Free ski rentals and passes for kids 17 and under
In the world of Nordic skiing, all hands are on deck, preparing for opening day at the Nordic Center this Saturday, November 15. Early season skiing hasn’t quite hit its stride—snow at Lily Lake is light, and the few intrepid skiers who’ve made their way there report that conditions are boney. But the forecast looks promising, and Crested Butte Nordic is gearing up for a great season with a lot to look forward to, including free skiing for kids 17 and under.
Starting at 8 a.m. on Saturday, Nordic skiers can pick up season passes, snag some great deals on Craft Nordic wear and Rossignol evol skis, and get their skis prepped before the snow flies. Ski waxing services will be up and running, and there will be a hot box special running from opening day through December 1.
For $30 (regularly $45), the hot box special includes a hydrocarbon hot scrape to clean the ski bases, followed by a coat of low fluoro wax that is slowly baked into the ski over several hours. According to Drew Holbrook, director of marketing and events, it’s like putting on multiple coats of wax and should last much longer than a simple wax job.
Visitors to the Nordic Center will also find some new and exciting changes, including free trail passes and equipment rentals for kids 17 and under. Crested Butte Nordic offered the same deal to kids 15 and under last year, and Holbrook says it made a difference in terms of getting people in the door.
“It’s really attractive for families, whether they’re from here or from out of town, to be able to do something with the kids and not have to worry about paying for the whole family,” Holbrook said.
So the board and staff expanded the program to all kids under 18. Crested Butte Nordic is also continuing a new visual trail map, which was piloted last year. The snow cats have been outfitted with GPS units that track their locations while they groom. The visual trail report, available at cbnordic.org, then maps their locations and color-codes the trails to show which ones have been groomed most recently. According to Holbrook, it’s great for skiers who want to ski the freshest corduroy.
“It’s a really cool way to do the trail report,” Holbrook said. “You can look at it and decide where to go. We did have it last year but it was in the testing phase, and this winter it should be fully operational.”
Holbrook added that Crested Butte Nordic has also done a lot of work to prep Ruthie’s Run, an International Federation of Skiing–sanctioned racecourse on the bench. “This fall we cleaned it up, put more rocks out, put down straw and seeded for grass to grow next summer. It’s buffed out and ready to go,” he said.
Thanks to some grants to purchase a new snowmobile groomer, Holbrook says the center will be able to groom that trail with as little as six inches of snow. That means that when the snow does fly, Lily Lake is no longer the only option for early-season Nordic skiing.
So the time is nigh for Nordic skiers who don’t want to get caught unprepared. Head to the Nordic Center this weekend to find everything you need to prepare for the winter ski season.