By James Dickhoff
Special to The SUN
The Pagosa Nordic Club hosted the first race of the Southwest Nordic Race Series last weekend on Saturday, Jan. 11, at Cloman Park with a 20-km freestyle (skate ski) Nordic race. The event also hosted a citizens 5km skate ski and 5km classic ski and a youth 3km classic ski and a KidK.
The event drew more than 40 racers from around the southwest region, some of whom are participating in the Southwest Race Series. The 20-km race attracted many elite Nordic ski racers. Top finishers included: Men’s first place, Karl Walezak; second place, Brett Wilson; and third place, Terry Daley; women’s first place, Molly Hummel; second place, Sanna Sevanto; and third place, Emily Deitz.
Additional races in the Southwest Series include: Chama Chile 16km freestyle in Chama, N.M., on Jan. 18; 15-km Butch Cassidy Ski Classic at the Telluride Nordic Center on Feb. 8; and the 30-km Pine Needle Langlauf at the Durango Nordic Center on Feb. 22. The best skiers in the race series will be crowned the king and queen of the Southwest Nordic Race Series.
Pagosa Nordic’s next events are during WinterFest weekend. On Saturday, Jan. 25, Pagosa Nordic will host a Learn to Cross-Country Ski Clinic for never-evers, beginners and intermediates for either classic cross-country skiing or skate skiing.
On Sunday, Jan. 26, Pagosa Nordic will host the Red Ryder BB Gun Biathlon Nordic race for all ages and abilities. Racers shoot at targets in between laps. There will be a 16-km competitive course, a citizens 4-km and a KidK course. Event details and registration is available at pagosanordic.com under the events tab.
Nordic ski trail conditions have been excellent this season. Trails are groomed wide for skate skiing with set tracks for classic cross-country skiing. Current trails being groomed include: 14 km at Coyote Hill groomed by the Pagosa Ranger District, 10 km at Alberta Park groomed by the Wolf Creek Ski Area and the Pagosa Nordic Club is grooming 10 km at West Fork, 10 km at Laverty Ranch and 10 km at Cloman/Davis Ranch. Please note that the Laverty Ranch and Davis Ranch are for Nordic skiing only and are non-canine areas. Check out pagosanordic.com for more details.
The Pagosa Nordic Club is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, 100 percent volunteer organization with a mission “To enhance winter recreational opportunities in Pagosa Springs by maintaining accessible groomed winter trails for skate skiing and classic cross-country skiing for all ability levels and to encourage and promote the use of these winter trails through education, marketing and events.”
The club 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. The club relies on annual club memberships and sponsors to cover expenses associated with providing groomed Nordic ski trails. All local ski shops offer rental gear.
Grab your skis and we’ll see you out on the trails.
By James Dickhoff