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Saturday, March 6, 2010


In an effort to consolidate our online presence, we have revamped our website and integrated the blog into our homepage.

Check it out!

The stuff that used to appear here will now show up under "Grooming Report" and "News" on our homepage.

Visit us in our new location.


Wednesday, March 3, 2010

4 Days to Vasaloppet- A Championship flight to Stockholm

Inspire your kids and grandkids: Click here for a glimps of the Young People's Vasaloppet:
My äpölogies for åny misspellings with this Swedish keyboard. Left Denver early Monday for Stockolm with a layover in Chicago, arriving in Stockolm about 16 hrs later. We were treated with special travelers on our flight: The Olympic Gold medal winning Swedish women's curling team! They were greeted to a champions welcome at the airport--the rest of us were shuttled off to customs...I will enjoy Stockholm a couple of days and then head up to Orsa7Mora for one last workout before the race on Sunday.
Varmaste hälsningar,
Greg Peterson

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

March 2 Grooming Report

Jon groomed out everything at Skyway/county Line this morning.  High temps are getting to around 32 degrees, so snow is warming up in the middle of the day -- skate lane is getting a bit mushy, and get out the pink wax!  Classic tracks are holding up nicely, but you will need some Violet for kick wax.  Highs tomorrow should be in upper 20s, with lows around 15 degrees.  Al also groomed Ward this morning -- if you want to ski Ward, make sure to get out the next couple of weeks, as March 14 will be our last day for grooming there.  Snow is getting really slushy in the early afternoon hours down there, so get out early. 
Our next grooming will be Friday afternoon/evening (3 pm) for Skyway/County Line and Friday morning (9 am) for Ward.  Happy skiing!

Are you a member of the Grand Mesa Nordic Council?  You can join for as little as $25/year -- click on the following link to join today!

Sunday, February 28, 2010

February 28 Grooming Report

Al groomed this morning amidst slight falling snow -- probably just an inch or two by tomorrow morning -- he groomed out Winslow/Sunset, Lion's (lower), Scales Lake, Loop 3, Dog Trail, Kannah Crossing, Vista (valley only) and Arroyo.  Grooming report is attached for more info.  Very slight chance of snow tomorrow with Tuesday looking good -- highs in the 20s, lows around 12 degrees.  Next grooming scheduled for Tuesday morning at 7 a.m. at Skyway and 9 am at Ward.  After that, we won't groom until Friday late afternoon around 3 pm.  Happy skiing!

Are you a member of the Grand Mesa Nordic Council?  You can join for as little as $25/year -- click on the following link to join today!

Board Meeting this Tuesday

Want to find out what the GMNC board is up to? Do you have a proposal or idea to share? Maybe you just want to meet the board and find out what we're all about. Join us for our next board meeting, Tuesday, January 5th at 6:30 p.m. at Hospice and Palliative Care of Western Colorado's meeting rooms. (Ground floor next to Spoons Restaurant, 3090 North 12th in GJ.)

For more info on the meeting, email or call Dave Knutson, 970- 261-1496.

Hope to see you there.

Christie Aschwanden
President, GMNC

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Comradery and Moonlight

Just over forty showed up for a fantastic chili corn chowder, huge tortillas, snacks and a bonfire at our 20th anniversary tonight. Thanks to Leslie for bringing up Palisade Cafe and Grill's chowder and tortillas. Tom for the wood and extra tables. Peter for starting the bonfire and everyone who enjoyed skiing the Mesa and gathering later to celebrate. 

I headed over to County Line after the clean-up and enjoyed the best moonlight ski this year. There were five vehicles in the parking lot. Whoever else was there knows what I mean...  no wind; moonlight illuminating the trees;  soft, smooth, white meadows of snow; and stars poking through the clouds. It was  a night to linger.

Dave Knutson
Fundraising Volunteer
Grand Mesa Nordic Council
970.527-3969 260-3260c


Thanks to everyone who came out for our informal 20 year anniversary bonfire party. We had about 45 people in attendance and many fine stories were recounted around the campfire. Our hungry skiers quickly polished off the delicious green chili chowder, graciously donated by Palisade Cafe and Grill. The yummy desserts and drinks that members brought were also quickly devoured. The bonfire was hot and the company was warm.

The skiing was also fantastic, thanks to our hard-working grooming crew.

Thanks for supporting the GMNC!

February 27 Grooming Report

Jon finished grooming this morning, so all trails have been freshly groomed at Skyway/County Line and it should be great skiing for the 20th Anniversary party this afternoon.  Also, looks like Weather Gods have smiled on us as the snow looks to be delayed until dark this evening, however, a full moon is still doubtful.  Snow is expected to continue through tomorrow, so we will be grooming at 10 a.m. for those who choose to come up and follow the groomer -- we will probably groom trails mostly in trees -- Winslow/Sunset, Loop 3, Dog Loop, Kannah Crossing.  Next grooming after tomorr will not be until Tuesday morning after snow is over. 

Are you a member of the Grand Mesa Nordic Council?  You can join for as little as $25/year -- click on the following link to join today!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Grooming Update

We developed a flat tire on the snowcat that had to be repaired, so
grooming could not be finished Friday. Jon is fixing the problem and
will start grooming at Skyway/County Line by 7am tomorrow and should
be finished by 10am.

Thanks for your patience.


