April Nordic Newsletter

JHSC Club and Community Nordic Update

Happenings of the JHSC Nordic Program, Trail Creek Nordic Center, and Local Nordic Community

Welcome to the April Edition of “What’s Going On” for the 2023-2024 season!

All one can say is, “Wow!  What a year for JHSC Nordic!”  Fantastic national and international finishes, record number of program participants, a busy race schedule, completely full master skier program, and a ski season that just never seems to end!  The 2023-2024 season is definitely finishing up in the epic category.  Read on to find out all the details in this month’s Nordic newsletter…


Leprechaun traps, donut relays, and Nordic X were all part of a grand wrap of a grand season for our smallest skiers.  From beginnings of barely moving on skis, these little bundles of energy have moved to proficient mastery of snow over the course of the season.  The progress of our Lollipoppers is a joy to behold!  


M/W Teewinot Team March update:

March brought a jam packed schedule of fun for the Teewinot Team. From BB Gun Biathlon, Nordic X and Costume Day, to the Skinny Skis WYDAHO Season Finale Race, Trail Creek Scavenger, and Yeti Hunts, there were a whole lot of Nordic shenanigans for our speedy second and third grade athletes.

I am incredibly grateful to our terrific Teewinot coaches, Lily Horne, Lizzie Johnson, Sevi Hagen, Trish Mayers and Zoe Curran. Teewinot athletes' continued skill development and love of our sport bloomed, thanks to your great effort throughout the season. Together, we grew to know and appreciate each child on the team.  It was a genuine joy to share smiles and laughs on the trail with these great kids.

At our final team gathering, we celebrated a great season and honored the following athletes with awards. It is always so difficult to choose, as every athlete is deserving.

Tough cookie: Adrian Preheim and Etta Souter

Nordic spirit: Henry Wheeler and Hunter Preheim

Most improved: Hans Otto Flinch and Amelia Lockhart

Thank you, families, for sharing your kids with Teewinot Team.  We look forward to seeing you in the warmer months on the hiking and biking trails!

Libby Hall and The Teewinot Crew

T-TH Teewinots

The Teewinots did a lot of fun activities in March. The first highlight was donut relays. The kids participated in a relay where they skied a lap and then ate a donut without using their hands before tagging off the next person. The Prep/Comp Team skied by and decided to join, which was even more of a treat to the Teewinots. They loved getting to hang out with the "big kids" and some said that it was "the best practice ever." Another favorite Teewinot March memory was Yeti hunting. On March 5th, Jackson got tons and tons of snow! It was blizzarding, and you know what that means...Yetis come out to play. We ended the season with a hot chocolate party and farewells both at Trail Creek and the end-of-the-year banquet.


Kirsys Campbell

Head T-Th Teewinot Coach

Devo Team

The Devos’ last few weeks of the Nordic season in March kicked off with the IMD youth championships in Sun Valley, where Cooke Dawes, Annika Stanley, Taylor Handley, and Isla Everett competed in the U12 and U10 divisions. It was a weekend of fun racing and team bonding, complete with obstacle courses, speed traps, costumes, and Nordic X. Isla Everett took the U10 division by storm, placing 2nd in Skate, 1st in the skier X, and a photo finish 1st place in the classic race.

The Devos also got the opportunity to try biathlon—shooting targets while standing or lying on skis and taking penalty laps for each missed shot. We wrapped up the season with a scavenger hunt put together in collaboration with Teewinot Coach Libby Hall, where teams had to complete tasks together and accumulate points.

Big congrats to each Devo athlete this season for working hard, progressing a ton in their ability on skis, and growing as teammates. We are proud of each of them and so impressed by their creativity, constant ability to have fun, and immense energy they all brought to the team. We are excited to see where each of your paths take you, whether on skis or elsewhere. Thanks for making this a great season!


Most improved

Casey Riddell - this was Casey’s first year Nordic skiing.  Perhaps a little shy at first, Casey quickly jumped in and we soon found him making his own paths through the woods and fields, along with taking to the jumps and obstacles with good buddies Noah and Christopher.

