March 2022

Thoughts about…

A Brief Update

As soon as we entered March, I was asked by a number of friends how much longer I thought I’d be working at the cross-country ski center. Until last weekend, I hadn’t really considered that the season would actually come to an end! There was (and still is) so much snow on the ground, and I still needed about 20 days of skiing at that point to reach my goal of 100.

But when I was asked that same question multiple times on the same day last week, reality began to sink in. Everything comes to an end, after all, and this winter is no different.

Honestly, though, I think I’ve just been in denial because I have seen the writing on the wall. Thanks to analytics, ever since mid-February I’ve noticed a downward trend of readership and viewership on Tahoe Trail Guide and my YouTube channel.

As much as I look forward to spring and to be participating in the Tahoe Wildflower Big Year, I’m obviously a little sad that winter is coming to a close. But it’s not only because I want to keep cross-country skiing. I also will miss all of the people that I’ve gotten to know over the winter via online conversations.

A big part of the reward for creating all of my articles and videos is that people actually read and watch them! Many people offer positive feedback of my work, and share their experience about learning to cross-country ski or snowshoe, for example. I also enjoy the fact that I have a worldwide audience.

I realize that the following is a bit self-serving, but I wanted to share a few of the more meaningful responses that I’ve received this past season to some of my videos. The commenters give me hope for humanity because they show that not everyone who comments on social media are trolls. Haha!

Anyway, I apologize for the brief update this month. However, I simply ran out of time and since it’s already the tenth of the month I just needed to move on 🙂

A day at the beach on February 8, 2022. © Jared Manninen

 

Thank you very much for all the reflections taken from your experience, in my country Spain there is little information for self-study, it is of great help to me for this demanding and technical sport. I follow your videos with emotion and gratitude.

 

Cross-country skiing to Scott’s Lake in a couple of inches of fresh snow on February 15, 2022. © Jared Manninen

 

Your teaching style is so excellent – repeating drills, showing the steps, and best of all talking about strategies for downhill as a way to manage safety and fun at the learner’s own level. So many other instructors will just tell you to get over the fear and that’s that, but I find your attitude more respectful. Looking forward to learning my hockey stop.

 

Crusty snow at Grass Lake on February 16, 2022. © Jared Manninen

 

I feel so validated right now that I’m almost in tears. If only I’d had this video when I was in middle school and had to attend mandatory cross-country skiing trips in school. Born and raised in Norway, I’m supposed to be “born with cross-country skis on my feet”, but I am also autistic, struggle with skiing, swimming, bicycling, all those things, and touring skis were unheard of when I was a kid. It was all cross-country skiing. Going downhill was scary. My dad tried teaching me to snowplow, it was very difficult. When I came to steep downhill areas, I would take my skis off and walk down the hill! Everyone else seemed to have such an easy time, either cruising down in the tracks, or snowplowing effortlessly. I’m 26 years old and it’s only because of your video that I now know that, hey, it’s okay that I struggled! That, hey, touring skis are easier! I want to face my skiing traumas so that I can go into the woods with my dog even in the depths of winter, and I need skis for that. Your video is giving me hope that it’s something I can actually do. Thank you!

 

The biggest Tahoe snowstorm since the holiday season occurred on February 22, 2022, dropping just over a foot of snow. © Jared Manninen

 

By far the best and most informative videos on XC skiing on the entire Internet—thank you, great job

 

Dramatic skies in Hope Valley on February 23, 2022. © Jared Manninen

 

Wonderful video. There’s finally snow on the ground in the mid-Hudson valley of upstate New York and we just skied at the golf course at Vassar College. To say we are rusty is an understatement. Your video using repetition, different ways to describe motion, and the humble and winning manner you have of doing that shows teaching skills and skiing technique that is convincing and entertaining and the considerable thought behind it all. Thanks.

