Ski centers offer skate, classic lessons | AspenTimes.com

Ski centers offer skate, classic lessons

Aspen Times Staff

Jordan Curet/The Aspen Times

Aspen, CO Colorado

ASPEN ” For some, cross-county skiing comes naturally. For everyone else, there are lessons.

The Cross County Ski Centers in both Aspen and Snowmass Village offer daily lessons in skate and classic-style skiing, as well as private lessons by appointment. Equipment is available to rent ” at a discount for those signing up for a lesson, as well.

Classic 101, a one-hour class offered daily at 10:30 a.m., assuming anyone signs up, covers the very basics ” the fundamentals of classic cross-country skiing (that’s the style that uses the groomed, parallel tracks set in cross-country trails).

“The 101 class is for beginners ” people who are just starting out in cross-country skiing,” said Mark Pearson, ski school director at the Aspen center. Learning the basics means skiing ” not just walking on skis.

The Classic 102 class is a 90-minute session available Monday through Thursday at 1:30 p.m. in Aspen. Geared for those who’ve already mastered the basics, 102 offers instruction in adapting one’s technique to the terrain, and making the most out of the kick and glide.

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Most popular, though, is the Skate 101 class, according to Pearson. The one-hour lesson in the basics of skate skiing takes place daily at noon in Aspen; it’s offered on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays at noon, and Sundays at 1:30 p.m. at the Snowmass center.

Skate skiing ” employing sort of an ice skater’s stride on skis ” has become the most popular of the classes and, for an athletic individual, it’s the way to pick up speed quickly on the cross-country course, according to Pearson.

“It’s kind of the cool thing to do, for lack of a better word,” he said.

Skate skiing requires different equipment than classic skiing ” most notably, stiffer boots. And, skating requires some real skill. One can’t fake skate skiing.

“In classic skiing, you can actually cheat,” Pearson explained. “You can go out and shuffle your feet and still have fun on the snow. You can’t cheat on skate skis. You definitely have to have the balance, the shifting of your weight from one foot to the other.”

All three classes are $35 per session.

A private lesson runs $60 per hour or $40 for 30 minutes. An additional participant costs $30 for an hour and $20 for a half-hour of instruction.

Classic skis, boots and poles: $19.95 for a full day or $14.95 after 1 p.m.

Skate skis, boots and poles: $22.95 for a full day or $17.95 after 1 p.m.

Classic skis, boots and poles: $9.50 for a full day or $6 after 1 p.m.

Skate skis, boots and poles: $9 for a full day or $6 after 1 p.m.

Snowshoe rentals: $16.95 for a full day; 20 percent off after 1 p.m.

The Aspen Cross Country Center is located in the clubhouse at the Aspen Golf Club. The Snowmass center is in the Snowmass Club golf pro shop.

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