Thursday, February 25, 2010

20 Year Party Saturday (2/27) 4pm Skyway

Hi Winter Lovers!
Our 20th anniversary party for GMNC is getting closer. Here's an update including plans on what to bring and thoughts on the weather forecast. First, weather: we expect some wind and snow building late afternoon on Saturday continuing into Sunday morning. We'd suggest that you plan on skiing early afternoon then join us for soup/tortillas at 4 p.m. after you finish skiing. If you are absolutely set on trying to have a moonlight ski - we'd suggest having headlamps since there will be a cloud cover AND more importantly, if the snow starts coming in heavy, CDOT quits plowing at 7 p.m.  Your moonlight ski could pose "getting off the Mesa" problems with road conditions. We want people to be safe out there so our suggestion is to ski prior to the party.

Please bring your favorite beverage, cup, bowl, spoon and pack up snacks or dessert to add to the soup and tortillas that are generously provided by the Palisade Cafe and Grill. We'll have hot chocolate and tea available PLUS a warming fire and plenty of good company. Hope to see you there!

Dave Knutson
Fundraising Volunteer
Grand Mesa Nordic Council
970.527-3969 260-3260c

11 Days to the Vasaloppet

10 Days to the Vasaloppet

Making lists and giving the skis a final finish of warm glide wax as the temperature on race day is to be around 32 deg. Hoping it's not a klister day as I have no experience with such. Flying out of Denver on Mar. 1, arriving on the 2nd, will travel to my cousins place near Mora to practice a few days prior to the race Mar.7. They have an excellent x-c facility with lights late afternoon/evening skiing. 
I'm not sure, but it may be possible to track my progress(?) on the day of the race (bib 7903). I'll try to find and post a link before the race.

Will try for one more workout at Skyway friday afternoon.

Happy trails,
Greg Peterson

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Membership Drive Raffle Winners

Congratulations to our winners from the Membership Drive Raffle -- we surely appreciate your support and welcome to the Nordic Council!  We are closing in on 500 members fast!  And many thanks to all the businesses throughout the Grand Valley and on the Grand Mesa who so generously donated prizes in support of our membership drive...
Nathalie Ames, Bruce Kime -- one free ski tune-up by Ken Pill
Rex Duncan -- private ski lesson
Shar Brodbelt -- autographed copy of The Grand Mesa, A Journey to Remember by Leslie Larkin
Tony & Lisa Rinalli, Mary Leach, Steve Laiche, Kitty Tattersall - Summit Canyon gift card
Julia Stevens, Joel Schaefer, Earl & Cynthia Rhoes, Valerie Krebs - REI nordic knit hat
Charles Kerr & Gudrun Rice, Michelle McCurdy, Jo Lance, Janet Prosser, Andrew McGregor -- Board & Buckle Water Bottle
Brad & Stephanie Denning , Nancy Bartlett -- Board & Buckle one free ski rental
Bob Major - Gene Taylor's gift card
Dave & Dana Kearsley, Melinda Merriam, Robert Hartley - Palisade Cafe gift card
Leigh Fortson - Powderhorn lift ticket
Dan Sullivan -- Mesa Lakes Resort coffee mug
Erin McIntyre - Mesa Lakes Resort "Let There Be Light" candle
Mike Madachy - 1 pound Blink Coffee
Ronile Haase - Blink Coffee Tote Bag
Bob Smith, Susan Payne - one free bike tune-up from Dave Livingston, Hilltop Bikes
Charmin Hacker, Steven Schultz, Paul Cooper, David & Terri Brown, Bryan Cooney - t-shirt
Are you a member of the Grand Mesa Nordic Council?  You can join for as little as $25/year -- click on the following link to join today!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

February 23 grooming report

Jon finished groooming the rest of Skyway/County Line today with the exception of Will's Hill.  Tomorrow should be good for skiing with cloudy skies and highs around 22 degrees, and then Thursday we should get some snow -- 3-4 inches, with clearing for Friday.  Our next grooming will be Friday afternoon at 2 pm.  Al also groomed Ward out today and will groom Friday morning again.  Snow is excellent right now, so enjoy the skiing!

Are you a member of the Grand Mesa Nordic Council?  You can join for as little as $25/year -- click on the following link to join today!

Donations at County Line

To all the Skiers, Snowshoers, and Skiers with dogs:
Just wanted to send a big Thank You to all who contributed in February at County Line.  With Leslie's, Dave's and Christie's promoting of donations, GMNC has done very well at the boxes.  But we had a RECORD breaking amount at County Line box and the table set up February 14.
The total was $759.  This shows that the work being done is appreaciated by those who use the trails.

Ruth Wild,
GMNC Treasurer

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Grooming update February 21

As many of you know, CDOT closed the road all day today because of an avalanche and the mitigation they needed to take to insure safety for Highway 65.  We are anticipating them re-opening it tomorrow.  Snow is supposed to taper off by tomorrow afternoon, so we are sending both Al and Jon up tomorrow afternoon at 1 pm (if road is open) to start on Skyway/County Line grooming.  Please be patient during this time as there is around 3 feet of new snow and considerable drifiting, so it will take us many hours to get the trails in skiable condition.  Jon will be back up on Tuesday morning to finish up the rest,  and Al will re-groom  Ward on Tuesday afternoon.  We anticipate some good weather for Tuesday into Thursday, and will re-groom both areas Friday afternoon for the weekend, pending any change in weather forecast. 

Are you a member of the Grand Mesa Nordic Council?  You can join for as little as $25/year -- click on the following link to join today!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Almost 500

Hi gang, our intrepid treasurer, Ruth Wild, braved the elements today to collect money and memberships from our boxes at trailheads. We are only 11 members short of our 500 member milestone! Can you help push us over the top? 

Dave Knutson
Fundraising Volunteer
Grand Mesa Nordic Council
970.527-3969 260-3260c
Please consider the environment before printing this e-mail.

