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By James Dickhoff
Special to The SUN
This Saturday, Dec. 7, Pagosa Nordic will host the season’s first free X-C Ski Clinic, for beginner and intermediate classic cross country skiing and skate skiing.
The clinic will be held 10 a.m. to noon at Fall Creek, located 19 miles east on U.S. 160 on Wolf Creek Pass. Look for the Forest Service Road sign No. 39 on the east side of the highway. Please R.S.V.P. at PagosaNordic@gmail.com if you are planning to attend; include the number in your group, classic or skate ski, and level of skier. This is an excellent ski clinic for all ages and will be taught by some of Pagosa Springs’ best skiers. Come out and learn more about developing your technique, which will result in more enjoyment out on the trails. Arrive early with your gear to allow enough time to begin at 10 a.m. All local ski shops will offer discounted rentals for this clinic — just mention your are renting for the clinic.
Also, mark your calendars for the Pagosa Nordic Season Opener X-C Ski Weekend, Friday-Sunday, Dec. 13-15, which will feature masters cross country ski champion and inspirational speaker Murray Banks. On Friday, Dec. 13, Banks will teach a ski waxing clinic from 6-8 p.m. at the Alpen Haus Ski Center, located at 2800 Cornerstone Drive in the Plaza at Aspen Village shopping center. He will teach basic and advanced waxing techniques for average and advanced skiers. A donation of $5 will be requested at the door.
On Saturday, Dec. 14, Banks will teach two of his inspirational skate ski clinics. An advanced skate skier clinic will be conducted 9-11 a.m. and an intermediate clinic will be held 1-3 p.m. This is a must clinic for aspiring intermediate and advanced skate skiers. The $30 per clinic fee ($25 for Pagosa Nordic members) will be the best money you spend this winter. E-mail your R.S.V.P. to PagosaNordic@gmail.com if you would like to reserve a spot at a clinic. The clinics will be held in Alberta Park at the Wolf Creek Ski Area. Park at the end of the Tranquility parking lot. Follow the signs down to Alberta Park.
Later on Saturday, Dec. 14, Pagosa Nordic will host the season’s first free Moonrise/Sunset soup and chili X-C Ski Social, location TBD. Pagosa Nordic invites all ages and all abilities of skiers to come join in the fun. You will enjoy an easy ski under the colorful skies and meet back at the trailhead for soup, chili and hot cocoa around a warm campfire. This is a great, family-friendly activity. You can bring something to share, though it is not required. Dress warm and bring your headlamp or flashlight and chair if desired.
On Sunday, Dec. 15, Banks will join Pagosa Nordic for a Biathlon X-C Ski Race. Using Red Ryder BB guns, skiers will compete in either a 12k competitive, 6k citizens or 3k kids’ race, with three opportunities to shoot at targets in between course laps. The event is a freestyle ski event in which participants can either classic ski or skate ski. There will be prizes for top finishers as well as participant drawing giveaways. The Red Ryder BB gun biathlon has been Pagosa Nordic’s most popular race during the winter. Registration fee is $20 for PNC members, $30 for nonmembers and $10 for kids under 16. The event will be held in Alberta Park at the Wolf Creek Ski Area. Send your R.S.V.P. to PagosaNordic@gamil.com.
Current groomed cross country ski trails open for your skiing enjoyment include 10k at Alberta Park, compliments of the Wolf Ski Area. Alberta Park is accessed from the end of the Tranquility parking lot at the ski area. Pagosa Nordic has groomed 6 at Fall Creek, which is located 19 miles east on U.S. 160 on Wolf Creek Pass; look for the FS road sign No. 39. Conditions at these two high altitude locations are excellent and all trails are groomed wide for skate skiing with set tracks for classic skiing. Additional trails will open as snow conditions permit.
Pagosa Nordic 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.” Trail grooming reports and events schedules can be viewed at PagosaNordic.com. Pagosa Nordic operates on club memberships, donations and sponsorships from our community.