She’s 72 and Logging 1,200 Miles on Skate Skis

Inspiring article from the Wall Street Journal.
Mimi Avins took her first skate-skiing lesson in 2009. Today, the retired journalist is raising her game on trails near Sun Valley, Idaho.

A downhill skier most of her adult life, Mimi Avins used to consider cross-country skiing inferior. “I thought it was for people who were afraid of heights,” she admits. “Boy, was I wrong. It’s an adventurous workout that requires a high level of fitness.”

Ms. Avins took her first skate-skiing lesson in 2009 at the age of 61. Unlike classic cross-country skiing, in which a skier moves through set tracks in a linear way, skate skiing is done on groomed trails and requires a more dynamic lateral movement, similar to ice skating, where both arms work with each leg in a technique known as double poling. At 72, she credits workouts with the Vamps, an all-female Nordic program in Sun Valley, with lifting her skills to the next level.

The JH Nordic Masters Recreational Ski Clinics are modeled on the VAMPS program from Sun Valley. Designed to improve everyone’s cross country classic and skate skiing technique, balance, fitness, stamina, enjoyment.  The JH Masters Nordic Rec clinics are held every 2 weeks, alternating between skate and classic technique on Thursdays 11am-12;30pm at Teton Pines Nordic Center – catering for advanced beginner to intermediate to advanced skiers. Certified Nordic ski coaches from the JH Ski & Snowboard Club Nordic program. Click here for more info and to sign up online. Our next Nordic masters clinic is Thursday Feb 4th – Classic cross country technique!

January 28, 2021 Hole Hiking Update

Provided by Cathy Shill
Founder of The Hole Hiking Experience

“When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe” -John Muir

All types of winter weather. Sun and cold dominated the week but a small storm did bring fresh snow to Jackson Hole. Valley snow is thin for late January with only 6 inches reported in town. Fortunately, a large snow event is in the forecast. It seems to be heading towards Jackson with a fair amount of snow predicted. Also, mountains can hold storms so who knows how much we will actually receive. Wahoo!

During winter months, you will find more animals near the town of Jackson and Teton Village due to the thinner snowpack. This week, I have seen both elk and moose on private property. Larger animals leave Grand Teton Park and territories north in the valley to reach an area that has less snow to exert less energy moving through their territory. As snow deepens, animals will “yard up” or stay in concentrated areas to reduce calorie loss. They want to find a spot where they can have sufficient food, shelter and safety.

To see wildlife, stay alert as you drive through the valley. Moose can be found near homes, along the river, and along roadways. The Mule Deer like the buttes near town so just look up the hills when in Jackson to see the herds of wintering deer. Elk can be seen on the Elk Refuge but also look along the river. The junction of Highway 390 and 22 is a big wildlife spot so keep an eye out and be extra careful when driving. Lots of animals still on the move as snow accumulates into this season of winter.

Lots of wonderful tour options shared on JH Nordic. It’s great to have a team of locals passionate about winter recreation and the willingness to share to create a great resource! I worked over this past weekend so had time for a short excursion. I chose Mosquito Creek which is south of Wilson off Fall Creek Road. Nice for a ski, fat bike ride, snowshoe or dog walk. It is popular with snowmobiles which does create a firm track for walking.

As we share nature, we customize the day to client interest and what we have been seeing in the great outdoors. With endless tour options, we choose what is best. Levels vary and always catered to you. What a fun way to discover winter and learn along the way!  The web of life is intricate so join us to learn about connection and how all species depend on other.

The Hole Hiking Experience 307.690.4453

Trail Creek Nordic

Last Updated: 1/28

Sixteen inches and counting at the upper end of Trail Creek as of 1 PM!; and those sixteen inches are also some of the lightest champagne powder you could ever imagine, what a day!  Even though the Pisten Bully gave it its best effort, grooming today was kind of like stringing beads on a string without a knot. 

That string included pretty much every trail at Trail Creek.  The East Fields got two separated passes and Moose Loop and the close field got many many passes in an attempt to get ahead of the snow.  The rest of the trails got a single skate/classic.

Conditions are definitely soft but how can you complain when you get to witness the majesty of an epic snowfall.  If you make it out today you might not go fast, but you will go well

Groomer’s choice for today is Moose Loop.

Teton Co./Jackson Parks & Rec

Last Updated: 1/28
The school fields and the levee are groomed but will be soft and will continue to get covered up with new snow. Stilson will be done around 10:30.

Friends of Pathways groomed Cache Hagen sidewalk and Hagen highway this evening and will start snowshoeing the trails near the trailhead tomorrow.  Big storm cycle! 

Teton Pines Nordic

Last Updated: 1/27

New snow and the new groomer snow cat are making for excellent skiing at Teton Pines. The groomer has been out at sunrise, and tracks – classic and skate  – are skiing well all day long. Friendly reminder, please no snowshoeing or dogs!  (there’s plenty of snowshoe and dog friendly trails just down the road at Stilson, Wilson Centennial, and Emily’s Pond).

