Waiting for the right conditions

Quin Brunner skis through the Jay C. Hormel Nature Center during the classic race of the Dammenn Nordic Cross Country Ski Race in January. Herald file photo

Quin Brunner skis through the Jay C. Hormel Nature Center during the classic race of the Dammenn Nordic Cross Country Ski Race in January. Herald file photo

As many people revel in the milder temperatures going into December, those who enjoy hitting the cross country ski trails and snowshoeing probably aren’t so happy.

Snow from the latest round in November is already melting as temperatures reach into the 30s over the weekend and into next week. That spells bad news for any type of skiing and snowshoeing.

“We need 6 to 10 inches of snow before you can drop a line,” said the Jay C. Hormel Nature Center’s Julie Champlin. “We have to pack it down and then go over it to drop a track set.”

It’s a stark difference from last year when the area received the higher-than-normal snowfall.

“Last year at Christmas time was absolutely fantastic,” Champlin said.

Still, the nature center is ready whenever the snow does fall. Thanks to a process began by Dr. Dick and Belita Schinder, ski and snow shoe rental si $1 for kids 18 and under.

“For the past three or four years now they’ve been doing that,” Champlin said. “And [Belita] is going to do that again this year.

The adult rate for renting skis is $6 for 19 and older while snowshoe rental is $5. And like years previous, no ski pass is required for the nature center.

There will also be a chance to get lessons at the turn of the new year. On Jan. 24, the nature center will be offering ski lessons from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. The lessons are $6 for adults and $1 for children. For more information or to register call 507-437-7519.

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