Cordillera kicking off winter season |

Cordillera kicking off winter season

Randy Wyrickrwyrick@vaildaily.comVail, CO Colorado
Special to the DailyCordillera's Timber Hearth opens for the winter season this week, along with all of the Club at Cordillera's winter facilities and programs. Sleigh rides, the Nordic center and snowshoe tours are among the activities offered. For information go to or call 926-5100.

EDWARDS, Colorado – The Club at Cordillera kicks off its winter season this weekend with sleighrides and the Timber Hearth opening.Cordillera’s Nordic Center is also scheduled to open this weekend, and the Timber Hearth opened Friday. You can take evening snowshoe tours and sleigh rides, followed by a three-course dinner.All of Cordillera’s communities will celebrate winter with a holiday reception at the Cordillera Lodge and Spa. The event, Dec. 15, is free and open to the public.”As part of our ongoing community outreach, we’re looking forward to participating in this special holiday reception along with our friends at the Lodge and the metro district,” said Patrick Wilhelm of The Club at Cordillera. “The Club at Cordillera is an important and contributing member of the Vail Valley and Beaver Creek communities, and we’re proud of our local involvement.”

A blanket of snow changes everything, says William Rhodes, general manager at the Timber Hearth.”We’re a completely different facility in the winter than we are in the summer,” Rhodes said.Stroll into the big dining room and the room opens up to a three-story brick hearth in the middle of the room.The Timber Hearth opened Friday. Starting Dec. 14, they’ll be open every day through the end of the year.Bearcat Stables operates the sleighrides. They start at 4:30 p.m. and go every half hour. The rides last about 30 minutes and dinner follows.”If you want to see the valley from up that high, we suggest the earlier rides,” Rhodes said. “If it’s a clear night with a full moon, try one of the later times. There may be nothing more beautiful on earth.”Bearcat Stables has a private sleigh that you can hire for the night, and it’s real popular with people who want to propose – you know, marriage and stuff like that.”It’s perfect for people who what something more romantic,” Rhodes said.Obviously, the private proposal sleigh comes first, and you’ll want the larger family-size sleigh on down the road.It’s kid friendly. There’s a big bonfire on the patio and you make your own dessert smores. There’s a private and secluded wine room that seats up to 12 people, with views of everything worth looking at.Transportation is available to and from local hotels.

Cordillera’s Nordic season culminates with Cordillera Nordic Night with Mount Everest climber Ellen Miller. She’ll tell her story on Feb. 28.On May 16, 2002, Vail’s Miller stood atop Mount Everest for the second time in two years. That made her the first North American woman to summit Everest from both the north and the south sides, and one of only four women in the world.Her herculean effort was overshadowed by the media hype around International Mountain Guides women’s expedition. However, Miller’s staggering achievement did not go unnoticed. She was named the 2002 Sportswoman of the Year.Nordic lessons begin at 5 p.m., dinner the Timber Hearth is 6 p.m. followed by Miller’s presentation, “Mount Everest: A woman’s view from the Summit,” at 6:30 p.m. The whole thing is $50 for Nordic lessons, ski rentals,dinner, and presentation. It’s $20 for dinner and presentation only.Cordillera’s Nordic center is scheduled to open Saturday for the winter season. It’s a full-service winter venue, offering snowshoe tours, ski lessons, equipment rentals and a large selection of winter clothing and gear for a person’s next outdoor adventure. Weather permitting, they’ll open 10 kilometers of groomed Nordic and skate/ski track, as well as miles of single-track and groomed snowshoe trails.Snow fitness classes also begin, with hill workouts at the Nordic Center.

Cordillera’s Simple Charity Snowshoe Series starts Dec. 20. It’s four non-competitive 5K moonlit charity snowshoe events through the winter months.The charity events will be held on the night of the full moon in November, December, January and February, with proceeds going to various local charities. The race course wil be different for each event and it’s $30 in advance and $35 on race day. If you register early, you have a better chance of being able to borrow a headlamp and snowshoes.The charities line up like this:• Tuesday, Dec. 21: CASA of the Continental Divide, 6 p.m. Start at the Cordillera Valley Club.• Wednesday, Jan. 19: Bravo! Children’s Music Programs, 6 p.m. Start at the Cordillera Valley Club.• Friday, Feb. 18: Roundup River Ranch, 6:30 p.m. Start at the Cordillera Valley Club.• Saturday, March 19: Eagle Valley Alliance for Sustainability, 7 p.m. Start at the Trailhead at Cordillera.For information and registration, go to, or call 970-926-5100. The Nordic Center is located in Cordillera’s mountain course pro shop. Call 926-5100. They’re open from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. through late March. Trail passes are $8 a day, $50 for a season and $100 for a family season pass. Rentals are $25 per person, and lessons are $45 for Cordillera Club members and $65 for non-members.For information about the Club at Cordillera, visit

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