A Little Clinic History:
The Fall Camp Nordic ski clinics started in the mid-1980's. Drew Barney and a few other ski enthusiasts and professionals started the ball rolling by teaching a series of coaches' clinics. By the winter of 1991 - 1992, Drew had combined forces with Dick Hunt and Torbjorn Karlsen and they were offering clinics for citizen racers and individuals who just wanted to improve their technique. Over the years, Drew, Dick and most recently Emily Lovett have worked to assemble a coaching staff composed of an elite group of XC ski professionals which includes retired world class skiers, coaches and professional instructors. To learn more about the coaching staff click here. The goal of the West Yellowstone Ski Camp is to make you a better skier. We’ll provide a solid understanding of technique and give you tools to gain efficiency and strentgh at the camp and throughout your ski season. Come and join our staff to get a "jump start" on your 2013 - 2014 ski season!
Rendezvous Ski Trails History:
Skiing has a long history in the West Yellowstone area and dates back more than a century to when U.S. Cavalry soldiers patrolled Yellowstone National Park on skis they dubbed "agony boards". Skis were also used by early explorers and trappers as they traveled through this immense mountain valley. In 1908, the Union Pacific Railroad reached West Yellowstone and put the town on the map as the West Entrance to Yellowstone National Park. Summertime tourism boomed but when deep snows closed the mountain passes and shut down rail travel, West Yellowstone was a world unto itself. With four to six feet of snow on the ground from November to April, skis were used for both travel and sport.
In the 1970's, Neal Swanson and his sons, Kent and Carl, saw the potential for expanding the cross country skiing opportunities in West Yellowstone. With the help of Claude Coffin and his U.S. Forest Service crews, Kent put in many long hours fashioning the Rendezvous Ski Trails on the old logging roads south of town. Meanwhile, Carl was skiing competitively and in 1978 he won the Junior Nationals. In that same year, the Swansons were able to coax the U.S. Nordic Ski Team to West Yellowstone for their November training camp. During each November since then, hundreds of our country's best skiers flock to this tiny mountain community for up to a month of physical and mental conditioning.
Biathletes are also present in large numbers during the Yellowstone Ski Festival. The U.S. Biathlon Association used the Rendezvous Ski Trails to train and compete for years before a permanent firing range was established adjacent to the trail system in 1985. The range is now considered one of the best in the country and it continues to draw biathletes from around the world for early season training.