Grand Nordic: From advice to gear, ski swap on Oct. 22 will have something for you
Grand Nordic president
It’s that time of year again and, right on schedule, the snow has started flying. The hardcore might find enough of the white stuff in high country to do a little sliding on their older rock skis but most of us are still dreaming.
To really get your mouth watering for the snow season, Grand Nordic is hosting its annual Nordic Ski Swap at the Snow Mountain Ranch Nordic Center on Friday, Oct. 22. We were unable to hold it last year due to COVID-19 precautions. This year we are requiring people to wear masks regardless of vaccination status for safety sake.
The pandemic closed down or severely limited many supply chains and therefore manufacturing companies for items worldwide. Employees have been and still are hard to find to either make, ship, transport, assemble Nordic gear and then work the shops to get to you any gear that can be manufactured.
Nordic ski equipment was hard to get last year and many normal outlets or shops still have not caught up. Only a few places have new gear, so the market for used or year-old gear is huge. If you see a good deal, grab it now.
The swap encourages individuals to sell their used gear — skis, boots, poles, roller skis, clothing, backpacks and other appropriate Nordic gear. Bring your gear to the SMR Nordic Center from 5-6 p.m. Oct 22 — download the equipment resale form at http://www.GrandNordic.org and fill it out before coming.
The shops offering club members discounts on full price merchandise have been encouraged to bring any gear they might have as well as the local retail shops represented on http://www.SkiGrandNordic.org.
The swap is 6-8:30 p.m. with no desserts this year. Some of the best local seasoned skiers will be on hand to offer buying and fitting advice.
Whether your interest is skiing in tracks at resorts and ranches, skate skiing on similar terrain or spring crust, the high country with clouds of powder and wild slopes, or tamer backcountry on the network of summer trails that crisscross the Fraser Valley and are packed for snowmobiles and foot travel, the swap will have something for you.
Locally, Grand Lake Nordic Center is still recovering from COVID’s effects, but even more from the East Troublesome fire that ravaged that area. Don Campbell has done a fabulous job just getting any ski trails open last season and then allowing for golf last summer.
They will not be selling season passes or think about an opening date until the current logging has progressed through mid-November. Look for information before Thanksgiving.
Devil’s Thumb Ranch is still offering Nordic skiing to the community and planning to open about Thanksgiving. Sadly, they will not be holding their signature events — the Tommelfest and the Stagecoach Race — again this year. Devil’s Thumb will be selling season passes at the swap and can fill you in on Nordic developments at the ranch.
Snow Mountain Ranch is planning to open about Thanksgiving and the new Nordic Director Todd Lodwick and his staff have been putting lots of work into improving early season skiing terrain to prepare for a new snowcat.
The YMCA and Grand Nordic will again have a free lesson day and the Ranch2Ranch Trek with Granby Ranch is tentatively scheduled for a weekend in early February.
An individual or family yearly membership at the YMCA includes Nordic skiing and a host of other activities like ice skating in winter, miniature golf in summer, and heated pool year-round to name a few. Nordic skiing is also included if you are a guest at the Ranch.
The Skinny Ski will probably not be open due to staffing shortages, but there will be Grab-n-Go items available downstairs. Due to its great success last year, the free Friday Kids program by Grand Nordic will again be offered in January and February, the SMRC Classic race will be Jan. 15, and the SMR Stampede March 12. The Winter Park Comp Center programs begin Nov. 26 at SMR.
A relative newcomer to the area, Bluebird Backcountry, is putting out great info on trails, clinics, and lots of Backcountry stuff available. Visit with them at the swap and expand your backcountry knowledge and experience.
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