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By James Dickhoff
Special to The SUN
The fourth annual Pagosa Nordic X-C ski races and activities are this weekend, Presidents Day weekend, Friday through Sunday, Feb.14-16.
On Friday, Feb. 14, Valentine’s Day, Pagosa Nordic Club (PNC) invites you to a free soup and chili moonrise/sunset X-C ski social at the West Fork Nordic trail, located 14 miles east on U.S. 160 from downtown Pagosa. Pagosa Nordic invites all ages and all abilities of X-C skiers to come join in the fun.
You will enjoy an easy X-C 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 may bring something to share, though not required. Dress warm and bring your headlamp or flashlight and chair, if desired.
On Saturday, Feb. 15, Pagosa Nordic hosts a day of free races for all ages and ability levels, at the at the West Fork Nordic trail. The BB Gun Biathlon starts at 9 a.m. with three opportunities to shoot at targets with BB guns in-between X-C ski laps at the biathlon.
Relay races include a 1-km classic ski leg and a 1-km skate-skiing leg with your partner. Sprint races are short and fast. Races start at 9 a.m.
On Feb. 16, Pagosa Nordic hosts the first ever Plumataw Ultra X-C Nordic ski race for those preferring more challenge. Racers will choose either the 30-km (20 mile) or 60-km (40 mile) course. The course will be groomed for skate skiing with set tracks for classic X-C skiing and is an out-and-back route along Plumtaw Road and will start and finish 7.5 miles north on Fourmile Road (CR 400) where the snow plowing ends.
Racing begins at 8:30 a.m. with specific cut-off times for arriving at aid stations along the way. This is a self-supported race with very limited aid on the course. The 30 km race fee is $15 for PNC members and $20 for non-members. The 60 km race fee is $25 for PNC members and $30 for non-members. All racers receive prizes.
To get to the starting line for Sunday’s Plumtaw Ultra from downtown Pagosa and U.S. 160, turn north at the Lewis Street stoplight, then make an immediate left turn onto 5th Street, which turns into Fourmile Road. Continue on Fourmile for 7.5 miles to where snowplowing ends.
For more detailed event information, trail maps and trail grooming reports, check out pagosanordic.com.