By Trevor Finchamp
Things were quieter than normal in Mt. Spokane State Park’s Nordic Ski Area last year. The trails were still full of skiers seeking a cure for cabin fever, but Spokane Nordic Ski Association’s (SNSA) lessons, races, and gatherings were mostly canceled. This turned out to be a blessing in disguise for the organization, however, as a year without events gave SNSA time to plan for the future and expand their offerings to members and the Spokane community.
The pandemic presented two pressing needs: the ability to learn virtually and schedule flexibly.
That’s why, for the first time ever, parents will be able to decide if they’d like to enroll their children in the full seven-week Nordic Kids program or select individual lessons a la carte. SNSA has also started building out a virtual learning center for their members, complete with how-to videos, articles, weekly wax advice, and more.
Last year brought on another big change when beloved coach George Bryant retired. SNSA knew it had big shoes to fill, so the group brought in Jason Jablonski.
Jablonski’s background is diverse and impressive. After getting his Bachelor’s degree in Education from Central Washington, he spent three years as a professional triathlete and another five years as a professional mountain biker before starting his coaching career. He’s spent the last 18 years coaching cross-country skiing, in addition to serving 8 years as the coach of team USA’s Junior Mountain Bike Team.
An SNSA Membership ($40 for individuals, $60 for families) is required to sign up for any of the SNSA lessons and teams, including Nordic Kids, Transition Team, Junior Race Team, Adult Lessons, and Master’s Ski Club.
Spokane Nordic Ski Association, Transition Team (left) // Photo: Chris Sharman; Adult Nordic ski lessons (top right) // Photo: Barbara Jackson; Nordic ski race (bottom right) // All photos courtesy Spokane Nordic Ski Association