This past weekend we, with the encouragement of some friends, decided to try out nordic skiing at the Breckenridge Nordic Center. We weren’t quite sure what we were in for but it ended up being a fun, tough, rewarding half-day of hiking-slash-skiing.
We stopped into the nordic center a little before lunch and took care of rentals (they can rent you the boots, skis and poles) and a day pass (you can get a ‘punch card’ if you plan to come back multiple times). Most day trippers were going out in snowshoes, a solid choice, but we were going to do nordic. Had we ever before? Nope. Were we going to do a lesson? Nope. Tally-ho!
First off, I’ve been downhill alpine skiing most of my life. But I fell about a half-dozen times (at least) on those nordic skis. The skis don’t really have edges, are super smooth underneath, and much narrower than I ever imagined. I wasn’t great at keeping my balance…
Next, I didn’t realize how much work and hill climbing was involved in nordic skiing. We ended up taking a few moderate and hard (“black”) trails and I’m not convinced I was able to go much faster on nordic skis uphill than walking. I didn’t quite master the “skate” move. In retrospect, I’m sure there were plenty of flat, cross-country trails we could’ve taken. But, we had a goal: make it to the Hallelujah Hut.
The Hallelujah warming hut is on Peak 7 in the White River National Forest. So, technically its up in “New Nordic World”. It’s a great destination and a respectable goal for anyone snowshoeing or nordic skiing from the Nordic Center. I can’t quite read the map but it looks to be over 5 KM to it.
When we arrived at the hut it was surprising how nice, well kept, and cozy it was. There are some board games, a guest book, and even a gas fireplace to keep warm with. The hut was restored back in the 1990’s and was a great place to sit out and take a rest before heading back.
Overall, we spent a solid half-day working hard and learning a new skill. I’d recommend a day of nordic skiing to anyone willing to try.