February thaw be-damned! The snow gods have left enough white stuff on the trails for the Traverse City’s granddaddy of all Nordic ski races, the North American VASA, to go ahead as planned. As of this writing, groomers are out prepping the trails. This whole weekend of Nordic fun includes the Junior Vasa Race on Saturday and the Grand Traverse Cross-Country Classic on Sunday. Here’s the lowdown:

VASA Race Start Times:
27 & 50 km Classic – 8:30 am
27 km Freestyle – 9:30
50 km Freestyle – 9:00 am
12 km Timed Class – 9:45 am Awards – Hagerty Center, 5:30 pm

Vasa Pasta Dinner: The annual pre-race carb load-up 5-8 p.m. Friday, February 13. Benefits local youth nordic programs.

Packet Pick-Up:
Packet Pick-Up begins at noon on February 13th and run until 9:00 PM at the Timber Ridge Resort. Click here for a map to Timber Ridge.

Late Registration: Sat 7:30 a.m. – 9:15 a.m. at the Timber Ridge Resort

Junior VASA Races Saturday, Feburday 14th, 2009

The races are for kids from 4-15 who are not part of high school ski programs.

12:30 pm, 1km Classic, Ages 5-under and 6-7 12:40 pm, 3km Classic, Ages 8-9, 10-11 and 12-15 12:45 pm, 3km Freestyle, Ages 8-9, 10-11 and 12-15

Gran Travers Start Times:
6k Classic – 9:15 a.m. 16k Classic – 9:00 a.m.

The Gran Travers features both 6k and 16k challenging loop courses that will capture the rich heritage of traditional cross-country skiing at it’s finest. The 16k race will start at 9:00 a.m. at Timber Ridge Resort. The 6k race will start at 9:15 a.m. There is no registration deadline.

For more information: vasa.org.

Click for more on Nordic skiing in Traverse City.