Adventures in XC Skiing

By: Kelly Graff

Crested Butte offers a wide array of winter adventures. For most, the extreme skiing is what comes to mind. However, one of my favorite past times is cross-country skiing. It is one of my favorite ways to get out and enjoy Crested Butte’s beautiful surroundings. Below are the reasons I love to do it. 

1. Solitude - I am a long distance runner who likes to go on solo runs. It’s my happy place and where I get to disconnect. In the summer I can run up any peak by myself and not have to be fearful of getting myself into dangerous areas. Cross -country skiing allows me to be able to get out and get some distance under solo, where backcountry skiing is a group activity. There are several groomed classic cross country trails that are out of avalanche terrain where I can go, put my head down, and get my heart rate up. 

2. Nature – I moved to the mountains to be able to have easy access. In less then 10 minutes there are so many different places that you can park, throw your skis on and go explore. I cannot describe to how beautiful and different our landscape looks depending on the seasons. In the winter when everything is coated in white it looks like something fairy tales are made of. There is a certain quietness when everything in blanketed in snow. On bluebird days the contrast of the white snow and blue sky are unreal. All I can say is that it is magical. While most people prefer the bluebird days the snowy days can be just as mesmerizing. I like to equate it to walking in snow globe. You have these giant snowflakes falling and are surrounding by landscape that looks like something you saw on a postcard growing up. 

3. Adventure – The great thing about cross-country skiing is that you can make it as adventurous as you want. For a quick ski you can get out on a groomed trail or when you have more time you can go off in the woods and create your own trail. 

4. Friends – Cross-country skiing is a great way to get out with your friends and family. I love it because your skill level doesn’t matter. Anyone can get the hang of it. My friends and I go out on warm sunny days and joke around while skiing in our t-shirts. My family and I always go for a ski around the holidays. We range from 6 month old to 68 years old. There is no better way to spend time with family. 

5. Dog Friendly – Cross-country skiing is a great way for dogs and their owners to get out and play in the winter. While many groomed trails that require passes are not dog friendly the non paid trails are a dog utopia. They have ample opportunities to run around, sniff and meet other pups to play with.

Filed under: Colorado Winter

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