Evelyn Barkley - This was Evelyn’s first year on the Devo team after coming from the Teewinots and we watched her absolutely light on fire this season. Besides being an unstoppable skier, Evelyn is dedicated and one of the sweetest Nordic skiers you will ever meet.

Nordic Spirit

Liza Mayer- Always curious, committed, on time, and motivated, Liza has Nordic spirit in her blood.

Henry Pirtle - Henry always has a giggle stashed away for that time a coach unintentionally trips, or someone cracks a joke, or when Henry himself takes a Faceplant. Full of positivity, Henry is a joy to ski with.

Skiers of the year

Emerson Walles - Emerson is wise beyond her years. An incredibly thoughtful and caring teammate, you will always feel included and respected in Emerson’s presence, as well as put to the test by her skiing skills.

Cooke Dawes - this is only Cooke’s second season Nordic skiing, and after his first season he wasn’t so sure he was going to stick with it, but something clicked and he has become one of our most enthusiastic and dedicated skiers, signing up for races, always asking questions, and even known to be seen out for a solo ski on the South Park Road trail after the practice season was over!

Kaya Morelli

Development Team Head Coach

Coombs Outdoors Ositos

The Ositos ventured up the Old Pass Road, took on big hills all over Trail Creek, and had a lively sledding party in town to avoid traffic on their last day. We hosted an end-of-season celebration and awards ceremony for the Ositos at the Coombs program space with their families after the final practice. Each Osito skier was given recognition for their accomplishments throughout the season, with a unique paper plate award presented in front of their peers and parents.

In the last few weeks of the season we witnessed the bravery, courage, intelligence, and friendships of these skiers and wish the season together could last just a tiny bit longer. We hope to see many of them again next season and encourage the 5th graders to join George on the Junior Team!


Most improved: Mauricio Leonel Perez Bautista and Lendy Zamora

Spirit of Ositos: Kaylee Mojica and Mathew Hernandez Jimenez

Skiers of the year: Donovan Garcia Moreno and Jessica Sanchez

Thanks for all your hard work this year, Steve, and making the trails so nice!!

Kaya Morelli

Osito Head Coach

Junior Team

The Junior Nordic season concluded with resounding success as athletes showcased remarkable energy and skiing prowess. Their cohesive efforts led to an exhilarating season filled with memorable performances.

At the end-of-season awards ceremony, Koven Post-Holmberg and Violet Vignaroli were celebrated as the most improved athletes, reflecting their dedication and progress throughout the season. Olin Hugo and Atten Aronowitz were honored with the Nordic Spirit Awards for embodying the spirit of camaraderie, leadership, and sportsmanship. Tirzah Ellis and Tommy Johnson were recognized with the Outstanding Skier Awards for their exceptional skills and achievements on the trails.

As we transition to dryland training, we eagerly anticipate the opportunities for growth and development that lie ahead. With enthusiasm, we look forward to the next season, where we will continue to build upon our successes and strive for excellence in Nordic skiing.

Junior Nordic Crew

George Cartwright

Junior Nordic Team Head Coach

Comp/Prep Teams       

The month of March marks the arrival of Championship Season for the Prep/Comp Team. After many months of preparation, the team was ready for the final races of the season. This year, JHSC qualified 12 athletes to compete at Junior Nationals, hosted in Lake Placid, NY March 11-16. Jack Mayer, Colton Petsch, Karsten Bessonette, Lena Poduska, Aurora Stiles, Kaya Kandolin, Abby Murphy, Lucas Wilmot, Sam Hutchinson, Nate Streubel, Sam Sinclair, and Mason Wheeler all represented the Intermountain Division at this event.

