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Sit-Skiing Goes Nordic at Hartley

Views: 1651 Created: 2010-01-20 10:05 Last Updated: 2010-01-20 15:05 0 Rating/ 0 Voters

By: Sam Cook, Duluth News Tribune

For years, skiers with disabilities have been cruising downhill on adaptive equipment called “sitskis.” Now cross-country skiers can use similar devices on cross-country ski trails at Duluth’s Hartley Park. Hartley Nature Center will make the new crosscountry sit-skis available starting this week and will hold an event Saturday to showcase Nordic sitskiing. Reid Hietala of Cloquet tried one of the new Nordic sit-skis at Hartley on Thursday, double-poling powerfully down a groomed, level trail.

“It’s a lot of work. Holy cow!” said Hietala, 21. “But trying it now, it’s a lot of fun. The last time I tried it, I wasn’t much into cross-country skiing.” Hietala, 21, was born with Spina bifida. He has been mono-skiing downhill for 17 years and also uses hand cycles, both activities through Courage Center Duluth.

Making the adaptive ski equipment available at Hartley is a cooperative project of Courage Center Duluth, Hartley Nature Center, the Duluth Cross- Country Ski Club and the Central Cross-Country Ski Association in Hayward.

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