Skate Ski Clinics for Women

Ski School Director and Olympian Sue Wemyss offering Skate Ski Clinics for Women

PINKHAM NOTCH, NH – Monday January 26 marks the start of a series of skate ski clinics for women at Great Glen Trails. The clinics are offered in a block of three weekly sessions, although women can choose to attend single sessions. The first block of skate clinics will be held January 26, February 2 and February 9; all Monday mornings running from 10 to 11:30 am. There is waxing help available prior to each, from 9 to 10 am. The second block of clinics will be held February 23, March 2 and March 9.

skate ski, great glen trailsThe first session on January 26 will start with the fundamentals of skate skiing: body position, weight transfer, edging and gliding. Whether this is your first year skating or your fifteenth, review and practice of these fundamentals is very valuable in learning and improving as a skate skier. This first session will also include the marathon skate technique, the technique that started it all. Timing for the most common uphill techniques will round out the session.

Session two on February 2 will focus on uphill skating technique. Within the larger discipline of skate skiing, there are numerous sub-techniques. These techniques vary in the timing and positioning of both equipment and body movements. The sub-techniques provide efficiencies in varying terrain, some being better suited to uphill use, others, to use on the flats. Like riding a multi-speed bicycle, the more gears (in this case sub-techniques) one is adept at, the easier it is to cover ground.

Session three on February 9 will focus on skating on the flats. In addition to the marathon skate, V2 and V2 alternate are techniques that provide for lengthy glide. The feeling of swooping across the snow with coordinated efforts of upper and lower body is often what hooks skiers on skate skiing. The graceful movements generate fluid speed and give the feeling of flying on snow. This is the FUN of skating for many who pick it up.

In the second block of clinics, there will be review, more refinement and additional learning on how to transition between the techniques, and which to use where. Skiers can attend the second block without attending the first, but should have had some experience on skating equipment previously. Great Glen’s Ski School offers learn-to-skate beginner and private lessons on a daily basis. First-timers to skate skiing are encouraged to take a Learn-to-Skate ski school lesson before joining the Women’s Skate Ski Clinics.

The clinics are taught by Sue Wemyss. Sue is the Ski School Director and has been teaching cross country for decades. She began her skate skiing career thirty years ago when competing internationally on the US Ski Team.

To register, please stop by Great Glen Trails on Route 16 in Pinkham Notch, phone during business hours: 603-466-2333, or email A minimum number of participants is required to hold the clinics so pre-registration is encouraged.

Cost: (includes trail pass for the day)
$69/3 week session;
$28/single session
$129/both 3 week sessions
Season Pass Holders:
$59/3 week session
$22/single session
$109/both 3 week sessions

Special pricing on skate rental equipment packages for clinics:  $12/day includes skate skis, boots & poles.

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Kids Ski Fest at Great Glen – January 11, 2015

PINKHAM NOTCH, NHKids Ski Fest will be returning to Great Glen Trails Outdoor Center on Sunday, January 11th with a great opportunity for kids and families to enjoy a day of winter fun, with some of the best early season conditions in years!

kids ski fest, kids, games, great glen trails, winter

Great Glen’s Kid’s Ski Fest is geared towards kids of elementary to middle school age. No preregistration is necessary and all activities and rentals for kids are free with a trail pass.  Trail passes for participating kids and adults will be $5 (vs. $12 and $20 regularly). Rentals for participating parents will be $10.

The day’s activities will include group games such as “Get Six and Ski”, (a version of Capture the Flag); Predator-Prey; Red Light, Green Light and more; all played on skis.  Kids who show up for the Freestyle Team Sprint Relay at 11 am will be paired randomly in two-person, multi-aged teams to sprint around a short loop using classic or skate skiing technique. The youngest skiers can start their careers with the Lollipop Race at noon. Hot chocolate at the Great Angel Cabin will reward those kids making the afternoon trip to one of Great Glen’s most popular destinations.

Kids who are first time skiers will be able to take a free mini-lesson to get started, and then join the game sessions on skis. As they are on a daily basis at Great Glen, the Trails Tracker critter hunt and the snowtubing hill are also available for more activity and fun.