Ski event and race announcements

We're quickly approaching Spring and our big kids ski day, the Barnelopet, followed by our final race of the season. Here's details:
            The 8th Annual Barnelopet cross country ski day for kids will be held on Sat., Mar. 6 at Skyway on Grand Mesa. This free day for kids ages 3-16 begins with registration from 10 to 11, free lessons at 11 and a fun race at Noon with distance based on ability. Kids must bring their own personal or rental ski equipment since none will be available on site. Info: call 434-9753, 249-1869. This event is brought to you by the Sons of Norway Vestafjell Lodge and the Grand Mesa Nordic Council.
PLEASE NOTE: if you have a spot to post a Barnelopet poster(s), let me know and I will get some to you. Also we need volunteers willing to take kids out for a short lesson/tour. No need to be a seasoned instructor, just patience and the ability to get them into their skis, give them pointers on how to move foward, how to negotiate hills and help them get up from falls. I'm looking for help from 10 until about 12:30 or any increments of that span. Give me a call, 434-9753. Thanks!
            The Mesa Meltdown cross country ski race will be held on Sat., March 13 at Skyway on Grand Mesa. This features 20K and 5K freestyle races starting simultaneously at 11 AM. Registration is on race day only, $10 for GMNC members, $15 for others. All ages and abilities are welcome. Info: call 434-9753.
Tom Ela
Race Director
Grand Mesa Nordic Council


I was met with 20 inches of fresh snow at 7 am and groomed sunset , winslow and Lyons . At that time a we decided to cancel grooming for today due to visability . We will resume Sunday morning . Jon

Sent from my iPhone

Grooming Cancelled for February 20

Due to white-out conditions on the Mesa, we have cancelled the remainder of grooming for today.  Jon did groom out some things in the trees early this morning -- Winslow/Sunset, but conditions were too severe for him to continue to County Line and we needed to look out for the safety of our groomers.  There is also an avalanche watch in effect, so please check with CDOT before attempting to go up either today or tomorrow.  If the road is clear tomorrow, we will try again tomorrow morning at 8 a.m. with Al and Jon both grooming -- however snow is forecast to continue through Sunday, with amounts for the weekend totalling up to 2 feet. 

Are you a member of the Grand Mesa Nordic Council?  You can join for as little as $25/year -- click on the following link to join today!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Lost skis

Dear fellow skiers,

On 15th February, I left poles and a pair of Madshus, no wax skis (red
and white graphics, 195 or 200 c) at the bottom trailhead for Ward
trail (where the outhouses are). I am now back home in Durango, just
realized I hadn't put the skis in after doing a car shuttle, and am in
distress about my stupidity and lost skis and poles.

If anyone finds these skis and would be willing to take them down to
Grand Junction, I have a friend there who would be willing to pick
them up and get them back to me. My telephone is 970-247-0914, e-mail

I realize this is a long shot, but hope springs eternal...

Thanks, Lynn Coburn

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

February 16 Grooming Report

Jon groomed out Skyway/County Line this afternoon/evening and it should set up nicely tonight.  Trails groomed include Sunset, Winslow, Lion's Loop, Vista, Arroyo, Scales Lake, Loop 1, Loop 2, Loop 3 to overlook, Kannah Crossing and Will's Hill.  Al also groomed out Ward as well.  Weather tomorrow should be high of 23 degrees with just a slight chance of snow after low of 5 degrees.  We are expecting snow Thursday/Friday into Saturday morning, so next grooming will not be until 7 a.m. on Saturday morning.

Are you a member of the Grand Mesa Nordic Council?  You can join for as little as $25/year -- click on the following link to join today!

Monday, February 15, 2010

20 year bash

Moonlight Cross Country Ski
20 Year Anniversary Celebration
Grand Mesa Nordic Council
Saturday, February 27
4:00 p.m. until ???
Skyway Parking Lot, Grand Mesa

We'll provide chili, soup and bread catered by the Palisade Cafe and Grill! Bring your favorite beverage, swap stories, and join us for moonlight skiing!

The Grand Mesa Nordic Council was founded by a dedicated group of skiers in 1990 - we have been grooming trails and enthusiastically skiing the Mesa since! We are all volunteers - the only paid staff are our grooming crew and operations manager. 

Please come join the fun to celebrate our 20 year milestone! Please join now and help us top 500 members this year - adding another reason to celebrate!!

P.S. Thanks to all for your generosity during our membership drive at County Line. Many current members walked up to donate above and beyond their memberships. You would not believe all the 20 dollar bills - and even one fifty! 

March's GMNC Board Meeting is in Grand Junction. We'll be looking at our funding for next year's operations. We love to have members drop in: Tuesday, March 2nd - 6:30 p.m. at Hospice and Palliative Care, Room 101 - 3090 B 12th Street next to Spoons Restaurant.

Dave Knutson
Fundraising Volunteer
Grand Mesa Nordic Council
970.527-3969 260-3260c
Please consider the environment before printing this e-mail.