Lake Placid featured challenging skiing on hilly terrain. The course wound through the woods on some big climbs and sweeping descents, and the team experienced a full spectrum of conditions, from fresh snow, to rain, to sun with slush and ice. Compared to the typical cold snow we usually encounter across the west, the conditions in New York were vastly different, and constantly in flux. One of the biggest challenges was the deep troughs that emerged in the icy slush on the downhill turns, causing more falls across the field of racers than I have witnessed maybe ever. Mental toughness and adaptability were essential for our racers over this championship week, and JHSC skiers proved their strength. Lena Poduska skied to a national title in the 7.5k skate race, and Aurora Stiles took 1st in the classic sprint qualifier, finishing 12th overall. Lucas Wilmot placed 10th in the 10k classic, and Nate Streubel placed 11th in the classic sprint. Mason Wheeler was 6th in the U20 classic sprint, and Abby Murphy was 15th in the 10k classic. Congratulations to first-time JN qualifiers Karsten Bessonette, Kaya Kandolin, and Jack Mayer on their great seasons and strong races at nationals. All of the JHSC skiers competing in Lake Placid demonstrated impressive skiing in some of the most challenging skiing conditions possible, and represented IMD and JHSC well. Congratulations!

Colton Petsch

JHSC also brought 11 athletes to Western Club Championships in Soldier Hollow, UT, where racers took on two distance races and a relay. This race series was a great opportunity for athletes to continue to work on their racing tactics and top-end speed, and JHSC showed up to compete. William Baxter and Ryan Thompson placed 8th and 10th, respectively, in the skate 7.5k, and Matthew Finkel and Walker Dunn placed 1st and 3rd, respectively, in the skate 5k. Broc Smith, 6th, and Charlie Von Maur-Newcomb, 7th, were close behind. Thompson and Baxter placed 8th and 9th the next day in the classic 10k, and Broc Smith, Walker Dunn, and Matthew Finkel placed 4th, 5th, and 8th in the 7.5k classic. Congratulations to all JHSC athletes racing at this event.

We wrapped up our season with the annual awards banquet, recognizing team awards and our skiers for their accomplishments:

Skiers of the Year:  Lena Poduska and Lucas Wilmot

Most Improved:  Kaya Kandolin and Jack Mayer

Med Bennett Award - Nordic Spirit: Hailey Stines and Nate Streubel

A huge congratulations to the Prep/Comp Team for an impressive year of training and racing. We will be racing in the Spring Series events at Trail Creek and in Sun Valley with a few athletes before our official break from training until next year.

Thank you for your support of this team and of all JHSC programs!

Luna Wasson

Head Comp/Prep Coach


Featured Athlete Lucas Wilmot

Photo courtesy of Wayne Petsch

While Lucas has been featured in previous newsletters, his adventures skiing in Europe and at Junior Nationals make for a fascinating story.  Read on as Lucas shares some of the great experiences he has had as a world class Nordic skier.

At what age did you start skiing with the Jackson Hole Ski Club program?

 I started when I was 6 years old as a Lollipopper.

What grade are you now?

I am 17 years old and a senior at Jackson Hole High School.

You’re a pretty tall guy.  How tall are you, and has that helped or hindered your skiing?

 I am 6’4”, and I think my height has helped me with my skiing ability. My long legs help me to stride efficiently, and I can use my height to get high and move forward.

Before Junior Nationals at Lake Placid, NY you travelled to Europe.  What were your flight connections to get there?

My trip to Europe this winter was long and stressful. I left on Saturday, January 13th midday and flew to Denver from Jackson. With mechanical issues on our plane in Denver, we sat in the plane not moving for 2 hours.  Finally, we started our overnight flight to Frankfurt, Germany. After the long flight to Germany, we hopped on our last connection to Stockholm, Sweden. We landed that night in Sweden, but my ski bag was still in Germany, and my checked duffel was still in Denver. I didn’t get my bags for many days after getting to Stockholm.

Did your parents go along to Europe and/or Lake Placid?

 My parents came to both Europe and Lake Placid. My mom came to watch me on the U18 trip in Sweden, with my sister and stepdad. My dad and stepmom then came to watch my races for Junior World in Slovenia. My mom and dad also came to Lake Placid, along with my grandmothers, cousins, uncles, and family friends. It was really special to have my family at these events this year, and to have them support me throughout every crucial race was meaningful to me.

