Responsible nordic skiing |

Responsible nordic skiing

Dear Editor:It is indeed gratifying for the Aspen Snowmass Nordic Council to celebrate our 20th anniversary this winter. Back in 1984 when the council was formed, the city of Aspen, the town of Snowmass Village, Pitkin County and the Aspen Skiing Co. joined with a core group of cross country advocates to put Aspen and Snowmass on the nordic map. The enthusiasm and support was strong then and it is evidenced now by huge numbers of active skiers throughout the system of more than 50 miles of groomed trails.Key to the success of this interconnected trail system was private landowners who allowed us the winter use of their lands for specific trail alignments. While many of the private lands have been subdivided and many of those early winter easements converted to permanent winter trail easements, there still exist many trail alignments that are given through the generosity of private landowners.The Nordic Council urges all trail users to please stay on the groomed trails and to access the trails from designated trailheads. There has been expanded signage to say that the trail is crossing private property and to stay on the groomed alignment. Also, in conjunction with the County’s open space program, there may be fines and tickets given to offenders who park cars illegally along roadways to illegally access the trails. Just because the Nordic Council has a narrow alignment across private lands it in no way gives any user the right to tour off those groomed alignments. Indeed, this is true for all our alignments, public or private. The Aspen, Maroon Creek and Snowmass golf courses require all users to stay on the groomed trails, because touring across greens or tees will dramatically affect the health of the underlying turf.We are indeed grateful to the many private property owners who allow us winter access across their lands. This is a privilege and responsibility that we take very seriously, and we ask all skiers to act accordingly.Craig Wardboard memberAspen/Snowmass Nordic Council

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