Snowmass revives tradition with moonlit cross-country treks and dinners

Jill Beathard
The Aspen Times

Moonlit Trek & Dinner

5:30-9 p.m., Saturday

Snowmass Cross-Country Center

$15 for dinner; $10 for rentals

For reservations, call 970-923-0920

A tradition is being revived in Snowmass this weekend when the village launches a series of moonlit cross-country treks and dinners tonight.

“We used to do these things all the time,” said Mark Kincheloe of the Snowmass Cross-Country Center, who’s helping coordinate rental equipment for participants during the event. Kincheloe is hopeful that locals come out and help bring back the tradition.

He might be getting his wish — 100 people were signed up as of Thursday.

The event starts at Black Saddle Grille at the Snowmass Club, where participants can pick up equipment if they don’t have their own. Rentals will be $10 that night for snowshoes, cross-country or skate skis, Kincheloe said.

From there, the trek will take off on a 2-kilometer track over the golf course to the Anderson Ranch Arts Center. Staff from the ranch, the Snowmass Chapel and the Snowmass-Wildcat Fire Protection District will be serving hot chocolate and cookies.

“And we’re doing selfies,” said Catherine Rohrstaff, special events manager at the Ranch. “So you can do selfies with a snowman or a handsome fireman or some famous artist cut-outs or some art props.”

That’s the turnaround point for participants who finish the course. Kincheloe said he is setting up a shorter course for attendees who would rather loop back to the Black Saddle sooner.

The Black Saddle is then serving a three-course dinner to participants for $15. Dinner is a choice of pasta, soup, salad, bread and s’mores. Iced tea and hot cocoa will be complimentary, and a cash bar will have wine, beer and other beverages. Local musician Tom Paxton will provide entertainment during dinner.

Today’s event is the first of three, all scheduled close to the full moon. Subsequent events are Feb. 20 and March 19.

The Moonlit Trek and Dinner is part of “Snowmass After Dark,” a new marketing program Snowmass Tourism is spearheading. But the event has been a team effort with the involvement of the nonprofits and the Snowmass Club, said Rose Abello, director of Snowmass Tourism.

“The super-cool thing about this is that it’s really a community effort,” Abello said.

“We really wanted it to be that,” Rohrstaff said. “We’re sort of disconnected from the commercial core. We want to remind people that we’re here.”

Reservations can be made through the Snowmass Club by calling 970-923-0920.

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