No Snow? No Problem!

Edina Nordic Team is One of the Few Teams in the State with Snowmaking Capabilities

Madeline Marker, public relations editor

Participants in outdoor winter sports are at the mercy of the weather to begin their season. Due to the weather’s unpredictable nature, sporting teams may wait weeks to months for that precious snowfall.

The Edina High School Nordic Team has struggled with the lack of snow, but coach Craig Jarvinen came up with solution: man-made snow. “The idea came during an almost snowless winter four years ago. No snow, but there was plenty of cold weather. I really wanted to try snowmaking, but no one really took me seriously until I found relatively inexpensive snow making equipment. Another coach, Paul Gage also became interested and we started discussing how we might be able to try it. I arranged for a site visit from a snow making company and started discussions about what kind of equipment would work best for us,” said Jarvinen.

Upon acquiring the necessary equipment and knowledge to render his idea into action, Jarvinen turned to the Edina community to realize his idea. “Soon we had a meeting before the Nordic captain’s parents asking for approval for funding, which was granted. We also asked for permission from the city for using city water, some city equipment and permission to make snow on city park property. Coaches Gage and Turnbull made the presentation before the City Council and it was approved,” said Jarvinen.

The snow making process responsibilities are shared amongst coach Paul Gage, coach Jonah Parady, Coach Jarvinen, and parent volunteers.

Since there had been no snow until two weeks ago, man-made snow was essential to the Nordic team’s success as the snowless practice grounds are typically the only place for skiers to practice. “Places like Hyland Park will often only let a team like Edina practice there once a week, or sometime not at all, as they did over winter break. Without a place to practice, we can’t be much of a ski team,” said Jarvinen.

With four years of experience under their belt, the Nordic team has the snowmaking process down to a tee. “When it gets cold enough, about 25 degrees, we round up our equipment and start making the snow. We like to go 24 hours a day until we have enough snow. Enough snow is a trail covered about six inches deep and about 500 meters long with a small hill. That generally takes about three to four days,” said Jarvinen.

The manmade snow has been quite useful for the Nordic team and helped give them an edge over their competitors. “With made snow, we can ensure that everyone who goes out for the Nordic team will have better access to snow than almost any other team in Minnesota. We believe this will help us develop better skiers because they can practice on snow, instead of relying on roller skiing or running,” said Jarvinen.