Rau: YMCA of the Rockies – Snow Mountain Ranch Nordic Center
Snow Mountain Ranch sits on 5,200 acres just off US Highway 40 between Tabernash and Granby. It is a year round playground offering over 100 km of groomed trails for cross country skiing, snowshoeing, fat biking, tubing, sleigh rides and other winter outdoor activities as well as mountain biking, hiking, horseback riding, Frisbee golf, zip line, climbing wall, and tubing in the summer.
One of the best groomed Nordic Centers in the country, you can cross country ski from mid-November until mid-April. The terrain can accommodate everyone from the first time skier to the elite racer. And be sure to ski with your dog on the dog-friendly loops next to the Nordic Center – but remember, leashes are required.
The Nordic Center’s full-service ski shop is where you will find great deals on lessons and rental packages. They also have the latest Nordic and snowshoe gear and apparel for sale. To re-energize, visit the Skinny Ski Café, open just after Thanksgiving, and enjoy a light snack or warm up with a bowl of soup and a sandwich. A one year membership family or individual membership includes cross country skiing, sledding, winter tubing, and ice skating. A membership also gives access to the swimming pool, basketball, roller skating and so much more. You can rent cross country ski equipment, fat bikes and snowshoes at the Nordic Center. With a membership, you also get discounts on lodging at the YMCA of the Rockies. Regular trail fees for adults are $20 per day but Grand Nordic members receive a discounted rate of $15. Children 12 and under can ski for $10, and children 5 and under ski for free. A five-time punch card is available this year for $85. For details on these and the Learn to Ski package including trail pass, equipment rental and group lesson, visit the website http://www.snowmountainranch.org/nordic.
Snow Mountain Ranch Nordic Center is open with great deals on equipment but no skiing yet. Storms on the horizon could change that at any time. Visit the new Conditions and Grooming information page on the website for updates. Every third Wednesday of the month is a free ski day for locals. The first of the series of free ski lessons offered by Grand Nordic including free equipment and trail pass for all Nordic Club members is offered Sunday, Dec. 4. The Annual Classic Race is scheduled for Jan. 7. Colorado Mountain Mushers Dog Sled Races are scheduled for Jan. 7-8 and again Feb 25-26. The Grand Nordic RANCH2RANCH TREK on Saturday Feb. 4 will start at Snow Mountain Ranch, go over the Fraser to Granby Trail and end at the Granby Ranch. The season winds down with the famed Snow Mountain Stampede featuring both Classic and Skate events on Mar. 11 amd 12.5. Check out the YMCA website at http://www.snowmountainranch.org/nordic for details.
Snow Mountain Ranch will be hosting a pre-Thanksgiving Ski Camp Nov. 18-20 to hone in your basic classic and skate techniques and a Winter Ski and Fat Bike Festival (there’s more than just skiing but details to come) March 24-26. Free snowshoe or Nordic ski guided tours are offered many weekends for most of the winter. See the website events page for details.
The Junior Nordic Race Program at Snow Mountain Ranch has details posted under the Junior Nordic Program page. Commit, sign up, and come participate in the training processes that will change how you approach sport and life! Says Bill Pierce, head coach. Register online at active.com. The program has already started.
Colorado Biathlon hails Snow Mountain Ranch as their home venue. Rifle certification clinics are held every fall and winter. Check http://www.colorado.biathlon.org/schedule or call Snow Mountain Ranch Nordic Center 970-887-2152×4173 for more information. The next race is Dec. 3. Come out to see the action and learn about biathlon.
The free kids program starts Jan. 6 with Friday afternoons at 1 p.m. for kids 5-10 and runs every weekend in January and February ending with a Nordic Festival Feb. 24.
Visit the Grand Nordic Website for more information or to register for the Ranch2Ranch Trek http://www.grandnordic.org or call Diana Lynn Rau at 970-887-0547.
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