Gearing Up for Cross-Country Skiing in Leadville
As the snow starts to pile up and blue skies prevail in between storms, thoughts turn to outdoor recreation, strapping on the gear and getting out into the great outdoors. For many, that means taking advantage of 11.5 miles of breathtaking views of the Sawatch and Mosquito mountain ranges on Leadville’s Mineral Belt Trail (MBT). This all-season skiing/snowshoeing/winter biking trail loops around the city, through its historic mining district. And with the recent snow it was time to check in and see how conditions are stacking up.
“Right now, we’re just tracking down the trail with the (snow) cat,” explained Lake County Public Works Director Brad Palmer. As for when the trail will start to be groomed, Palmer explained, “We need about another 6 – 10 inches of snow before we can drop the tiller,” which is used to create those ridged stripes, allowing recreationalists to stay on top of the snow while enjoying the MBT. That 6-10 inches should be arriving between Monday and Tuesday of next week, with grroming efforts in place by the end of the week.
Of course the MBT is open and already being used by skiers who just can’t wait for the corduroy to be put in place. Users should take caution in areas where the snow might be sparse, and speed should always be taken into consideration on this multi-use trail, especially around some of those blind curves. Also local officials remind users that there are leash laws in place and ALL dogs – no matter how friendly – are to be leashed when enjoying the trek with their owner.
The primary fundraiser for the MBT is the annual Leadville Loppet. Registration is open for the 2017 cross-country ski race, held on February 12. Since 2003, the freestyle and classic race includes a 44k, 22k, 10k, and fun 5k which is traditionally held goofy clothing. The races begin on the Colorado Mountain College campus. Register HERE.
Skinny Ski Deal Includes Tennessee Pass Nodric Center
The Colorado Cross Country Ski Association (CCCSA) is making exploration easier with a multi-ski resort pass good at six of the Nordic ski areas in the state. The CCCSA 2016-17 Punch Pass is on sale now for $99 and it allows purchasers to discover the snow on Nordic trails at six different resorts. And the great news for locals is that the Tennessee Pass Nordic Center is included in the deal!
“Colorado has some of the finest Nordic experiences in the country and we want people to have the opportunity to explore them,” said Igor Guziur of Devil’s Thumb Ranch. “With six different resorts to experience, it’s a great way to see a side of Colorado that you may not have visited before.”
The punch passes are valid for two trail passes to Breckenridge Nordic, Crested Butte Nordic, Devil’s Thumb Ranch, Keystone Nordic, Snow Mountain Ranch and Tennessee Pass Nordic Center. The passes are transferable, so two people could share a pass for double the fun at each resort. Additional discounts on rentals, tours and lodging with specified partners are also included in the pass.