CB Nordic Response to COVID-19

This page will be updated regularly with any changes to our programs and operations.

Please follow the Gunnison County Department of Health & Human Services for the current status of COVID-19 in Gunnison County.

April 6, 2020

Spring has sprung!  While it’s been amazing to be able to keep going these last few weeks, we are planning 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.

The last day to reserve rental equipment will be Wednesday, April 8. Please remember, we cannot promise to fulfill every request. If we have the equipment available, we will be in touch.

All equipment must be returned by Monday, April 13. 

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. Do not ski on our trails once they are closed. Do not ever ski “off trail” in the areas where our trails are. If you’re still skiing, please head to BLM or National Forest lands, like out Washington Gulch or Slate River.

April 1, 2020

Dear CB Nordic Community,

I hope this letter finds you and your loved ones safe, healthy, and adapting as smoothly as possible to these difficult times. Needless to say, this is not the spring we all imagined! It’s been a whirlwind these last three weeks in our community (and nation-wide), so I wanted to take this opportunity to reach out and update you on what is happening, what isn’t happening, and what will be happening at Crested Butte Nordic. 

First off, I want to reassure you that, thanks to the support of members like you, the foresight of our board of directors, and a dedicated team of staff, we are weathering this storm and continuing to serve our community. In some ways, we are fortunate: when the epidemic hit Gunnison County, we were just four weeks away from closing for the season. CB Nordic is accustomed to a six month “off season” and we have been building operating reserves for just such lean times. 

This planning has allowed us to continue to focus on our mission: to provide you and your family safe, accessible, fun ways to get outside and recreate in winter. We continue to groom trails and rent equipment to help you with this. I know you are facing challenges unlike anything you could have imagined. I hope that by continuing to offer services and by making everything “pay what you can,” we are in some small way easing some of your burdens. 

We have had to change how we do things, of course. In the last two weeks we have created an online reservation system, created a multi-day rental system, and made all of our rental equipment and trail passes by-donation. We have had to let seasonal staff go early, though we were able to provide a week’s pay to our Front Desk and Operations staff. We have gone down to just two groomers, who report to work alone, use the same cat or vehicle every time, and require no interaction with other staff members. We are doing our best to keep our staff and you, our patrons, safe while still serving the community.

In addition to these changes, early on we cancelled all programs and CB Nordic’s biggest fundraiser of the year, The Grand Traverse. We immediately refunded all lessons, tours, and yurt dinners, and for the GT, we offered racers the chance to roll their registration over to 2021, receive a 50% refund, or donate their entry fee. The impact of this cancellation won’t be fully realized until next year, but we are hopeful to be able to budget accordingly. 

We are deeply grateful for the overwhelming support we have received from you during this time. Whether it’s a smile on the trail, a note of support on Facebook, or a donation, your positivity buoys our spirits and keeps us motivated. We are so pleased that we have been able to offer what we can to our community, and that it has been so well-received. With over 100 new season passes and over 400 rentals in the last two weeks, we are overwhelmed with gratitude that we can serve you in these ways.

All this said, I can’t sugar coat everything. CB Nordic is facing budget shortfalls due to cancelled programming, the absence of spring break revenue, and the repercussions of cancelling the GT. We continue to groom and offer free rentals because we know it’s the right thing to do. Grooming our trail system costs over $3,000 a week, just in fuel and labor (not counting equipment, maintenance, or overhead), and these costs will have to be absorbed elsewhere in the future. If you have the ability to support us in this endeavor, please consider making an online donation. Otherwise, please make sure to purchase a pass next year, or even consider joining our K Club.

Looking ahead, we will continue to groom until our planned closure on April 12, as long as snow, safety, and finances allow. We will not be selling any equipment this spring, but look for it at next fall’s Snowsports Foundation Ski Swap. We are still planning to host the Summer Grand Traverse Mountain Run & Bike on Labor Day weekend (September 5 & 6), and we are hopeful that The Grin & Bear It can be run as planned on July 18. While our Volunteer Appreciation Party had to be postponed, we are hoping that we can still get together and celebrate with all of you after the dust settles. 

