Ski Week at Shanty Creek: Smooth Trails and Snake Dances
By Andrea Goddard
SFL Bulletin Spring 2016
There really aren’t enough good things to say about the fantastic trails and skiing conditions at Shanty Creek Resorts, as we gathered for the 41st International Ski for Light, or, for what has become one of the best, extended family reunions imaginable…. There was something behind the magic of the smooth and gentle 5 K, and the more hilly and challenging 10 K trails, though, so the party was in the works long before most of the SFL contingent descended on the Lakeview Hotel in Bellaire in late January. Jeff Pagels, John Peiffer, and Doug and Lynda Boose had made their way to Shanty Creek in March, 2015, in order to work with the resort’s general manager, Pete Bickford, and later, with Shanty Creek’s groomer to optimize SFL’s skiing experience. Their efforts paid off in universal praise: Those of us who sit ski, as well as those stand up skiers wanting a more leisurely time of it rejoiced over the gentle ups and downs of the 5 K trail, and sit skiers were also thrilled that they could ski more throughout the week because the trail had been designed in part to meet the needs of MIPs relying almost solely on upper body strength to propel their skis. The 10 K was likewise pleasing; always well groomed, and studded with some challenging, exciting hills! Shuttle service to and from the ski area was superb, with the hotel’s being just a few minutes’ ride from the hours of great skiing. Lunch service at the cafeteria was complimented by all, and the Lakeview Hotel’s staff was outstandingly courteous and helpful in all aspects of their service and assistance throughout the week. Of course, some folks were able to enjoy their skiing because they were committed enough to show up at the much lauded stretching classes led by Doug Powell… the SFL fitness guru, every morning at 6:45! Others of us cherished that last, lingering bit of pre breakfast calm before the non stop fun and camaraderie filling the rest of our days. While that latter group of us rubbed sleep out of our eyes and tried to jump start things with some desperately needed caffeine, Doug’s dedicated stretching class would be the most upbeat people in the breakfast buffet line. The hot tub, steam room, and sauna were well populated after each ski day, and the resident massage therapist was kept quite busy throughout the week. The evenings were filled with some fun gatherings (like the one hosted by Diane Brunswick and Glenn Beachy), and Nancy Stevens led a couple great jam sessions in front of one of the hotel’s fireplaces, where rousing folk music was sung, played, and otherwise enjoyed by all! On the night of the silent auction, a lively and entertaining deejay played some great tunes, and one of the more unexpected moments occurred when several of the guide dogs present were allowed to “dance” right along with the rest of us, having the permission of their handlers and being off duty at the time, naturally! Another of our ski week traditions, Norway Night, was met with the usual combination of attentiveness and enthusiasm: Festivities featured traditional costumes, an interesting presentation on Norwegian history and culture, a moving testimonial by deaf/blind athlete Harald Vik, and one of the more offbeat yet cherished SFL traditions, a giant snake dance, everyone with hands on shoulders winding through the dining room and swaying to John Denver’s “Country Roads.” Julie Coppens’s spirited, articulate announcing/deejay skills kept us all riveted as she delivered meal time updates on trail/weather conditions, and on our daily schedule of events. The only, real “downer” of the week was that it had to end and, though the Granby event is nearly a year away, many of us feel that it can’t come soon enough!
Many people who attended the SFL 2016 event in Michigan have
posted individual photos as well as photo albums to the SFL Facebook page. If you are
not a follower, you may view the photos here
Race and Rally Results
View or download the Olav Pedersen Race and Rally results (MS Excel format) from the 2016 event.