Ski for Sisu at Spring Gulch |

Ski for Sisu at Spring Gulch

CARBONDALE ” It’s hard to believe a ski experience outside of Carbondale would rival anything in Aspen/Snowmass, but when it comes to cross country skiing, the midvalley rocks.

It’s true, Spring Gulch outside Carbondale doesn’t see the immaculate, daily grooming that the kick-and-glide set has come to expect in Aspen and Snowmass. Fresh corduroy and newly set classic track at the crack of dawn are not what Spring Gulch fans have come to expect.

Instead, a quasi-backcountry ski experience and, from the upper reaches of the ample array of trails, stellar views (nary a mansion in sight) are the hallmarks of Spring Gulch, where the parking lot at the base typically is jam-packed on a sunny weekend. Get on the trail, though, and it’s surprising how much space there is to ski in solitude.

Like the Aspen/Snowmass trails, Spring Gulch is free to use.

Sunday, Feb. 3 brings Spring Gulch fans a big chance to support their playground. The annual Ski for Sisu, the main fundraiser for the Mount Sopris Nordic Council, will take place from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The council, which maintains the area for skate and classic-style skiing, hopes to raise $4,000 at the event for trail grooming, in addition to the $1,000 that title sponsor Sopris Surfers is contributing to the cause.

Participants collect pledges for each “kilometer year” they ski ” a factor of their age and the number of 3.5-kilometer loops they complete on the course.

Snacks and beverages will be provided.

Sign-up and pledge forms are available at several Carbondale outlets ” Sounds Easy, Ajax Bike and Sports, and Ute City Cycles. Skiers can sign up the day of the event at Spring Gulch beginning at 10:30 a.m.

Aspen Mountain received 5 inches of new snow within the past 24 hours, according to the Aspen Skiing Co.’s Thursday morning report. Snowmass and Buttermilk picked up 4 inches, and Aspen Highlands got 3 inches.

The Colorado Avalanche Information Center report for Thursday, Jan. 31:

The avalanche danger in the Aspen zone is considerable on all aspects and elevations. Look for locally higher danger in the southwest part of the zone, where more snow accumulated on Wednesday.

Go to for the statewide report.

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