Nordic Column: Thank you for a great season |

Nordic Column: Thank you for a great season

Diana Lynn Rau
Grand Nordic
Charlie Rau gliding on the crust in the front meadows of the YMCA.
Diana Lynn Rau/Courtesy Photo

Jeff Russell is right about crust skiing in Colorado. The weather needed to create good crust can be fickle, and this season it has been. Charlie and I have had a couple days of good crust skiing after several sunny days somewhat melted or congealed the surface and, combined with several cold nights down to about 20 degrees or less, formed a surface firm enough to support our weight. We were able to ski everywhere on the south-facing front meadows at the YMCA before the recent snow. But north-facing slopes gave way under our weight and we crashed through.

Groomed trails have been quickly deteriorating with the intense March sunshine. New snow will be coming to reinforce those trails but resorts with specially groomed trails are closing – Grand Lake Nordic Center on March 31, Snow Mountain Ranch on April 3 and Devils Thumb on April 10. Some closure is due to lack of snow but mostly lack of staff. Many trails will remain useable. Our high altitude also gets the corn snow granules on top of the firm crust that, to me, is hero snow, because anyone can carve a good telemark easily when the crust underneath is firm.

Please venture into the backcountry knowing that avalanches can occur almost anywhere (to reiterate Jeff’s earlier point). Be prepared with proper equipment and knowledge of the area, let someone know where you are going and always take extra food, water and essentials. We need the extra snow that may come to replenish our water supplies, so keep up the snow dances.

Sales on Nordic equipment are excellent right now, so catch them before the centers close or the retail stores shift their inventory. Consider donating your old gear to one of the Grand Nordic donation boxes located at the Grand Park Recreation Center in Winter Park, the Fraser Library or the Granby Library. Or clean out your garage and donate your unwanted Nordic skis, boots and poles to Grand Nordic. We get this gear out to people who will use it, both kids and adults. Call 970-887-0547 for more information.

For more area Nordic information on all things Nordic skiing go to the website

To support our local youth programs and family Nordic skiing, join the Grand Nordic Ski Club at the same site. We donate Nordic skis, scholarships and other assistance to pre-schools, elementary schools, youth recreation programs, middle/high schools. We also foster cooperation and communication between our youth programs, Colorado Master program and Winter Park Competition Center. Call us 970-887-0547 for more information or visit our Facebook page.

We appreciate all the community support in this and past years. Thank you, Grand County!

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