Let's go (Nordic) skiing.
Always a popular early season endeavor, cross country skiing is off to a fast kick-and-glide start this
season while the local alpine resorts are opening with only limited terrain.
The tracks atop Molas Pass and around Andrews Lake
indicate a large number of Nordic skiers and snowshoers have been out and about since the last big storm a week ago.
More are expected this weekend with a sunny forecast ahead.
Many early-season Nordic skiers have been hitting the trails at Wolf Creek, as well.
In addition to the backcountry access from the highway, there are nearly 10 kilometers of groomed cross country tracks
at Wolf Creek Ski Area.
The Nordic trails are free at Wolf Creek.
To access the trails, take the ski road at the end of the lower parking lot to Alberta Park.
There is a 4-kilometer loop around the meadows. And there is a 6K loop that goes down to Alberta Reservoir and back
through the trees.
The trails are groomed for classic and skate skiers.
Snowshoers also are
welcome at the Wolf Creek Nordic trails. Trail users are asked to pick up after the pups.
Be aware, the free Nordic trails are not patrolled.
In other Nordic news, the Telluride Nordic Center opened last weekend with a pair of loop trails.
The Town Park loop and a loop at Trout Lake opened Saturday with groomed trails, according to Telluride Daily
The Nordic Center at Purgatory, located across the highway from the base of Durango Mountain Resort, is scheduled to
open when snow conditions allow.
The center, when fully open, has 16 kilometers of trails. They are groomed regularly for classic and skate skiing.
The trails include a variety of ability levels with plenty of uphill-downhill combinations for the serious Nordic skier
and the Nordic novice.
While most Colorado resorts are on schedule or close to on schedule for their annual openings, some resorts in Alaska
are opening early.
The Eaglecrest Ski Area near Juneau will open Saturday, more than a week ahead of schedule.
As of midweek, the area had received 62 inches of snow at the top of the mountain.
The resort usually opens the second week of December.
Alaska's backcountry is
already under an extreme avalanche warning.
The danger is so great the National Weather Service issued a special avalanche warning this week after the snowpack
near Turnagain Pass was hit by heavy, wet snow.
Blizzard activity followed with 80-mph sustained winds.
Matt Murphy of the Chugach National Forest Avalanche Information Center said conditions are ripe for big avalanches in
the area, which is increasingly popular with backcountry skiers.
Speaking of avalanche information, here's a vital Web site for Colorado backcountry skiers and riders. Tons and tons of
The Colorado Avalanche Information Center: avalanche.state.co.us.