Cross me out |

Cross me out

Scott Condon

Aspen, CO ColoradoASPEN The timing was perfect last week to learn that I am a complete dork on cross-country skis. (My 13-year-old daughter maintains that I am a complete dork with or without cross-country skis.)I got interested in cross-country skiing a few years ago as a good way to stay in shape and as a complement to alpine skiing. The groomed trails around Aspen provide a yummy smorgasbord. Spring Gulch, outside Carbondale, is my favorite place to soothe the soul.While I might have been having fun, it turns out my classic skiing style stinks, according to my friend Jim, who is nothing if not blunt. He invited me to ski with him at the Aspen golf course recently, then proceeded to run me ragged with three of his friends. I was like a little dog sprinting to keep up with the big dogs. They were fast with what appeared to be little effort; I was slow in what felt like a full-out sprint.After Jim and I split from the other three, and after I cursed him for punishing me, he gave me a few tips. The best advice was to visit the Aspen Cross Country Center on Saturday, Jan. 6, for a free lesson.The Aspen Cross Country Center is hosting its annual Cross Country Ski Extravaganza from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at its headquarters at the golf course. It’s got something for skiers of all abilities, according to Mark Pearson, the head instructor at the center. There will be classic and skating lessons for beginners and intermediates. The free lessons begin at 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. and last about one hour. No reservations are necessary. Skiers who need to rent equipment need to come early.More advanced skiers can demo skis, waxes and other equipment. A variety of manufacturers will be there, Pearson said. Demos are free, although skiers must leave a security deposit with a credit card.The main focus of the event is simply to have fun and celebrate the excellent job by the Aspen/Snowmass Nordic Council, which maintains almost 62 kilometers of groomed trails.”Cross-country skiing is what it’s all about,” Pearson said.For more on area cross-country skiing opportunities, go to


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