Up North: DXC Ski Club’s “Lop-it Loppet” paving the way for cross country ski season
With the official end of fall nearing, that means winter is up next, and so are the sports that come with it, like cross country skiing. But when the first snow falls, it’s not as simple as going out and strapping on your skis.
Sometimes, the environment is as dangerous as it is exciting.
“One of the worst experiences is to be skiing along and just get slapped in the face by a branch,” said Ketzel Levens, a volunteer at the Duluth Cross Country Ski Club “Lop-it Loppet”. “We’re thinking about what is going to be a head height or what already is and what has the potential to come into the trail right of way.”
The Duluth Cross Country Ski Club, or DXC, is on week three of the “Lop-it Loppet”, where a group of volunteers go out to take care of some of the trails they’ll be gliding through after the first snowfall.
Moving big logs and branches in a quiet part of the woods doesn’t get too much press or recognition, and it can be easy to overlook just how important it is to keep skiers safe.
However, members of the DXC don’t care about being recognized, they already have pride in their actions.
Levens said, “There is a ton of pride that comes with coming by, seeing a trail that was able to be groomed so well because of the effort you put it in now and just being able to say, ‘yeah, we did that.'”
“I’m so thankful Duluth has this mecca of cross-country ski trails that we can take a look at and enjoy all winter,” added Emily Ranta, a DXC Board Member. “To be able to say that you’re taking some ownership of those trails and out there doing that work to make sure that they’re in a good place just feels good.”
The next “Lop-it Loppet” will be in Lester Park on Sunday, November 7 and at Piedmont Trails on Sunday, November 19.