Had you been to Europe before this trip?

 I was once in Europe for vacation. I visited London and Paris with my family. My most recent trip to Europe was much different, as I explored many different countries and cultures.

What were your first impressions?

 It was hard for me to wrap my head around being in Europe. It was so cool to be in a new place with a different type of culture.

How many places did you race while you were in Europe and where were the races?

I raced in two different places. I had two races in Falun, Sweden, and then two races in Planica, Slovenia. While I didn’t race a ton for being in Europe for so long, I got quality training and experience in Sweden, Italy, and Slovenia.

What was your favorite food of the trip?

 My favorite food I tried was pizza in Italy. I tried the classic pizzas that are popular in Toblach, Italy, and found myself finishing a whole pizza in minutes. I also found my new favorite chocolate bar that I wish was sold in the US.

Did you try any new foods that you didn’t like?

 Many new fish dishes and unique flavors in Sweden and Italy were not my favorites. I did my best to try everything and all the new things I could.

Was communication challenging?

Communication with people there was much easier than I expected. Almost everyone I interacted with in all the different countries spoke English well, so it was very easy to make friends and communicate. It was hard to find time to talk with people back home because of the time change. It was an 8-hour time change, so I was 8 hours ahead. The best time to communicate with people at home was during my night time as I headed for bed.

What means of transportation did you use?  Train, car, bus, walking, other?

The team was mostly moved around in vans. In Sweden, we took a train to visit Stockholm, but mainly traveled using vans. Once at our destination, it was much more convenient to get out and walk around.

Were there any differences in the European ski courses that caught your attention compared to American courses?

The courses I skied in Europe were much more built up and professional. The courses had a more serious feeling. Given that I skied at World Cup venues and championship courses, there were many more facilities and smooth functioning of the races. The trails were also more unique, challenging, and fun.

Was there a race or course in Europe that was your favorite?

I liked the course in Falun, Sweden the most. The course was very challenging, with many hills, corners, and features. The trails were very fun and had views over the city. I liked how the course had bridges and many changing aspects.

Was jet lag a problem for you?

Jet lag was a problem for me only the first couple of days in Sweden. I struggled to fall asleep and would wake up very early in the morning. I didn't sleep well the first night, but it slowly faded away. It was a weird feeling to wake up way before the hotel breakfast opened for the morning!

Junior Nationals were near Lake Placid, NY. Had you ever been there before?

I had been to New York in the past to visit family, but never the Adirondack Mountains. It was cool to see a different part of the state and visit a unique town with lots of history.

How did the competition at nationals compare to Europe?

The competition at Nationals was much different than that in Europe. At Nationals I felt more comfortable because I knew so many people and I was in a race series that I had done before. In Europe, the competition was much tighter and, in general, the skiers seemed to have lots more experience.

Tell about your trip to get to Junior Nationals.

To get to Junior Nationals we had to fly to Albany and then drive to Lake Placid. We missed our connecting flight in Chicago that would be direct to Albany. So, some of the team and I with the same flight itinerary had to spend a night in Chicago. We all ended up splitting up to different flights after missing the connection. I had to fly from Chicago to Philadelphia, then to Albany. I met back up with Nate Struebel in Albany, and then we drove to Lake Placid.

What was the highlight of your week at Junior Nationals?

My highlight at Junior Nationals was seeing everyone from across the country I am now friends with. I have made many friendships and connections from my many camps and Nordic experiences, and it was very cool to see everyone. It was also very special to cheer on and with all the people who are part of the team and my many friends from other places.

Are you going to ski next year and, if so, where?

Yes, I am going to ski for the University of Utah as part of the ski team.

Do you have a career goal in mind when you are done with school?

I am interested in health or a kinesiology major in college. I found in my Anatomy & Physiology class that the human body and its functions are super interesting, and I hope to continue my interest in body health.

