Get out and experience Grand County’s fantastic Nordic skiing |

Get out and experience Grand County’s fantastic Nordic skiing

File photo
Leia Larsen |

Snow is here and we hope more is on the way. It’s time to start thinking about the basics.

Grand Nordic Ski Swap was at the end of October, but used equipment is still available at each of the Nordic areas plus Icebox Mountain Sports in Fraser and the Trading Company in Winter Park. Or go for the sales currently offered on new gear and last year’s unused gear.

Nature is being a bit finicky but the Nordic areas are trying to maintain until the next series of storms. The YMCA has 30 kilometers groomed and even reports over 2 feet on Blue Ridge Loop near the top of the mountain. The Nordic Shop is in full swing.

Devil’s Thumb reports even more groomed, and its shop is also fully open.

Grand Lake currently advises the Tubing Hill is open as well as a snowshoe loop and Nordic Shop.

Grand Nordic is trying to encourage everyone to experience Nordic skiing in a way that they can enjoy the Grand County winter. Nordic skiing is a lifetime sport that you can learn the basics in a simple lesson or two. It can be a relatively inexpensive family sport to get everyone outside enjoying themselves and their surroundings. And all family members can do it at their own level.

Our lessons are FREE for everyone – classic and skate, adult and kids, morning and afternoon. Grand Nordic members also get free equipment rental and free trail passes. Non-members pay regular prices as needed but lessons are still free. Go to to become a member – $25 for individuals and $35 for your entire family. This is a great opportunity to try different locations and keep learning new skills. Or try skating when you have only done classic technique before. It’s the best recreation deal in the county!


Come join us on Saturday, Dec. 13, at the Devil’s Thumb Ranch Tommelfest for lessons taught by experienced Nordic instructors, team coaches and Grand Nordic coaches plus demos by Boulder Nordic Sports. The Ski clinics are at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. with registration from 8-9:30 a.m. Classes include beginner, intermediate and advanced levels for both classic and skate as well as kids 12 and under classic, skate and never-ever.

Sign up with Devil’s Thumb Activities Desk at 970-726-8231 as classes are capped at 10 students. Biathlon relays are from 12:30 p.m.-2 p.m. and the day ends with a Season Pass-holder appreciation party 4-5 p.m. Meanwhile enjoy the Norwegian Keg Toss, Viking Hat Competition, live music, grog, sleigh rides and horse tubing and visit Heck’s Tavern for a traditional Norwegian meal.

Other free lessons

The next free lesson at Grand Lake Nordic Center is scheduled for Sunday, Dec. 21. Classes include beginner, intermediate and advanced levels for both classic and skate as well as kids 12 and under classic, skate and never-ever with maximum of 10 students per group. The lessons are scheduled for 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. with pre-registration required for the Ski clinics and rentals by calling 970-627-8008. See the website for more information

On Sunday, Jan. 4, join us at YMCA-Snow Mountain Ranch Nordic Center for the last free lessons. Classes are at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. for all levels. Check the YMCA website at for more information or call 970-887-2152 x 4173 to sign up.

Free Kids programs begin the first weekend in January and run through the end of February. Devil’s Thumb works with ages 3-10 on Friday mornings and the YMCA works with ages 5-15 Friday and Sunday afternoons at 1 p.m. Grand Lake may set up several dates but please check their website.

For more information about these free lessons and member benefits offered by Grand Nordic, check our website at or call 970-887-0547. But it’s time to be skiing. Get out there and enjoy Grand County!

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