Gliding into the season

Friday, Jan. 9, 2009 2:35 AM
Michelle Smith enjoys holiday powder at
Purgatory after the
resort was hammered with snow from Christmas Eve through New Year's Day. Skiers and riders reported deep powder conditions, particularly on terrain served by Lift 8.

First things first, a cross country skating race kicks off the weekend of skiing and snowboarding in Southwest Colorado.

The Nordic Center at Purgatory will host the skate-ski race at 10 a.m. Saturday. There will be a 10-kilometer race for adults. There will be 5K and 3K events for juniors.

Registration will be held the day of the race, starting at 9 a.m. Cost is $6 for members of the Durango Nordic Ski Club, $12 for other skiers.

The races will be held on the groomed trails at the Nordic center, located across Highway 550 from Purgatory.

Locals Day at PurgatoryLocals Day is coming to Purgatory on Sunday.

KSUT this week announced the benefit day that features $35 adult lift tickets and $20 children's lift tickets. Part of the proceeds from Sunday's Locals Day at Purgatory will go to public radio station KSUT. Tickets will be available at the resort on Sunday and through KSUT radio.

Vallecito Winter Demo FestNordic events continue on Sunday, Jan. 18, at Vallecito. The Vallecito Nordic Club and Backcountry Experience will team up for the Vallecito Winter Demo Fest at the Vallecito Nordic Area from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. A 1-kilometer kids event will start at 10 a.m. A family tour will follow at noon. All events are free. Backcountry Experience will offer Nordic gear and snowshoes to demo.

The event is dog friendly. Dogs are invited, on a leash.

Nordic demos will include gear for skating, diagonal and touring. Gear from Madshus, Karhu, Atomic, Salomon and Swix will be available. Snowshoe demos will be available from Atlas, Crescent Moon and MSR. Refreshments will be served. For more information, call 247-5830.

Moonlight snowshoe tourThe first moonlight snowshoe tour of the season will be held Saturday at Purgatory.

The tour participants will catch the last chair up the mountain for a leisurely descent with a stop at the Powderhouse for wine and snacks.

Reservations are required for the moon tours. For more, call 385-2147.

Sunday TelefestSunday is Sunday Telefest at Purgatory. Telemark techniques are featured in the clinics for all levels.

Classes will meet at the base of the area at 9:45 a.m.

Naturalist treksThe ski naturalist treks at Purgatory will resume on Sunday.

The treks are sponsored by the San Juan Mountains Association, San Juan Public Lands and Durango Mountain Resort.

The treks are held on Sunday mornings. They are free and last about an hour and a half.

Participants meet at guest services at 9:45 a.m.

Hesperus programsHesperus Ski Area, located west of Durango on Highway 160, will kick off its youth ski programs next week.

Sno-Katz Kidz and Sno-Board Kidz start the week of Jan. 12.

The program runs for five weeks. The program is for beginning skiers ages 5-12 and beginning snowboarders ages 7-12. Rental equipment is available.

For registration information, call 259-3711. Hesperus operates 4-9 p.m. Monday through Friday with night skiing. It's open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturdays and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sundays. For more, visit www.

Winter X GamesThe Aspen Skiing Co. announced this week that the College X Pass will be available again this year for the ESPN Winter X Games in Aspen on Jan. 22-25.

The College X Pass is a picture pass valid for two days of riding or skiing during Winter X Games 13. The pass costs $65 and is good at all four Aspen Skiing Co. mountains - Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlands, Snowmass and Buttermilk (host site of the Winter X Games).

The pass is valid only during the X Games on Jan. 22-25.

The pass must be purchased by Jan. 18.

Individuals must be 24 years of age or younger and show a valid ID from an accredited four-year college or university to be eligible.

Passes will be held in electronic will-call and proof of age and college ID must be presented in person at the time of pickup.

For more, visit