LETTER: Pagosa Nordic Club Update

By James Dickhoff

Hello Pagosa Nordic supporters:

I hope you all are enjoying the final days of summer as we head into the fall season with snowflakes on the horizon. I would like to share an update on where we are in preparations for the coming winter Nordic skiing season.

First, the Pagosa Nordic Club board would like to express our sincere appreciation for the overwhelming local support over the last 9 years. It is your financial contributions and support that have enabled us to provide groomed trails and offer events for nearly a decade now.

Last season the Pagosa Nordic Club conducted a fundraising effort in coordination with a potential State Trails grant funding opportunity for purchasing a snowcat groomer and haul vehicle. We were unfortunately not awarded the grant, however, we experienced an amazing amount of support from our community and our local fund-raising campaign garnered $55,000. These funds allowed Pagosa Nordic to purchase a new utility Skandic snowmobile, a new Polaris Ranger Utility Trail Vehicle with tracks, a snow roller, a 1988 Piston Bulley 100 snowcat groomer with track setter and a used 5th wheel trailer to haul the snowcat. These investments are important additions to our grooming fleet, enabling the Club to continue to provide frequently groomed quality Nordic ski trails. This new equipment will provide our dedicated grooming volunteers with better tools to make their efforts much less demanding.

Also, a big thank you to the Community Foundation for conducting the 19th Hole Concert series and their $1,050 contribution and the Pagosa Springs Area Tourism Board for their $6,500 contribution for our marketing and advertising efforts.

Last season, we were very successful in developing relationships with Archuleta County and a few private land owners to provide two new ski trail venues in close proximity to town. Archuleta County’s Cloman Park and the adjacent Davis Ranch provided 8 km of regularly groomed trails and we expect to obtain permission from adjacent land owners to expand our groomed trail network for this season. Cloman Park offered a dog friendly area with the Davis ranch remaining dog free due to wildlife and livestock concerns. The Laverty Ranch provided 10 km of groomed trails, accessed from the San Juan Veterinary Clinic located at 2197 E. Hwy 160, offering a dog free area for Nordic skiers only.

Pagosa Nordic will also groom 6 km at Fall Creek early season, depending on a permitted logging operation which may or may not begin this fall, and will also groom 15 km at West Fork for Nordic skiing.
In addition, our partners, the Wolf Creek Ski Area grooms 10 km at Alberta Park, the Pagosa Ranger District grooms 14 km at Coyote Hill and the Wolf Creek Trail Blazer Snowmobile Club grooms up to 100 miles of multi-use trails around Pagosa country.

As we head into the 2017-18 winter season, we are also working on our winter events schedule soon to be released.

We are considering another fundraising effort again this fall to help with additional equipment and operational needs and considering a preseason get together with details to be announced. In the meantime, please consider registering for your 2017-18 season Pagosa Nordic club membership and sponsorship now at PagosaNordic.com.

As always, we are looking for interested individuals to help us provide the recreational opportunities the club strives to provide to our community. Many times, we are limited on what we can achieve based on the number of individuals that step up to help and volunteer their time. The club needs help with many aspects including; marketing and advertising, grooming trails, equipment maintenance, events, X-C Ski Instruction, outreach, fund raising, and more. Please consider lending your expertise, time and/or passion to assist us with providing this great amenity for our Pagosa Springs community.

In closing, I want to recognize our regular dedicated groomers who make Pagosa Nordic groomed trails a reality: Anthony Doctor, Dan Bartley, Dan Batwinas, Doug Call and Suellen Loher. Please thank them for their hard work and dedication as you see them around town. They deserve a huge pat on the back! Their effort involves back breaking work including moving equipment in deep snow, removing fallen trees, dealing with equipment breakdowns far from the trailhead, getting equipment unstuck, working in frigid cold temperatures, and of course taking time away from their families and ski recreational time to ensure trails are ready for everyone else’s enjoyment.

James Dickhoff is President of the Pagosa Nordic Club

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