BEARINGER TOWNSHIP - The newly-formed Black Mountain Nordic Ski Club will host three cross-country skiing events at Black Mountain Recreation Area Saturday and Sunday.
The ninth annual Black Mountain Nordic Classic is Saturday, race director Denny Paull said. The 30-kilometer race encompasses the entire outside loop of Black Mountain's trail system. Only classic-style skiing is allowed in the race.
For those looking for an easier, shorter skiing experience, there's the 10-kilometer John Hardin and Marv Mendyk Memorial Tour, also on Saturday.
"It's for those that don't want to compete, but just want to experience skiing on the mountain with like-minded people," Paull said.
On Sunday, those into freestyle skiing can participate in the first-ever March into Madness 10-kilometer race, Paull said. He's hoping the new event will turn into an annual one.
There will be a catered lunch at Black Mountain Lodge Saturday after the 30-kilometer race, and pizza after the race on Sunday, Paull said.
Race proceeds will help the Black Mountain Nordic Ski Club continue to groom trails at Black Mountain, Paull said. The group works in partnership with the Top of Michigan Trails Council and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.
For $60, skiers can participate in both the classic and freestyle race. This includes lunch on both days and a T-shirt. Otherwise, registration for Saturday's race is $50, $30 for the tour and $20 for Sunday's race.
Those who come to Black Mountain this weekend can take advantage of what Paull said is the best snow conditions he's seen in the history of the race.
"We've just had a great February for snow," he said.
The race draws a variety of skiers, everyone from the highly competitive types to those who just want to finish it for the challenge, Paull said. Either way, he'd like to see more local people participate in the event. Indeed, many of the participants are from other states.
"We're really trying to make it into a community event," he said. "It would do our hearts wonders to see more local people participating."
A registration form for the events can be found online at www.nordicskiracer.com/eventview.asp?id=2893, and anyone with questions can email Paull at email@example.com. Those interested in becoming a club member can contact him as well.
Jordan Travis can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 358-5688.