Leadville News – March 1

Plenty of Snow for Winter Fun in Leadville Today!

While the rest of the state seems to be struggling to keep the “liquid gold” on the ground, there is still plenty of snow in Leadville Today. In fact, the weekend forecast calls for sunny skies on Friday and Saturday, with a chance of fresh snow on Sunday. It’ll be the wind that’s bothersome, but high country residents have never let a little mountain breeze interfere with getting outside for some wintertime fun.

While the main event will be Leadville Ski Joring this weekend, there are other events happening as part of Leadville’s Crystal Carnival celebration. Be sure to check them out, and then stay tuned for tomorrow’s Lead Vegas Ski Joring report for all the fun, food and fantastical nightlife on deck for Leadville’s Downtown Winter Celebration!

Nordic Knockouts in the Dark on Friday!

This Friday, March 2 as part of Crystal Carnival, you’ll find a hearty, skilled group of Nordic skiers taking advantage of the freshly laid snow in downtown Leadville, brought in for Ski Joring weekend. For many of these skinny skiers, it’s a chance to get in one more solid competition before the race season is officially over. 


For many skinny skiers the Harrison Nordic Knock Outs is the last race of the winter season! Photo: Julia Martinez

“It’s one of my favorite events of the season,” said Leadville Nordic Coach Karl Remsen of the Harrison Nordic Knockout Sprints which will take place under the full moon on March 2.

The competition happens between 7th and 8th Streets in front of the historic Delaware Hotel on Harrison Ave. Races start at 7 p.m., with sign-up at 6:30 at Melanzana. The competition is a double elimination with two skiers starting and the fastest racer advancing to the next round of competition. Entry fee is $3 for a 400 meter sprint. Many of the local high school Nordic skiers will tip-up to the start line and always fare quite well, marking for many, the last race of the season. To keep up with skinny-ski news, connect with the Leadville Nordic website.

Film Festival Celebrates Backcountry

Also on Friday, March 2 just down the block from the Nordic Knockouts at Periodic Brewing, Leadville’s Brewpub will be hosting the Backcountry Film Festival.  This short film presentation series is produced by Winter Wildlands Alliance as a celebration of the human-powered experience and a gathering place for the backcountry snowsports community. Winter Wildlands Alliance is a national nonprofit organization that partners with groups like Colorado Mountain Club at the local level to inspire and educate the backcountry community to protect and care for their winter landscapes.

Funds raised at each screening stay in the local community to support human-powered recreation and conservation efforts, winter education and avalanche/safety programs and to raise awareness of winter management issues.  Details, including the film line-up, can be found HERE. Show time is 7 p.m. with doors opening at 6:30.Backcountry Film Festival

Saturday’s Mayhem Under A #FatBike Full Moon

On Saturday, March 3 the main event of Leadville Ski Joring (LSJ) will starting waking up the avenue at about 9:30 a.m. with the Calcutta, and finally with the races starting at High Noon.

Once the sun sets on the LSJ course, merry-makers will start to see headlamps appear at the southern end of historic Harrison Avenue in front of Leadville’s bike shop, Cycles of Life. If there’s snow, there are fat bikes and the Cloud City Wheelers takes advantage of it with their annual Mineral Belt Mayhem!

Mineral Belt Mayhem_Bike_Start_2014

Headlamps burn bright against the fading light on historic Harrison Avenue as racers start out on the Mineral Belt Mayhem Race. Photo: Leadville Winter Mountain Bike Race Series.

There’s nothing like piles and piles of fresh snow, followed by a clear, starry Colorado night to get a bunch of fat-tire enthusiasts to the start line. So when you spot all of those headlamps riding down Harrison Avenue under a full moon this Saturday night, you’ll know it’s just The Cloud City Wheelers, along with dozens of other riders setting out on the next snowy course in the race series. 

The Leadville Winter Mountain Bikes Series continues this Saturday, March 3 with the Mineral Belt Mayhem, an 11 mile loop on the Mineral Belt Trail at night! Registration starts at 4 p.m. at Leadville’s local bike shop, Cycles of Life at 309 Harrison and it’ll cost you $20. The race starts at 6 p.m. and no doubt there will be a record numbers of racers for this popular, ever-growing segment of mountain bike racing . . . in the snow!

Leadville’s Paintball Biathlon: Skinny Skis and Shooting

If the recent Olympic games peaked your interest for the growing sport of the Biathlon, then head on out to  Tennessee Pass Nordic Center  for the Annual Leadville Nordic Paintball Biathlon held on Sunday, March 4.

What is it, you ask? Take cross country skiing and throw in some paintball guns; it’s really that simple. Although according to the official Olympic website, the sport is described as such: The word biathlon stems from the Greek word for two contests, and is today seen as the joining of two sports; skiing and shooting. Biathlon has its roots in survival skills practiced in the snow-covered forests of Scandinavia, where people hunted on skis with rifles slung over their shoulders.

Sounds like something Leadville pioneers could relate to as well! So why not try it for yourself?! For each race (Kids 1 km, 5 km, or 10 km) you ski three laps. After the first lap, you shoot 5 shots prone (lying down). After your second lap, you shoot 5 shots standing. Then you ski your third lap as hard as you can. If you make a shot, seconds will be deducted from your overall ski time. The fastest skier at the end wins.


The Paintball Biathlon takes place this Sunday at the Tenneesee Pass Nordic Center. Photo: Leadville Nordic

Race day registration is from 9 – 10:30 a.m. at the Tennessee Pass Nordic Center. The goal of this event is to help skiers have fun, be outside, and raise a little money. Expect more smiles than spandex and more excitement than electronic timing chips. For more information please call the Nordic Center at 719-486-1750 or connect at www.leadvillenordic.org.

That’s what’s happening for Crystal Carnival. Stay tuned for tomorrow’s Lead Vegas report on the Leadville Ski Joring nightlife! It’s going to be one Wild West weekend of winter fun! Make your plans to #GiddyUp to Leadville!



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