Aspen nordic trails begin to open
December 9, 2008
ASPEN ” Like the terrain at local ski areas, the trails in the Aspen-Snowmass nordic system are slowly opening as conditions allow.
If Monday night’s snow materialized as predicted, cross-country skiing fans could find more track set in the coming days.
“We need to get a good six to eight inches before we can open more,” said Austin Weiss, trails coordinator for the city of Aspen, on Monday.
In the meantime, the Aspen Cross-Country Center at the city golf course is now open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., seven days a week, offering rentals, lessons and ski tunes for nordic equipment. The Snowmass Cross-County Center will open Saturday, Dec. 13., also operating from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.
At the Aspen golf course, crews have set an abbreviated version of the main loop, according to Weiss.
“It’s what I would classify as early season conditions,” he said Monday. “There are sections of good skiing and sections of marginal skiing.”
Recommended Stories For You
With Sunday’s warm, sunny weather, skiers found grass poking through the snow in places and the paved golf cart path reappearing from beneath the packed trail, Weiss said.
In considerably better shape, he said, was a half-kilometer loop that has been set behind Aspen High School.
“The conditions are actually quite good there,” Weiss said.
Out at Snowmass, work has begun on setting track, according to a spokesperson at the Snowmass Club’s athletic club.
Ashcroft Skiing Touring, south of Aspen in the Castle Creek Valley, was offering limited skiing Monday, but operators intend to set more track as soon as conditions allow. Track has been set on the road from King Cabin to the Pine Creek Cookhouse and on the Flynn Trail, the main trail at the facility.
Skiing is free on the Aspen-Snowmass trail system, but skiers and snowshoers must pay a fee to use the privately operated trail system at Ashcroft.
For more on Aspen-area nordic skiing opportunities, including Ashcroft, go to http://www.aspennordic.com. For a daily report on grooming and trail conditions, call 429-2039 (extension 4).