The snow has finally come to the Fraser Valley, so it’s time to start thinking about the basics.
Grand Nordic Ski Swap was at the end of October, but used equipment is still available at each of the Nordic areas plus Icebox Mountain Sports in Fraser and the Trading Company in Winter Park. Or, go for the sales currently offered on new gear and last year’s unused gear. Nature is being a bit finicky, but the Nordic areas are slowly opening. The YMCA has 30k groomed and even reports up to 3 feet on Blue Ridge Loop near the top of the mountain. The Nordic Shop is in full swing. Devil’s Thumb reports 10k groomed as well as a loop in front of the Nordic Center and their shop is also fully open. Grand Lake currently advises the Tubing Hill is open as well as a snowshoe loop and Nordic Shop.
Grand Nordic is trying to encourage everyone to experience Nordic skiing as a way to enjoy this beautiful place in which we live. Nordic skiing is a lifetime sport, and you can learn the basics in a simple lesson or two. It can be a relatively inexpensive family sport, and all family members can do it at their own level. Lessons are free for everyone — classic and skate, adult and kids, morning and afternoon. Grand Nordic members also get free equipment rental and free trail passes. Non-members pay regular prices as needed, but lessons are still free. Go to www.grandnordic.org to become a member, $25 for individuals and $35 for entire family. This is a great opportunity to try different locations and keep learning new skills. Or try skating when you have only done classic technique before. It’s the best recreation deal in the county.
The first free lesson is scheduled for Grand Lake Saturday Dec. 7 at Grand Lake Nordic Center. Classes include beginner, intermediate and advanced levels for both classic and skate as well as kids 12 and under classic, skate skiers and never-evers with maximum of 10 students per group. The lessons are scheduled for 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. with pre-registration required for the ski clinics and rentals by calling 970-627-8008. See the website www.grandlakerecreation.com for more information. Nordic trails are currently not open and it is recommended that you call to register, and then call to make sure the center is open for skiing.
Come join us on Saturday Dec. 14 at the Devils Thumb Tommelfest for lessons taught by CU ski teams and coaches plus Boulder Nordic Sports and Grand Nordic coaches. The ski clinics are at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., with registration from 8:30 a.m.-9:30 a.m. Classes include beginner, intermediate and advanced levels for both classic and skate as well as kids 12 and under classic, skate and never-evers. Sign up with Devils Thumb Activities Desk at 970-887-8231 as classes are capped at 10 students. Laser biathlon sprints are from 12:30-2 p.m., and the day ends with a Season pass-holder appreciation party.
Sunday, Jan 6, join us at YMCA Snow Mountain Ranch Nordic Center for the last free lessons. Classes are at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. for all levels and the University of Wyoming will be assisting for the afternoon sessions — check the YMCA website at www.ymcarockies.org for more information or call 970-887-2152 x 4173 to sign up.
Free Kids programs begin the first weekend in January and run through the end of February. Devils Thumb works with ages 3-10 on Friday mornings, and the YMCA works with ages 5-15 Friday and Sunday afternoons at 1 p.m. Grand Lake has several dates set up, please check their website.
For more information on these free lessons and member benefits offered by Grand Nordic, please check our website at www.grandnordic.org or call 970-887-0547. But it’s time to start skiing. Get out there and enjoy Grand County.