Author: Diana Lynn Rau

Grand Nordic Corner

Granby Ranch is a four season mountain community of 5,000 acres nestled in the heart of Grand County and is widely recognized for its family friendly culture.  In the summer Granby Ranch offers downhill mountain biking, lift served cross country mountain biking, hiking, chairlift rides, dining and golf.  In winter the Ranch features downhill skiing and boarding, Nordic skiing and snowshoe trails. Granby Ranch is perfect for families with all trails leading to the base lodge making it impossible to get lost as well as their friendly, knowledgeable ski instructors and even night skiing.  There are two Nordic trail...

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Grand Nordic Corner: The Nordic Community is Alive and Well.

As the sun set Monday evening, I skied out into the darkness with only a headlamp to keep me on the trail.  I stared across the valley at a string of lights going up the hill of Gaskill Trail surrounding the Snow Mountain Ranch Gaylord Reservoir.  It looked like a string of fairies working their way up the hill and around Columbine Point.  I suddenly realized this was one of the High School Coaches followed by a group of high school Nordic team skiers practicing after school in the dark.  Such dedication to be out after the sun goes...

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YMCA of the Rockies – Snow Mountain Ranch Nordic Center Even with the limited amount of snow, the trails in the shade of Snow Mountain and Blue Ridge manage to hold the white stuff like no other Nordic area.  I skied in mid-November and again this week on minimal snow.  Of course, I wasn’t using my good skis but an older pair of “beater skis” that are no wax and it doesn’t matter how much snow you have.  For early season and late season everyone needs an old pair of skis just to get you outside and feeling good....

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Nestled in the shadow of the Continental Divide near Tabernash, Devil’s Thumb Ranch has over 6000 acres of sweeping meadows and meandering creeks.  Devil’s Thumb Ranch is an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise.  Since 1938, cowboys and poets and ranchers and city folk and Nordic skiers have escaped to Devil’s Thumb Ranch. Today the Ranch offers a classy and upscale get-away that continues to make its mark as one of Colorado’s most environmentally friendly destinations. The Main Lodge offers cozy single rooms and multi-room suites, a cafe, pub/bistro, fitness center, theater, a six-sided, three-story fireplace constructed from stones gathered from a...

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Grand Nordic Corner

More K’s More Days Since I came to Grand County almost 35 years ago, we have always had the earliest snow and kept our snow the longest.  Since I was looking for more snow that I had living in New England, I thought I had moved to heaven.   But then Grand County had a fabulous October in 1983 and I fractured a metatarsal playing soccer and had to keep my foot in a big ole leather hiking boot until after Christmas.  The old timers remember that ’83 was a record year when it snowed every day from the end of October until after Christmas and I couldn’t even Nordic ski until January!  I shoveled snow every day to keep in shape for the skiing to come. Well, global warming has made a difference and we now have almost two months in the summer of frost free days instead of only 7 or 8.  But we still usually have the earliest Nordic skiing in the country.  And we can usually find snow to ski on until at least July.   This great white stuff is one of the reasons why many people move to Colorado, particularly Grand County.  We love the snow! We love the mountains! We love being outside!  And there are so many ways to Nordic ski in Grand County.  Grand Nordic has brought together these World Class Nordic...

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National Public Lands Day

National Public Lands Day Achieves Phenomenal Success with your help By Diana Lynn Rau and Cindy Kleh “Unity is strength…when there is teamwork and collaboration, wonderful things can be achieved.” This quote by Mattie Stephanek was used in 2015 by HTA to describe how National Public Lands Day works.  This annual event where hundreds of people get together, work hard, have fun, and achieve so much for Public Lands epitomizes the meaning of her words.  This is your chance to give back to the trails you love by getting together, working hard whether it is in the field manning...

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Trails Report

GRAND COUNTY TRAILS AUG 15, 2017 DIANA LYNN RAU Adverse weather like too much rain or too little rain affects the health of our fragile environment.  We are lucky in the Fraser Valley to not usually have the weather events of the Front Range or other parts of the country.  We have hailstorms – I survived three different storms rafting on the Upper Colorado last Thursday.  But I haven’t seen in Grand County the baseball-size hail that sometimes hits the eastern Colorado plains creating such devastation. I haven’t seen tornadoes or earthquakes – only 5ft of snow that finally forced the local school system to cancel classes for a single day! The exceptional amount of rain we have received in this monsoon season pales to the 1-2 feet of water that has fallen from the sky in a single storm to flood towns across the Midwest and South.  Here we get big washes and ruts in trails and roads and occasionally a flash flood down a river drainage or mud slides as rain saturates a hillside.  So the way we build our trails is important – it determines how long a trail lasts in a useable form. The IMBA workshops presented across the country were aimed at the local trailbuilders – the guys and gals who put their hands in the dirt and create our trails.  I’ve mentioned several...

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Trail Report

Our Trails Need All the Help they Can Get by Diana Lyn Rau I’m not getting any younger.  When I moved to the Fraser Valley almost 35 years ago, l thought l could accomplish anything.  I’ve come pretty close to that with my crazy ideas and knack for organizing.  I loved the mountains and yearned to be outside so I ran, hiked, biked and skied like never before.  I joined the racing scene and found my niche as a travel agent with active vacations and runners, skiers, and bikers and the organizations that they travel with.    The Valley has changed so much since that time.  We had long-term mostly family landowners, old wagon roads and logging roads to explore, and time to sit over a coffee or beer and listen to the old-timers tell their stories.  Various trails ran to beautiful lakes, through the Experimental Forest, across the Continental Divide and there were never issues at trailheads or campgrounds.  In fact, you often didn’t even see anyone at all.  But Grand County has grown, businesses wanted more clients, real estate agents wanted to sell more property and other people yearned for the silence and solitude of the wilderness in which we lived. New landowners did not understand the historic usage of trails and old wagon or logging roads and how the locals depended on that ability to pass...

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