Time to bust out the the Nordic skis
Vail CO, Colorado
EAGLE COUNTY, Colorado ” Get ready to double pole your way through the High Country. And while you’re at it, bring some snowshoes. Thanks to a bounty of new snow and low temperatures, the Nordic season is here in full force for the winter.
With three Nordic centers in the valley and endless groomed terrain, options abound for those looking to hop on some cross-country skis. And for those willing to drive just a bit, there are some other unique options.
The Vail Nordic Center
Open: 9-5 p.m. daily, with 17 kilometers of classical and Nordic trails and 10 kilometers of snowshoe trails.
Where: Vail Golf Club clubhouse, on Vail Valley Drive.
Lessons: Classical from Wednesdays to Sundays at 10:30 a.m., skate from Wednesdays to Sundays at noon. Private and upper-level sessions: Wednesdays to Sundays at noon. During holiday season, lessons offered daily. Women-specific program: four-session beginning skate, starting today; four-session classical starting Jan. 18; two-session intermediate and advanced skate.
Lesson fees: Adult (18 and older): $30. Youth: $30. Private adult: $50/hour. Private youth: $35/hour.
Rentals: Classic package: $17; skate-ski package: $22; backcountry package: $22; snowshoe package: $15; children (12 and yuonger): $8; seniors (65 and older): $10; sled (to pull children): $10. Discounted rates with lessons.
Course fees: $6 for daily use, $75 for season pass. $40 for students.
Other: Dogs should be kept on leashes on showshoe trails.
Contact: 476-8366 or http://www.vail nordiccenter.com.
Lowdown: The only privately owned Nordic center in the Vail Valley is offering its own in-house lessons this year.
Beaver Creek Nordic Center
Open: 9 a.m.-4 p.m. daily, with 32 kilometers of groomed classical, skate and snowshoe trails.
Where: The center is at the bottom of the Strawberry Park lift; McCoy Park (trails) at the top of the lift.
Lessons: Daily cross-country lessons from 10 a.m.-12:15 p.m. Private lessons by reservation. Thursday and Saturday telemark lessons from 10 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. and 1:15 to 3:30 p.m. Showshoe tours: 10 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. and 1:15 to 3:30 p.m.
Lesson fees: $73 for cross-country and telemark. Private: Call for details. Showshoe tours: $70 per person, with half-day and full-day private lessons available.
Rentals: Basic performance and classic: $27; performance classic and skate: $32; telemark: $42; snowshoe package: $33; showshoe only: $23. Discounted rates for private or group lessons.
Course fees: Free for season/daily ski-pass holders. Foot pass to Nordic area: $23 for adults, $13 for seniors (65 plus), and kids (12 and younger) are free.
Other: During mountain blackout dates, season-pass holders may be able to get McCoy Park access.
Contact: 754-5313 or http:// beavercreek.snow.com/info/ winter/ss.nordic.asp.
Lowdown: Colorado’s only lift-accessed Nordic center, high above the valley with views of three different mountain ranges.
Photo by Special to the Daily
The Cordillera Nordic Center offers skiers a quiet, yet challenging experience
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Cordillera Nordic Center
Open: 9 a.m.-4 p.m. daily, with 10 kilometers of groomed skate trails, five kilometers of classical trails and 10 kilometers of snowshoe trails.
Where: Center is four miles up Squaw Creek Road (becomes Fenno Drive) in Cordillera.
Lessons: Classic and skate (90 minutes), seven days a week. No walk-ins ” call ahead for reservations. Snowshoe tours Fridays at 9 a.m., or call for reservations.
Lesson fees: $45 per person for group lessons and showshoe tours (includes equipment for all); $65 for private lessons (and equipment).
Rentals: $20 package for classic, skate and showshoe.
Course fees: $5 for daily pass, $50 for season pass.
Other: Check out evening snowshoe tour with dinner at the Timber Hearth Grill for $75 per person (includes rentals, tour and three-course meal but not tax and gratuity) Tuesdays through Saturdays by reservation. Also, dog-sled rides are available through Mountain Mushers at 328-7877.
Contact: 926-5100 or http:// cordillera.rockresorts.com/info/
Lowdown: Quiet, secluded area open to the public. Some hills good for skate skiers looking for a challenge.
Vail Pass Winter Recreation Area
Open: Daily, with more than 80 kilometers of groomed trails.