 

Although I skied too late in the day on February 24, 2022, it was still a great day of xc skiing! © Jared Manninen

 

You are doing great job. I have learned a lot by watching your videos! Offcourse the practise and trying it in real life is the most important thing. But I find your way of explaining things to a beginner really helpfull. I try to remember them my best when I get on to my skies.  I have now skied like 6 times as an adult (I turn 43 next month) and I just wanted to tell that your videos has helped me so much to find a tecnique to be safe and learn to ski. Offcourse I understand that I just need a lot of hours on the track and practise again and again to really get it and to find a totaly new muscles and a courage to to this. But your advice on my mind I can develope my skils slowely as it may be but I allready can feel a progress and with that I have to give a really big thanks for your videos. Thank you so much! I love this sport allready! I can only get better! Sorry If my spelling was bad! I’m from Finland

 

Early bird skiing at its finest on February 27, 2022. © Jared Manninen

 

The way you design your videos is the BEST way to learn. Even if people want shorter videos and “straighter” to the point, do not listen to them. As I am currently doing a PhD course about learning in general (or “how to learn stuff” basically), your way of doing it with comprehensive videos with theoretical and practical explanations with several repetitions is by far the best way to learn something. Don’t feel bad about the length and repetitions in your videos. That is how our brain wants it haha. Anyway, if it was not clear yet, your series of videos are the best videos to be introduced to XC skiing!

 

A brief snowstorm on March 4, 2022. © Jared Manninen

More videos! Have I mentioned that I absolutely love to edit video? Well, I do! Below is my output from the past month. The Introduction to Classic XC Skiing (Part 5): Agility Drills for Classic Cross-Country Skiing took way longer to produce than I was anticipating. Another project that chipped away at the hours and prevented me from writing this newsletter. But I really like how the video turned out 🙂

Cross-Country Skiing Explained Mini-Series

This list of links will probably remain her for the winter, as well. I’ve noticed an increase in traffic (looking for xc ski related content) both at Tahoe Trail Guide and at my YouTube channel.

Please note that I wrote Cross-Country Skiing Explained with the beginner or intermediate cross-country skier in mind. This is the demographic for whom I most often served while working in the outdoor recreation industry at Lake Tahoe. I basically treat these articles as extensions of the conversations I’ve had with those customers. That said, expert skiers probably could take away something of value from this article. Just know that I don’t intend to address racing-oriented philosophy, technique, or gear selection.

Considerations for buying cross-country ski gear (new and beginner xc skiers)

Classic Cross-Country Ski Components

Waxing Your “Waxless” Cross-Country Skis (for beginner and intermediate xc skiers)

Thanks for being a part of my life. Until next time…

-Jared Manninen

Tahoe Trail Guide is an online resource for hiking, backpacking, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing in the Lake Tahoe region. In addition to trail data, I offer backcountry “how-to” articles and information about the local and natural history of Tahoe. Tahoe Swag is a collection of art and design products I create based on my love of the outdoors and appreciation for Lake Tahoe and the surrounding Sierra Nevada Mountains.

If you like any of the images I post in these newsletters, please contact me. I’d be more than happy to upload them to my RedBubble account so that you can order prints and other merchandise featuring the images.

A couple of fresh inches of snow on March 5, 2022. © Jared Manninen

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Categories: Newsletters
Tags: #2022

Comments (2)

  • Grace Lawlor . March 11, 2022 . Reply

    Hi Jared! I miss you and the whole angora crew so much! I want you to know how much I love receiving your monthly newsletter in my inbox, and I hope to become as illustrative and beautiful of a writer as you are one day! We have been hosting winter guide schools and having winter cross country skiing classes here in Davis through Outdoor Adventures (where Lee and I work) and I think it would be a great idea to have our participants watch your skiing videos for a little introduction into the sport if they have never been before (I still have never been cross country skiing before, so I definitely need to watch them as well). I hope you are well and Tahoe winter is lovely as always. Hope to see you sooooon!

    • (Author) Jared Manninen . March 15, 2022 . Reply

      Hey Grace,

      Again, thanks so much for the kind words! I’m glad you’re enjoying the newsletters 🙂

      We all miss you, too! And like I mentioned in the DM, if you ever have any questions about xc skiing or want to do some sort of Tahoe xc ski excursion I’d be more than happy to help out in any way that I can.

      Take care, and keep in touch!

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