Seeley Lake Nordic Ski Club

The Non-Profit Niche

SEELEY LAKE – Though originally created in 1978 on United States Forest Service property, in 1990-91 the Seeley Creek Nordic Ski Trails on Morrell Creek Road were widened and redesigned under the guidance of Olympian Jon Eliot. In 1992 a volunteer group formed, named itself the Seeley Lake Nordic Ski Club (SLNSC) and committed to grooming the 18-kilometer trail complex on a regular basis.

Grooming those trails continues to be the Club's primary mission. Over the years, the organization has taken advantage of grants and donations to purchase new and better equipment. In place of the single snowmobile pulling a box spring, the organization now has four snowmobiles pulling a variety of apparatus: two rollers to pack the snow and form a solid base layer; two drags to level the snow; three ginzus, each carrying two rows of cutting knives that churn up old, hard snow and recondition it. Both the drags and the ginzus are capable of creating a corduroy finish for skate skiers and setting a track for classic skiers. There are eight regular groomers. Recently, new Seeley Lake resident Doug Egerton has joined the crew. Edgerton brings his PistenBully 100 which grooms more precisely and in a shorter period of time.

In 2015, a yurt was erected at the trailhead. The yurt with its wood stove provides a place to warm up, eat a snack, meet with friends and socialize before or after skiing.

Use of the Seeley Creek Nordic Ski Trails is freely available to anyone wishing to ski the groomed trails. A donation box is available at the trailhead. All dues, donations and race revenues go toward running and maintaining the grooming equipment. There is an annual fee to become a member of the ski club.

SLNSC annually sponsors two ski races. The OSCR (pronounced Oscar) celebrated its 40th year as a 50K marathon event in January. The Club's main fundraiser, the OSCR now includes 20K and 10K races and draws many out-of-state competitors.

The newer event on the trails is the Biathlon, now cooperatively sponsored with the Wilderness Sportsman Club. The only "Citizen's Biathlon" in Montana, the race is open to everyone. Both youth and adults may enter in the 3K or 9K events; adults and elites may enter the 21K. Racers ski a loop, shoot prone, ski a loop, shoot standing and ski another loop. Each missed shot incurs an additional penalty ski around a 50-meter loop.

Along with other adult volunteers, some SLNSC members assist with Seeley Lake Elementary and Seeley-Swan High School ski teams. The Junior Prep Team teaches eight to 11-year-old youngsters how to skate ski and helps them improve their classic ski skills. Older and more advanced students form the Seeley Lake Nordic Race Team. They compete in local races and travel to other Montana races.

The Race Team hosts the annual SKIESTA Nordic Ski Race, which offers 1K, 3K, 10K and 20K competitions for both youth and adults. During the 10 years of SKIESTA, ski club members have teamed up with other volunteers to help with registration, provide proctors at race junctions and assist at the food tables.

Usually during January and February, SLNSC offers ski clinics led by certified professional ski instructors. Separate workshops are set up for classic and skate skiers and for beginner and intermediate levels.

Seeley Lake Nordic Ski Club Current Officers

President Mike McGrew

Vice President Lynn Carey

Secretary Brie Guillmette

Treasurer Michele Holmes

Contact Info

Website: https://www.seeleylakenordic.org/

**The website contains the weather report, the latest grooming report available each day at the conclusion of the grooming session, The Compulsive Skier Blog and information on clinics and other events.

 

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