Spring is in the air. Despite the coronavirus and its attendant upheaval, you can feel spring in the heat of the sun and watch it in the snow that is receding quickly from the road-sides. While CB Nordic had to drastically change our operations in the last few weeks, we have found creative ways to stay “open” and continue to serve our community. It has been a crazy time, but we have made it to what was our originally-planned last week of the season, so we’re getting ready to shift gears yet again. Given the spring conditions out there, this will be our last week of grooming, with Sunday, April 12 being “closing day”.
Most of you have probably kept up with the changes at CB Nordic. As the County issued new public health orders, we adapted our operations and cancelled our events and programs. We are grateful that we have been able to continue to groom trails and hand-out nearly all of our rental equipment so that you can continue to get outside, ski, breathe fresh air, and maybe even feel a little bit more normal.
While it’s been amazing to be able to keep going these last few weeks, we are preparing to stop grooming this Sunday, April 12. Given the high temperatures, we are seeing rapidly deteriorating conditions on the trails. Additionally, many of our trails are linked together via bridges over waterways and through delicate wetlands. As the temperatures rise, so do the waters, and we need to pull everything out while it is still safe to do so.
One note on spring “off trail” skiing: just because the trails are closed, that doesn’t mean you can go wherever you want. Please, if you want to have groomed trails in the future, please respect private land. The large majority of our trails are on private land, which means you cannot just ski there on your own. There is old mining infrastructure, delicate ecosystems, and nesting birds to respect, not to mention you’re likely skiing through someone’s backyard! If you’re still skiing, please head to BLM or National Forest lands, like out Washington Gulch or Slate River.
We at CB Nordic want to say a resounding thank you to our community. We have been so impressed with how Gunnison County has rallied during this crisis to take care of each other, whether that’s delivering food or raising money or ordering take-out or everything in between. In particular for us, we are deeply grateful for your support. We are humbled and proud to be able to continue to serve you in our own small ways.
Thank you to everyone that shared a smile, a photo, a wave, or a kind word. These have meant more to us than you know. Thank you to everyone who skied and snowshoed the trails. You have given us a sense of purpose. Thank you to everyone who helped spread the word about and followed our trail rules. You kept our trails open. Thank you to everyone who was able to make a donation. You have helped us pay for the grooming and weather the financial losses we accrued from shutting down early and cancelling our events. We have never been more proud to be your community Nordic Center.
It is a scary and often lonely time. Like you, we sometimes feel overwhelmed, weepy, frustrated, and defeated. But also, like you (we hope), we have felt love, connection, surprise, and opportunity. Sometimes we feel all of this at once. We hope that as we all head into what would traditionally be our off-season, we can still find moments of normalcy–of fresh air, beauty, joy, and belonging. We know that moving through this time will not be easy. But we also know that the Gunnison Valley is rich with love and resiliency.
CB Nordic will spend this down time looking back on the winter, assessing how we did, and preparing our annual report to send out to members in a few weeks. We’ll look forward with excitement to next year. We’ll dust off our mountain bikes and our running shoes. We’ll make plans for our summer events, hopeful to see you at The Grin and Bear It on July 18 and the Grand Traverse Mountain Run & Bike on Labor Day weekend. While we’ll be more quiet than we’ve been, please know that we are not gone. We’re here with you and proud to serve you in whatever ways we can. Until next time, amid it all, we wish you a happy spring.