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Free cross country ski clinics Saturday and Sunday

By James Dickhoff
Special to The SUN

Join the Pagosa Nordic Club Saturday for a free Learn to X-C Ski Clinic from 10 a.m. to noon at the Fall Creek Nordic Trail, located two miles east of the Wolf Creel Pass hairpin curve overlook.

This is a great opportunity to learn basic skills and tips to help you feel more comfortable with your equipment, so you can get out on the trails more often.

Participants will be able to choose between beginner or intermediate levels for X-C skate ski or classic X-C (kick and glide) instruction from some of the area’s best skiers.

You will need to bring all your ski equipment and dress warm. All local ski shops are offering discount rentals for the clinic — just mention you are attending the clinic.

Please e-mail the club at PagosaNordic@Gmail.Com to let us know you are going to attend, what style of skiing and your ability level, so we can be sure to have enough instructors for the event. However, if you forget to R.S.V.P., please come anyway.

If you miss this clinic, or want to attend another, the Pagosa Nordic Club is hosting two more free clinics this season, on Jan. 12 and Feb. 2.

Additionally, this Sunday, Dec. 16, three-time Masters World Champion Murray Banks will present a free clinic for aspiring skate skiers. Murray will share the technique and specific workouts and strength drills that make skiing easier and more efficient. Participants are asked to meet at the base of Alberta Lift, by way of skiing down from the east end of the Tranquillity parking lot. The novice/beginner skate ski clinic is from 10-11:30 a.m., the intermediate/advanced skate ski clinic from 1-2:30 p.m. This skate ski clinic inspired even the best skate skiers last year.

Two area trails have been groomed for skate skiing and classic X-C skiing. The Wolf Creek Ski Area has groomed 4 km at Alberta Park, located at the base of Wolf Creek Ski Area. The Pagosa Nordic Club has groomed 5 km at Fall Creek (FS Road 39) located two miles east of the hairpin overlook on Wolf Creek Pass. Both trails are in good shape, even with the limited amount of snow.

As always, grooming reports can be viewed at PagosaNordic.Com. The Pagosa Nordic Club is a nonprofit, 100-percent volunteer organization with a mission, “To enhance winter recreational opportunities in Pagosa Springs by maintaining accessible groomed winter trails for skate skiing, classic cross country skiing and snowshoeing for all ability levels and to encourage and promote the use of these winter trails through education, marketing and events.” The club relies on membership donations, sponsorships and trail use donations to cover operational expenses and capital equipment investments. To become a club member or donate to the club, check PagosaNordic.Com for details. We encourage everyone to do a little snow dance. See you out on the trails.

This story was posted on December 13, 2012.