By James Dickhoff
Special to The SUN
On Friday, Jan. 10, from 4-7 p.m., Pagosa Nordic will host a free Moonrise/Sunset soup and chili cross-country (X-C) ski social. Pagosa Nordic invites all ages and all ability X-C skiers to come join in the fun.
You will enjoy an easy X-C ski under the colorful skies and meet back at the trailhead for soup, chili and hot cocoa around a warm campfire — a great family friendly activity. You may bring something to share, though not required. Dress warm and bring your headlamp or flashlight and chair, if desired.
On Saturday, Jan. 11, Pagosa Nordic will host a free X-C ski clinic for beginner and intermediate classic X-C skiing and skate skiing. The clinic will be held from 10 a.m. to noon. This is an excellent X-C ski clinic for first time X-C skiers, beginners and intermediates of all ages with instruction from some of Pagosa Springs’ best X-C skiers. Come on out and learn more about developing your technique, which will result in more enjoyment out on the trails. Participants are asked to arrive early with your ski equipment to ensure enough time to gear up so that the clinic can begin promptly at 10 a.m.
All local ski shops are offering discounted X-C ski rentals for the clinic. Just mention you are attending the Pagosa Nordic free clinic. The clinic location will be announced by Thursday, Jan. 9, on the pagosanordic.com website, where you can also RSVP for the clinic.
The Pagosa Springs area has a number of groomed X-C ski trails for skate skiing and classic X-C skiing. Trails are groomed wide for skate skiing with set tracks for classic cross-country skiing.
The Wolf Creek Ski Area provides 10km in Alberta Park, located at the base of the Alberta Ski Lift and accessed from the end of either the Tranquility or Alberta parking lots. Terrain varies with 30 percent beginner, 40 percent intermediate and 2 percent advanced terrain. Wolf Creek Ski Area offers these trails at no cost.
The Pagosa Ranger District grooms 14km at Coyote Hill, located 6.5 miles north on Piedra Road, just .5 miles after the North Pagosa Boulevard intersection. There are no trail use fees for this area. Terrain varies with 25 percent beginner, 60 percent intermediate and 15 percent advanced terrain.
The Pagosa Nordic Club has groomed 12km at West Fork, which is located 15 miles east on U.S. 160. Look for the West Fork sign and be prepared to make a left hand turn. Terrain varies with 40 percent beginner, 40 percent intermediate and 20 percent advanced terrain. Trails are free to use, though the Nordic club does request donations to help cover expenses of grooming and trail maintenance. All local ski shops offer X-C ski rentals.
Pagosa Nordic Club serves as the local advocate for groomed X-C ski trails and you can find out current X-C ski trail grooming reports at pagosanordic.com
Also, the Wolf Creek Trailblazer Snowmobile Club grooms up to 100 miles of multiuse trails for all types of winter trail users. These trails are free to use, and you can find out more at www.snowmobilecolo.com; go to the trail reports/maps and click on the second snowflake from the left at the bottom (Pagosa Springs). This will bring up a full list of trails and the date when they were groomed last.
You can find X-C Ski trail grooming reports, activities and events schedules at pagosanordic.com. Grab your skis and we will see you on the trails!