By Kathryn Reed
A Nordic center at Lake Tahoe Community College is expected to open next month.
The college board of trustees on Jan. 8 approved the creation of the South Lake Tahoe Community Nordic Ski and Snowshoe Club. This will be a pilot program run through the college’s Connect Community Education.
Megan Waskiewicz, who runs Connect Ed, told Lake Tahoe News after the meeting that when people think of alpine locations, they assume Nordic and hockey will be part of the mix.
Until now there had been no groomed cross country trails in South Lake Tahoe.
A 5-kilometer course that will go behind the college starting at the Ledbetter Terrace will be groomed. This is where the parking will be, too.
U.S. Forest Service employees will practically be able to get on the trail from their office’s front door. Forest Supervisor Nancy Gibson submitted a letter of support for the center.
Garrett Villanueva, trail building expert with the U.S. Forest Service, is part of the volunteer team of community members helping make the center a reality.
It has been quick process to get the center off the ground this season, as well as a collaborative effort.
Tyler Cannon bought equipment from the now defunct operation at Spooner Summit. He has volunteered to do the grooming.
Pete Fink and Jonathan Moore with the city’s Recreation Commission spoke in favor of the center at the board meeting. Fink said he believes there is room for growth by possibly adding the Bijou meadow in the future.
He even said the college should think about having a Nordic team in the future. To which a college official said LTCC did in the past.
Waskiewicz said Lake Tahoe Unified students have gotten wind of the idea and want to start using the trails. Right now South Tahoe High School trains at Kirkwood.
Waskiewicz told the board her future goals are to have 10 kilometers of groomed trails, skate skiing and a walking path for snowshoers.
While it will cost money to use the trail, the goal this season is to see what type of interest there is. It will be an honor system to use the trails – much like parking areas have with an envelope to pay the fee. Passes will be available during the week at the Connect Ed off on campus. Day use will be $5, with an individual season pass costing $29.
Feb. 1 is the target date for the Nordic center to be open.