Grand Nordic: COVID forces free lesson program to cancel
Terri Rylander, of the Grand Nordic Board of Directors, summed it up quite well on Facebook.
“What a tough time this is for all of us. Seems COVID is hitting closer and closer to home. As a club, Grand Nordic was planning to hold our free lesson program (this year offered to members only) on Dec. 13. We had approval from Snow Mountain Ranch, a plan in place to help mitigate the risk of COVID transmission and we were looking forward to giving people something fun to think about and do (and showing them how to do it).
“However, in the past couple weeks, it seems the outbreak has grown significantly. As a board, we talked about the pros and cons, and finally came to the decision that it was best to cancel it. And, so far, we haven’t had quite enough snow to make lessons safe, particularly for beginners,” Rylander wrote.
We kept planning, hoping the situation would get better. But as each factor got worse, we had to make a call.
We tried to offer a service to the community to allow people to get outside, but with the COVID-19 presence in Grand leading heightened restrictions, our board and instructors were nervous. We didn’t want to be responsible for any of our volunteers getting sick or more COVID cases developing in the valley by asking people to gather, even in smaller groups. Many of our instructors are in higher risk categories themselves, while being masters of Nordic skiing.
We were ready. We had a plan to space out classes and break groups into smaller groups and keep all outside, which will work well for future lessons. We even got approval for the event from the county health department.
But the final deciding factor was lack of snow near the Snow Mountain Ranch Nordic Center. It was inadequate to be able to teach beginner or some intermediates to ski. They cannot dodge bare spots, wood, or rocks that poke through the rolled trail surface.
Plans are already made for the Jan. 10 free lessons at SMR, as well as our Ranch2Ranch Trek on Feb. 6 from Snow Mountain Ranch to Granby Ranch. We are ready to go if and when the present health situation and snow conditions allow.
Cancellation was the right call and we ask, in the words of Daniela on our board, “Please do not plan to gather with people you don’t know if it is not essential until the pandemic spread is under control.”
Stay safe, stay happy and stay healthy.
In other news, Grand Nordic has distributed to all elementary schools and preschools in East Grand Nordic ski equipment appropriate for the age group or teachers in that school from our purchase of equipment from Aspen Elementary. We Thank the Grand Nordic Board, Fraser Valley Metro Rec District, and the Lions club for their support funding this purchase last spring. Many of you will find your young folks skiing circles around you hopefully later this winter.
We are also providing small outdoor clinics to better educate the teachers in these programs how kids learn and have fun in this type of outdoor program. If your program needs such a clinic, contact me at 970-887-0547 or email@example.com.
We are also accepting donations of used Nordic ski gear in donation boxes placed at both Fraser Library and Granby Library when these facilities are open. Or call me to drop it off at my office. We can also give you a tax donation form for your contribution. We are also helping people get gear who have lost everything in fires or due to COVID business closures.
Devil’s Thumb Ranch is also reporting good skiing conditions on trails that get early shade with about 70% of trails open. Snow Mountain Ranch is reporting about 50pct of trails open. Grand Lake Nordic Center is scheduled to open Dec. 19, weather permitting. The backcountry is good but be careful of high risk of avalanches. Please everyone do a big snow dance for this weekend — we all need it so much. Show us your dance on our Facebook page.
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The business and tourism prognosticators from across the country are saying it loud and clear: This summer will be very busy and most businesses won’t be able staff-up or expand to handle the increased demand.