Please call or email Cody for more details: (307) 733-1733 or

Shooting Star

Last Updated: 1/27
After an unusually dry start to winter, it appears plenty of snow is finally headed our way. If the forecast comes true, expect 2-4” of snow to accumulate on the trails during the daylight hours each day through Saturday. The heaviest of snow appears to be on Thursday. We’ll do our best to smooth the track out each morning, but anticipate storm style skiing with potential drifting (if windy) until Sunday. Keep your fingers crossed for lots of snow! Enjoy! Next Update Monday 2/1.  Please See the following  Restrictions

  • Dog Loops & All Nordic Skiing Trails OPEN
  • Sled Hill OPEN
  • Classic Tracks SET
  • Snow Shoeing Loop OPEN
  • Casual Walking Not Permitted

Grand Teton National Park

Last Updated: 1/26
Trail conditions are looking good from Taggart Lake Trailhead to South Jenny today, can’t get much better! @grandtetonfoundation @jhnordic #gtnpgrooming

Turpin Meadow Ranch

Last Updated: 1/28
No new snow this Am but it looks like it can start coming down any minute. The skate lane was reset this AM and the trails are looking good (minus a few spots where the moose decided to have a dance party). If you’re new to skiing or wanting to refine your skills, book a ski lesson with our professional ski instructor Elee (she also does guided tours)! She is a wealth of knowledge and can help take your Nordic skiing, whether it be skate or classic, to the next level! To help with social distancing and to get you on the trails faster please purchase your trail passes and sign your waivers online in advance (see link below). As always, remember to recreate responsibly. Bring a mask as it is required to enter the lodge. Lunch and dinner are both by reservation only. | 307.543.2000, office

Grand Targhee

Last Updated: 1/28
XC OPEN (Last groomed 1/28/2021) Fat Bike OPEN.

Trail Etiquette: Please keep your dogs leashed in the parking lot and be sure to clean up after them!

Alta Track

Grooming Schedule: Tuesday, Thursday, & Sunday
Last Updated: 1/28
Skate: Set | Classic: Set
Groomed the Alta Track this morning. Came out pretty well. Reset the majority of the classic track and buffed out the skate lane.

Please do not park in the library parking lot. Please be sure to keep your dogs on a leash and to clean up after them.


Grooming Schedule: Monday, Wednesday & Friday
Last Updated: 1/27
Skate: Set | Classic: Set
Track is holding up well. Do your snow dance!

Sherman Park

Grooming Schedule: Monday, Wednesday, Friday
Last Updated: 1/27
Skate: Set | Classic: Set
Groomed the skate track. Talked to several skiers who said it is fast and good. Did not try to set the classic track but snow is on the way and then the classic track will get set.

Teton Canyon

Grooming Schedule: Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday
Last Updated: 1/27
Skate: Set | Classic: Set
Wednesday: This morning plan to reset skate track and classic, if conditions allow improvement. Should finish by 9am.

Southern Valley Nordic

Grooming Schedule: Tuesday, Friday, Sunday
Last Updated: 1/25
Skate: Set | Classic: Set
Campground and Yeti’s loops got a freshen up this evening. In these colder temperatures the snow is firm and should be fast tomorrow. Enjoy the glide.

No dogs December 1 – April 15.

Teton Springs Nordic

Grooming Schedule: Tuesday, Thursday, & Saturday
Last Updated: 1/28
Skate: Set | Classic: Set | Singletrack: Set
I’m heading out to groom the Nordic track, singletrack and I hope to reset the classic track. I plan to be done by 9 AM. Please be aware of the machinery.

No dogs allowed.

5th Street Singletrack

Grooming Schedule: As needed
Last Updated: 1/25
Singletrack: Set
Did a few laps around the park with the sled and tire drag this afternoon. It will be firm and ready for action as soon as the snow sets up a bit.

Southern Valley Singletrack

Grooming Schedule: As needed
Last Updated: 1/24
Singletrack: Set
Saturday morning I was able to groom happy hour and Pole Canyon connector. SkyLiners Groomed Powerline from Mike Harris to Pine Creek. Sunday morning I groomed Nemo and lower Lady slipper. Hillbender and grumpy connector a rider packed and riding well. Enjoy the ride! Warning, there’s a downed Aspen on lower Lady slipper. The trail is rider packed.

No dogs December 1 – April 15.

Darby Canyon

Grooming Schedule: As needed
Last Updated: 1/27
Grooming to summer TH 1/27 PM

Rammell Mountain Road

Grooming Schedule: As needed
Last Updated: 1/21
Grooming on 1/21

South Leigh Road

Grooming Schedule: As needed
Last Updated: 1/27
Grooming 1/27 AM

JH Nordic Recreational Masters – Classic Ski Clinic

FEBRUARY 4, 2021

All welcome (no beginners)
Drop-in $35 (includes clinic & Teton Pines Nordic all day ski pass)
or $30 (if you already have a Teton Pines Nordic pass or membership).

Pinedale Stampede

FEBRUARY 27, 2021

6k, 10k, 20k and races. Races will all be mass start, freestyle race. Prizes and giveaways!

We’d love to hear about your outdoor adventures, what your doing to stay healthy, safe, respectful of community health guidelines – send pictures or post on FB and Insta – #JHNordic

Explore JH Nordic



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