Eagle Nordic track picking up speed | VailDaily.com

Eagle Nordic track picking up speed

Kathy Heicher
Eagle, CO Colorado
Kathy Heicher/EnterpriseGlen Ewing leads a skate-skiing lesson at the Eagle Ranch golf course track in Eagle, Colorado

EAGLE, Colorado “-Getting out and enjoying the winter is a little easier in Eagle, Colorado this year.

Hundreds of cross-country skiers and snowshoers are taking advantage of the groomed track that the fledgling Eagle Valley Nordic Council has created at the Eagle Ranch golf course.

Glen Ewing, of the Nordic council, estimates that there are a total of four miles of groomed, looping trails on the course. Currently, the trail on the relatively flat front nine of the golf course is geared to Nordic skiers, with a set track; and the more hilly back nine is targeted for snowshoers. Ewing says that may change, since many skiers are looking for more challenging terrain.

“This year is kind of a learning experience for us,” Ewing says.

Ewing reminds track users to keep their dogs on leashes; and to pick up after their animals. If there is enough snow for a track next year, the council may ask that dogs not be allowed on the track.

Both the front and back trails can be accessed from the parking lot of the golf course clubhouse. Last week, the council offered a free skate-skiing clinic. A classic Nordic skiing clinic is planned in the near future.

The Nordic council, a loosely -organized group of cross-country skiing enthusiasts, has an e-mail list of about 70 members. Ideally, the group would like to develop a Nordic site further up the Brush Creek Valley, where higher elevations offer more of a snow pattern, and more rolling terrain. In fact, some ski tracks were set this week on the back nine at Eagle Ranch.

John Garnsey, of Beaver Creek Resorts, helped the group procure a used snowmobile from his organization. The track-setter came courtesy of the Vail Nordic Center. Ewing, Willy Powell and Walt Marquez are volunteering their time to lay track when new snow falls. Marquez has also volunteered his personal time do some upgrade and repair work on the track center. Ewing would like to see a set-up where a track could be established and maintained by a group of volunteers.

Local attorney Arlene Quenon is handling the paper work that will enable Nordic council to achieve nonprofit status.

So far, the council and the track are operating with volunteer labor and a few cash donations. For more information about the Eagle Valley Nordic Council, contact Willy Powell at powell.willy@gmail.com. To offer feedback on the track, contact the town of Eagle at 328-6354, or the Colorado Division of Wildlife at 947-2920.

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