The nordic ski team poses for a picture after having a successful season. They hope to get snow for this season to hopefully go to State again.
The nordic ski team poses for a picture after having a successful season. They hope to get snow for this season to hopefully go to State again.
Photo by Bailey Holmes

Lack of snow effects nordic ski team

Due to the strong El Niño conditions happening in the Pacific Ocean, it is leaving Minnesota with no snow. Right now the frigid winter air is kept in Central and Northern Canada. Minnesota is known for having a very snowy and cold winter, and is also known for its winter sports such as hockey and skiing. The nordic ski team is currently trying to find a way they can still practice daily and continue their season without the snow.

In the meantime, with the struggle of the snow in the nordic ski teams season, they have been training in the high school, running or trying to find a place that has artificial snow so they can get some practice in. When the team goes to practice skiing, they normally ski by themselves or train by themselves. But this season is different due to the lack of snow here in Minnesota.

“The lack of snow makes it hard to train. So yesterday, I did some intervals on a point six kilometer loop and I feel like I’m not getting the same amount of volume and training that I did last year. I’ve only had a couple races so I don’t really know how it’s affected it[her ski performance] but it’s made it hard to train and keep up the motivation to go in a loop,” senior Annika Fuhrmann said.

El Niño has not been a huge problem in the past few years. The last time El Niño happened was back in 2018-2019. The last impact on Fuhrmann was back in her 7th grade year. Having no snow means that the team has to find artificial snow in order to get some practice time in before the next race.

There were races that we learned about the night before because they were trying to make it happen.

— Annika Fuhrmann

“There were races that we learned about the night before because they were trying to make it happen. But the past two years, it’s been incredible. We had our first race, scheduled last year, which rarely happens and barely did happen. We didn’t do any dryland last year so it’s sucks coming from really good. A really good snow year to really bad snow year,” Fuhrmann said.

The nordic ski team has not been able to do their normal team bonding this year because they all train by themselves. For the past years, the team has been very close so they have been able to perform well. Team bonding gives the team an opportunity to hangout in practice and outside of practices. Team bonding also helps with getting closer as a team.

“It’s been incredibly hard. I think where we get most of our team bonding most years is from being able to ski together and that has not been happening. One just because of how small like the loops are that we have to ski on and so if there’s so many people like all the teams are practicing there, they can’t really all ski in groups just because like we have to weave in and out of people. But team bonding especially on like, the flip side of that outside of skiing has been non-existent. Where last year, the boys and the girls and all of us like the varsity and JV, we just all get together and just hang out and we’re all like best friends. And I think a lot of our seniors left which was hard, but also just with lack of snow and lack of motivation, honestly that comes with that it’s been incredibly difficult,” senior Bailey Holmes said.

With the issue of snow, the nordic ski team is trying to find a way to get practice time in and try to prepare for their next ski race. The main part of skiing is to have snow. It is hard to prepare for your winter sport if they do not have the main thing to help them prepare.

“I think speaking for me and others the lack of snow has not allowed us to be fully prepared at this point in the season. The lack of gate time and just time on the hill has a pretty big effect on one’s confidence on the snow as well as their ability in gates. I think as we get farther in the season myself and others should bounce right back and get back in the flow,” junior Dylan Riniker said.

Despite the lack of snow and the freezing weather, the nordic ski team has found a way to still train and race. It is hard for the seniors on the team because they wanted to end their high school skiing career on a good note.

“It’s been really hard especially for seniors. I know it’s been hard for me to see the lack of snow, see the grayness outside and for me personally, I’m not skiing in college. And so that’s really hard to get yourself to want to go out and ski in the cold.  So lack of snow has affected just motivation a ton, but also just our ability to train,” Holmes said.

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    Gavin SchunaFeb 6, 2024 at 9:12 am

    The title is very well-written and to the point. The start of the article taught me more about El Nino and how it works with the effects on the Pacific Ocean. My heart goes out to all of the seniors and their teammates because of this lack of snow. It’s great to see the Nordic team is trying to make the best out of this situation that is totally out of their control. Overall, very well-written and informative.

  • A

    AnnaFeb 6, 2024 at 9:09 am

    It is unfortunate to see that the snow is effecting such a good sport. I have been curious on how the weather has been effecting outdoor snow sports. The writer did a good job explaining the root cause of these weather patterns. I learned it is the strong El Niño conditions.

  • A

    Ava AspengrenFeb 6, 2024 at 9:03 am

    i chose this story because of the interesting title that caught my eye and lead me to want to read more this is a Very well done article and strong points of information. The style and format of the article was very well worded and caught my attention and feel educated on the nordic ski team.

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    Netta HillegassFeb 6, 2024 at 8:53 am

    Sad to see El Niño affect the Nordic ski team more than other winter sports. Although it is understandable with the extreme lack of snowfall this school year. Glad to see the team is still thriving even though their races are less than snowy.