Carnival skiers lost in bamboo forest | SteamboatToday.com

Carnival skiers lost in bamboo forest

Suzy Magill 12, battled her way through the bamboo forest with high spirits during the Winter Carnival cross-country obstacle race Feb. 9 at Howelsen Hill.

— One of the homey Steamboat Springs Winter Carnival events that has endured for many years is the cross-country obstacle race, intended for youngsters age 5 to 12 who are looking for a fun, non-competitive Nordic ski race with some vexing physical obstacles in mid-course.

That suited Antigone Loomis, 8, just fine.

"I do some quick little races," Loomis said. "I don't really like to race."

Loomis and the other children in the race were in good hands with a trio of coaches running the event, who have been teaching the youngest Nordic athletes at the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club for many years.

Greg Burkholder, who may have known Carl Howelsen personally, was the master of ceremonies, and Bill Philip, who has given his time to the Nordic youngsters for 15 or 16 years (he's not certain) was giving advice in mid-course.

And of course, Deb Rose, who started coaching in 1983 and has been at it for 34 years, was on the course, reassuring a girl who bit her lip while battling through one of the obstacles.

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"We're so lucky that they're just good kids," Rose said, overlooking the fact that her influence through the years is one of the reasons they are such well-mannered youngsters.

On Thursday night, the Nordic kids were out for fun.

Charley Lodwick, 11, and Nikita Andre, 9, came around the course, each on just one ski with the legs attached to those skis tied together.

Andre pointed out the obvious: "We're trying to ski and not fall," she said.

To reach Tom Ross, call 970-871-4205, email tross@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @ThomasSRoss1