Grit might best describe the essence of a young student's first cross-country skiing. Throughout the winter, hundreds of Delta County students gripped their ski poles, as they shuffled their skis and peered down the snowy path of possibility and adventure on their national forest.
As the popularity of the Nordic trails on Grand Mesa has grown, an increasing number of cross-country skiers and snowshoers are visiting Grand Mesa -- often with their dogs.
The Delta County Commissioners recently heard an annual report on the Grand Mesa Nordic Council from council president Dave Knutson. The council has received a $190,000 grant from a private foundation that went a long way toward helping complete the recent purchase of a new trails grooming machine.
The county commissioners have continued their traditional support of the cross-country ski programs on Grand Mesa sponsored by the Grand Mesa Nordic Council, saying the programs are a tourism draw that can be developed.
On Monday, the BoCC endorsed the GMNC's grant request to Colorado Parks and Wildlife for a grant that will help purchase a new trails grooming machine.
It was the home run on the County Line Nordic ski trail on the Grand Mesa as groups of sixth graders from all Delta County schools, as well as fourth graders from Lincoln Elementary, glided to the finish. Their faces were lit up with exuberant smiles reflecting a new confidence achieved from completing the loop on cross country skis.
With the clanging sounds coming from a cacophony of cowbells, young ski enthusiasts from the age of three years and up were off on a circuit of fun, fitness, family and athletic skills development around the cross-country ski race loops at Skyway last Saturday.
The Grand Mesa Nordic Council is marking a 25th year of providing great outdoor recreation experiences for local skiers and other winter sports enthusiasts.
Over the course of those 25 years, the GMNC has also contributed significantly to developing a first-class complex of trails for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and skijoring that is a tourism draw for the county.
The Grand Mesa Nordic Council offers cross-country ski classes, as well as skate ski classes. Both sessions are offered Jan. 9, 16 and 23, with ski classes from 11 to noon and the skate classes from 1 to 2 p.m. Visit gmnc.org to sign up for one or all three.
Grand Mesa Gliders youth programs are dedicated to instructing kids in the various disciplines of Nordic skiing and backcountry safety as well as fostering a life-long enjoyment of skiing. The Gliders' mission is to make Nordic skiing available to all and fun!
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