Hey all,
We've now added over 30 new members during our membership drive and are up to 465 total members.  Please spread the word, and if you're not a member, consider joining.  You can join for as little as $25 and help us break 500!  Anyone who joins tonight by midnight can still be automatically entered into our raffle that is full of great prizes like:
  • Lift tickets from Powderhorn
  • Gift cards from Summit Canyon
  • REI Nordic Hats
  • Gene Taylor's Gift Card
  • Coffee and bag from Blink Coffee
  • Bike-tune ups
  • private ski lessons
  • Free rentals from Board & Buckle
  • Palisade Cafe gift cards
  • Cool t-shirts from
  • Mesa Lakes Resort Coffee Mug and autographed book of "Touring the Mesa"
Thanks to everyone who is helping us support the best cross-country skiing in Colorado and work towards even better operations for next year!
Are you a member of the Grand Mesa Nordic Council?  You can join for as little as $25/year -- click on the following link to join today!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Membership Drive Update

A big thank you to Greg Peterson and Denis Reich who assisted Dave Knudsen and myself at the membership drive this afternoon on the Mesa.  It was a beautiful day for skiing and even better day for joining the Grand Mesa Nordic Council.  We had over 20 people who joined at the trailhead today -- welcome and thanks so much for your generosity!  Just a reminder that prospective members have until midnight on Monday, February 15 to join online and be automatically entered into our raffle, so don't delay!
Also, a big thank you to many others who so graciously contributed -- we had over $400 in donations as well as the new members who joined.  We really appreciate how generous everyone has been in supporting the Nordic Council and know that you are contributing to creating a quality experience on our nordic trail system. 
Al groomed out Winslow/Sunset, Lion's Loop, Scales Lake, Loop, Loop 2, Loop 3, Dog Trail and Dog Loop today, and conditions should still be excellent tomorrow.  Ou next grooming at Skyway/County Line will be at 2 pm on Tuesday. 

Are you a member of the Grand Mesa Nordic Council?  You can join for as little as $25/year -- click on the following link to join today!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

February 13 Grooming Report

Jon groomed everything out this morning at Skyway/county Line, and Al groomed Ward.  It is currently snowing however, so Al will be grooming tomorrow morning starting at 7:30 a.m.  He will be grooming Sunset/Winslow, Lion's Loop, Scales Lake, Loop 3, Dog Trail and Dog Loop.  Tomorrow's weather is just a slight chance of snow mainly before 11 a.m, and highs should be aorund 23 degrees. 
Just a reminder that our membership drive will be going on 11 am - 2 pm, and will be going on online through our website all day Sunday, February 13 and February 14.  All new members and existing members making donations the next two days will automatically be entered into our raffle.  

Are you a member of the Grand Mesa Nordic Council?  You can join for as little as $25/year -- click on the following link to join today!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Membership Drive

GMNC members -- I'm asking for all of you to help us promote membership.  Please forward this e-mail to one person you know who might be interested in joining.  Our membership drive will be this Sunday, February 14 from 11 am - 2 pm at Skyway and County Line trailheads.    This is a chance for people to meet me, Leslie, your humble Operations Manager in person, and give me your feedback and also meet one of our groomers, Al Fournier as well.  To encourage people to partipate, we are automatically entering all new members (and existing members who make extra donations equivalent to a new membership) into a raffle.  We've had great support from some local businesses, prizes include the following:
  • Summit Canyon gift cards
  • Nordic hats from REI
  • Free ski rentals from Board & Buckle
  • Free private ski lesson with Al Fournier of the GMNC
  • Gene Taylor's gift card
  • Mesa Lakes coffee mug
  • Autographed copy of "Touring the Mesa" picture book
  • Free lift tickets from Powderhorn Resort
  • Palisade Cafe gift cards
To make it easy for prospective members, we are also entering people who sign up online or donate online all day February 14 and Febuary 15.  I'm attaching a flyer with the details.
Thanks so much for your help!!
Are you a member of the Grand Mesa Nordic Council?  You can join for as little as $25/year -- click on the following link to join today!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Membership drive postponed to Sunday

Due to some snow forecast for Saturday, we are postponing the membership drive to Sunday from 11 am - 2 pm.  Some of you had indicated you would be available to help on Sunday -- for any who can help out with an hour shift or so on Sunday -- please confirm by e-mailing me back.  Also, if anyone has a folding table or chairs they can bring that would be greatly appreciated. 
We have REI, Summit Canyon and potentially one other business who are contributing toward the raffle.  Existing members can participate in the raffle by making a donation equivalent to a membership.  See you on Sunday!

Are you a member of the Grand Mesa Nordic Council?  You can join for as little as $25/year -- click on the following link to join today!

grooming for tomorrow cancelled

Just an update -- we are expecting a little weather disturbance tomorrow into Saturday that will bring some snow 3-6 inches, so am postponing grooming until Saturday morning at 8 a.m. for Skyway/county Line.  Al will re-groom Ward mid morning -- 11 a.m. 

Are you a member of the Grand Mesa Nordic Council?  You can join for as little as $25/year -- click on the following link to join today!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

February 10 Grooming Report

Another beautiful day of skiing on the Grand Mesa with 1-2 inches of new snow.  Jon groomed out Sunset/Winslow, Lion's Loop, Vista (valley only), Arroyo, Scales Lake, Loop 1, Loop 2 (through trees), Loop 3 (to the overlook) and Kannah Crossing.  Our next grooming will be on Friday at 2 pm.  Al groomed Ward top to bottom yesterday and will be back at it Friday afternoon at 2 pm.  Tomorrow should be a high of 20, with a low of 10 degrees tonight, and a slight chance of snow.  Should be a great weekend -- happy skiing!

Are you a member of the Grand Mesa Nordic Council?  You can join for as little as $25/year -- click on the following link to join today!

membership drive

Calling all members!  This Saturday we are staging a membership drive at the Skyway and County Line trailheads to promote awareness of the Grand Mesa Nordic Council and encourage membership -- we will be setting up tables around 10:30 a.m. and holding the drive from 11 a.m. - 2 p.m.  I already have one volunteer who will take a shift, and I will be there to help as well.  It would be great if at least 4-5 more people could provide assistance, even a half-hour or an hour would be great.   We will be having a raffle for new members who join, and some local businesses have contributed some gift certificates.  We are also hoping to have hot cocoa, cookies and brownies available as well.  Please let me know asap if you are interested in helping out.  Thanks!

