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Crested Butte Nordic Center is ramping up for a great season

Season passes on sale, new skills clinics and masters training on deck

By Cayla Vidmar

With the season approaching, and passes now on sale, it’s time to start thinking about your Nordic adventures for the 2018-2019 season. The center will offer new weekend skills clinics, masters trainings, and translation services, equipment and trail passes for the immigrant populations of the valley.

Season passes are now on sale and include rentals (blackout dates apply): adult season passes are $250, senior passes are $200, seniors over 70 and kids under 16 ski free, and dog passes are $40. All season passes are 20 percent off when purchased online through October 31, 2018.

As in the past, the center will continue to offer lessons, free skate ski clinics, rentals, and a Sunday Backcountry Bistro complete with hot cocoa, coffee, wine, beer and snacks in a yurt surrounded by pine forest and accessible only by skis or snowshoes. In the evenings, adventurous eaters can ski or snowshoe to the same yurt by moonlight and tiki-torches to enjoy a delicious multi-course meal prepared by the critically-acclaimed chef Tim Egeloff before touring back under the stars. Yurt dinners begin at the end of December through March on specific dates.

According to Hicks, there are a lot of new things to be excited about this year at the center, including weekend skills clinics for skate skiing and ski-mountaineering. They will also be offering new programs for masters trainings, including introductory and intermediate programs.

Recently, the center obtained a grant to provide translation services, equipment rentals, trail passes and instruction for the immigrant population in the Gunnison Valley. Hicks says, “This is the first of many outreaches to underrepresented populations,” and that this grant is an important part of fulfilling the center’s mission, which is to “provide individuals of all ages and abilities the opportunity to learn, enjoy and improve in the sports of cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.”

The Nordic Center will work with the Hispanic Affairs Project and Immigrantes Unidos to offer a series of outings to fulfill their goal of reaching the immigrant population. Hicks says “we keep trying to identify and remove ‘barriers to entry’ and get more people out on skis in the winter.” She says the Center offers discounted programs or partnerships with Mentors, the Rocky Mountain Biological Lab, the school district and the Adaptive Sports Center.

The center also hosts the infamous Alley Loop, which Hicks says, “Combines world class competition with local funk.” The streets of Crested Butte are filled with snow, groomed and 42-kilometer track winds through the alleys in town, through which costumed skiers of all abilities race. Try your hand at the 5k, 10k or the more advanced 21k and 42k races.

Hicks says the real unsung hero of Nordic skiing in Crested Butte is the Gothic Mountain Tour. “This ambitious 23-mile backcountry race is not only the perfect test run for the Grand Traverse [also a Crested Butte Nordic event], but it offers some tremendous terrain and unbelievable views.”

Whether you’ve never been on a pair of Nordic skis or consider yourself a pro, the Crested Butte Nordic Center offers world-class skiing, exceptional exercise and true Crested Butte charm. Check out all things Nordic and get 20 percent off your season pass when you buy online at

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