Winter Sports: Poor year for winter sports enthusiasts

By Doug Halberstadt
Sports Columnist

Most of us have appreciated the mild winter conditions we’ve had so far this year. I’ve enjoyed the respite from the high energy bills, and there’s no doubt my back is thankful for the lower snowfall totals than in years past. The only people who might not feel that way are the winter sports enthusiasts. The snowmobilers, cross country and downhill skiers and ice fishermen are not having the best winter.

It was exactly this time last year that our area got pummeled by a huge winter storm. At the time of that storm, there was already an ample amount of snow for winter sports enthusiasts to have a blast. That extra foot or more of fresh powder was icing on the cake for them.

Fast forward to this year, and right now there is hardly any snow left on the ground in this area. The snowmobile trails are bare. Ski rentals are down, and I’m not sure I’d feel safe venturing out onto any local body of water with the temperatures reaching the upper 40s this week.

My daughter and her friend wanted to go cross country skiing at Sinnissippi Park last Saturday, and they were turned away because of a lack of snow. They were told to come back when we had 3 to 5 inches of fresh snow. The question is, will we get that snow anytime during what we have left of this winter, and if we do, will it stick around for any length of time?

Time is running out. Tomorrow is Ground Hog’s Day. I’m hoping the little fellow doesn’t see his shadow. My apologies go out to all of you reading this who haven’t been able to get out as often as you would like to enjoy all of your favorite wintertime activities this area usually provides.

I’m totally OK with the mild winter we are experiencing. As a matter of fact, I wouldn’t complain at all if we get an early start on the golf season this year. Thank you, Mother Nature, and keep up the good work!

Doug Halberstadt can be reached via e-mail at

From the Feb. 1-7, 2012, issue

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