“What a tough time this is for all of us.  Seems COVID is hitting closer and closer to home.  As a club, Grand Nordic was planning to hold our free lesson program [this year offered to members only] on December 13. We had approval from Snow Mountain Ranch, we had a plan in place to help mitigate the risk of COVID transmission,  and were looking forward to giving people something fun to think about and do [and showing them how to do it!].

However, in the past couple weeks, it seems the outbreak has grown significantly. As a board, we talked about the pros and cons, and finally came to the decision that it was best to cancel it.  And, so far, we haven’t had quite enough snow to make lessons safe, particularly for beginners.”  Says Terri Rylander, GN Board of Directors on Facebook.

Terri summed it up quite well on the Grand Nordic Facebook page.  We kept planning, hoping the situation would get better.  But as each factor got worse, we had to make a call.  We tried to offer a service to the community to allow people to get outside, by themselves or with their family.  But Covid19 presence in Grand in ever larger volumes turning the County to Code Red for indoor events but remaining orange for outdoor events made our Board and instructors nervous. We didn’t want to be responsible for any of our volunteers getting sick or more Covid cases developing in the Valley by asking people to gather, even in smaller groups.  Many of our instructors are in higher risk categories themselves while being masters of Nordic skiing.  We were ready – we had a plan to space out classes and break groups into smaller groups and keep all outside which will work well for future lessons. We even got approval for the event from the County Health Dept.

But the final deciding factor was lack of snow near the Snow Mountain Ranch Nordic Center – it was inadequate to be able to teach beginner or some intermediates to ski.  They cannot dodge bare spots or wood or rocks that poke thru the rolled trail surface.  On the other side of the meadow on the north-facing hillside, precious little of the snow we have received had melted and conditions are really quite good but how to get everyone over there??   Plans are already made for the 10January Free Lessons at SMR as well as our Ranch2Ranch Trek on Feb 6 from Snow Mountain Ranch to Granby Ranch. We are ready to go if and when the present health situation and snow conditions allows.

Cancellation was the right call and we ask, in the words of Daniela on our Board, “Please do not plan to gather with people you don’t know if it is not essential until the pandemic spread is under control.”   Stay safe, stay happy and stay healthy.

Grand Nordic has distributed to all elementary schools and pre-schools in East Grand Nordic ski equipment appropriate for the age group or teachers in that school from our purchase of equipment from Aspen Elementary.  We Thank the Grand Nordic Board, Fraser Valley Metro Rec District, and the Lions club for their support funding this purchase last spring.   Many of you will find your young folks skiing circles around you hopefully later this winter.  We are also providing small outdoor clinics to better educate the teachers in these programs how kids learn and have fun in this type of outdoor program.  If your program needs such a clinic, please contact me at 970-887-0547 or president@grandnordic.org for more information.

We are also accepting donations of used Nordic ski gear in donation boxes placed at both Fraser Library and Granby Library when these facilities are open. Or call me to drop it off at my office.  We can also give you a tax donation form for your contribution.   We are also helping people get gear who have lost everything in fires or due to Covid business closures.

Devils Thumb is also reporting good skiing conditions on trails that get early shade with about 70pct of trails open.  Snow Mtn Ranch is reporting about 50pct of trails open.  Grand Lake Nordic Center is scheduled to open December 19, weather permitting!  The backcountry is good but be careful of high risk of avalanches.  Please everyone do a BIG snow dance for this weekend – we all need it so much!  Show us your dance on our Facebook page…