Are you a member of the Grand Mesa Nordic Council?  You can join for as little as $25/year -- click on the following link to join today!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Trail Etiquette

Hi All,
As I was out this afternoon enjoying beautiful conditions on the Mesa, I was reminded a bit about trail etiquette, which helps everyone enjoy the trails to the fullest and lessens the need for more grooming over the long haul.  So here's just a few reminders to keep in mind while being courteous to your fellow trail users:
  • Snowshoeing - Snowshoers should use skate lane, and try to stay to the far side of skate lane next to edge of trail.  Single-file is recommended, so as not to clog up the middle of the trail and block skiers from passing by. 
  • Climbing Up Hills - Classic skiers should step into skate lane when herringboning up hills.  When you herringbone over the top of the classic tracks, you obliterate them and make it difficult for other skiers to use them.
  • Right of Way - whether it's skaters and snowshoers or nordic skiers going up hill vs. down hill, the rule of thumb, is whoever it is easiest to yield should do so.  In other words, slower skiers (or snowshoers) should give way to faster skiers and those going uphill should yield to skiers coming downhill.  When in doubt, allow common courtesy to govern.
  • Grooming In Progress -- if you encounter the snowcat on the trails, it's recommended  that you step aside well off the trail, or if the groomer stops, for you to go around.  This is particularly true with dogs and it's helpful if you hold onto your dog by the collar.  We try to groom at times that minimizes skier/snowcat interaction, but sometimes it can't be avoided.  We want to make sure everyone is safe on the trails, including our four-legged friends.
  • Skiers with Dogs -- please keep dogs in sight and under voice control at all times.  Also, carry bags (they are available at trailhead) and please pick up after your dog.
If we just practice  a little common courtesy while out on the trails, everyone can enjoy the trails -- happy skiing!
Are you a member of the Grand Mesa Nordic Council?  You can join for as little as $25/year -- click on the following link to join today!

February 8 Grooming Report

It was a glorious day for some fine classic skiing on the Mesa today -- sunny skies with highs around 16 degrees and no wind.  Al groomed out almost everything with the exception of Kannah Crossing (report attached) and classic skiing tracks are perfect, with skating a little soft.  Tomorrow should be great for skiing after snow sets up tonight -- partly sunny with highs around 21 degrees after a low of 6 degrees tonight.  Don't forget to bring you blue kick wax!  Happy skiing!

Are you a member of the Grand Mesa Nordic Council?  You can join for as little as $25/year -- click on the following link to join today!

We've broken 400!

As of Monday morning, we've reached 409 memberships, nearly half of them family memberships. If we assume that every family membership represents two people, then we're now well over 600 members. 

But we still have 122 members from last year who have not yet joined this year. If you're not sure whether your membership is current or not, please send a note to our membership coordinator and Treasurer, Ruth Wild.

A big thanks to Ruth, who puts in many, many hours each year working for GMNC. 

Happy skiing!

27 days left - a Vasaloppet profile

Here's a translation from the Swedish Vasaloppet's website. Every 10 days there is another "countdown" interview with a participant, in this case Mikael Öberg, age 48, who works as an official ambassador for the race organization. 

Happy skiing,
Greg Peterson
Member, GMNC

Med 30 dagar kvar till Vasaloppet den 7 mars heter nedräkningsprofilen Mikael Öberg. Han är en riktig Vasaloppsentusiast som till och med har "strajpat" Vasaloppsspåret på sin bil.
With the countdown at 30 days to the Vasaloppet March 7, we profile Mikael Öberg, a real enthusiast who even "striped" his car with the Vasaloppet course.

Namn: Mikael Öberg
Ålder: 48 år
Yrke: Vasaloppsambassadör

Vilket lopp ska du åka?
Which races will you compete in?
– Jag ska åka tre lopp: HalvVasan, StafettVasan och Vasaloppet.

I'll do three: the Half-Vasa, the RelayVasa, and the Vasaloppet.

Varför du ska åka och vilka förväntningar har du?
Why do you race and what are your expectations?
– Vasaloppets vintervecka är en av årets höjdpunkter. Resan mellan Sälen och Mora är ett stycke svensk historia och att få uppleva det varje år är något alldeles speciellt. Liknelsen med en folkvandring är nästan uppenbar. Det är en total känsla av gemenskap längs spåret. Visst syns tecken på tävlings instinkt även bland alla motionärer men det är ganska oskyldigt. De allra flesta vill besegra sig själv genom att orka hela vägen till Mora.

The Vasaloppets winter week is one of the high-points of the year. The travel between Sälen and Mora is a piece of Swedish history and to experience it every year is something special. It bears a rather obvious resemblance to a human migration. There is a total feeling of togetherness along the trail. Of course there are signs of competitive instinct even among the non-elite participants, but it all very innocent. Most focus on the personal victory of conquering the entire course to Mora.

Vad är det bästa med Vasaloppets vintervecka?
What is best about the Vasaloppets winter week?
– StafettVasan tycker jag är en höjdare. Då deltar man både som åkare och åskådare och man får tillbringa en hel dag ihop med goa arbetskompisar.

I think the Relay Vasa is the high-point. One gets to participate both as a racer and a fan and spend the whole day with ones good workmates.

Vem skulle du vilja se i loppet, helt enkelt utmana?
Who would you like to see and perhaps challenge on the course?
– Jag hoppas att mina barn kommer att vilja utmana mig en dag!!

