New Fat Bike Race Series, Skills Camps & Clinics, Winter Nordic Festival and Guided Snowshoe Tours will highlight the event-filled season
This winter will mark the first full Nordic season for new Snow Mountain Ranch Nordic Director Bill Pierce, and he’s wasted no time making huge strides in innovating the center’s winter programming, trail conditions and special events calendar.
“The mission of the YMCA of the Rockies and Snow Mountain Ranch is to ‘put Christian Principles into practice through programs, staff and facilities in an environment that builds healthy spirit, mind and body for all’,” Pierce says. “I saw huge opportunity to incorporate all of those pillars, but especially ‘body’, into everything we do this winter at the Nordic Center.”
Over the summer, Pierce and his trail crew developed more than eight km of new Nordic trails, expanded the dog-sledding trails, maintained and improved the dedicated system of trails for fat biking and snowshoeing, and dreamed up big plans for a Nordic terrain park – coming this winter.
Last season, Snow Mountain Ranch partnered with Full Circle Cyclery in Granby to bring guests six rental fat bikes, which proved to be a hugely popular alternative sport to skiing and snowshoeing. This year, Pierce partnered with Trek to purchase a fleet of more than eight bikes for the ranch. Seeking to meet the demand for fat biking in the area, Pierce has even developed a progressive Fat Bike Race Series to be held at Snow Mountain Ranch this winter. The race series model intends to attract guests who are just experiencing winter biking for the first time and even those who are seasoned riders of the fat tire bikes with two distances per race – one shorter distance and one longer.
Pierce spent 17 years with the American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation (ABSF) and served on its Board of Directors for 11 years, seven of those years as its President. Pierce has also served as Chief of Course and Grooming and managed over 100k of trail system for the ABSF. Bill’s coaching and event experiences span more than three decades. His obvious love for training has already translated into his work at Snow Mountain Ranch. From the ultra-athlete to the first-timer, Pierce envisions the Nordic Center to truly be a place “for all.”
Needless to say, this winter at Snow Mountain Ranch will be more exciting, more progressive and more inclusive than ever before thanks to a wide range of activities, each fulfilling part of the YMCA of the Rockies’ mission.
New this season at Snow Mountain Ranch Nordic Center:
- Snow Mountain Ranch Fat Bike Race Series – fat bike races that progress in distance from 10k to 40k.
- Ski Camps/Clinics – need to hone those skills, prepare for a race or just join a Nordic community? Our four-day clinics can help you with that on select weekends in November and March.
- Snow Mountain Ranch Winter Festival – March 17-20, 2016 will mark the first-ever winter festival at the ranch and will include BBQs, technique clinics, AT skiing, celebrity athlete appearances and your chance to ski with the pros.
- Free Guided Snowshoe and XC Ski Tours – let our guides lead you while you snowshoe or ski to some of the most beautiful places at Snow Mountain Ranch, including the Waterfall, Gold Mine, the Nordic Yurt and Rowley Homestead. Let us treat you to hot chocolate and s’mores along the way. Perfect for families of all ages and ability levels.
For more details on membership/Nordic Center season passes, events & activities or to become involved with Snow Mountain Ranch, please visit www.snowmountainranch.org/nordic-center.