Explore Colorado / Explore The Outdoors

Gliding on Skinny Skis

If you’re looking for a picturesque place to classic or skate ski, head to Breckenridge Golf Course, which becomes the Gold Run Nordic Center in winter.  Here’s why – you get amazing views of the Ten Mile Range in the rolling terrain of the historic Delaware Flats and Gold Run Valley at the mouth of the Swan River.  With over 30 kilometers of trails, there’s terrain for every level.  Beginners can stay in the flats on the snow covered golf course and more advanced skiers can Gold Run Trail to ski by historic mining remnants and get glimpses of stunning scenery.

Let me back up for sec.  In the past, skinny skis have scared the wits out of me.  Which is odd because I’m athletic and adventurous.  But, for some reason my brain had an issue with skinny skis.  The gliding that looks so effortless is way harder than it looks.  But, it’s such an incredible workout I’ve been wanted to get into it.  Folks who Nordic ski are a fit bunch!  What I’ve learn – it’s not easy, but hang with it and take a lesson.  After attempting to classic ski on my own, two winters ago, Bill Pierce at Snow Mountain Ranch Nordic Center gave me a lesson where it clicked for this beginner.   Since I missed most of the winter of 2016-2017 in Colorado, I couldn’t wait to take a refresher beginner lesson with Bill earlier this month and try out my new Rossignol Nordic gear.  At least I can look like a pro with stellar gear!  On a gorgeous Saturday in early January, I fell in love with classic skiing, even when I wipe out going down a hill.  There is NO shame in snowplowing down a hill on skinny skis.


Recently in Breckenridge, my friend Melissa and I headed over to Gold Run Nordic Center so traverse the snow covered Breckenridge Golf Course.  She’s a beginner too and they have green trails that are great for newbies.  It was snowing and off we went to conquer Buffalo Flats Trail.  Following what Bill had taught me – shuffle…and let the arms naturally fall into place as you go from shuffle to glide.  I was focusing on technique while Melissa was just focusing on staying upright.  You gotta start somewhere and for the record she didn’t fall the entire time we were out there.  As we slowly skied, the snow stopped and clouds began to break.  It was the epitome of a winter wonderland.


We looped around Buffalo Flats then traversed part of it again to connect with Sunset Trail, another beginner one.  We weren’t winning any speed records but we laughed and chatted the whole way.


As we were cruising along on Sunset, I noticed some snowshoe hare tracks.  Later that evening, Melissa and I would see one of the biggest snowshoe hares I’d ever seen hopping along her street as we came back from touring the Ice Castles in Dillon and I wondered if it was the same one who made the tracks we saw earlier in the day.


After we made our way around Sunset, Melissa decided to call it a day and went inside to buy the classic skis she had rented.  I went on to cover a few more kilometers.  I headed up part of the Gold Run Trail, which gave me a wonderful view of the flats, then I looped around Buffalo Flats and Sunset Trails faster than before and enjoying the view with every glide.  That was a perfect ending to an outing on skinny skis!

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