In the meantime, please keep skiing! Please keep snowshoeing! Please keep enjoying the groomed trails (with the people you live with), and continue to follow the posted rules and regulations. The trail rules are all part of our land-use agreements with over 40 private landowners, so it is important that we adhere to these rules, regardless of our other rapidly changing circumstances, in order to keep having access to these trails. 

CB Nordic was founded on the principle that cross-country skiing and snowshoeing are good for the health of our bodies, our minds, and our community. Never has this felt more true. While the COVID-19 pandemic rages around us and the snow continues to fall, it has become ever more clear to me that our mission is of vital importance for the health and wellbeing of our community.

Whether this spring or in the future, we are here to serve you, providing groomed trails, equipment, programs, and events to help you get more out of winter, and more out of life. 

Wishing you health, happiness, and hope.

Christie Hicks
Executive Director

March 29, 2020
5 p.m.

Given the latest public health order from Gunnison County, we are adapting our rental procedures again to keep our staff and you safe.

The majority of our rental fleet is currently rented out to members of the community. We will now only require returns once a week (Friday, April 3 is the first day). If you would like to get on the list to receive rentals, please fill out our rental request form. We will be in touch as soon as we are able to fill your order. Please know that it could be a week or more before we can provide you with equipment.

A season pass is still required to rent equipment with us, but passes are now pay-what-you-can and available online. You do not need a physical pass. Please sign our online waiver by getting a season pass before you use the groomed trail system.

We will continue to groom trails while conditions, safety, and finances allow. Check out the Trail Report for the latest grooming (the live-grooming map at the bottom of the Trail Report will be the most current information).

Thank you for your patience as we navigate these unusual and unforeseen circumstances.

March 24, 2020
3:00 p.m.

Dear Community,

We are so glad we have been able to continue to serve you during this difficult time by providing groomed trails and rental equipment. We will continue these services as long as we safely can (and snow conditions allow). We have been overwhelmed by the support we have received as we, like you, try to adapt to this new normal. Thank you!

That said, in order to keep our trails open, we need your help. All of the rules and regulations that govern our trails still apply. CB Nordic does not make up these rules, and they do not go away just because we are living through a strange time. Nearly all of our trails are on private lands, owned or regulated by over 40 different landowners, municipalities, and land-use agencies. The rules that govern our trails are set by use agreements with these landowners. These rules were not arrived at arbitrarily. When trail designations aren’t followed, the existence of these trails is threatened. 

The map on our website outlines the allowed uses of each trail. The CBGTrails app will also tell you where you are and what’s allowed. There are signs at every trailhead that say what is and isn’t permitted. Please use these resources: educate yourself and follow the rules that are in place. This is the only way we can continue to groom trails.

We truly want everyone to have access to healthy outdoor recreation opportunities right now. Please do not jeopardize access by biking or walking where it is not allowed (or throwing the signs in the bushes, or erasing our white boards in key places. Come on, people!). And please, we’re begging you: do not take your dog on non-dog trails. The dog-free designations, especially, are strictly mandated by our use agreements. 

Thank you for being a part of the solution, as we strive to offer access to all residents and navigate these new circumstances. 

Christie Hicks
Executive Director, Crested Butte Nordic

March 23, 2020
3:00 p.m.

Rental updates! We’ve had literally hundreds of orders for each day that we’ve done our multi-day rental system. It’s wonderful! And a lot for us to manage. We are sorry if we cannot fill your order today. Things you can do to help us make the system work:

  1. PLEASE return any equipment you borrowed ASAP so that we can clean it and loan it to someone else this week. Let’s share the love!
  2. We have had issues with our rental boots this season. Many have broken zippers. We’re sorry! We have been unable to get new boots from Fischer or find a lasting repair. Boots still work, but we know it’s not ideal.

Please be patient as we try to accommodate as many people as possible while also keeping our staff safe and maintaining our cleaning protocols.

Need to get your season pass so you can participate? Get your Season Pass. 

Need to reserve? Reserve Your Rental Equipment

Please read the full instructions for how the multi-day rental program works. 

March 19, 2020
2:00 p.m.

We are adapting our rental system from day-rentals to weekend/weekday rentals.

