Wow, sounds tough! Highlands is our XC ski club and I’ve thought about doing a short course of this race. Sounds like it wouldn’t be a good introduction though.
The short course would give you a lot of the "best of". Fortunately (for me, anyways), the course doesn't go down the Millenium Trail.
I see they had an application for development sign at the road, looking to expand the shooting/biathalon range area at Highlands.
That’s good to hear. For the past few years, the ski centre has been operated by a 20-something couple who were thrust into management roles when her Dad died of cancer too young. I’m glad to hear things seem to be going well. Not every recent year has been snowy.