In a town with a ski area boasting the most snow in Colorado, downhill skiing typically gets all the glory. But, thanks to the Pagosa Nordic Club, the Pagosa Springs area has experienced an explosion of interest in cross-country skiing.
To showcase some of the area’s most scenic groomed Nordic trails, the Pagosa Nordic Club will host its first Nordic Ski and Snowshoe Races in conjunction with the WinterFest celebration, Feb. 12-15.
Featuring classic cross country ski races, skate ski races, snowshoe races and hosted fun-ski events, the weekend promises something for outdoor winter enthusiasts of all levels.
Friday, Feb. 12
Race registration and check-in will be held on Friday, Feb. 12, from 5 to 8 p.m. at Nello’s Bistro, which is offering pasta specials and providing live music. Registration is also available on the club’s Web site at www.PagosaNordic.com.
Saturday, Feb. 13
The outdoor fun begins Saturday at 9 a.m. with a free, 1 km Fun Race for all ages and abilities in Pagosa Springs Town Park. At 10 a.m., two races are available: a 5 km Citizen’s Classic and Skate Ski Race and a 10 km Competitive Classic and Skate Ski Race on Reservoir Hill in downtown Pagosa Springs. Also beginning at 10 a.m. is a 3 km Snowshoe Race on Reservoir Hill. The club will host an awards ceremony at the Pagosa Brewing Co. that afternoon at 2 p.m.
Sunday, Feb. 14
On Sunday, a Relay Race with teams of two — comprised of one skate skier and one classic skier — begins at 10 a.m. at Yamaguchi Nordic Park in downtown Pagosa Springs. Each team member will ski laps equivalent to 2 km. That afternoon at 1 p.m., the Pagosa Nordic Club will hold a free Snowshoe and Ski Disc Golf Tournament at Reservoir Hill. Rules and regulations for regular disc golf apply to the free event. Also on Sunday, the Pagosa Nordic Club will host a free Fun Ski at 3 p.m. at Coyote Hill Nordic Ski Trails.
Monday, Feb. 15
The holiday weekend’s events continue with another free Fun Ski on Monday at 10 a.m. at the West Fork Nordic Ski Trails.
More information on the activities, registration details, trail maps and grooming reports are available on the Pagosa Nordic Club’s Web site at www.PagosaNordic.com. A Nordic map and condition reports for all of the groomed trails are also available at the Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center.
The Pagosa Nordic Club plans to make these activities an annual event to coincide with WinterFest, a weekend of cultural and outdoor activities celebrating winter throughout the town.
Since the club’s formation in 2008, classic cross country and skate skiing has surged in popularity in Pagosa Springs. More than 80 people — a huge crowd for a small town — turned out for a ski clinic the Pagosa Nordic Club hosted in January.
The Pagosa Nordic Club has expanded its trail grooming this winter to include five Nordic track trail heads with more than 50 km of free trails groomed for skate skiing, classic cross country skiing and snowshoeing. New this season is Reservoir Hill, Coyote Hill, Turkey Springs, Williams Creek and the expanded West Fork trail system. The club’s new grooming equipment provides a smooth, wide surface for skate skiing with set tracks for classic cross country skiing.