Nordic system getting on track
December 1, 2005
This week’s snows have been a boon for the kick ‘n’ glide set as well as downhill sliders, though groomed trails are still on the thin side.The Aspen Cross-County Center is open, and trails for classic track and skate skiing are now being set at the city golf course, on the high school course, and at Rotary and Iselin parks, according to the Aspen-Snowmass Nordic Council’s hotline. For daily grooming updates, call 429-2039.Cross-country skiers were continuing to find thin spots in the groomed trails yesterday, though the high school course was skiing well.”Rock skis are not a bad idea right now,” the hotline reported on Friday.Yet to come are set tracks on the Moore Open Space, Rio Grande Trail, Owl Creek Trail, at North Star Nature Preserve east of Aspen and at Snowmass. The Snowmass Cross-Country Center, on the Snowmass Golf Course, is scheduled to open Dec. 10.The Aspen-Snowmass trail system, when it has all been groomed, offers about 60 kilometers of nordic skiing options and it’s free. The Aspen Cross-Country Center, located in the clubhouse at the golf course, is open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Both the Aspen and Snowmass centers offer rental equipment and lessons.Ashcroft Ski Touring, a private trail system in the Castle Creek Valley south of Aspen, is open weekends and scheduled to operate daily starting Dec. 15. It offers 35 kilometers of cross-country and snowshoe trails, along with ski and snowshoe rentals, and lessons, from its headquarters at the King Cabin. Rates are $15 for a full-day pass, and $10 for a half-day (after 12:30 p.m.)Cross-country skiers will also find set tracks on Maroon Creek Road, groomed nightly courtesy of T-Lazy 7 Ranch. Tracks are set from the ranch to Maroon Lake. Snowmobile tours also run up the valley.Outside Carbondale, the Spring Gulch Trail System has added a new section of trail this year. It offers about 20 kilometers of groomed track. Trails were rolled early this week, but with the new snow, tracks may be set this weekend, said a spokesman with the Mount Sopris Nordic Council.Spring Gulch is free but accepts donations and invites users to join the nordic council.Also a popular option is Independence Pass east of town. The snow-packed road beyond the pass closure gate is frequently used by skiers, snowmobilers and hikers.