Things are starting to get back to normal finally. Getting two months of snow in about two weeks just buried everyone. Our county services and business services were short-staffed anyway and often tempers ran short. But locals mainly stayed home and got down to business. Kindness and patience are winning and people are acting responsibly again.
Our favorite roads and trails are opening up, getting packed down, and look glorious in their fresh coat of snow. Nordic classes and races are happening again to the delight of the Nordic community. Grand Nordic was able to hold community lessons on Sunday Jan 9 featuring instructors from Grand Nordic, Winter Park Competition Center, and Colorado Nordic Masters groups. Snow Mtn Ranch hosted the event to the delight of a couple hundred Nordic skiers ranging in age from 4 to 84. And all went home with smiles. Many were trying the sport for the first time, many just wanted to learn more. They got tips and pointers from the best instructors and skiers in Grand County.
The Snow Mountain Classic returned this year on Saturday Jan 15 with about 50 racers skiing 15K and almost 60 skiing the 7.5K distance. Ages ranged from kids in their teens to the 80’s age group with the 15K won by Minnesota racer Eric Meyer in 53.36min followed by Dan Weinberger and Dan Sedequist. Maria Wik led the woman at 1:07:40 followed by Lillian Marcione and Hana Hejduk. The 7.5K was won by Luka Riley in 26:12min followed by Lucas Martens and first woman Sophie Spalding in 29.49 followed by Sierra Jech. Local names like Bersvendsen, Marcione, Russell, Scholl, Plotz, Miyauchi, Brower, Schowalter (to name a few) topped their age classes on a cold but gorgeous day. The object is to finish and finish in style they did – Nordic skiing is indeed the sport of a lifetime. Thanks to the Nordic staff at SMR and Nordic Director Todd Lodwick for bringing back this Classic Race as well as groomers Shawn, Corey and Noah and Todd himself. Great job all of you!
The excitement doesn’t stop there – the Winter Park Competition Center is hosting the world-class Junior National Qualifiers this weekend at Snow Mtn Ranch. Over 300 athletes ranging in age from 6 to 23 years old from the Rocky Mountain Nordic Region will compete Friday Jan 21 in Classic races and Saturday Jan 22 in Skate races. There is also an open category that allows athletes that are citizen or master skiers to compete alongside collegiate and junior skiers in a world-class Nordic event. Come watch the best of the West and make some noise… Feb 12 and 13 will be the 9th Annual RANCH2RANCH NORDIC SKI TREK starting at Snow Mountain Ranch, skiing through Tim’s Tunnel via Fraser to Granby Trail to Granby Ranch Base Lodge. Parking at Granby Ranch Oregon Lot with shuttle provided to Snow Mtn Ranch Nordic Center, shuttle with friends, or park at Snow Mtn Ranch and ski roundtrip. Register online at www.grandnordic.org or call 970-887-0547 for one of 4 time slots from 9am-11am. The 12K course will be groomed for skate, classic or snowshoe and have two aid stations and medical personnel on course. Covid restrictions apply – wear masks on the bus, indoors or in confined areas and please stay home if you feel ill. This non-timed event is the primary Grand Nordic fundraiser for youth skiing in Grand County. Fee is $30 for Grand Nordic members, $35 non-members, add $5.00 starting Friday Feb 11.
Granby Elementary School needs volunteers for their Nordic Rocks! unit running from Jan 31 through Feb 17. Help one day or multiple days Monday -Thursday. Prep equipment, put on skis, ski outside with kids, remove gear, etc. Email Maggie.email@example.com or leave message at Granby Elem 970-887-3312. Note- masks are voluntary inside schools. Let’s get these kids started off right!