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FeU offers cross country ski instruction at MECCA

December 20, 2019


Believing young and old alike can enjoy winter activities, Fe University will again offer a cross country ski instruction course in four 2-hour sessions, Mondays and Wednesdays Jan. 13, 15, 20, 22. Each class will be held from 1 to 3 p.m. at the MECCA ski trail in Mercer and will involve mostly on-snow instruction. Instruction will be targeted for adults, including older adults, who are beginners or perhaps have skied a little but feel they would ski more confidently with some instruction.  

Students who enroll in the cross country ski class will receive a $10 reduction in the Fe University fee because of a donation from the MECCA Ski Club and SISU Ski Fest. The MECCA Experience offers funding to help organizations put on programs to encourage folks to use MECCA Trails for exercise and fresh air. The program is funded by skier fees and sponsors of the Turtle River Pursuit, a ski race on Feb. 15 and 16. For more information on the Turtle River Pursuit, visit www.turtleriverpursuit.com. For more information on the MECCA Trails, visit https://www.skimecca.org     

Participants in the class need not be concerned about being fast or keeping up. Instruction will go slowly as skiers’ abilities dictate. Students will learn about basic equipment, clothing, types of Nordic skiing, how to stand and stride and basic ski techniques to make skiing more pleasurable. The focus will initially be on diagonal stride (the in-track method) but making the transition to skate skiing will be covered for those students who want to try the skating method.  

For requirements, students should have the basic ability to balance by standing on one foot for at least five seconds. They should also be able to fall onto snow from a standing still position without undue worry about injury. Previous experience on skis is not required but welcomed.

Fe U instructor, Chad McGrath, has taught cross country skiing for over 26 years, to well over 500 individuals. He has led groups of skiers on treks through the Porcupine Mountains, has skied the SISU race several times and the American Birkebeiner 14 times. Join him for some pleasant, laid-back skiing instruction at MECCA, Mercer’s excellent ski trail.

The fee of $30 ($5 discount if registered by Dec. 30) reflects the $10 Turtle River Pursuit discount and includes the MECCA trail fee of $10. Add $25 to purchase a season membership to MECCA. Skis, boots, and poles are available for rent for $5 per session. Contact McGrath at [email protected] or 715-583-9933 for more information.  

Enrollment is limited to 10 students, so register early. For more details about this class and for registration information, including scholarship information, go to www.feuniversity.org or call 715-562-0315 or 715-561-3098. Download registration forms or pick them up at the Mercer Library or the Iron County UW Extension Office in the Hurley courthouse. Completed forms may be dropped off at those locations or mailed to Fe University, P.O. Box 63, Hurley, WI 54534.

Additional classes offered by Fe University this winter include “Furbearers of Wisconsin: Diversity, Trapping & Management,” “Restorative Justice,” “The Making and Unmaking of the UK,” and the “History of the Vietnam War.” Fe University is a non-profit, non-accredited “college” for seniors.

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