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Spring Skiing and Snow Fleas...In January?

Fri, Jan  13, 2012 - By Pete Edwards

I love Spring Skiing. I love Spring Skiing so much I state that simple fact all the time and constantly remind my family plus friends every chance I get. And despite the horrible lack of snow so far this winter there has been awesome spring-type skiing in Northern Michigan if you know where to look.

Snow fleas and spring cross country skiingSpring Skiing is the best and along with the warmer temps out pop the snow fleas – tiny little insects that love to pile up your cross country ski tracks. I got a huge kick out of all the snow fleas last week during the best Spring Skiing in January that I can ever remember. The snow was pretty deep last week while skiing on the shore to shore horse trail up in the back hills of Empire, Michigan – zero bare spots and small piles of silly snow fleas everywhere. The back fairways of the local golf course have been awesome so far this week – zero bare spots and piles of silly snow fleas in my classic tracks. Sunshine and skiing with the sleeves rolled up in January – day after day.

Snow fleas aren’t really fleas at all. Those rascals are called springtails. Snow fleas are harmless and actually play an important environmental role helping to build up the soil as they chow on pollen, spores, algae, bacteria and other tasty organic stuff.

Be sure to do a “hot scrape” on your classic skis’ tips and tails or a full tip to tail hot scrape if you’ve been out early skating on the crust. Spring conditions are pretty dirty conditions and you’ll want your bases super clean for the upcoming races. And with the storm hitting northern Michigan tonight ALL the Michigan Cup races should be a guarantee to this weekend.

I feel a “SWIX Blue Extra” type weekend in my future. And even though I love spring skiing I’m hoping for a few months of below freezing temps and a record number of “Blue Extra” type days ahead.

* Blue Extra is the magic grip wax for classic skis when the temps are cold, but not wicked cold. For more info about ski wax and “Blue Extra” check out: