to change our plan.

And as long as you are thinking about skiing, now would be a good time to click here to volunteer for any of our remaining sessions. If you look at our volunteer list for this week, half of our volunteers DO NOT HAVE CHILDREN IN THE PROGRAM, which is  not a path to long-term success for the club. If someone from your family hasn’t volunteered as a coach or for other roles yet, please consider doing so for some of our upcoming sessions. We’ve added additional volunteer spots to take photographs or video of our skiers, so that might be something fun for you to do while helping the club. Here, again, is a link to the sign-up sheet. Of course if you want to volunteer but don’t see anything on the sign-up list that fits your skills or desires, let me know and we can certainly find a way for you to contribute.

Thanks and we hope to see you tomorrow, and remember to check the web page and email before you leave to ski in the morning!

JANUARY 27th at HYLAND

With no measurable snow in the forecast we will be at Hyland again this Sunday. Although temperatures are forecast to be sub-zero at 11:45 when we start skiing, there doesn't appear to be much wind in the forecast so at this point we are planning to ski. Remember that cotton gloves will NOT keep your skier warm :). Check back to this webpage as we get closer to Sunday for further updates.

Embrace the Cold!

Our January 20 session at Hyland is a "go". If you scroll waaaaaay down on this page and find our weather cancellation policy, you'll see that we embrace the cold and hold our sessions as long as it is warmer than -10 F and wind chill is not below -30F.  See you at Hyland!

January 20th Session at Hyland

As you could probably guess, we will be at Hyland again on Sunday. Read previous posts below for tips on how to help make our ski sessions as Hyland enjoyable for all. Most importantly.....our coaches try to have everyone head out on the ski trails at 11:45 so it is best to ARRIVE by 11:30 if not earlier.

Also....it looks to be our coldest session of the year, so we're reposting our guide on dressing for the cold below. Don't let cold temperatures scare you off....skiers dressed appropriately enjoy all types of weather!

CLOTHING GUIDANCE

1. Please use your discretion noting your child's activity level and the outside temperature/wind chill. Often a winter jacket and snow pants or a snowsuit are too warm once the child gets skiing. They will warm up quickly, so it is okay if they are a little bit cold to begin with.

2. Children should be dressed in layers. A moisture wicking under layer, an insulating layer, and a windproof layer are typically appropriate. Each layer should be breathable.

3. Make sure to dress your child in a waterproof and windproof outermost layer. Cross-country skiing often requires hard work and skiers may sometimes fall down. Without a waterproof layer, the child could get wet from falling down, which makes for a cold and uncomfortable session.

4. Make sure your skier is wearing a hat, insulated & waterproof gloves, and warm socks. Wool socks are the best choice for cross-country skiing.

5. Avoid long scarfs that could fall off or get in the way. A better option is a nordic buff. Here is an example of what a nordic buff looks like https://www.rei.com/rei-garage/b/buff/c/cross-country-skiing?r=b%3Bc&pagesize=84&queryRule=outlet-only&ir=category%3Across-country-skiing&outlet=true

6. Try avoid cotton because it has little insulation capabilities and once it gets wet, it stays wet and can create a miserable experience.

7. Pay attention to the weather. On colder days, more layers are appropriate. If it is warmer out, do not overdress your child. It is never fun to be too hot or to have to carry around layers.

January 13th - Additional Details for our session at Hyland

As posted previously, we will be meeting at Hyland for our Week 2 session. Please read previous posts to be aware of key items when meeting at Hyland. Some important items to be aware of this week:

  • Our coaches make every effort to head out on the ski trails promptly at 11:45 so it best to ARRIVE by 11:30 if not earlier.
  • If you have anyone to carpool with, please do so. That way one adult can help unload skiers while the other searches for a parking spot.
  • We are scheduled to finish at 1:00 PM, but sometimes groups return early. It is always nice to be waiting for your skier(s)when they return so you can see the big smile on their face showing you what a fun time they had.
  • We DO have authorization to use the “Jan’s Place” building to warm-up if needed. Be aware that it can get very crowded in so don’t assume you’ll be able to find room in there while waiting for your skier.

Thanks and we’ll see you there!

Jan 13th Session Will Be at Hyland

As you might have guessed, we will be back at Hyland this Sunday.  Please have your skier ready to ski at 11:45. As you likely saw last week, parking can be scarce so plan accordingly. More details to come, but remember that we meet at Jan’s Place, not the main visitor center.

Helpful Hints for first week of Cross Country Skiing

Welcome to the 2019 EVAA Cross-Country Skiing season! Our first session is  Sunday, Jan 6th, from 11:45 -1:00 at Hyland Park Reserve in Bloomington.  See previous post for directions and details on where to meet.

