By James Dickhoff
Special to The SUN
On Saturday, Feb. 1, 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 10 a.m.-noon at the Fall Creek Nordic Trail, located 19 miles east on U.S. 160; look for the Forest Service 39 road sign.
This is an excellent X-C ski clinic for first-time X-C skiers, beginners and intermediates of all ages, with instruction in skate skiing and classic cross country skiing 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.
Space is limited, so please RSVP at pagosanordic.com. 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.
Pagosa Nordic will also be hosting the following additional events and races.
The fourth annual Winterfest Nordic Ski Races are Feb. 15 and 16. This year’s events feature a biathlon, sprint races and relay races on Saturday and the new Plumtaw Ultra 30km and 60km freestyle X-C ski race on Sunday. All Saturday races are free and all ages and ability levels are welcome to come out and join the fun. The Sunday Plumtaw Ultra X-C Ski race was added this year as a means to attract serious racers from out of town and to provide a long race for locals to test their endurance skills. Early registrations are indicating a very well-attended event with many racers from out of town.
The Plumtaw Ultra is $20 for the 30km and $30 for the 60km course. All racers will receive award prizes. The course begins at the end of the Four Mile Road winter plowing, 7.5 miles north of town, and travels Plumtaw Road towards McManus Road. The course is an out-and-back, self-supported race. The plan B location has been selected in case we do not receive any snow before the race, which in that case, the races would be held at Alberta Park at Wolf Creek Ski Area. Pagosanordic.com has updated race details.
The fourth annual Pagosa Paw Sled Dog Races will be Feb. 22 and 23. This two-day race event features eight-, six-, four- and two- dog team sledding events with canine skijoring events, too. This is an incredible spectator event with much of the excitement beginning at 8:30 a.m. as the dog sled teams are staging for their 9 a.m. race starting time. This is a must-see event for spectators, so set your alarms early enough to get there by 8:30 a.m.; you do not want to miss this. The races will be held at the Kuhn Ranch, located eight miles north on Piedra Road at Roush Drive. The Kuhn Ranch provides a great venue for racers and spectators with excellent views of the entire course and Pagosa Peak as the backdrop.
On March 2, Pagosa Nordic hosts the third annual Pagosa Springs Quad Challenge, featuring a 10km freestyle X-C ski at the West Fork, 5km road run, 22km road bike back to town and one-half km swim in The Springs Resort’s warm pool. This has been one of Pagosa Nordic’s most popular races during the winter. Participants can race as a solo or in teams of up to four.
For event information, trail maps and trail grooming reports, check out pagosanordic.com. Grab your skis and we’ll see you on the trails!