This will hopefully enable you to get outside more with less hassle. It will also keep our staff safer and allow for more limited staffing of the Nordic Center. Grooming continues! 

First, off, please return any rental equipment you already have in your possession. Our rental fleet is limited, and we want to provide access to skiing and snowshoeing for as many people as possible. This means we need to share the love! 

This is an unprecedented time; it calls for unprecedented measures.

We have decided to make season passes and rental equipment pay-what-you-can*. We want you to be able to get outside, get exercise, and get fresh air with your family, no matter what.

We are also striving to be fiscally responsible so that the Nordic Center can continue to provide our trails, programs, services, and events at affordable rates in the future. Thank you for doing what you can to support our trails and sustain our rental fleet. 

The new rental program:

You will rent skis for a multi-day “block”.

  • Weekend Block: Friday, 1 p.m. – 5 p.m. (scheduled pick-up) – Monday, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. (open drop-off)
  • Weekday Block: Monday, 1 p.m. – 5 p.m. (scheduled pick-up) – Friday, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. (open drop-off)

Thursday, March 19 will be the last day of daily rentals. The first weekend block rentals will begin on Friday, March 20. The first weekday block will begin on Monday, March 23. 

The reservation form will go live at 4 p.m. on Thursday. Equipment will be rented on a first-come, first-served basis. You MUST have a season pass to take advantage of this offer; this includes seniors and children. If you don’t have a season pass, you can purchase season passes online now at pay-what-you-can rates. Please spread the word to your neighbors and folks who might not otherwise get this message, especially our elderly friends. We will not be issuing passes, but we do need you to sign our waiver before using our paid trails and/or checking out rental equipment. 

How it Works:
  1. Starting at 4 p.m. today, Thursday, March 19, you can reserve your rental equipment online for a block of days. (We will only be allowing reservations one block at a time. Given the times, we just can’t plan further ahead than that.)
  2. You will receive an email from the Nordic Center confirming if we CAN or CANNOT fill your order. Please read this email. Please do not assume your order will be filled. We will do the best we can, but our rental fleet is limited. 
  3. Your email will tell you what time to pick up your gear on Friday or Monday afternoon. You must pick up gear as close to this time as possible; one staff person will be at the Nordic Center for a limited time. 
  4. You must return your equipment between 10 a.m. and 12 p.m. on Monday (Weekend Block) or Friday (Weekday Block). This will give our staff time to clean and prepare the equipment for the next client.

If you reserve equipment for a block, but we are unable to fill your order, you will be first in line for the next block. For example, if you tried to rent equipment this Friday, but we weren’t able to fill your order, you would be first in line for the requested equipment on Monday. You do not have to take the equipment Monday, but you’d have first right of refusal. 

In order to provide as many people as possible access to this service, you cannot just keep your equipment from one block to the next. Please email brittany@cbnordic.org if you’d like to keep your equipment. If it is not otherwise needed, we will allow you to do so. 

Our mission continues to be to provide everyone, of all ages and abilities, the opportunity to get outside and recreate in winter.

We have worked to fulfill this mission for over 30 years because of our core belief that outdoor recreation is a key pillar of mental and physical health; that by helping you get more out of winter, you will be able to get more out of life.

We never predicted these turbulent times. But now that we find ourselves in them, we are doing everything in our capacity to live even more fully into this mission. We are proud and humbled to be able to continue to serve our community. 

Thank you for your continued patience and understanding as we roll out (yet another) new system. As we know you are, we are doing our best to adapt to our new reality. We will keep you as updated as often as possible. Please stay up-to-date with trail conditions and operations at our website, cbnordic.org

*We will require a $1 donation for rental equipment; if this equipment is not returned we will charge you the full retail value.

