Welcome to 2020 with double digits below zero in the morning soaring to the 30’s in the early afternoon! That used to be a regular part of our winters but now, we are getting spoiled with zero degrees as the norm. But that is January and it is usually our coldest month of the year. That’s why Nordic skiers have January as their Classic month! This Saturday January 11, the 19th Annual Snow Mtn Classic features a 7.5k and a 15k Classic race followed by the Grand Lake Classic January 19 featuring a kids or beginner race, an 7.5k and a 15k race with family pricing and last but not least is the 7th Annual Stagecoach Classic featuring a 30k Classic for the big guns, a 15k classic race, a 15k classic ski tour and a 15k snowshoe tour. Participants, volunteers and spectators alike are needed everywhere!
The 19th Annual Snow Mtn Ranch Classic starts Saturday at 10am for the 15k classic and 1015am for the 7.5k classic. The YMCA is known for the best grooming in the country and the terrain is comparable to none. To register go to https://snowmountainranch.org/nordic-center-events-calendar and click on Snow Mountain Classic Race. Lodging discounts are offered as well through Central Reservations. Volunteers are always needed for registration, course marshals and aid stations – call 970-887-2152 ext 4173.
Grand Nordic last free lessons are Sunday January 12 at Grand Lake Nordic Center 10a and 1pm but most classes are full unless you have your own equipment. Call 970-627-8008 to sign up if you have your own equipment.
The Grand Lake Classic Race on Sunday January 19 is a fun family affair. Kids can ski a 1.5k kids or beginner loop on the rolling golf course terrain starting at 930am. The 7.5k intermediate or 15k advanced races starting at 10am get back on the hilly wooded areas near the river with exciting ups and downs. Race fees that start at $10 and a $50.00 entry fee for a family of four or more allow racing to be affordable for all. Perfect for the first-time racer! Baked potato bar is included in your entry. For more information, call 970-627-8008 or visit www.grandlakerecreation/Nordiccenter. Proceeds benefit kids programs in Grand County.
The 7th Annual Stagecoach Classic coming January 25 at Devils Thumb Ranch has a 30k race for the college and big gun racers, a 15K Classic Race, 15K classic ski Tour and a 15K Snowshoe Tour. All finish with a beer garden, DJ, and food vendors at Hideaway Park in Winter Park. All travel Devils Thumb trails then down the valley thru terrain that was once the historic stagecoach route from Devil’s Thumb Ranch to the town of Winter Park where the old Idlewild Nordic Ski area was once located. Many years ago, we skied a similar route between the Ranch and Idlewild almost daily but private land sales and development closed that route about 20 years ago. After negotiations with the US Forest Service Sulphur, a trail was carved out that is used once a year for this special event. The 30k race circles around the Devils Thumb Ranch groomed trails and then shoots south toward Winter Park finishing through the old Idlewild downhill area where kids could once ski almost right in town. The 15k ski race follows mainly the route to Winter Park and is also timed. The 15k classic ski TOUR allows you to see the course without the pressure of timing. Enjoy yourself with a well-marked trail, gorgeous views and aid stations along the way. An expensive but fabulous way to ski with friends! Shuttles are provided all day from Winter Park to Devils Thumb so you can park your car in Winter Park. Register at https://www.active.com/tabernash-co/winter-sports/skiing-races/stagecoach-classic-2020 . For questions, call 970-726-8231. Volunteers call 970-363-7567 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
For a less expensive way to tour our beautiful Grand County, try the Seventh Annual Grand Nordic Ranch2Ranch Trek starting at Snow Mtn Ranch over the Fraser to Granby Trail to Granby Ranch. For the hardier folk, ski back to Snow Mtn Ranch! With a well-marked trail and aid stations along the way, try this 12-13 km trail that goes through Tim’s Tunnel under Hwy 40, with beautiful climbs, fun downhills, gorgeous vistas and meanders through the woods that delight the soul. Lunch is included so park at Granby Ranch, take the shuttle to Snow Mtn Ranch and ski back or just park at the YMCA, ski back and forth and drive back for lunch! Offered this year at the finish is a trail pass to ski more of the Granby Ranch trails after your Trek! Two for one kids pricing through age 18. For more information call 970-887-0547 or register at http://www.grandnordic.org/ranch2ranch.html . All proceeds benefit Youth Nordic skiing in Grand County.
The snow this year has allowed Headwaters Trails Alliance, Fraser, Winter Park and Grand Nordic volunteers to groom areas throughout eastern Grand County to give our locals and visitors alike some of the best Nordic trails available in the country. Visit www.skigrandnordic.com to see resorts, ranches, youth skiing programs, free skiing areas and back country information available to all in Grand County. More K’s More Days of Nordic skiing here than anywhere else in the USA!