AVSC’s Nordic Bonfire returns Saturday to support cross-country skiing programs | AspenTimes.com

AVSC’s Nordic Bonfire returns Saturday to support cross-country skiing programs

People gather around the fire during a past Nordic Bonfire event hosted by AVSC.
Photo courtesy of AVSC

Back for its 37th year, the Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club’s Nordic Bonfire will take place Saturday evening from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Aspen Nordic Center.

A community event, the “progressive dinner on skis” also is a small fundraiser for AVSC’s Nordic programs.

“It’s one of the longest running community events benefiting the Nordic programs. It’s just a super fun, community-oriented skate from station to station,” said Xanthe Demas, AVSC’s director of marketing and communications. “It’s a nice thing to be able to do comfortably at this point in time, outside, and being distant from people but still being able to be together as a community and celebrate our skiers and the awesome trails that we have and celebrate our programming. We are super excited about it.”

As of Tuesday, Demas said there were only about 75 tickets remaining and the club was hoping to sell out. The $40 adult entry fee — $20 per children 12 and under, or $100 per family of four — grants the holder access to the skate skiing course, where lanterns will guide the way between stations. There dinner and dessert will be served, with a bonfire and live music greeting everyone at the finish.

Skis are available for rent through the Aspen Nordic Center, although they aren’t required to navigate the 1.5-kilometer course.

“Generally, we just try to cover our costs with the dinner and the setup,” Demas said. “But usually, we get a pretty good turnout and this year it looks like it will be a pretty good turnout, so we are hoping to make some decent money for the Nordic program, which would be great.”

Demas pointed out the event takes place during the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, which features Basalt’s Hailey Swirbul, the 23-year-old first-time Olympian in cross-country skiing who grew up skiing with AVSC and still passionately supports the club.

“It’s super exciting to have Hailey at the Olympics,” Demas said. “It’s all culminating this weekend, which will be a fun celebration for the Nordic teams and the Nordic community.”

Tickets can be purchased ahead of time online at teamavsc.org/nordic-bonfire. Donations are also accepted. Any tickets that remain will be sold on Saturday at event check in.

Big mountain competition hits Highlands

Also this week, AVSC and Aspen Skiing Co. are helping host the International Freeskiers and Snowboarders Association Junior National competition at Aspen Highlands.

Annually a regional event through the Rocky Mountain Freeride Series, this year’s event is a national competition for the first time. It replaced an identical event that had been scheduled to take place in Taos, New Mexico, but was canceled.

Qualifying started Wednesday and continues Thursday, with all finals slated for Friday in the Highland Bowl.