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Menihek Nordic Ski Club off to early start with ideal ski conditions

Provincial skiers participating at the Labrador Snow Camp.
Provincial skiers participating at the Labrador Snow Camp. - Contributed

Busy season at world-class facility kicks off with two ski camps

LABRADOR CITY, N.L. —

When the month of October had unusually warm weather with highs of 17 C, cross country skiers in Labrador started getting worried. 

In 2018, early snow meant skiers were able to strap on their skis by the end of September. But the worries were short-lived — Halloween saw the first snowfall, and there's been lots since. 

In addition to the snow, temperatures have been relatively mild, which has been a plus for people who want to get outside.  

Given the ideal ski conditions, Menihek has already hosted two events this year, including the Glenn Bond XC Ski Camp between Nov. 14 and 18.

Cynthia McLoughlan enjoys the well-groomed trails at Menihek Nordic Ski Club.
Cynthia McLoughlan enjoys the well-groomed trails at Menihek Nordic Ski Club.

Bond has been involved in cross-country skiing for 35 years and was the cross-country coach at the 2018 Olympics. In addition to putting on the camp, he was also available for private lessons. 

Bond had nothing but praises for Menihek's facility and staff. He thinks more people should visit and take advantage of the early snow in most years.

Soon after, Menihek hosted the Labrador Snow camp Nov. 29, which saw the provincial ski team and coaches take part. Head coach Jamie Merrigan told The Labrador Voice, "The team members love the camps at Menihek, they spend the week, for most of them it's their first time on snow for the season." 

Participants have about two sessions that last two hours each. For most, that means 25 to 40 kilometres a day. Part of the camp is evaluation. At the end of the camp, two races were held as part of the NL cup series. Other races will be held in early January in Corner Brook and, later in the month, in Clarenville.

But there is lots more activity at Menihek for the season, including Kidsfest on March 7. Then the NL cup provincial championships will be held March 14-15, the club is set to host the Canadian Masters Championships March 26-29, and the great Labrador Loppet on April 4.

Coach Rhonda Lawrence of Menihek also pointed out that local skier Amanda Daniels will be travelling to Corner Brook for the NL cup races in January and Jody Lawrence will be travelling to the Special Olympics Provincial Championships in Corner Brook Feb. 8-9. Lawrence is part of the Provincial Special Olympics ski team and will be racing at the national event in Thunder Bay later this year. She added that Lawrence has been training hard for all his events.

Menihek will be offering its Grade 5 ski school after Christmas while the Jack Rabbit Program for younger skiers and track attack are already underway.

Anyone who wants information is welcome to drop into the lodge or to get it on the Facebook page or website.

President Gerry Rideout says the skiing is great so far with lots of snow. A new groomer has been purchased to keep the trails in top condition. Memberships can be purchased at the Zone 4 website www.zone4.ca or simply by visiting the lodge. Members can take advantage of a free day pass and rental in December that they can gift to someone to enjoy Menihek’s world-class facility.

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