On Saturday, Dec. 7, the first of the free Nordic lessons for the 2013-2014 season will be at the Grand Lake Nordic Center. It is the perfect opportunity to try a new Nordic area and learn new skills. Try skating if you are a confirmed Classic skier or vice versa. With more limited rental equipment available, it is a must to sign up in advance at the Nordic center 970-627-8008 if equipment is needed. Again, Grand Nordic members received free rental equipment and trail passes. Grand Lake Nordic Center opened earlier this week so the whole system is not yet available, but call ahead for current conditions.
Free Skiing — The snow is flying and back country higher elevations are already well-tracked by the adventurous. The Experimental Forest trails with Deadhorse Loop and St. Louis Creek, Big and Little Vasquez, and Idlewild depart close to town, and roads like Corona Road on the East side and Elk Creek on the West eventually lead to the waterboard roads on each side of the Fraser Valley, packed by snowmobiles and other cross country skiers. Toward Grand Lake, the Doe Creek loops off Arapaho Bay Road are not patrolled, not maintained and winter conditions are in full force with double-digit “belows” at night. Go prepared with heavier duty equipment and a pack with extra clothing, food and water. These areas are great for your dog, but be careful of animals that your dog might chase or might chase you. Some dogs love to carry their own pack, available at Icebox in Fraser and several of the Nordic areas. Booties or Mushers Secret salve for their feet keeps them playful and moving easily through the snow.
Free recreational skiing more central in the Fraser Valley is available at Pole Creek Golf Course – another great amenity from your Fraser Valley Metro Recreation District. Please stay on the packed cart paths away from the greens, tees and water hazards. The greens are roped off – trekking over the greens will kill the special grass and give reason to revoke the privilege of skiing there. The first monthly moonlight skis is Dec. 21. Dinner is available Thurs-Sun at Bistro 28 and the public is welcome.
Another free spot right in the center of town is Grand Park, where they pack trails right along Highway 40 in the meadow behind the recreation center. Park in the lot west of the General Store. As everywhere, remember to pack out your trash and clean up after your dog. No rentals or other services are available, but it is perfect for a midday ski on your lunch break. Hot tub and other facilities are available at the recreation center next door for a relaxing afternoon. Ski rentals are found at Ice Box Sports in Fraser or the Grand Sports shop in Kings Crossing for both flat trails in Grand Park or more challenging areas right outside of town. To sign up for your membership to Grand Nordic, visit www.grasndnordic.org or call 970-887-0547 for information.