The annual Methow Valley Ski Derby attracted a determined group of classic Nordic skiers to the Chickadee Trailhead at Sun Mountain Last weekend. They enjoyed sunny weather and fairly fast conditions for the event, where they could choose between a 15-kilometer lower loop or, in the fashion of the Worldloppet events, a 30K loop that climbed up to Meadowlark Trail and a Junior Nordic Ski Team-sponsored aid station at the top of Thompson Ridge.
Scott Waichler, a participant and one of the event’s directors, said the Ski Derby is a grassroots effort by local enthusiasts to provide the Nordic ski community with a friendly gathering that promotes cross-country skiing.
Participants ranged in age from local 8-year-old Sam Polson to Jim Gregg in the 70-year-old-plus division.
The Derby concluded with a lunch, awards and raffle at Carlos 1800 that saw every participant go away with a raffle prize. Leslie Hall, director of the Methow Valley Nordic Team, won a new pair of skis donated by Mark Waechter of Nordic Ultra Tune.
In the 15K race, Peter Polson of Winthrop took first place and Dexter Delaney of Winthrop was second. Alieta Gregg of Winthrop was the first woman finisher in third place. The 30K race was won by Jeff Clark of Wenatchee with Chad Gregg of Winthrop in second. Leslie Hall was the first woman finisher in third place.
Full results can be found at https://www.webscorer.com/startlist?raceid=126468&did=137868.
Andrew Nelson provided information for this article.