The Nordic News

A skier heads home with Mt. Crested Butte and the setting sun in the background.

Happy New Year

Here's to a year full of nordic!

Happy January! We’re through the holidays and headed into the heart of the beautiful Crested Butte winter. Whether you’re here for the solitude of the trails at sunrise, the camaraderie of our lunchtime programs, or the uniqueness of our wide array of events, CB Nordic has dozens of programs and services to help you get the most out of winter.

Want to learn to ski, improve your technique, or explore the area surrounding CB? Book a lesson or tour for yourself of the family. Sign up for a Masters Clinic.

Need a little friendly competition in your life? Sign up for the Pinnacle Orthopedic Community Races – join us on January 13th and January 20th.

Planning your costume for the Alley Loop? Don’t forget about the Alley Loop Club Clash. Gather six of your friends and compete as a team for cash prizes.

Thinking of skiing the Gothic Mountain Tour? Sign up soon before it sells out –  less than 20 spots remain.

Here’s to a 2024 filled with nordic. See you on the trails.

The cat sits on a full bed of snow.
The cat sits on a dry, uneven snowpack.

Trail Operation Updates

The skiing is hard and fast!

Happy New Year from the Crested Butte Nordic Operations department. It has been a quiet holiday season compared to the Santa Slammer and Snowpocalypse storms of the last few years. Though we attained Hero Status with the only groomed natural snow in the region in November and early December, we’re back to low tide with a thin, hard, and fast trail system.

In the demo to the left, the cat on the top is sitting on a recent storm. The “snow” is plump, full of moisture, and voluminous. The entire cat (tiller and groomer) touches the surface of the snow, creating a beautiful groom. On the bottom, the cat is sitting on an old snowpack. The “snow” is dry and uneven. There are gaps under the cat and tiller, creating an uneven groom.

Our current trail system is somewhere between the old camping sponge from last summer and the brand-new sponge you used for your morning dishes. This dry snow scenario produces difficult grooming conditions, and our groomers battle the tightrope of “to groom or not to groom” every day it does not snow. We’re rotating trail “pods” each night to keep things fresh without grooming away the snow.

Luckily, there’s snow in the forecast. We’re hopeful that the tide will turn soon and 2024 will bring us an abundance of fresh snow to groom. You can always find the most up-to-date grooming information in the daily Trail Report.

Sunday Yurt Bistros

The best way to start Sunday is back!

This Sunday, January 7th is the first Sunday Yurt Bistro of 2024. Join us at the Magic Meadows Yurt between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. for a la carte brunch items. We’ll have hot and cold beverages, pastries, burritos, and soup. Bring your friends and family and enjoy the West Side Trails.

The Magic Meadows Yurt is located approximately one mile beyond “The Gronk” off Peanut Lake Road. Here’s the Trail Map for details. Trail passes are required and there are no dogs allowed at the yurt.

Fun at the yurt bistro!
Burley Buster

Pinnacle Orthopedics Community Race #2

Saturday, January 13th

The Community Race Series is a fun way to break up your weekend skiing routine. Jump into two more races this season before the Alley Loop at the beginning of February. These races are as competitive or as social as you want them to be. Come meet new folks and try new things with us.

Join us on Saturday, January 13th for the second Pinnacle Orthopedics Community Race Series event. This freestyle race will feature a 3k kids’ race at 9:30 a.m. and a 10k full course/adult race at 10:00 a.m.

And new this year, join us for the 5k “Burley Buster.” This is your chance to race with your kids in tow. We will start each “Burley” team (parent and child) in 30-second intervals just after the mass 10k start. All races start and finish at The Gronk on Peanut Lake Road.

Learn to Skate Ski for Free!

Clinics on Wednesdays

Learning to skate ski can be daunting and is often best enjoyed with some professional instruction to get you started off on the right foot, literally. Fortunately, your community at CB Nordic can help you out with that – for FREE! Our Learn to Skate Ski FREE program offers eight Wednesday clinics from noon to 1 p.m. starting on January 10th. Join in on this unique opportunity to learn some basic skills to help you glide the distance. More information can be found on the Masters page on our website.

Racers head up the hill of Elk Avenue in the Alley Loop skate.

Race the Alley Loop

Race weekend is four weeks away!

The 38th Annual Alley Loop will take place on Saturday, February 3rd.
Sign up for a range of events from 1.5k up to 42k in skate or classic technique.

The Alley Loop Nordic Club Clash is back by popular demand! Gather a team of six friends – one person for each event (5k freestyle, 10k freestyle, 21k skate & classic, 42k skate & classic). Your team must include at least two women and each event must be raced by a different team athlete. Register for the Alley loop with a fun Team Name. Scoring will be “cross-country style” – the lowest score takes home cash prizes. Choose your team wisely!

Volunteer for CB Nordic Events

It takes a village!

CB Nordic simply does not work without the thousands of volunteer hours you all put in each year. Thank you for stepping up event after event, program after program, to keep our skis gliding!

Whether you’re donning a group gnome costume, a spandex race suit, or taking the year off racing, we would be delighted for you and your friends to join us as volunteers for this year’s Alley Loop on February 2nd and 3rd. We’re looking for folks to help with post-race clean-up, course marshaling, finish line support, and soup tent shifts. There’s something for everyone, racing or not.

Looking ahead, we’re also seeking for volunteers for:
The Gothic Mountain Tour on February 17th and 18th
The Grand Traverse on March 29th, 30th, and 31st

For more information, please email

A volunteer holds the 5k sign at the start of the Alley Loop.
Racers wear Pinnacle Orthopedic bibs during a Community Race Series event.

Pinnacle Orthopedics

January Sponsor of the Month

Pinnacle Orthopedics and Sports Medicine is honored to support the Nordic community again this year. The Pinnacle team believes in all that CB Nordic does for skiers’ health and wellness year-round through access to outdoor recreation and all manner of events.

We’re loving another year of friendly competition at the Pinnacle Orthopedics Community Race Series. And be sure to say hello to Dr. Elfenbein and his team as they offer medical support at ALL of our events. You can contact Dr. E anytime at 970.672.1980 or through his website,, if you find yourself in need of care.

You Make All the Difference

Be Part of Our Community

As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, Crested Butte Nordic depends on your support to keep our trails world-class and our programs top-notch. Thank you for all the time, energy, and money you donate to make us a true community nordic center.