I hope that my kids come to challenge me one day!!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

February 6 Grooming Update

For those of you who went skiing today, it may not have looked like we groomed, but we did!  Jon was up early this morning and hit the major trails -- Winslow/Sunset, Lion's Scales, Loop 3, Dog Trail, Dog Loop, Kannah Crosing, Vista (valley), but because of the snow, tracks quickly filled in by noon.  Al also groomed out Ward with similar results.  Because we are expecting snow tonight, tomorrow, tomorrow night, into Monday morning, we will not be grooming tomorrow.  We will defer grooming until Monday afternoon at 1 pm when snow tapers off.  With luck, we will have at least another foot of snow, which is great...  Thanks for your understanding....

Are you a member of the Grand Mesa Nordic Council?  You can join for as little as $25/year -- click on the following link to join today!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Snowmobile Encroachment

While we have always had issues with ongoing snowmobile encroachment at our Ward Lake trail system, recently we had significant damage done to the County Linetrail system this past week.  It appears the snowmobilers actually entered and/or exited via our trailhead at the parking area, and criss-crossed our trail system several times.  It appears this happened on Wednesday or Thursday of this week.  This not only does damage to the track system and costs us money in terms of grooming, but also is a public safety issue for skiers who could be injured.  We are aware of the seriousness of this problem, and are in communication with the Forest Service about this.  The Forest Service is pursuing the issue and will agressively follow up on any leads on violators, which can lead to citations and fines.  If you have any information about this, please contact Mike Brown at the Grand Junction office of the Grand Mesa National Forest (970-242-8211) as soon as possible. 
We realize that the majority of snowmobile users don't engage in this activity and are responsible -- please encourage friends who may snowmobile to encourage everyone to share the Grand Mesa in a safe and responsible manner that allows of all of us to enjoy winter recreation up there. 

Are you a member of the Grand Mesa Nordic Council?  You can join for as little as $25/year -- click on the following link to join today!

Lessons Cancelled/Grooming Update

Because we are expecting some snow tonight into tomorrow -- 3-6 inches -- we are postponing grooming at Skyway/County Line/Ward to tomorrow morning instead.  Because Al is our groomer for Ward and also the ski instructor, lessons for tomorrow morning are cancelled.  We apologize for the inconvenience.  Jon will be starting grooming at 7 a.m. and Al at 8:30 a.m. 

Are you a member of the Grand Mesa Nordic Council?  You can join for as little as $25/year -- click on the following link to join today!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

20 year celebration

Hi everyone, 2010 marks GMNC's 20th year, we'll be legal age next year - but don't let that stop you from celebrating! We'll be doing a bonfire, supper, and moonlight ski at Skyway's parking lot on Saturday night, February 27th starting at 4 p.m.  We'll have hot soup and bread, a bonfire - bring your own beverages. We'll ski, swap stories, read history of GMNC, and enjoy a moonlit night. Hope all members can join us!

Dave Knutson
Fundraising Volunteer
Grand Mesa Nordic Council
970.527-3969 260-3260c

32 days to Vasaloppet!


Our Skyway Classic was an great 10K workout, and most enjoyable to ski with (er, well behind) some excellent collegiate skiers. After gasping for air on the last hill to the finish line, it's a bit difficult to imagine skiing a race 9 times that long. I guess mule-headedness counts for a lot!

Greg Peterson
GMNC Member

February 2 Grooming Report

Sorry for the delay in getting this to you -- reports came in from groomers during the board meeting last night.  Jon groomed up Sunset/Winslow, Lion's Loop, Scales Lake, Dog Loop, Loop Two (top), Loop 3, Kannah Crossing, Vista (Ridge only) yesterday afternoon.  He'll be back at it on Friday afternoon grooming out the entire track system starting at around 1:30 pm or so.  Al also groomed out Ward yesterday as well, and we also re-groom on Friday starting at 2 pm.  We are expecting some snow Thursday into Thursday night totalling around 5-10 inches or so.  Slight chance of snow for the weekend with highs around 27 degrees and lows around 12. 
FYI, when the new website gets up, I'll be posting the grooming report form right on the homepage, which should make it easier.   

Are you a member of the Grand Mesa Nordic Council?  You can join for as little as $25/year -- click on the following link to join today!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Help us break 400!

We currently have 391 paid up members. Help us reach 400. If you haven't renewed your membership, here's your chance. 

Already a member? Maybe you know a friend who needs a gentle prod to join. 

You can join (and pay) online here:

Or, make a spontaneous, kind-hearted donation here:

We appreciate your support. Your contributions pay for our grooming and programs. We depend on you!

Happy skiing,

President, GMNC

Monday, February 1, 2010

Snow depths

There has been a request for information on snow depth at the trail system for both Skyway, County Line, and Ward.  While our grooming team can try to note the depth at the stake located off Highway 65 just before Skyway parking area, these can change dramatically day to day, when we are not up there, or even while grooming.
Therefore, I suggest that trail users who are interested in this information use the following two websites:
Colorado Avalanche Information Center just installed a new site right off Sunset on the Skyway track system.  If you click on the above link, then scroll down to Grand Mesa, and click on Skyway, the last column provides snow depth at that location.
SNOTEL provides a map, where you click on various sites including Mesa Lakes and Park Reservoir.
Hope this helps for those of you who want to stay up-to-date on snow depths -- using the above links is much more accurate than our team trying to guesstimate.

