Last year at Thanksgiving, we were rescued by a last-minute storm of 4-7 inches depending on where you were in Grand County.  Doesn’t appear we have that in the stars for 2021.  A trace on top of other traces doesn’t make much to slide on. Continue your dryland training and step up the tempo on the snowdances… 

Both Snow Mountain Ranch and Devils Thumb Ranch both report no groomed trails are open but their shops have a good variety of clothing and ski gear to choose from. Since they have already received at least partial shipments of skis, boots and poles, the public at least has things to choose from even though we still have to imagine the snow to slide on. “If you see something you want, you’d better grab it”, says Todd Lodwick, Snow Mountain Ranch Nordic Director.  “You don’t know if it will be there tomorrow.  And we don’t know if we will get in another shipment this season.”  The supply chains are definitely behind! 

With the current conditions, no one even wants to think about using new skis.  If you find a patch of snow on some north-facing slope, bring out your rock skis or even road skis.  Rock skis are the pair that you demoted from your everyday skis and don’t care if you get a few divots in them from those rocks that insist on being on the trail.  And road skis are the next step down before you really decide to throw them way.  The local WP Trading Company has used equipment to offer but be sure to match up boots and bindings.  The crew can help you with gear that suits your needs for a fare price but you need to know where you plan on going to decide what kind of ski you need.  

Some of the High Country has useable snow but don’t get too picky. Try the Experimental Forest trails and areas that lead to the higher elevations and waterboard roads.  Just remember that a rock under your foot not only gouges your ski bottom but can bring you to a sudden stop.  So be prepared and save your new ski outfit for when the Nordic resorts open.  Don’t be afraid to take off your skis and walk and plan to have little mental games ready for the kids when the snow ends and hiking begins.  At least you’re not trying to walk wearing heavy Alpine boots… 

For those who are taking this down time to go through their equipment deciding what they want to keep and what to pass on, the shops will have time to work on them for you, prepping for when that white stuff shows up. Besides the Nordic Centers, Icebox in Fraser or Two Pines in Granby have techs to make those skis and you happy.   Or, if you are in Grand Lake and headed up into Rocky Mountain National Park, try Never Summer. All have a full range of Mountain gear. 

For those pieces of equipment that are still good but just don’t fit your skiing style or ability any more, donate it to Grand Nordic. Some people have just upgraded and don’t want to keep their old gear in the garage. Grand Nordic passes it on to those in schools or to those who just can’t afford to spend money on recreation. We get it to those who will use it.  We are currently placing our donation boxes in the Fraser Library, the Granby Library, and hopefully the Grand Park Rec Center. Call Grand Nordic at 970-887-0547 or email president@grandnordic.org for questions and information. 

Meanwhile we must be patient.  The snow will come but dance like no one is looking…