Skiing and Snowboarding Posts

A Brief Remembrance of George Hovland

I’ve only been in Duluth for 20 years, so in relation to George Hovland’s life, I’m just a newcomer. Even so, as a cross-country skier, my tracks crossed his over and over.

George always ran Snowflake Nordic Ski Center like a charity. The cashbox on the counter just sat there on the honor system. Each year, I signed up my kids for the KidSki program. This was during the window of time each fall where he gave a discount for signing up early. I paid full price because I could afford it. I also did it because, unlike a lot of things, I knew exactly where my money was going. I mean, outside of my family, cross-country skiing is my favorite thing. And each year when he got my check, George called me on the phone and said, “You shouldn’t pay full price. You can pay the discounted price.” And I said, “I know George. It’s me. I told you the exact same thing last year.”

One time, I was skiing classic style in the snow-blessed microclimate at Snowflake and George came up on me the opposite direction and said, “Great technique!” I was a little too pleased, but a comment like that from George, a 1952 Olympian, was like a benediction.

John Rudd turning a complete somersault on skis

As documented on this old postcard, Duluthian John Rudd is credited as having performed the first somersault on skies. It happened at Chester Bowl, then known as Chester Creek Hill.

Tokle makes streamlined 197-foot jump at Duluth

On Feb. 2, 1941, Norwegian ski-jumper Torger Tokle jumped 203 feet at the new 60-meter ski jump at Fond du Lac. He’s shown in images here hitting 197 feet. An estimated 5,000 spectators were in attendance. Duluth hosted the National Ski Jumping Championship the following year.

The Slice: The Heart of Piedmont Ski Trails

Take a cross-country ski tour with Glen Nelson, one of the pioneers of the Piedmont Ski Trails in Duluth.

In its series The Slice, WDSE-TV presents short “slices of life” that capture the events and experiences that bring people together and speak to what it means to live up north.

Duluth You & Me: Chester Bowl Ski Jump

Sadly, the ski jumps at Chester Bowl were demolished in 2014, but the memories live on in this coloring exercise.

Use the link below for a printable PDF for your coloring and drawing pleasure.
Duluth You & Me: Chester Bowl Ski Jump

Follow the Duluth You & Me subject tag to see additional pages. For background on the book see the original post on the topic.

Duluth You & Me: Cross-country Trails

The number of miles of groomed cross-country ski trails in Duluth is given as 24 in this 1993 activity book page. The Duluth Cross-Country Ski Club reports the modern-day figure as more than 50 kilometers, or roughly 30 miles.

Duluth You & Me: Winter Skiing

Use the link below for a printable PDF for your coloring and drawing pleasure.
Duluth You & Me: Winter Skiing

Follow the Duluth You & Me subject tag to see additional pages. For background on the book see the original post on the topic.

Duluth Parades, Ski Jumping and Coal Shipping Circa 1941

On Feb. 1, 2000, Duluth businessman Monnie Goldfine recorded a voiceover track for his family films, most of which he shot himself between 1939 and 1946. Perfect Duluth Day has divided the footage into three segments:

Duluth Trivia Deck Sampler #30: Winter Sports Edition

Another trivia card from a board game purchased at Savers.

Woodchucc Szn

John Degelau sends one out to the woodchucks in this 2018/’19 video of ski stunts.

Jack Schmid, Peter Lochner, Gordon Buffington, Kendozer, Ben Thelen, Garret Schwindt, Mitchell Kasper, and Dylan O’Connor are credited for shooting the clips.

The Slice: Snowshoe Skiing with Milos

In its series The Slice, WDSE-TV presents short “slices of life” that capture the events and experiences that bring people together and speak to what it means to live up north.

In this edition, Milos explains the basics of snowshoe skiing and explores a winter wonderland.

Paul Bystrican Season 2017/18

As we near the start of the 2018/19 ski season, here are some clips of Thunder Bay’s Paul Bystrican in action last year. Several shots are from Spirit Mountain in Duluth.

Grand Avenue Nordic Center trail opening soon

(Photo courtesy of Spirit Mountain)

Eric Chandler reports on his Shmotown blog that Duluth’s first cross-country trail system with snowmaking capability is expected to open in December.

Bob Dylan: Duluth Ski Bum?

A profile on Roger McGuinn in No Depression, a quarterly roots music journal, opens with an interesting Duluth-related tidbit.

McGuinn says he and Dylan went skiing in Minnesota — near Duluth or Dylan’s hometown of Hibbing — during a Christmas break in Dylan’s historic 1975-76 Rolling Thunder Revue tour.

“He’s fast,” McGuinn recalls. “I was a beginning skier on the intermediate slope going down cautiously. I look to my right, and Bob goes vroom right past me.”

So, was it Spirit Mountain? Chester Bowl? Mont du Lac? Giants Ridge? Lutsen Mountains? Let the speculation begin.

Duluthians go for Gold

UMD Bulldog and Team USA goalie Maddie Rooney sported the Aerial Lift Bridge on the back of her helmet as Team USA took gold last night. There were a total of five UMD Bulldogs in the quest for the gold medal: Rooney and defenseman Sidney Morin for team USA, and forward Haley Irwin, defensemen Jocelyne Larocque and Brigette Lacquette were playing for Canada. Also, the U.S. team was coached by Duluth native Robb Stauber.

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