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Trail grooming begins, Nordic ski events scheduled

After months of weekend trail work days, Pagosa Nordic Club volunteers have successfully prepared trails in time for this winter’s cross country ski season.

New trail expansions are planned for the Coyote Hill, West Fork and Reservoir Hill Nordic ski areas. A big thank you goes to the Pagosa Ranger District, which has expanded trails at Coyote Hill and worked with the Archuleta County Road and Bridge Department in the newly expanded parking area located north on Piedra Road 6.5 miles from U.S. 160, across from the Turkey Springs recreation area parking lot.

The Pagosa Springs area offers over 50km of groomed Nordic ski trails for skate and classic cross country skiing. Grooming has started this season with the Wolf Creek Ski Area grooming the 10km Alberta Park loop and the Pagosa Nordic Club grooming a 12km loop on Fall Creek Road. The Alberta Park loop is accessed from the east end of the upper Tranquility parking lot at the ski area, where the trail heads down to Alberta reservoir and back through the trees. Fall Creek Road, Forest Service Road 39, is located 19.5 miles east of Pagosa Springs on U.S. 160, on Wolf Creek Pass. Pull off on the right, where the trail follows the first 3.5 miles of Fall Creek Road.

PNC will also be grooming West Fork, Reservoir Hill and Yamaguchi Park as soon as conditions permit. The Pagosa Ranger District will maintain the Coyote Hill Nordic ski trails again this winter. Additionally, numerous multi-use trails will be groomed by the Wolf Creek Trail Blazer Snowmobile Club. The Pagosa Nordic Club will make trail grooming reports this season on KWUF radio, at PagosaNordic.Com and in PNC membership e-mail notifications.

The Pagosa Nordic Club is a non-profit, volunteer organization with a mission “to enhance winter recreational opportunities in Pagosa Springs by maintaining accessible groomed winter trails for skate skiing, classic cross country skiing and snowshoeing for all ability levels and to encourage and promote the use of these winter trails through education, marketing and events.”

This winter’s planned events include this weekend’s free Learn to X-C Ski Clinic starting at 9:45 a.m., Sunday, Dec. 5, at the Alberta Park Loop at Wolf Creek Ski Area. This two-hour clinic is a great opportunity to get more familiar with skate skiing and classic cross country skiing techniques, for beginners and intermediates. Check out pagosaNordic.Com for details and send an e-mail to pagosanordicclub@yahoo.com and let us know you want to join us. All local ski shops are offering discounted rentals for this event.

The following weekend, on Saturday, Dec. 11, PNC brings Good Dog Outfitters back to town for another free Canine Skijoring Clinic. Learn some basic dog harness and ski techniques to get you and your best friend off and running. Call Jennifer at 264-9358 for more details. This two-hour clinic will be a great way to start training for the March 12-13 first-ever “Pagosa Nordic Paw” dog sled and Canine Skijoring race weekend.

Additional winter events include free Moon Rise/Sunset Cross Country Ski Socials where we enjoy a colorful sunset/moonrise sky while we ski back to the campfire for hot soup and chili, s’mores and skiing stories.

February 18-21 brings the second Winter Fest Nordic Ski Race series with new races including a mock biathlon, sprint races, relay races and our 5km, 10km and 20km ski races on a new expanded course.

Be sure to check PagosaNordic.Com for details and pick up our new X-C Ski Trail brochure now being distributed throughout town. All local ski shops are renting cross country ski gear, so make some time and get out on the trails.