Saturday, January 3, 2009

DENALI JUNIOR NORDIC SKI PROGRAM

Hey kid skiers and parents! Are you ready for some kuleloypor (moguls)? How about a few seriehopp (jumps) or tele-turning around a few gates? Well… come mid-January, DENALI JUNIOR NORDIC will be ready for some serious skileik (ski play)! Simply through the act of playing, kids learn to ski before they “comprehend” what they are doing, and the terrain itself teaches better than most people do. We wait until the days get a little longer and the snow deeper to begin our program which runs until mid-to-late March.

Since 1992, the DNSC has sponsored the Junior Nordic Program as a means of connecting local kids with the out-of-doors through the wonderful past time of skiing. Over 500 “kid-winters” have been spent over the years traversing the local trails and frozen sloughs experiencing our nordic environs through the eyes (and antics) of our kids. The Junior Nordic Program is not affiliated with the public schools or any for-profit businesses. As such, it is entirely dependent on the volunteer efforts of parents and members of the community who simply want to ski with kids. Over the years, a significant number of home-schooled kids have participated, as have adults who don’t even have kids in the program. (A parent must attend, if your child is very young – kindergarten – or seems likely to require your help.) We play ski games (sharks and minnows!), have relays, treasure hunts, cookouts and go skixploring.

There is a $25/child fee (in addition to the DNSC individual or family membership fee) should you opt for your kid to join this program. Comparable programs in Anchorage are significantly more expensive.

As in the past, we’re scheduling WEDNESDAY AFTERNOONS at 1:45 PM and we’ll be alternating locations between the Ski Hill trails and other local trails where the gliding happens to be good!

IMPORTANT NOTE: All parents need to have their own kid’s transportation arranged. Car-pooling amongst parents from the same neighborhoods has generally worked quite well. It’s really important to be on time when picking up your kid, as volunteer’s time also has value.

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2009 SEASON CALENDAR (ALL WEDNESDAYS): DENALI JUNIOR NORDIC

DAY 1: Jan. 7th (ski video,gear check) DAY 5: February 4th DAY 9: March 4th

DAY 2: Jan. 14th DAY 6: Feb. 11th DAY 10: March 11th

DAY 3: Jan. 21st DAY 7: Feb. 18th DAY 11: March 18th

DAY 4: Jan. 28th DAY 8: Feb. 25th DAY 12: March 25th

LISTEN TO KTNA RADIO (88.9 FM) on Mondays and Tuesdays about changes in pickup times and locations of ski tours or cancellation due to cold temperatures.

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What to Bring to Ski:

Skiers MUST be properly dressed for the weather. This includes a hat, gloves or mittens, outer shell, insulating layer (pile) and warm polypro or wool socks. They should be well hydrated and fed. All kids should bring their OWN water bottle and snack CARRIED IN THEIR OWN DAY PACK.

CLOTHING: The key to a happy skier is being warm enough for the activity, but able to peel off or add clothing as they warm up or cool down.

The secret is LAYERING: VENTILATION: INSULATION: PROTECTION

( PLEASE READ OTHER SIDE)

Ventilation: Polypro long underwear closest tot the skin to allow perspiration

to move away from the body.

Insulation: To trap the warmth generated by your body. (Pile or wool jacket)

Protection: Outer layer that protects you from the wind. (Nylon shell jacket & pants)

EQUIPMENT: Every year we get a certain percentage of kids who get frustrated because they have improperly fit equipment which hinders their ability to keep up with the kids who have appropriately-sized gear. Many parents choose to purchase over-sized skis that their kids will “grow into” and that’s the wrong way to go. Unlike older kids and adults, AT THE JUNIOR LEVEL, SKIS SHOULD BE RELATIVELY SHORT, SELDOM MORE THAN HEAD HEIGHT. For initial on-snow play, the shorter the ski the better. These kids really get zipping around! IT’S MUCH BETTER FOR KIDS TO OUTGROW SKIS, THAN BE EXPECTED TO GROW INTO THEM! It’s only later, as they stride better and ski faster, that they need extra length.

DO NOT BUY NO-WAX, OR FISHSCALE SKIS. THEY’RE SLOW!

Even a pair of unwaxed, waxable skis are faster than no-wax skis!

As we get kids signed up for the program, ski swapping opportunities will present themselves. Generally, there has been quite a bit of used kid’s-size gear around.

KID HEIGHT (inches) SKI LENGTH (approx. in centimeters)

3’6” 106 cm

3’8” 112 cm Ski lengths in cm are always

3’10” 117 cm stamped on the skis.

4’ 122 cm

4’2” 127 cm Fischer Sprints or equivalent

4’4” 132 cm are great skis

4’6” 137 cm

4’8” 142 cm

5’ 152 cm POLES SHOULD BE ABOUT

5’2” 157 cm SHOULDER HEIGHT

5’4” 162 cm (while they are wearing their boots)

5’6” 167 cm

BINDINGS: DO NOT GET “STEP-IN” BINDINGS, THEY ICE UP AND DON’T WORK!

The most reliable and easy bindings have a visible lever that you can lift up to open and down to close. Brand names are NNN and Salomon. They are a bit spendy, but can be remounted on larger skis and boots next year. For kids who weigh less than 100 lbs. DINO makes the best bindings (about $35). I’d recommend them.

INCLUDE YOUR PHONE NUMBER & E-MAIL W/SIGNUP, WE’LL HELP FIND GEAR!


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