Monday, July 13, 2020

Crested Butte Nordic ramping up for Thanksgiving Camp

“We make it happen”

by Than Acuff

Storms from the past month, the forecast for more snow and even a little snowmaking has Crested Butte Nordic ready and able to put on the 18th annual Thanksgiving Nordic Ski Camp this week, Thursday through Sunday, November 22-25.

“We make it happen,” says Crested Butte Nordic events director Andrew Arell.

The camp becomes more and more robust with each season and this year proves to be another full slate of clinics, training and après ski activities. Clinics run the gamut from waxing technique to classes for never-ever skiers, all-day clinics for kids to training programs for u16 racers and instruction for intermediate to advanced skiers. All the while, Fischer will be on hand with plenty of equipment to demo throughout the camp.

“Our coaching staff is better prepared and upping their game and we’ve been making strides in that realm,” says Arell.

But it all comes back to coverage and while recent storms have provided enough snow to get people on skis in the Kebler Pass area on the Lily Lake trails, Crested Butte Nordic is looking for one last punch out of the storm forecasted for Thanksgiving Day to really bring things around.

“We’re hoping the storm delivers,” says Arell. “We only need about another two or three inches and we could bring the Bench on line for the camp.”

In an effort to address current snow conditions, Crested Butte Nordic operations manager Kevin Krill has been making snow in the practice area in front of the Nordic Center for a place for kids and beginners to ski as well as host additional technique clinics. Thanks to the work of Crested Butte Nordic, the Lily Lake trail is up and ready for intermediate and advanced participants but the hope is to keep as many of the clinics in town as possible.

“If we get skunked it will be a bit more challenging,” says Arell. “We prefer not to have to transport people up to Lily Lake but we’ll make it happen no matter what.”

While the focus has always been on the daytime activities, Crested Butte Nordic has expanded the camp to include evening festivities as well, including a wine and waxing clinic on Friday and the Winter Kickoff Celebration on Saturday, November 24 in the Red Room below the Secret Stash at 6 p.m. Think of it as an evening celebrating winter and Nordic culture.

“It’ll be great,” says Arell.

If the forecasted storms do produce, everyone can then kick off the racing season on Sunday, November 25 for the first race of the Alley Loop race series at 9:30 a.m. The rules are simple: “It’s a low-key race—just ski fast and have a blast.”

While most of the kid’s clinics are nearly full, there is still room in a number of other activities. For all things Crested Butte Nordic Thanksgiving Camp, go to for registration and to get additional information.

Ask yourself: What would Kikkan Randall and Jessie Diggins do?

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