By Tim Hauserman
If we are blessed with a last ditch dumping of snow, the Cobblestone Nordic Relays will occur on February 26th at the Cobblestone. It is a key event of the Alpenglow Winter Festival which goes from February 14-March 3rd.
It must have been at least 20 years ago that long time Tahoe local Doug Read approached me with the idea of creating a cross-country relay race around the golf course and through the Cobblestone parking lot. He had seen something similar in Europe, and was all excited about making it happen in Tahoe. With it’s European look and feel, The Cobblestone was the place to do it.
For several years the race was a great success, I still proudly display a photo of me skiing across the ribbon of white through the parking lot. It must have been in the 90s since I was wearing those impossibly bright tights that we for some reason loved back then. Putting on the race was a big effort, requiring moving tons of snow into the parking lot, and a day of work to groom it so that skiers could go flying past the shops. After awhile the incredible work necessary to put it on, didn’t match the number of volunteers available to make it happen, and the event went away…but now it’s back. And in the hands of folks who are adept at turning small amounts of snow into great skiing conditions.
The Tahoe City Golf Course, adjacent to The Cobblestone, is now the home of the Winter Sports Park, whose trails are groomed by the staff of the Tahoe Cross-Country Ski Area. For a few weeks this winter, a hard working crew of shovelers and volunteers were able to turn the miniscule amount of snow received at the Sports Park into the best cross-country ski conditions available around Tahoe.
While the Cobblestone Relays are a lung burning sprint for cross-country skiers, it’s a super fun and friendly event to participate in. It’s also a lot of fun hanging out along the course sipping hot drinks, digging into the BBQ, and being a part of the crowd cheering the racers on. For more information or to register go to www.alpenglowsports.com