By James Dickhoff
Special to The SUN
The Pagosa Nordic Club (PNC) is hosting a free Learn to Cross-Country Ski Clinic this Saturday, Jan. 10, at 10 a.m.
PNC volunteer instructors will offer never-ever, beginner and intermediate instruction for classic kick and glide cross-country skiing or skate skiing techniques for all ages above 10 years old.
The clinic will be held at the West Fork Nordic Trail, located 15 miles east on U.S. 160; look for the West Fork and Bruce Spruce sign, with parking available down the West Fork Road. Check-in and registration will begin at 9:30 a.m., instruction starts at 10 a.m. and goes until noon.
Participants are able to receive discounted rental gear at all local ski shops; just mention you are attending the clinic.
Please come early enough to gear up and be ready to begin at 10 a.m. There will be volunteers to help you get geared up if you need assistance. Please register for the clinic at PagosaNordic.com, under the events tab.
There are currently a number of groomed trails available in the Pagosa Springs area.
Wolf Creek Ski Area has groomed the full 10 km Alberta Park loop, accessed from the east end the upper parking lot. The Alberta Park trail offers beginner and intermediate terrain and is groomed regularly. The trail is groomed wide for skate skiing with set tracks for classic cross country skiing and are all free for public use.
PNC has recently groomed 15 km at the West Fork Nordic trail, located 15 miles east of town on U.S. 160 at the west base of Wolf Creek Pass. This trail system offers lots of flat terrain and also offers some challenging hill climbs if you so choose. PNC has also recently groomed a 1 km loop at Yamaguchi Park, a great area for short workouts along the San Juan River. The Nordic Club groomed trails are free to use, however, donations are encouraged to cover grooming expenses.
The Wolf Creek Trailblazer Snowmobile Club has recently groomed Fourmile Road, Plumtaw Road, East Monument, East Fork and Wolf Creek Road. Additional grooming will occur as conditions allow. The Trailblazers groom up to 100 miles of multi-use trails during the winter. Many of these trails see limited snowmobile traffic and are great for skiing. These trails are groomed wide and are great for skate skiing, and are all free for public use.
The Pagosa Ranger District has recently groomed 14 km at Coyote Hill. Snow is thin; however, the skiing is good. All trails are groomed for skate skiing with set tracks on most trails. These trails are free for public use.
Please respect the grooming efforts and do not walk on the trails. Also, please do not snowshoe in the center skating lane or in the set tracks. It is best to snowshoe on the edge of the groomed trails, to one side or the other. Always yield to the downhill skier. If taking your canine friend, please only take friendly dogs, clean up all messes from the trail and discourage your dog from walking in the set tracks. Remember, many trails are in multi-use areas, so you may come upon and interact with other users like snowmobiles. Please be respectful of each others’ right to use the forest.
PNC serves as the local advocate for groomed cross-country ski trails and you can find current cross-country ski trail grooming reports, trail maps, activity and event schedules at PagosaNordic.com.