Crews at Mt. Bachelor ski area worked feverishly over the last few days to keep the PPP nordic course in decent shape for Saturday’s race, according to John Schiemer, executive director of the Mt. Bachelor Sports Education Foundation.
A relatively low snow year and recent warm temperatures threatened to ruin the course.
Crews farmed snow, moving it from other areas of the mountain to the nordic course, and also salted the course early Saturday morning to make it more firm.
“If the race was any later (on the calendar), we couldn’t have had the nordic leg,” Schiemer said. “It was a huge deal.”
MBSEF, which stages the PPP as a fundraiser, also altered the nordic course in the weeks before the race, as it now stays on trails that are more in the trees and protected from snowmelt.
“I think where we moved it is good,” Schiemer said. “It’s nestled in the trees. This’ll be a permanent change. It’s the right time to do it.”
Some racers commented on the good condition of the nordic course.
“The course was in great shape,” said Marshall Greene, who finished second in the elite men’s race. “For us, it was firm on the downhill and the nordic. The mountain did a good job moving some snow around. Around the parking lot (Friday) it didn’t look very good, but (Saturday) it was good skiing.”