A quick catch-up for those that haven’t seen our earlier updates:

  • All programs (lessons, yurt dinners, events, etc.) are cancelled.
  • The ice rink is closed.
  • The Nordic Center is closed to the public.
  • The trails are open! We will keep grooming as long as we can.
    • Town Ranch, Riverbend Trail, and the Rec Path are FREE and open for walking, dogs, bikes, skiing, and snowshoeing.
    • The rest of our trail system requires a trail pass. Some trails allow dogs; all trails allow skis and snowshoes. Walking and fat bikes are not permitted on our other trails. While snow is free, grooming simply isn’t. Thank you for supporting our grooming. 
  • Even though it’s spring and a global pandemic, please download the CBGTrails app and know where you are before heading off-trail. Our relationships with our private landowners are still critical to our success. 
    • Off-trail (crust) skiing is permitted on public lands.
    • Please DO NOT crust ski off the Maze Trails between the Rec Path and Middle Earth (all up and down the Rec Path), or off the Riverbend Connector past Town Ranch. These are private lands. Going off-trail could threaten the existence of these trails in the future.

March 17, 2020
4:30 p.m.

Day 2 of our online reservation system is in the books! We’re so happy to see everyone going skiing! We’ll keep grooming as long as we can. 

We have a couple tweaks to our online rentals reservation system so that it works more smoothly: 

    • We have limited how many patrons can pick up at any given time. This will, in essence, limit how many skis go out per day. We only have so many skis, boots, and staff. 
    • The form will be turned off when we have reached capacity for that time slot and/or day and you will no longer be able to make a reservation for that time slot/day. 
    • Please show up at your designated time. We may not be ready for you beforehand.
    • If you need to make an adjustment to your reservation, email frontdesk@cbnordic.org, or call the Nordic Center, 970-349-1707, between 9 and 5. 
    • Please reserve in advance whenever you can so the staff have time to prepare everything for you. You cannot make reservations right before you want to go out for the day. 

Grooming continues! The rules of the trail still apply. What was allowed IS allowed; what wasn’t allowed, still isn’t. Please use the CBGTrails app to know where you are and what is allowed. Thank you for helping us protect our access to these trails.

Per usual right now, check back regularly for updates. Things are changing quickly.Please educate yourself on the current Gunnison County rules and guidelines. Of special note: “Visitors to the Gunnison Valley are directed to return home immediately upon the issuance of this Order by the fastest and safest available means, and persons considering visiting Gunnison County should remain home.”

March 17, 2020
4:30 p.m.

Day 2 of our online reservation system is in the books! We’re so happy to see everyone going skiing! We’ll keep grooming as long as we can. 

We have a couple tweaks to our online rentals reservation system so that it works more smoothly: 

    • We have limited how many patrons can pick up at any given time. This will, in essence, limit how many skis go out per day. We only have so many skis, boots, and staff. 
    • The form will be turned off when we have reached capacity for that time slot and/or day and you will no longer be able to make a reservation for that time slot/day. 
    • Please show up at your designated time. We may not be ready for you beforehand.
    • If you need to make an adjustment to your reservation, email frontdesk@cbnordic.org, or call the Nordic Center, 970-349-1707, between 9 and 5. 
    • Please reserve in advance whenever you can so the staff have time to prepare everything for you. You cannot make reservations right before you want to go out for the day. 

Grooming continues! The rules of the trail still apply. What was allowed IS allowed; what wasn’t allowed, still isn’t. Please use the CBGTrails app to know where you are and what is allowed. Thank you for helping us protect our access to these trails.

Per usual right now, check back regularly for updates. Things are changing quickly.Please educate yourself on the current Gunnison County rules and guidelines. Of special note: “Visitors to the Gunnison Valley are directed to return home immediately upon the issuance of this Order by the fastest and safest available means, and persons considering visiting Gunnison County should remain home.”

March 16, 2020
12:30 p.m.

We are so pleased so many of you are going skiing! Thank you to everyone for your patience and understanding as we roll out the new online rental and day pass reservation system. We are down to a bare bones staff and we are doing everything in our power to provide you with a good experience. 

As such, we are asking for your help. Please help us uphold the rules that govern our trails by abiding by them yourselves and educating your friends and family. 

We are living under extraordinary circumstances right now, but the rules that govern our trails are still in effect. Nearly all of CB Nordic’s trails are on private property. As such, they are governed by regulations created by our landowners and easements. Even though there’s a pandemic, even though schools are closed, even though it’s spring . . . we MUST continue to abide by these rules in order to protect future access to these trails. While the current circumstances will come and go, we want our trails to be there into perpetuity.