As you prepare for our first session, we wanted to provide the following helpful hints for week 1:

  1. Meeting Place: As mentioned in our previous post, we will be meeting outside the building called "Jan's Place". There you can pick up the Minnesota Youth Ski League bib with your skier’s name, and then proceed to the meeting area for your skier’s group. You can determine where to meet based on the color of your skier’s nametag. Just look for the flag with the same color of your skier's nametag.
  2. Start Time: To minimize the amount of time skiers stand around getting cold, when at Hyland we will try to release them with their leaders onto the trails promptly at 11:45.  To make sure they are ready to ski at 11:45, we suggest you allow at least 10 minutes for skiers to get their bib, put on their skis, and get to their meeting area. That means it is probably wise to be in exiting your vehicle in the parking lot at 11:30; earlier if you have multiple skiers to corral. Latecomers will need to wait for their group to return; we can’t have skiers heading off on their own to try and find their group unless they are with a parent.
  3. Trail Pass: At Hyland, a trail pass must be purchased for anyone 12 years of age or older. Passes ($9.50 + tax) can be purchased at the main Visitor Center.  Please plan your time accordingly if you need to purchase a trail pass.  Note that our group will NOT be meeting at the main Visitor Center so if you have to buy a pass you will need to make a separate stop here.
  4. Label Your Equipment: Please be sure to label your skis and poles with your child’s name. Colorful duct tape or painter's tape works well for this process.  Many youth skis are the same brand and size and they are easy to mix up.
  5. Prep:  We’ve found that it is best if skiers put their boots on at home or in the car  to help them be ready to ski at 11:45.
  6. Clothing: Check the previous post on this page for seven tips about how to dress your skier. The first tip is as follows:
  7. 1. Please use your discretion noting your child's activity level and the outside temperature/wind chill. Often a winter jacket and snow pants or a snowsuit are too warm once the child gets skiing. They will warm up quickly, so it is okay if they are a little bit cold to begin with. For tips 2-7, scroll down to our first post of the season.
  8. Patience: We have over 100 skiers signed up for our session, so when combined with parents we will have quite a crowd. All of our coaches and leaders are volunteers who are donating their time to help make this a good experience for your skier. Please be patient as our volunteers do their best to get organized this first week, and remember that your child’s group leader may also be working with his/her own child to get equipment on, visit the restroom, or handling the many other needs that spontaneously arise with children.
  9. Skier Group Assignments: We do our best to place skiers in a group that is the best fit for them.  If you find that your child’s assigned group does not seem to be a good fit, please let one of our volunteers or coaches know and we’ll attempt to adjust for future sessions.
  10. Parent Skiers: You are welcome and encouraged to ski with your child’s group as a “Ski Chaperone”. Just let the group leader know, and if you can assist with any issues such as dropped mittens, loose boots, etc. while skiing along that would be appreciated. Please be aware that all adult skiers who are not coaching will need a trail pass, so please factor this into your schedule since that could take a few minutes depending on the line. 
  11. On Site Rentals:  if you are renting skis at Hyland, do so at the main visitor center as you enter the park. Remember that we do not meet at this location, we meet at the building called "Jan's Place". Remember to arrive even earlier to allow for the time it takes to go through the rental process
  12. End of Session: At the end of the session, skiers should remember to a) return their bibs to the group leader or to the tent; and b) thank their group leader and any assistants. D

Please be aware that we will not necessarily send reminder emails to you for upcoming sessions, so it is always wise to check the club webpage for any announcements. In addition, we have a facebook, twitter, and instagram accounts managed by our Minnesota Youth Ski League partners that will enable you to stay abreast of club announcements and information.

  • Twitter: @mysl_leb_hills
  • Facebook: MYSL Lebanon Hills
  • Instagram: mysl_lebhills

Thanks, and we are looking forward to a fun, snow-filled season. If you have any questions, just let us know via email at lebanonhills@mysl.org and we will do our best to answer promptly 

We look forward to seeing you on Sunday!

First Session to be moved to Hyland (Jan 6)

Due to un-skiable conditions at Lebanon Hills, our first EVAA Cross-country ski session will move to the Hyland Park Reserve in Bloomington (10145 Bush Lake Rd, Bloomington, MN 55438) where they have snowmaking equipment. We will meet from 11:45 to 1:00. We apologize for having to meet at the earlier time but due to the high demand we have to take the time assigned to us.

