In-between seasons, the waiting is so hard… We know the snow is coming but when will it be enough to actually start skiing?  If you were ready, last weekend’s snowstorm was enough if you have “rock” skis and knew where all your gear is.  But if you weren’t prepared, you missed it… Don’t despair – the next opportunity might be this weekend.

What are “rock” skis?  Every year early season snow coverage does not really cover those nasty rocks on the trails that always reach out and take a bite from your ski bottoms.  That screech sound always give me the chills.  So keep handy for early and/or late season, a pair of skis that you like but are just old and you really don’t care about.  It doesn’t matter if another chunk comes out!  Just start concentrating on good technique and forget about scratching your skis.  Save the good pair of skis for good snow!

Next, where are your boots and poles, ski pants, jackets and other layers?  After this they live by that door, ready to go out the moment you see fresh powder.  Do your feet still fit comfortably?  Have the kids outgrown their boots or grown four inches?  Maybe you need to pick up new stuff while it is still available.  Many people new to Nordic skiing bought skis and boots last week at the Grand Nordic Ski Swap for $5-10-20 and poles for $3.  Some people were looking for rock skis or some people only ski 5-6 times a season and don’t need to pay more.. 

 For kids, Snow Mtn Ranch still does a trade-up program starting mid-November.  Granby Elementary Physical Education teacher Maggie Keller offers season rentals to the kids to be used outside the school.  But kids equipment is hard to find – nab it when you can find it. 

Lots of new gear is coming out and our Fraser Valley shops and Nordic Centers have lots of last year’s equipment and new stuff as well.  See our marketing website for a great list of local shops and programs and click on the logo to go directly to their website or Facebook page.  Next article, we’ll explore planned opening dates of Nordic Centers.  Meanwhile check out our club website for dates for our annual free Nordic lessons, the 2nd Annual Grand County Nordic Race Series, and the Ranch2Ranch Trek as well as our new partners offering training for guides for the Visually Impaired, Colorado Adventure guides discounts on Avalanche and Back County Safety courses, and Granby Ranch discounts on Nordic Passes for their Golf Course Nordic trails. 

Grab a Cross Country Skier Magazine Gear Issue just out for 20-some pages of gear testing done by our local skiers at Snow Mountain Ranch in March.  Every year, Cross Country Skier tests the new gear for the upcoming season and Grand Nordic brought them to Grand County offering them a package too good to refuse at Snow Mtn Ranch.  SMR delivered in great style, our local instructors and coaches delivered with a complete range of users, nature delivered by keeping us supplied with good snow, and Cross Country Skier wrote a great piece that does us all proud.  Equipment planned to be introduced for the 2023-24 season – Skis, boots, and poles – was all tested and comments were written up anonymously but to the point.  Equipment tested was recreational and most steps up to the elite racer. Get your friends to autograph their pictures.  And Cross Country Skier has already agreed to do the testing here again in March of 2024!  What a great promotion for Grand County… 

So get your gear together and be ready for the next storm.  If you find gear that doesn’t fit or that you want to upgrade, consider donating older or unwanted pieces to Grand Nordic.  We recondition it when possible and make sure it gets to someone who will use it for a fraction of normal costs.  We welcome all useable equipment, no clothing please.   We have donation boxes at Fraser Library, Granby Library, and the Fraser Valley Metro Rec Center.  Or contact Diana Lynn Rau at [email protected] or 970-887-0547.