A quick refresher: 

    • Dogs are allowed on Town Ranch, Riverbend Trail, the Rec Path, Pooch’s Paradise, the Beaver Trail, and Mike’s Mile. Where dogs were not allowed before, they are still NOT allowed.
    • Fat biking and Walking are allowed on Town Ranch, Riverbend Trail, and the Rec Path. Where bikes and walking were not allowed, they are still NOT allowed.
    • The Town Ranch, Riverbend, and Rec Path trails have been and continue to be free to use. The other trails require a trail pass.
    • Crust skiing is allowed on public lands. 90%+ of our trails are on private lands. Please stay on the trails if you don’t know where you are. We suggest crust skiing around and past Mike’s Mile and out Washington Gulch. Please use the CBGTrails app to know where you are. 

TAPP CBG LogoPoint your dogs, bikes, and feet to Town Ranch and the Rec Path. For our other trails, the use of dogs, bikes, and walking not only compromises our access to these trails, but also does enormous damage to the trails this time of year. Foot prints, post-holes, dog poop, mud, etc. lead to the quick erosion of our snowpack and will lead to an earlier closure of the trails. Please help us be good stewards of these trails and the lands they are on! 

Please purchase a trail pass for any trails that are not usually free. While snow is free, grooming is not free. If we are going to be able to keep grooming these trails, we need your financial support through your Day/Season Pass purchase. You can purchase your day pass online here and purchase your season pass here. 

March 15, 2020
8 p.m.

As of Monday, March 16, the Nordic Center is closed to the public, but we are still open for skiing.

Our goal during this difficult time is what it’s always been: to support the health of our community. That means following state, county, and city guidelines for public health, thus the Nordic Center closure. We will continue to rigorously disinfect equipment and surfaces. It also means providing you and your family with healthy ways to get out of doors.

  • Grooming will continue. Trail Passes are still required.
  • Rentals and Day Passes will continue via online reservations and scheduled pick-up. 

How does it work?

  1. Reserve your Rental Equipment and Day Passes here. In order to simplify processes, we have made all rentals and day passes $20 (unless you are a season passholder or a child 16 and under).
  2. You’ll be given a choice of pick-up time. Please arrive at the front door (west side) of the Nordic Center at that time. One Nordic Center employee will come out with your equipment and a waiver to sign.
  3. All equipment is due back by 5 p.m. the same day. If you keep them overnight, you will be charged another day’s rental fee. To return your equipment, please lean it on the ski rack in front of the Nordic Center (west side). A Nordic Center employee will retrieve the equipment and match your equipment to that listed in your rental file. 

These are brand new procedures for us, so there are sure to be kinks that will need to be worked out. Thank you in advance for your patience. 

If you’re like us, recreating outside is even more necessary now. We’re doing our best to make this possible for you while still covering the costs associated with providing our services to the community. Thank you for doing your part to support our community nordic center so that we can continue to keep grooming and providing rental equipment. 

Things are changing rapidly in Gunnison County. Please continue to check our website in case of further changes to our operations. 

Sincerely,

The CB Nordic Staff & Board of Directors

March 13, 2020
11:00 a.m.

Crested Butte Nordic is closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation locally and nationally. At this time, we are taking measures to protect your safety and that of our staff. 

  • All programs are cancelled. This includes yurt dinners, the Backcountry Bistro, lessons, and Masters Programs.
  • We are keeping the front desk open for now. We are increasing the frequency and rigor of our cleaning procedures. 
  • Trails will remain groomed. All rules and regulations still apply. 
  • Please practice good public health measures. Please do not come into the Nordic Center if you or a family member are feeling sick. Practice “social distancing” at the Nordic Center and space 3-6 feet apart in lines and on benches. We have hand sanitizer at the front desk and hand soap in the restrooms. 

Our role in the community during this difficult time comes into sharp focus: to provide you with opportunities to get outside in winter that help you to be healthy, happy, and sane. It is with this mission clearly in mind that we stay open and keep the trails open. Circumstances are changing rapidly, so please stay tuned in case of other changes to our operations.