News & Stories

January 19, 2012 Update

January 19, 2012 – Theodore Wirth Park, Minneapolis, MN.

Question of the day?

What is happening with this year’s Loppet?

Short Answer:

The Nordic Ski Foundation does not know all the specifics yet, but the plan is to go forward with the tenth anniversary version of the  festival.

Long Answer:

The Foundation feels very good about all the MOA Family Day (Saturday) Events; the Sunday events will happen, but the exact form they take may vary with the conditions.

MOA Family Day:

  1. With the recent cold weather there is now adequate ice on the lakes.
  1. Loppet volunteers “planted” the Ice Cropolis a few days ago, the Park Board recently  filled the sono-tubes with water and ice has started forming.
  1. Luminary buckets are to be filled and hatched this weekend.
  1. Ice Henge is well under way and, in short, the Luminary Crew feels great about the event.
  1.  The Foundation is currently making snow for the street portion of the event in Uptown and for its snow sculpture contest.
  1. The main need is a little snow on Lake of the Isles.  But even on that front the Foundation has a plan.  With the next “substantial” snowfall (this year that means more than one inch), the Foundation plans to be out with plows – piling the snow into ribbons of ski trail in preparation for the festival.  While it would obviously be preferable to have more snow, even with very little help from Mother Nature, the Foundation feels good about its ability to create a ski trail on Lake of the Isles over the next two weeks.

With the combination of adequate ice, snow on Lake Street and Hennepin and a plan for snow on Lake of the Isles, MOA Family Day looks to be in good shape.

Sunday Events:

With a 33 kilometer trail, Sunday presents different challenges.  If the Sunday events were held over the next few days, they would happen, but probably  in a modified form.  There are several things going for the Loppet’s Sunday events . . .

  1. The Park Board has created a 3.3 kilometer artificial snow loop.  While challenging, a modified (easier) version of the loop is likely to be part of the big day!
  1. Barring unforeseen warm temperatures, this Saturday the Foundation will have made enough snow for the Uptown portion of the event.
  1. With an inch or more of snow the Foundation should be able to construct a trail on the lakes.
  1. This leaves the remaining trails through Wirth Park.  The Foundation is examining options.   With a good storm the Foundation would, of course, attempt to run the full course. With a few inches of snow the Foundation would likely mobilize a volunteer shoveling effort to connect the snowmaking loop to the trails on the Chain of Lakes.
  1. And that leads to the Loppet’s last and perhaps greatest  asset – the Foundation has the best group of volunteers of any ski event in North America.  Loppet volunteers have created ski trails from a dusting in the past – putting in more than 2,000 hours of shoveling in a single year!  If Mother Nature gives them an opportunity, the Loppet’s volunteers  may yet surprise . . .

The most important message is this: the Foundation and its volunteers will do everything possible to run the City of Lakes Loppet Cross Country Ski Festival as planned.  Depending upon the weather over the next few weeks, the Foundation may have to modify those plans.  But modified or not, the Foundation will help the world celebrate winter in Minneapolis with a festival.  The show will go on!