Everyone is invited to West Yellowstone, Montana Nov. 22-26 for the Yellowstone Ski Festival, a week-long celebration of cross-country skiing. Each year thousands of skiers, from Olympic athletes to first timers, descend on this small mountain town to make their first tracks of the season over the Thanksgiving holiday on perfectly groomed corduroy.
The Yellowstone Ski Festival offers a diverse schedule of events, with one to five day Nordic ski clinics offered throughout the week. Classic and skate specific options, as well as multi-day combination clinics, provide an opportunity for all skiers to kick-start their season on the Rendezvous Ski Trails. West Yellowstone will also host the USSA SuperTour opener, beginning with the “Sprint Showdown,” on Wednesday, Nov. 23. The 10/15 kilometer freestyle race and 5/10 kilometer classic race will happen on Friday and Saturday. A “Try Biathlon Day” will be held on Nov.22, and Biathlon Sprint on Nov. 23.
Skiers will have the chance to test skis, boots, bindings, poles and wax at the On Snow Gear Demo. New this year, the “Passport Program” will enter skiers who demo gear from all participating companies and attended one evening wax clinic into a drawing for a $750 gift certificate to their choice of local ski shops Freeheel & Wheel, Bud Lilly’s, or Altius Handcrafted Firearms. Second and third prizes will also be awarded.
The festivities continue after dark at the Indoor Expo, where skiers may visit with company representatives, fine tune ski prep techniques at wax clinics, and enjoy a variety of lectures, presentations and films. The expo will be held at the Yellowstone Ski Festival’s headquarters, the Holiday Inn.
Bring the whole family; there are plenty of options for kids. The Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center has scheduled daily activities and family-friendly evening presentations include the Backcountry Film Festival, a Birds of Prey exhibit featuring live raptors, a hands-on lecture from the National Park Service, and a good, old-fashioned s’more party. Let the Yellowstone Ski Festival become a new Thanksgiving tradition.
Think snow and make plans now to attend the 2011 Yellowstone Ski Festival. For more information, clinic registration, or to find out about early trail pass discounts, visit www.yellowstoneskifestival.com.