Want to experience the winter in Summit and Park Counties like a local? Here are some tips to get your on your way. Nature is the star, the reason so many of us moved here in the first place. And then when you add a layer of snowy frosting to the mountains the recreation opportunities just multiply. Health and vitality are the name of the game for so many high country residents and enthusiasts. For many, perhaps most, the root motivator is not the health or strength itself as a simple vanity play, but a way to maximize the enjoyment of all the opportunities to be out playing in nature. Is there a better way to stay motivated?
The sister sport to all that summer mountain and road biking? Cross country skiing, also known as Nordic skiing. It’s a thing most everyone in the high country quietly does. For low impact strength, cardio and pure quiet out in the trees, nothing compares. Nordic skiing is one of the most lifelong-sports friendly, family friendly and budget friendly winter sports, accessible with a low initial investment and no steep learning curve. You can cross country ski at a Nordic Center with groomed trails or just out your backdoor on our massive network of open space and trails that span the entire county.
For the groomed experience, rentals and lessons, try any of the wonderful local Nordic centers listed below.
Breckenridge Nordic Center
Frisco Nordic Center
Gold Run Nordic Center
Keystone Nordic Center
Because you need to feed your inner athlete and inner adventurer, and you’ve been working on your skinny skiing skills, try this- a unique ski-in or hike-in dining experience located on the pass between Copper and Leadville that should be added to your winter-live-like-a-local bucket list. Tennessee Pass is a Nordic skiing and fine dining backcountry destination. Dining is by reservation only, and requires a one-mile hike or ski to the dinner destination from the trailhead. Skis, snowshoes and headlamps provided upon arrival.
Does all this human powered activity sound like a too much work? Of course the gravity fueled downhill skiing and snowboarding are prom king and queen, but snow plus gravity equals so many more recreation options. When we get right back to our winter snow sports roots, sledding reigns supreme. For the sweet and simple sledding of your youth, grab a plastic sled at City Market and head over to Carter Park in Breckenridge for a free, simple, carefree yet still exciting sledding session. Because high country people have to make everything extreme, the tubing experience has been engineered to take your childhood sledding memories to the next level. Want to experience sledding on steroids? Go Tubing! There are a number of tubing options at adventure centers throughout the county.
For giggles and thrills, tubing should be at the top of your winter list.
As we endeavor to feed not just our sports, but also our spirits, we can turn to the arts to be inspired by human potential. A renewed local focus on fine, performing and participatory arts means a year round schedule from BreckCreate. The Backstage Theater is a community theater institution offering local produced plays in a restored former roadhouse on Ridge Street in Breckenridge. Art doesn’t just take place in a theater or gallery. World-class ski and snowboard athletes will travel to Summit County from every corner of the earth to compete in the Dew Tour December 8-11, 2016, featuring our best in class parks and halfpipes. In it’s 10th season in Breckenridge, the Dew Tour promises concerts, parties, high-energy spectating opportunities and the Powder and TransWorld Rider Award Ceremonies, both on the mountain and right in the center of town. The full schedule is available online.
No winter in Summit County is complete without Ullr Fest. From January 11-14th there is nowhere else to be! A celebration of the Nordic God of Snow, Ullr Fest is a 54 year tradition, a much beloved four day long festival dedicated to all things snow. Witness the crowing of the Ullr King and Queen, join the parade, attend the bonfire, help set the record for the worlds longest shot ski, and much more. Ullr Fest promises family friendly good times without completely turning its back on its rowdy ski bum heritage.
Now get out there!