Free kids ski programs continue through February |

Free kids ski programs continue through February

Grand Nordic Corner/Diana Lynn Rau
Grand County, CO Colorado

Kids Nordic Festival at the YMCA on Friday 25 Feb starts at 1pm with races and games and prizes for everyone.

Skinny on School Nordic Skiing

Middle Park High School skiers raced in their final regular season meet on the Devil’s Thumb trails on Thursday, February 17. Snow and high winds in the morning made it tough for teams traveling to the race as well as race preparation, but as the day progressed, the weather settled into a steady snowfall and only a couple of teams failed to show. Conditions were soft, but the tracks for the mass start classic race held up throughout the races.

The Panther girls finished first out of the eight teams competing, led by senior captain Sam Berggren’s first place finish, more than 1.5 minutes ahead of the next finisher. Senior captain Sam Miyauchi finished 4th, with Sera Smith and Linnea Zink coming in together in seventh and eighth places, respectively. Jenna Curran and Anna Wolff had an exciting battle with a Steamboat skier at the finish line for 18th place, with Jenna just missing out and Anna a second behind. This turned out to be a race within the race, because after tabulating all the results, the line for qualification to the state meet calculated to be at 19th place. Jenna was in, and Anna just missed by a second.

The Panther boys had two skiers in the top 20, lead by Colby Zink in 16th place, followed closely by AJ Sapien in 17th, who was 10 seconds behind.

The Middle Park Panther Nordic Team would like to thank all supporters for helping to put on a fantastic race, and a special thanks to Home James and Rocky Mountain Roastery for making it possible for volunteers and fans to get to the race by providing parking and shuttle services.

Next week, 21 members of the Middle Park Nordic team will compete in the State Championships in Aspen on Thursday and Friday, February 24 and 25.

East Grand Middle School had a fun and snowy race Feb. 17, the last race of the season. Three boys finished in the top 10; Simon Zink, Logan Miyauchi, and Daniel Kopp respectively. One girl finished in the top 10, Chelsea McManigal.


Conditions are great from YMCA underpass to Tabernash. The sections from Tabernash to the Fraser Ballfields are now rolled as well as from County Road 8 in Fraser, east of Winter Park to Beavers to the Winter Park Resort. We have now roughly groomed the section from Tim’s Tunnel under Highway 40 at the YMCA to Val Moritz at SolVista. Grooming is done by volunteers when possible, but all sections are open for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing or just plain walking with your dog. Please observe dog leash restriction in the Beavers area. Also, the top of County Road 87 or Lions Lane in the Highlands to the trails at SolVista (including Rabbit Run, Cabin and Sweet Nancy) are good light touring. Parking is available at all locations. Above all, respect private property. To volunteer or get more information, call 970-887-0547.

Don’t forget the free beautifully groomed trails at Grand Park behind the Grand Park Recreation Center, the perfect place in town to take your dog or ski on your lunch hour or break. Bring your own equipment and your doggie bag for your pet. Or take your gear and your dog for a light touring adventure to Elk Meadow outside Fraser and climb to 128 as groomed by Trailblazers. Also on the west side of the Fraser Valley departing from Winter Park is Little Vasquez or Big Vasquez also groomed by Trailblazers. Climb up on the east side of the Fraser Valley via Corona Road (groomed by Grand Adventures) and go all the way to the Continental Divide or take 128 across the mountains. These trails are groomed for snowmobiles and mixed use so be prepared, but the tour leaders are courteous with their groups.

• The Big Shooter Bonk is coming to Latigo Ranch on March 12 with 17K, 34K, and 51K Freestyle races and an 8K recreational race. Please call 970-724-3735 or email for registration and details.

YMCA Snow Mtn Ranch

YMCA offers free skiing for Grand County locals on Wednesdays. Call the cross-country shop for sales on special equipment purchases. The informal Grand Nordic Thursday evening workouts are every Thursday through March with warmups at 6 p.m. and relays-intervals-fun workouts at 6:30 p.m. These Thursday evening sprints are open to Grand Nordic members only. Join the blog or join the club at

• On Feb. 26-27 is the Colorado Biathlon State championship weekend with the Sprint on Saturday and the Pursuit on Sunday. For more information, go to

• Sons of Norway Barneloppet or Children’s Ski Carnival is the biggest kids race of the year. Free for children aged 3 to 16, the race starts at 11:30 a.m. on Feb. 26, offering 1 k, 2.5 k and 5 k race courses. Check-in for the Barneloppet starts at 9 a.m. at Legett Hall. Ski Lessons are offered from 9:30 a.m. – 11:15 a.m. There is also a program in Ski Orienteering from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. for Novice (2km) and Intermediate (90 minutes). Instruction is available. Race and reception are followed by SON Storfjell Lodge general membership meeting at 2 p.m.

• The Kids Nordic Festival at the YMCA on Friday, Feb. 25 starts at 1 p.m. with races and games and prizes for everyone. Friday and Sunday are the last kids classes at the YMCA for the season and all are invited. Parents are needed to help with events on Friday.

• The Snow Mountain Stampede Marathon is March 5 with 42K and 21K Classic and Freestyle, and 10K Freestyle races. The Stampede starts off with a FREE 2K freestyle kids race at 9 a.m. Call 970-887-3095 X 4173 for more information and to register.

Devil’s Thumb Ranch

The next skijoring clinic is Feb. 27 at 10 a.m. Be sure to sign up by calling 970-726-8231 as space is limited. Rental equipment for your dog is available. Learn to ski with your dog.

Grand Lake Touring Center

March 5 is Fun Appreciation Day from 12 p.m. – 3 p.m. highlighted by appetizers in the lodge and music by Steve Cormey. Call 970-627-8008 for more information. Keep the date March 18 for the Progressive Ski Dinner at the Winding River.

Diana Lynn Rau can be reached at 970-887-3095 or

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