Nordic Column: Ranch2Ranch skiers relish winter sun (w/ photos)
Last year, it was a pandemic, it was a frantic windstorm and it was a two-day format for the first time. This year, Saturday was a bluebird day with some fresh powder and Sunday, some even thought was t-shirt weather.
Grand Nordic’s 9th Annual Ranch2Ranch Nordic Trek was not only as safe as it could be but also as fun and beautiful as it could be — both days!
Participants were spread out in half hour slots and started at their leisure. Sending people out into the sunshine and moderate cold on Saturday was like living a skier’s dream. Sunday, the temps were even warmer and the sky even bluer. The wind from 2021 was nowhere to be found.
Instead, we had smiles and happy faces, laughter and giggles as people gathered around the aid stations or a particularly scenic viewpoint in the 12 km distance from Snow Mountain Ranch to Granby Ranch.
Some people chatted for a half hour or more. Other people were out to prove to themselves that they could do it. That’s what you do in a trek, enjoy yourself!
The scenery along the way was incredible and participants could turn around anywhere on the course and decide their own distance to be covered. There were aid stations, medical personnel, a good track most of the way and other skiers — what better conditions to test yourself?
Thank you to all our volunteers at registration, aid stations, finish area, marshals along the way directing and helping where needed, Bryan Mountain Nordic Patrol members offering medical advise and ready for emergencies, groomers for the course preparation from Snow Mountain Ranch, Headwaters Trails Alliance and Granby Ranch. Special thanks to Granby Ranch events coordinator Quinn and her crew for all the coordination with the new owners and to Charlie Rau for all his patience and support to keep me going.
Aid station volunteers were cheerful and smiling, offering warm drinks, bananas and oranges, cookies and granola bars to all. The middle school Nordic team manned one aid station, while high school Nordic team members manned another to help thank people for supporting this fundraiser for youth skiing.
Since the 90s, Grand Nordic has supplied skis and boots to preschools, elementary schools, recreation departments and rec districts, middle school Nordic teams, high school Nordic teams and coaches. We have supplied scholarships to kids helping them with expenses for school fees and equipment, as well as advanced training programs.
We have held free lesson programs for both Grand Nordic members and the public for about 20 years, as well as the only Nordic ski swap in the county each October. Our mission is to promote all aspects of Nordic skiing in Grand County. The Ranch2Ranch Trek is our biggest fundraiser for these youth promotions. The school team kids and coaches, as well as Winter Park Competition Center kids and coaches, were there to show their appreciation.
Grand Nordic club website http://www.grandnordic.org tells about programs we offer, assistance we offer, as well as information on events and Nordic happenings.
We also take the lead on the only website touting All Things Nordic in Grand County at http://www.skigrandnordic.org. Check it out to find where to ski choosing from Nordic centers, free trails, guest ranches and backcountry areas. There are backcountry reports, Nordic news, competitive programs like Colorado Biathlon, WP Competition Center, Colorado Nordic Masters, the adaptive program at the National Sports Center for the Disabled, school and youth programs, as well as a new section on retail shops in the county.
The section on local information takes you to towns, chambers, and the tourism board for additional items so crucial for a well-planned trip. All categories give a direct link to the provider for easy site navigation. Check it out — we really are all things Nordic!
Grand Nordic is a member organization that is a non-profit supported by member dues, donations and grants. Our board members are all volunteers and their service is tremendously appreciated. Please let us know if you would like to volunteer with us by contacting email@example.com or 970-887-0547.
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