DELAFIELD — It may look like something from the future, but if you see glowing people moving around Delafield, they aren't sporting some trendy, futuristic accessories.
They belong to the Peak Nordic Cross Country Ski Team, dressing in reflective gear and headlamps to practice in the dark.
"It’s a little different," said student captain Cole Roecker to TODAY'S TMJ4's Jesse Ritka. Roecker acknowledges that this winter has certainly been different because we're severely lacking snow. The measurement is nearly a foot low so far.
"Sometimes it's a little demoralizing, getting out here and watching the snow melt away. It's a little tough," Roecker said.
Most of the snow this season fell in November, and it has all melted during the warm winter.
Senior and captain Isabel Seay agreed that Mother Nature hasn't been kind.
"Unfortunately, we're lacking snow a little bit this winter. We're obviously super thankful to have Friends of Lapham Peak and all this money that they put toward snow making so that we have a loop to ski on."
However, the combination of six days in the 50s and more rainy days than snowy ones have taken a toll on the man-made loop.
"It seems like every time we think it might snow, it ends up being rain, so that's extremely challenging, of course, for a ski team," coach Thomas Stuber added.
To adjust to this issue, the cross country ski team uses another adaptation to stay in shape.
The adaptation is roller skis.
"Skating is pretty much exactly the same. We use the same boots, the same length poles, and we're strapping into them just the same. The big difference is they're shorter. Depending on your wheels, it might be faster than when it is on snow," Seay explained.
There are some downsides, Roecker admitted.
"It’s a little daunting, especially with the asphalt underneath you. You know a fall can be pretty painful. If you're going quickly, but you get pretty used to it, it feels pretty similar to skiing, contrary to what it looks like."
Most competitive cross country skiers start using roller skis in the summer or fall, Stuber said.
"Sometimes it's a little demoralizing, getting out here and watching the snow melt away. It's a little tough." — student captain Cole Roecker
"They are very familiar with the roller skis before they actually experience snow. If we waited until we got snow to teach our skiers how to ski, we'd be waiting a while. We'd still be waiting."
Even Mother Nature can't take away their passion and the community of cross country skiers.
"We've kind of been stuck in this rut the past few years with having lack of snow, but I think this team is a really special team, and that's kind of what makes it all that it is," Seay said.
"When you're sweating together and you're working really hard, you end up getting some of the closest friendships that you can imagine,” Roecker added.
Some cross country ski meets have been canceled due to the lack of snow, so skiers are really looking forward to the potential snow this weekend.
If you would like to help create snow for the cross country loop, you can donate with the Friends of Lapham Peak by clicking here.