Lucas with Lena Poduska in Europe

Thanks so much for taking time to share your experiences with us Lucas.  Best wishes for future success in skiing and in college!

Even though skiing has continued in full winter mode throughout the month, the racing schedule was focused on a few big races.

The biggest event, the USSA Cross Country Ski Junior National Championships in Lake Placid, NY was covered in great detail in the Prep/Comp report above.  Click on the link above to delve into all the details of national championship racing.  Closer to home, Trail Creek Nordic Center hosted the International Ski Federation Spring Series Nordic Races.  Racers from all over the world gathered to enjoy all we have to offer, making for a grand way to end the season.

Also in March was the Skinny Skis Wydaho Season Finale, The Original Birkebeiner in Norway, and the Drift 100 starting on the Green River.  From the relatively easy to the beyond ridiculous, a great way to wrap up the racing season!

Trail Creek Update

March has been a wild ride this year, coming in like a lion, turning warm and sunny mid-month, then ending with a return of winter as our permit runs out with the Forest Service.  We wrapped up the season with some fantastic races, first the Skinny Skis Wydaho Season Finale where over 60 racers showed up for some great local Nordic fun and camaraderie.  That was followed by the spectacle of the International Ski Federation Spring Series, where racers from all over the world descended upon Trail Creek for a spectacular way to finish out the season.  The JHSC programs were pretty much wrapped up by March 18th, but our master skiers have continued to make lots of tracks this month.

Moose and elk continue to wander the trails, hoping for spring.  Cranky the Moose especially seemed a bit grumpy as of late, as his antlers just seem to not want to drop, and he was surely dreaming of the fresh green willow shoots of spring.  Until then he seemed to be mostly entertained by chasing Nordic skiers.  Our grouse flock seems to be surviving the winter well, in spite of the busy foxes that have been making lots of tracks every day.

The most important thing at Trail Creek, this and every season, is the multitude of skiers from 2 to 92 who show up and do their part.  Whether it is coaching, training, learning, racing, volunteering, enjoying nature, or simply skiing, all join to make this really special program, and place that we all love so much, continue year after year.  Thanks so much to all who support, and ski, and make Trail Creek all that it is!

Thank you to the skiers and sponsors who make this all possible, with an extra special thanks to our season pass holders! 

The Bitzer Family, Peggy Boggs, the Boltax Gallop Family, Patricia Campbell, the Curtis Family, the Randol Family, Kate Falk, Kylie Fletcher, Bob Gordon, Parker Gotham, Elissa Gramling, the Gross Family, Eric  Huber, the Springer Family, Lindsay Kissel, Jennifer Kohlhardt, Maddie Krasula, Nancy Leon, the Lovett Family, the MacWilliams Family, Ann Makley, Jackson Moss, William Oliphant, the Olsson Family, Sean O’Malley, Teya Paciulli, the Peacock Family, Wayne Petsch, Kristy Rans, the Thal Family, the Wattenmaker Family, Astoria Weenig, the Wheeler Family, the White Family, and Pete Wiswell.

Thanks to our amazing staff!

Charlotte Cadow, Kirsys Campbell, George Cartwright, Zoe Curran, Jon Filardo, Annabel Hagen, Sevi Hagen, Libby Hall, Elsie Hall, Scott Horn, Lillian Horne, Griffin Hurlbut, Lizzie Johnson, Sam Johnson, Axel Klomparens, Leah Lange, Nancy Leon, Amelia Mayer, Bill Mayer, Trisha Mayers, Adam Meyer, Kaya Morelli, Ben Morley, Rob Murphy, Brent Peacock, Dori Sinclair, Chloe Stines, Megan Tattersall, Stephanie Thomas, Luna Wasson, Will Wicherski, Stephanie Williams, Sydney Wilmot, Matt Wiseman, and Tyra (JT) Wynn. (plus any others that are not on the list).

Thank you to the multitude of youth athletes, for whom this program is designed, and without whose dedication and support it would be impossible!

A special thanks to Jackson Hole Nordic for being a strong supporter of our programs.