New Nordic trailer is a purple vision

February 2, 2024
Izzy Quam '25

The weather at last year’s Williams Ski Carnival at Prospect Mountain in Woodford, Vermont, was terrible. For much of the weekend, it was pouring rain (and it was not a warm rain; instead, it was a very, very cold rain). Ten of the 11 Eastern Intercollegiate Ski Association (EISA) teams were dry and warm in their wax trailers as they prepared their athletes’ skis. But the 11th team’s Head Coach, Molly Peters, from Saint Michael’s College, was neither warm nor dry.

“I’m fairly certain I was mildly hypothermic by the end of the race,” Peters said. 

Before the Nordic ski team had the trailer they relied on a small tent. (Courtesy Molly Peters)

Instead of a wax trailer, Peters had only a small tent to shield her from the rain and wind, and the tent did not provide much protection. To make matters worse, Peters was applying klister on all the athletes’ skis. For those of you who are not Nordic skiers, klister is a glue-like wax, used for warm or icy conditions. It is very sticky and very difficult to apply when your hands are cold. This made for a miserable day for Peters.   

Luckily, Peters’ bad-weather blues have come to an end this year thanks to a new wax trailer donated to the Saint Michael’s Nordic ski team by Michael Spain ’79 and his wife, Trish. Spain was a member of the Alpine team at Saint Michael’s.

The new Nordic trailer (Courtesy Molly Peters)

Peters explained that the main reason the Nordic team needed a wax trailer was to protect them from the weather. Peters no longer has to wax skis outside in below zero temperatures, snowstorms, or pouring rain. Thanks to the trailer, she now has an adequate space to prepare her team’s skis.  

The wax trailer also helps provide better waxing which is an important aspect of ski racing.

“I’m more organized, more efficient and can provide a better service to the student athlete,” Peters said. 

The new Nordic trailer (Courtesy Molly Peters)

“Peters was the biggest advocate for the trailer,” Carla Francis said, who is the Major Gift and Gift Planning Officer at Saint Michael’s.

Peters approached the department and expressed a need for a wax trailer. She pitched the case that Saint Michael’s College was the only team in the EISA without a trailer and it was something they really needed.  

While the Saint Michael’s Institutional Advancement Department was fundraising for the new Kelley Ski Center, Francis included other needs the teams had, one of which was the wax trailer. The Spains took a particular interest in the wax trailer. With their generous donation, Peters was able to go out and purchase the much-needed trailer.  At the same time, Saint Michael’s Graphic Designer Summer Drexel conceptualized and created the trailer’s graphic wrap.

Not only is the trailer a great opportunity for the ski team, but it is also an opportunity for the school as well.  

“It is a mission, in motion, on wheels,” Francis said. “It is, and Michael understands this, a great branding opportunity for the college, as a whole, in addition to athletics. I think he was really excited to put this billboard out there for the college.” 

Peters added, “It has really upped our game. It just makes a statement when we pull up with our beautiful purple princess.”  

Last year’s rainy Williams race with no trailer (photo by Pennie Rand)

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