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Warm weather cancels Harvard meet at Dublin Nordic Center

  • Ski racers from Dartmouth race at the Dublin Nordic Center last winter. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 1/15/2020 11:44:46 AM
Modified: 1/15/2020 11:43:56 AM

The Dublin School was forced to pass up hosting the Harvard Carnival, the Harvard University Nordic Team’s home race, this weekend after a spate of warm weather melted too much of the manmade snow on the Dublin School Nordic Center’s race course. Brad Bates, head of the Dublin School and its Nordic Center, has hope for the rest of the season and pride in the Nordic Center’s inaugural year for snowmaking. The school invested a quarter-million dollars to bring snowmaking to a trail loop this fall.

“We just kind of got the perfect storm,” Bates said. Three days of temperatures above 45 degrees and unexpectedly high amounts of rain took out about a third of the snow the Nordic Center had stockpiled by Monday, he said. This Friday is forecasted to bring excellent snowmaking conditions, but those will be too late to save the weekend’s event, which has been moved to Craftsbury, Vermont.

“There are other races, this is just one that we were really excited about,” he said. Bates said he doesn’t see this past week’s meltdown affecting upcoming races scheduled on the course, and anticipates it being skiable again by the middle of next week, in time for two races the following weekend.

“The good news is the snowmaking system is working beyond expectations,” Bates said. He observed that the 1.3 million gallon retention pond fills up quickly in the winter as compared to the fall, and the snowmaking jets seem to work well, even in sub-optimal high-humidity weather. Despite fairly light natural snowfall, this week was the first time the Dublin School Nordic team couldn’t practice on snow at the Nordic Center since before Thanksgiving.

“We were able to make a D1 race course in four nights’ work... in marginal snowmaking conditions,” Bates said. “Our snowmaking team has been amazing.” He said a team of eight, comprised of Dublin School staff and employees of partnering company Lawn Envy, worked through the night in eight-hour, two-person shifts to stockpile huge amounts of snow.

The trails are open to the public, and the snowmaking has been well received. “They’re loving it,” he said, and that the Nordic Center has received lots of small donations this season. The Dublin School’s Nordic team has been doing well, Bates said. The team boasts 35 members, and the school is currently hosting a partner club of five students from Patagonia.

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

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