Are you a member of the Grand Mesa Nordic Council?  You can join for as little as $25/year -- click on the following link to join today!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

January 30 Grooming Report

Hi all - sorry I've been a bit out of touch -- I have been out of town this weekend, so it's been a bit more difficult obtaining computer access.  As you know, Jon did some grooming this morning in preparation for the race.  Al will be grooming tomorrow in preparation for classic race, but will also re-groom Sunset/Winslow, Lion's, Scales Lake, Loop 3, Dog Loop and Dog Trail as well.  He will be starting at 8 a.m.  We have a little snow coming in tomorrow night into Monday, so will re-groom again on Tuesday morning at 8 a.m.  Al will re-groom Ward on Monday afternoon at 2 p.m. 

Are you a member of the Grand Mesa Nordic Council?  You can join for as little as $25/year -- click on the following link to join today!

GMNC-Mesa State-Grand Mesa Gliders Day One of race weekend

The first day of the Mesa State Invitational - Grand Mesa Nordic Council race weekend was a glorious day to be skiing on Grand Mesa. Today featured a 1K Sprint on and near the Arroyo Trail and Will's Hill. The top 5 collegiate competitor males were:
1. Daniel Lewis (Univ. of Wyoming)
2. Tom Sunderland (Western State College)
3. John Kirlin (Univ. of Wyoming)
4. Tre Anastasia (Mesa State College)
5. Justin Kinner (Univ. of Wyoming)
The top 5 females:
1. Brittany Perkins (Western State College)
2. Gwynn Barrows (Univ. of Wyoming)
3. Jamie Woelk (Western State College)
4. Gracey Lewis (Univ. of Wyoming)
5. Sarah Dixson (Univ. of Wyoming)
Top citizen sprinter:
1. Chris Murphy
Our young Grand Mesa Gliders also raced the course (ages and times included):
1. Quinn Baker (12) 6:15
2. Logan Freed (10) 8:19
3. Baxter Waltermire (8) 8:40
4. Jordan Miner (7) 8:42
5. Nora Oviatt (11) 10:16
Great job skiers, volunteers, groomers and weather arrangers! I hope everyone is home resting because tomorrow we return for the 10K Grand Mesa Classic with the mass start at 11 AM. See you all up top.
Tom Ela
Race Director 

Mesa State Sprints

Mother Nature provided perfect weather and snowcat operator Jon Canty provided perfect tracks for the first-ever Mesa State Sprints.

Here is a short video of the photo finish in the women's final. After viewing two different videos of the finish, we declared Western State skier Brittany Perkins the winner over University of Wyoming's Gwynn Barrows.

A hearty thanks to all the volunteers who came out to help. In particular, Tom Ela and Chuck Bodie, who came early and stayed late to make sure all was in order.


Colorado Getaways featured a segment about GMNC and Nordic skiing on the Grand Mesa in this week's show. In addition to some nice scenic footage, the show includes interviews with several Mesa State skiers, ski instructor/groomer Al Fournier, ops manager Leslie Brodhead, GMNC member Chuck Bodie, yours truly and others.

View it online here:


Friday, January 29, 2010

come support the Mesa State Ski Team and GMNC

We've got two days of skiing fun coming up at Skyway.

Saturday: Mesa State Sprints
Sunday: Grand Mesa Classic

The Mesa State Sprints are spectator-friendly skate event offering something for everyone, kids included. 

Skiers begin by skiing the 1 km course for time. Racers start individually, every 30 seconds, then based on these qualifying times they are placed into elimination rounds to determine the ultimate winner. The start/finish is on the Arroyo Trail and the course features a short uphill, a sweeping downhill and a wide open finishing stretch for the sprint to the line.

The qualifiers begin at 11am, followed by head-to-head elimination heats beginning around 12:30pm.

The race features both collegiate and citizen's categories, with special prizes for the top citizens, and top masters (40+) racers. The citizens race will be held in conjunction with the collegiate race. There will also be a short kid's race (with the Grand Mesa Gliders) in between the qualifying round and the elimination heats.

In the college race, schools competing include defending national champions University of Wyoming, and Western State College and the US Air Force Academy.

The fun continues on Sunday with the Grand Mesa Classic, a 10km classic race. This is a Grand Mesa Nordic Council-sponsored event and will feature a college category in addition to our popular citizen's race. Start time is 11am.

Both events take place at Skyway on top of the Grand Mesa.

For more info, call GMNC race director Tom Ela, 434-9753 or email

Thursday, January 28, 2010


Hi all
I arrived at skyway to find another 6 inches of snow just after 11:00 so I groomed most all the trails only loop three in the trees was left out witch will be first on the agenda for tomorrow . The moon rose at dusk and was spectacular . Enjoy some moonlight sking over the next few nights if you like that sort of thing .
Jon. Canty

Sent from my iPhone

Vasa musings:

With Christie's encouragement, I am sharing a bit of my dream-challenge-adventure that is the 2010 Vasaloppet to be held Mach 7 in Dalarna, Sweden. Last year, I participated in the the Vasaloppet's "Open Track" (all-comers) 90K race with my cousin Erik and a few of his friends. My goal was to simply finish the race, which I managed in a blistering (both feet) 8 hrs 50 min. The Open race is a relaxed event, with a rolling start time based on when one passes the start line with a micro-chip timing ankle strap. This year, cousins Erik and Bjorn, their father Torbjorn (age 70), myself and 14,000 others will race the official competitive Vasaloppet. So the bar has been raised...more to come.


The latest GMNC newsletter should be arriving in your mailbox any time now. If you GMNC membership is current, your newsletter will include a 20-year anniversary window decal. 

Many of you have opted to save us money by receiving your newsletters via email (thanks!) but because of the decals all newsletters went out by snail mail this time. We are working to implement a new website and mailing list that will make it easy to send and receive the newsletter by email, so rest assured that those of you who have signed up for the electronic newsletter will receive the next one that way. 

If you haven't joined yet, please do and we'll get you a decal.

