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Boreal Community Media

Pincushion Mountain Family Ski Festival this Sunday

Feb 08, 2019 09:23AM ● By Editor
February 8, 2019 - Brian Larsen of Cook County News Herald

Time tested, weather tested, kid and family tested, the 40th annual Pincushion Mountain Family Ski Festival will be held Sunday, Feb 17 on the fabulous Pincushion Mountain Trails. All ages and abilities are encouraged to sign up, whether it's to race or to enjoy a scenic tour around the Pincushion Mountain trails. The North Shore Ski and Run Club will host the traditional Pasta Dinner on Saturday, February 16, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the Community Center. Proceeds from this dinner help to support the Y-Ski program for young kids.

On Sunday, the festival will get under way with 10-kilometer and 30-kilometer events starting at 9:15 a.m. "We'll have hot soup available for all skiers to warm up," said one of the event organizers, Chris O'Brien. Kids’ races will follow in the afternoon, with distances ranging from 1/2 kilometer for the little tykes to 4 km for the more advanced kids. It's worth noting that the Y-Ski program, supported by NSSRC, has over 70 kids participating this year.

Finally, and always a crowd favorite, there will be a couple of skijoring races (3km and 7km) beginning at 3 p.m. Watch how the dogs and the skier interact—or don't always interact—in these fun-filled races.

"We have a limited number of commemorative long sleeve T-shirts for participants in the 10k and 30k skiing events," said O'Brien. "Folks are encouraged to sign up early to make sure they get the right size."

If it's cold, spectators are welcome to watch the events from inside the heated Pincushion chalet. If it's not too cold, one can watch along the course.

"This year's festival is special because the North Superior Ski and Run Club is celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2019," O’Brien said. "It's worth noting that when the club was founded, most of the current Pincushion skiing and running trails did not exist yet. The early days of the ski race (then called the Sawtooth Challenge) followed a course that started on the golf course and ended up going through the Pincushion woods and down the snowmobile trail into town. Not for the faint of heart.

"The NSSRC club led a significant upgrade of the Pincushion trails 20 years ago, including construction of the chalet, clearing of the stadium area and additional trails, and purchase of more professional trail grooming equipment. In a throwback commemoration of the anniversary, we're encouraging folks to bring out their old woodies to participate in the skiing events.

"We're grateful for financial support for the event from Visit Cook County and from our NSSRC sponsors," added O’Brien.

Registration and more information at