There are a couple of things to be aware of at Hyland:

  • A trail pass must be purchased for anyone 12 years of age or older. Passes ($9.50 + tax) can be purchased at the main Visitor Center.  Please plan your time accordingly if you need to purchase a trail pass.  Note that our group will NOT be meeting at the main Visitor Center so if you have to buy a pass you will need to make a separate stop here.
  • Our group will meet at the building called Jan’s Place which is in the first parking lot past the Visitor Center.
  • Hyland does not allow any walking on or alongside the trails, so those of you with younger skiers will not be able to accompany your skier unless you are on skis. However, the very young skiers will be likely be in the "training" area and parents can stand nearby and watch.
  • IMPORTANT - There will be one other Minnesota Youth Ski League group meeting there at the same time, so be sure to look for the signage for the LEBANON HILLS club.  
  • When there is no natural snow in the Twin Cities, Hyland can become quite crowded and parking can be scarce. If you have friends in the program, please consider carpooling.

Check the map on the EVAA cross country ski program webpage  for details on where to meet at Hyland.

More details on how to prepare for the first session will be provided but we wanted to give you advance notice about the time and location change.

Welcome to Cross-Country (Nordic) Skiing

WELCOME! 

Registration for the 2019 EVAA Cross Country Ski program HAS NOW CLOSED. We have reached our capacity for the season. Please contact us if you would like to be put on the waiting list in case we have cancellations.

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This program will be run in collaboration with the Minnesota Youth Ski League, a statewide organization with the mission of developing and promoting the participation and enjoyment of cross country skiing for youth and their families.

Registration for the program is expected to open in late October, 2018.The program is open to ages 4-15 and is designed for skill levels ranging from beginner to experienced. The organization is a volunteer led organization, with parents and guardians encouraged to participate and learn with the children (No registration is necessary for parents/guardians, and equipment for parents/guardians can be rented at the ski venue each week) For the younger children, parents are required to be “on the snow” with their children (although not necessarily on skis).

Cross-country skiing provides numerous benefits, including:

  • Great cross-training for fall and summer sports
  • Helps children learn to enjoy the outdoors during winter.
  • Provides a great low-impact, cardiovascular workout
  • Helps learn a life-long sport that can be enjoyed for many years to come.

TIME AND LOCATION

Our group will meet for eight Sunday afternoons in January (6th, 13th, 20th, 27th) and February (3rd, 10th, 17th, 24th) at either Lebanon Hills ski trails in Eagan from 12:45 - 2:00 if snow conditions are good, or at the Hyland Lake Park Reserve in Bloomington from 11:45 - 1:00 if natural snow is not skiable at Lebanon Hills. Parents and guardians are encouraged to participate either with or without skis. Although skiers will build their skills and learn to enjoy skiing the most by participating each week, there is no problem if scheduling conflicts arise and a skier is unable to attend. 

And just in case you weren't paying attention when reading the above paragraph, we will repeat the fact that if Lebanon Hills does not have enough snow for quality skiing, our sessions will move to Hyland Recreation Area in Bloomington where they have snowmaking equipment. If we have to move to Bloomington, the sessions will be held from 11:45 - 1:00.

EQUIPMENT

A limited amount of ski equipment is available for rental, either for the full season (in which skiers take the skis home each week) or for the weekly sessions only. The fee for the full season rental is $65 ($75 after November 30). The daily rental charged by Lebanon Hills is expected to be $6 per session, while Hyland charges $8 for youth and $12 for adults. We recommend the full season rental so that you have access to the skis for independent use, while also eliminating the need to wait in line each week to a) get fitted and receive the skis, and b) return the skis.

REGISTRATION

The registration fee for the season is $65 ($75 after November 30), and includes membership in the Minnesota Youth Ski League, 8 scheduled ski outings (weather permitting), and a special gift to help keep skiers warm.

ARE THESE SKI LESSONS?

No, these are not ski lessons. The organization is designed to promote and encourage skiing in a positive and supportive environment so that youth can ski with others of similar ability and increase their skills together. Although our volunteer leaders use teaching curriculum with specific learning goals for each group, we prefer to use the term “ski outings” rather than “ski lessons”.  If you are looking for ski lessons, contact the program director to obtain recommendations for private organizations that conduct lessons.

Dave Freed

Program Director

NEWS


The Eastview Girls Nordic Ski Team won the South Suburban Conference Championship at Hyland Park Reserve on Wednesday, Jan 28.

EASTVIEW GIRLS FEATURED IN STAR TRIBUNE

The Eastview High School Girls Nordic Ski Team was recently featured in an article in the Star Tribune.  Click on the link below to read the story.


Kylie Kraemer of Eastview High School

Photos

We have a Shutterfly account that displays photos from our 2014 sessions. We would love to have additional photos from 2015 added!

Click here to gain access.

A Video promoting a similar program

The "Winter Kids" organization in Portland, Maine also has a youth cross-country ski program.  We thought you might enjoy seeing how some of their kids feel about cross-country skiing.

Important Information for Skiing at Hyland