Cross-country skiing comes to Minturn
Vail, CO Colorado
MINTURN, Colorado – Minturn will soon be home to a new cross-country skiing track.
The Ski and Snowboard Club Vail plans to clear a 2.5-km Nordic trail on land near Minturn Middle School.
Ski club officials hope to finish the trail before the snow falls.
Students at Vail Ski and Snowboard Academy, located inside Minturn Middle School, will use the trail to train for Nordic events. Currently the students train at the Vail Nordic Center in East Vail.
Dan Weiland, the ski club’s Nordic program director, said only two students at the academy currently specialize in Nordic skiing. However, building the track could attract more Nordic skiers to the academy in the future, he said.
“The idea is ‘if you build it, they will come,” Weiland said.
If all goes well, the school plans to host a junior Olympic qualifier on the Nordic Trail in mid-December.
Weiland said gym classes at Minturn Middle School will use the trail. Members of the community will be able to use it as well.
The trail will start and finish by the ball field in Maloit Park. A 1,000-meter sprint loop will follow the road toward Minturn Middle School, break left into the picnic bench area in the park and climb the hillside back to the ball field, Weiland said. A second loop will follow an old road south of the ball field and up a hill toward the Cross Creek Trail.
The ski club will foot the bill for the trail. Weiland expects it to cost roughly $5,000. Work will include trimming trees, moving dirt and clearing rocks.
Weiland hopes to start work on the trail next week. He wants to enlist parents and volunteers to help build it.
The ski club has been talking with Vail Resorts about the possibility of the resort providing a snowmobile and crew to groom the Nordic trail.
In the long-term future, Weiland envisions expanding the trail to 10 kilometers.
As plans for the trail take shape, the future location of the Vail Ski and Snowboard Academy remains uncertain.
Next fall, Minturn Middle School students will move into the old Battle Mountain High School building in Eagle-Vail.
Eagle County School Board members are still weighing what to do with the Vail Ski and Snowboard Academy.
No set timeline exists for their decision.
“I expect it will be very soon, certainly,” School Board President Connie Kincaid-Strahan said.
Staff Writer Sarah Mausolf can be reached at 970-748-2928 or firstname.lastname@example.org.