Now go enjoy the snow!


Ski Lessons Change of Venue, this weekend only

To avoid conflicts with the Mesa State Sprints, the GMNC's ski group
ski lessons will take place at County Line this Saturday.

The beginning classic class will begin at 10am at County Line.

Questions? Call Al: 872-3868

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

January 27 Grooming Report

SNOW, SNOW, SNOW.  Well, it snowed all today on the Mesa -- those of you who did your snow dance a couple of weeks ago are being rewarded ten times over now.  Jon did pack out the following trails, although they were pretty much covered within the hour:  Winslow, Sunset, Scales Lake, Loop 3, Dog Loop, Loop 2 (top), Kannah Crossing and Vista (Ridge only).  He also groomed out our race course for the sprint races coming up on Saturday.  Jon will be back up tomorrow late morning to keep working on the race course, as well as packing out the rest of the trails.  The snow looks to clear out by tomorrow afternoon, and then Friday and Saturday are looking pretty good -- partly to mostly sunny with highs in the upper 20s.  The grooming plan through the weekend is for him to groom out everything Friday afternoon into early evening, let the snow set up, come back on Saturday to groom the race course, and our high traffic trails.  And Al will be in Sunday morning to groom out the course for Sunday's race and touch up as well.  There is a chance of snow on Sunday, but right now, it looks like we'll get the race in before the snow starts falling again. 

Are you a member of the Grand Mesa Nordic Council?  You can join for as little as $25/year -- click on the following link to join today!

Monday, January 25, 2010

January 25 Grooming Report

Al groomed out Ward top to bottom this afternoon and repaired all the snowmobile damage.  Please, if you know snowmobilers, remind them of how costly it is for us when they poach on our trails....  Next grooming of Ward will be Friday afternoon at 2 pm, and next grooming for County Line/Skyway will be Wednesday morning at 9 a.m. 
Tomorrow's weather will be mostly cloudy with a high of 24 degrees.  There is a chance of snow tomorrow night into Wednesday with a small weather system moving through -- only expecting a 2-4 inches of snow. 

Are you a member of the Grand Mesa Nordic Council?  You can join for as little as $25/year -- click on the following link to join today!

GMNC on Channel 4

Denver's CBS TV station Channel 4 will be featuring a segment about
skiing on the Grand Mesa this Saturday, January 30 at 6:30pm (on their
Colorado Getaways program).

Video will eventually be available here too:


Sunday, January 24, 2010

January 24 Grooming Report

Al groomed the following trails this morning/afternoon --- snow had pretty much tapered off and it's going to be pretty cold tonight -- 4 degrees, so should be good skiing for Monday.  Trails groomed were Sunset, Winslow, Lion's Loop, Vista (valley), Will's Hill, Arroyo, Scales Lake, Dog Loop, Loop 3, Loop 2 (bottom only), and Kannah Crossing.  We are expecting a chance of snow on Tuesday night/Wednesday, but nothing like this past week.  Al will be grooming Ward tomorrow afternoon, and the next grooming of Skyway/County Line will be Wednesday morning at 9 a.m.  Happy Skiing!

Are you a member of the Grand Mesa Nordic Council?  You can join for as little as $25/year -- click on the following link to join today!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

County Line

County Line Loop One, nice and cold.
Lee Gelatt

January 23 Grooming Report

Whew!! That was quite a day for our grooming staff -- many thanks to Jon and Al who put in a lot of hard work and all day to get our trails in great shape.  Jon perservered and was able to get all the trails on County Line and Skyway groomed out.  Thanks to his early start this morning, he was able to provide skiable trails for our members as early as 10 a.m.  And Al persevered through massive drifts, mucho shoveling, and tracking with the snowmobile to get Ward done -- thanks for all your hard work!
Al will be up bright and early tomorrow morning (Sunday) to hit our most heavily used trails on County Line and Skyway.  He will be back at Ward on Monday afternoon to groom that out as well.
Forecast for tomorrow is similar to today -- snow showers with 1-3 inches of new snow, low of 6 degrees tonight and high of 14 tomorrow.  Monday might be the day to play hooky -- don't tell the boss I told you so! -- as it looks to be partly sunny with highs around 22 degrees. 
Happy Skiing!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Wildcat Tracks

Last week we saw lots of wildcat sign on Skyway trails, these paw prints and scratchings. They are probably bobcat, but lynx are known to be on the Mesa.
Lee Gelatt

Thursday, January 21, 2010

January 21 Grooming Report

Still snowing moderately on the Grand Mesa through today and high winds (50 mph, with gusts up to 70) and snow expected tomorrow.  Jon packed down several of the trails on Skyway and County Line including Sunset, Winslow, Lions, Arroyo, Scales Lake, Dog trail, Dog loop, Loop three, Loop 1, Kannah Crossing, Vista (hill and valley) and Wills hill.  We really appreciate Jon's perseverance in keeping up with the snowfall.  Jon and Al will be up bright and early on Saturday morning to try and pack down the trails and set track.  Snow should be lessening over the weekend with only 2-3 inches expected Saturday and snow showers for Sunday.  Winds will also die down for Saturday, so should be better for skiing.  We'll keep you posted.

Road Closure

CDOT has informed us that they'll be closing Hwy 65 from 7pm tonight (Jan 21) until approximately 2pm tomorrow (Jan 22) for avalanche control.

Stay safe on the roads!


No Lessons This Saturday

Due to predictions of heavy snow and blowing wind, there will be no lessons this Saturday. 

Our instructor, Al, will be busy working with our other groomers to stay on top of the grooming. 


Christie Aschwanden
President, Grand Mesa Nordic Council