“The Kids Ski Fest is a wonderful showcase for all the enjoyable winter activities families can do at Great Glen.” said Sue Wemyss, Cross Country Olympian and Great Glen Trails Ski School Director. “With having very good conditions over the holiday period for skiing, we’ve been super pleased to host lots of families recently at Great Glen. We have an energetic group of kids taking part in our Great Glen Bill Koch League Club on Sundays, so we look forward to seeing this group and welcoming others for this fun event.”

For the second year, Scoggins General Store in Gorham, NH is sponsoring the event, providing lollipops and sweets as prizes for the team relay. Scoggins General Store, located at 133 Main Street, is a family-owned business carrying items for home décor, toys, a candy counter and unique gifts.  Website:

The 2015 Kids Ski Fest Schedule is as follows:
9:00 am-1pm
Registration opens, rental equipment pickup 9:30-10:00 am First time skiers’ mini-lesson: how to put on equipment, turn skis, snowplow, and get up from a fall

10:15-10:40am Games on skis, morning session

11:00am Freestyle Team Sprint Relays; cross age groups (grades 1-8), Teams picked randomly.

Noon Lollipop Race (preschool up to Grade 2)

12:30-1:00pm Lunch Break

1:00-1:30pm First-time skiers’ mini-lesson: how to put on equipment, turn skis, snowplow, and get up from a fall

Games on skis, afternoon session

Ski tour to the Great Angel cabin

Treats at Great Angel

Ongoing:Trails Tracker critter hunt, snowtubing, trail skiing.

For more information call Great Glen Trails at (603) 466-3988 or visit online at and look under Events

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Terrain Based Learning For XC Skiing To Debut At Great Glen Trails

By Roger Lohr-

Great Glen Trails Outdoor Center
in Gorham, N.H. is planning to develop a “ski park” this winter to help kids and adults to have fun on the snow while developing basic cross country (XC) skiing skills.

In recent years, terrain-based learning has been incorporated into snowboarding instruction at alpine ski areas. It is a natural progression for it to spread to Nordic ski areas, too. Designed instruction areas are created with natural or machine-made snow and can be shaped quickly with a snowcat combining flat and hilly terrain conducive to learning, skier improvement, and fun. This learning terrain helps the learner to have fun by removing fear from sliding out of control and perhaps even adding a fairyland setting.


Sue Weymss, Great Glen’s ski director said she first saw the idea of snow features in a book called “Teaching Children to Ski” and has been experimenting with terrain features and a fun obstacle course for the area’s annual one day Kids SkiFest for the last few years.

“We want to extend the terrain features to the entire season with snow roller coasters, trail bumps with rises and dips, a maze with markers, hula hoop arches, and more,” she told

Kids have always been interested in building jumps and skiing kamikaze for kicks. With snowmaking at so many of the XC ski areas, operators can now consider building more terrain-based elements for specific purposes. Such elements might include elongated bowls, quarter pipes, rolling hills, spines, mounds, rails, boxes, and such.

The instructional terrain concept has been shown to allow faster technique learning progression by aiding balance and body awareness and it also helps with depth perception and ease of class segmentation (for instance, class age or fitness divisions).

The terrain could have a flat instruction area sloped a few percent to facilitate proper learning of stance, glide, and turning. Some rolling terrain with interspersed bumps could resemble trail skiing. Hill terrain with steeper slopes can have flat runouts that make the skier feel more safe and in control. Depending on the slope and length of runout, hills can provide the setting for downhill technique, telemark turns, and even slalom courses.

Great Glen is looking at various locations for the planned area on its property and one idea is to have it visible for parents and grandparents to watch their kids have fun in the snow.

“We’re family-oriented offering a compact and safe area,” she said. Kids love the tunnel and skiing to our tubing park. We see parents who feel comfortable letting the kids go to ski on the trails themselves.” Terrain parks that help new skiers build ski skills and confidence just could go a long way for a great time XC skiing and for a lifetime of fun in the outdoors.

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