Black Jack Ski Area: Happy trails for Nordic skiers

Due to the great early snowfall the Black Jack Cross Country Ski club is groomed and ready for skiers to get back on track this Saturday.

Due to the great early snowfall the Black Jack Cross Country Ski club is groomed and ready for skiers to get back on track this Saturday.

The club has been grooming at the higher elevation biathlon trails since Nov. 6 and has recently started grooming the lower trails.

While skiers have been enjoying the trails of late, the official opening is Saturday when the Kiosk and Ski Rentals will be open for the weekend, then on a regular basis starting Dec. 7.

“It has been great to see so many skiers out enjoying themselves for the past few weeks,” said Black Jack president Alexandra Loeb.

Skiers will enjoy all their favorite trails plus the newly re-opened Ophir trails,  extended by 2.2 km into a better flowing doggy loop. The trails will also have better drainage on many core trails this season thanks to the work of so many volunteers and generous grants from various organizations in preparation for the Haywood NorAm races Dec. 14-15.

This season will also introduce a new program on the trails. Black Jack’s “Ski Ambassadors” will be cruising the trails to offer help to visitors, answering questions, and encouraging folks to wear their passes. The ambassadors are all volunteers who are long-time club members, and can be identified by their bright green arm bands.

“The new ambassadors will help us create a fun and friendly atmosphere,” says Loeb. “We want new skiers to feel welcome and comfortable out on the tracks.”

The ambassadors will be out in force at “Bring a Friend to Ski for Free Day” on Dec. 21. They will be giving one-hour orientation tours of the trails starting at 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m.. Tours are open to any new skiers and/or members.

Black Jack has a great slate of fun events scheduled for this year from photo contests celebrating its 30 year anniversary to the return of Tour de Soup and Ski with Santa. The Club is always looking for volunteers and those interested can call 364-5445 or

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