Last Thursday’s scheduled Candy Cane ski meet in Soldotna was canceled due to lack of snow, bringing the season total up to four consecutive cancellations or alterations in competition for the Mariners.
Assistant Coach Gus Beck is not optimistic about the snow prospects for the rest of the winter.
“I think this is what the whole season will be like,” said Beck.
Despite the disappointing conditions, the Mariners have been staying energized about their sport by getting outside in other ways. They have been cross-training with a wide range of activities, such as kayaking off the Spit and distance trail running up Bear Creek.
“We are starting to feel more like HoWL than a ski team,” wrote the Mariners’ other assistant coach, Alison O’Hara, referring to Homer Wilderness Leaders, a local outfitter that leads youth on wilderness expeditions around Kachemak Bay. “Spirits are high and the team is in tip-top physical condition.”
The team will resume practicing after winter break. Their next scheduled meet is Jan. 16 at the Kenai Klassic. In the mean time, with the rest of the Homer Nordic skiing community, they will all be hoping for snow.
Lindsay Olsen is a freelance writer who lives in Homer.