The warming sun is starting to cut our Nordic season short.  If we get a good cold night into the teens, we have wonderful conditions for Crust skiing which is a treasure for Nordic skiers forced to follow the tracks all season.  Suddenly they are free to go anywhere.  But we’re holding our breath to see if we get another good snowstorm as predicted.  That fresh snow would have to melt then refreeze in a layer thick enough to support your weight for crust skiing to happen again.

While we are holding our breath, let’s look back at this crazy season.  We set up Nordic schedules and programs in August and almost every winter weekend was full of events.  Then snow was late, the weather hit us with an attitude (a 30-40 mph attitude!), and we had to rearrange everything.  It’s hard enough to make it work the first time, let alone to keep redoing everything. The Grand County Nordic Race Committee headed by Greg Finnoff met the challenge, sometimes reluctantly, but the Series turned in 7 races and each went off without a hitch with the weather only sometimes cooperating. Greg and his team of timers known as Into Finn Air, despite the tough work, turned in a nearly impeccable performance. Greg and Colleen Finnoff, Odd Bersvendson, Cheryl Allen, and Shawn Otterson worked out courses at Snow Mtn Ranch and Granby Ranch that flowed, were well-signed, and were always well-received by the racers.  Then we were lucky enough to use the new Campers Hub building at SMR and we took advantage of great grooming and state-of-the-art facilities and really put on a show for each race held there.  Devils Thumb continues their own race program, again with many helpers, and Granby Ranch is just getting started in their Nordic world.  Whether it is Grand Nordic, Colorado Nordic Masters, the Winter Park Competition Center, Colorado Biathlon or the individual Nordic Centers, we try to provide the leadership but we need community helpers.  Most important – All these people are volunteers.

We all get good feelings when we can make the things we love to do work, sometimes more than others.  Grand County runs on volunteers, good volunteers, in so many organizations and non-profits.  Grand Nordic is no exception. Our entire board is volunteer.  Many of us have been on the Board since 1993 when Grand Nordic united the many Nordic organizations in the county for more impact for the sport.  Our love of this healthy lifetime sport has touched so many lives in the last 30 years, but only with the help of hundreds of volunteers.  Some people help at events, some help teach at free lessons, some help by writing grants to support the organization, or by donating used equipment that we pass on to others who can’t afford equipment, or by donating gift certificates or prizes to provide incentives to those learning or racing.  And the list goes on.  We need every person who hands out cookies or oranges at an aid station, who responds when we say we desperately need course marshals, or who cleans out their garage and takes their unwanted equipment to our donation boxes at the Libraries or Grand Park Rec Center instead of throwing it away.  Use and reuse. Share your knowledge.  Promote, be promoted, do a good job and have pride in what you do, appreciate and be appreciated.  Grand County is so lucky to have both knowledgeable leadership in so many areas and a wealth of fantastic volunteers. 

Thank you one and all!  It’s been a great season that will end all too soon…