Cross Country Skiing

Jim Young and Cross Country Skiing

HONST Skier Began Cross Country skiing in early ’70’s as part of venture into retail sales (sailing/skiing/hiking/canoeing) with stores in Oshkosh and Wausau, Wisconsin – Hike Out Ltd.

As part of the retail operation, organized and ran a large XC ski education program, putting skiing into many schools (elementary, jr high, high schools) in Central Wisconsin, including the universities in Oshkosh and Ripon, as well as Lawrence University in Appleton, were he was on staff as the cross country ski instructor. Also organized and ran programs for YMCA’s and scout groups. Provided the equipment for these programs and the instructors or instructor training.

First Certified as XC Ski Instructor in 1975, by USSA-CD, after helping develop the education/certification program; went on to certification thru EPSTI and then PSIA. First Certified as a Nordic Coach in 1978 by US Ski Coaches Association. Attended many American Coaching Effectiveness Program (ACEP) courses, was certified as an ACEP Level II Coach; certified as an ACEP Instructor in ’86.

Attended the Cross Country Coaches School in Oslo, Norway, 1979; was a member of the US Coaches Association Coaches Education clinic staff beginning 1978, and ran the program in the mid-80’s; was Director of the first National Cross Country Level III Coaches College, 1986, at Marquette, MI.

Began racing with 55km American Birkebeiner in 1975; immediately following race, decided that it was smarter and easier on the body to be a coach. Has completed 13 Birkebeiners, plus other marathons, including the notorious 1984 North American Vasa, an event that was supposed to be 50km, but due to a lack of snow, and significant organizer errors, was actually 84 km (finished 17th overall, 3rd in class).

Began coaching more seriously in the late ’70’s, with a very successful citizen racing program in Central Wisconsin (HONST). Then spent two winters teaching/coaching in Canada, at Stokley Creek in Ontario. Was then hired as Domestic Cross Country Development Coach for the US Ski Team, then went on to be Head Coach of the US Biathlon Team. Left the politics of National Teams behind in late ’80’s to focus on private coaching and support of elite-level athletes, first through the Snow Mountain Nordic Development Group, and later the Coyote Springs Ski Team.

Began ski trail design with small areas in Wisconsin; designed, set up, and ran municipal ski programs in Oshkosh and Neenah; went on to design, develop, and map cross country ski trail systems in Canada, Michigan, Wisconsin, Wyoming and Colorado. Major work was at Snow Mountain Ranch in Colorado (where wife Nancy was the Nordic Director for 15 years), plus the Casper Mountain Park system in Wyoming and the Stokely Creek system in Ontario, Canada.

Other ski coaching experiences; Head Coach/Team Leader, US Nordic Team at the 1989 World University Games, Sofia, Bulgaria; has also led groups to Russia (Festival of the North, Murmansk), Japan (Miasama Ski Games, Sapporo), Switzerland/France (Tour de Masiffs), as well as numerous other race trips to central and northern Europe.

Has organized races in Wisconsin, Canada, and Colorado; was the Event Manager for all Cross Country events at Snow Mountain Ranch in the late 80’s and 90’s; developed software for event management and race results. In the late 80’s, along with wife Nancy (Nordic Director at Snow Mountain Ranch) and their chief of trails, Ron Sell, invented a new cross country ski event; long-distance (30+ km), mass start, ski the first half classical (diagonal stride) technique, switch equipment at the halfway point and ski the second half freestyle (skating). Twenty years after they first ran it as the Snow Mountain Dual, the event appeared at the Vancouver Olympics in 2010, as the 30km Mens Pursuit.

Miscellaneous committee and association work; President (6 terms), Colorado Cross Country Ski Association, Board member (4 yrs), Cross Country Ski Areas Association, member USSA-CD XC Instructor Certification Committee.

Areas of expertise: cross country ski trail design and maintenence, cross country area management, event management, plus private coaching services to motivated cross country skiers and Biathletes.