Breckenridge Nordic Center PACKING TRAILS NOW WITH THIS NEW SNOW and we recommend first timers and people with difficulty walking and/or with balance try skiing with Tip-Skins - Ideal for the More Cautious or First Time Skier
We strongly recommend using X-C Ski Tip-Skins for all first time skiers, especially if conditions are fast and less forgiving. They are to skiing, what training wheels are to a bicycle. You may only need them for a short time or may prefer to keep using them. They provide thirty percent more grip and less glide, providing more control.
Ruth came through the door of the Breckenridge Nordic Center in tears. “That’s it, I just can’t ski anymore. I don’t feel safe because it’s too slippery”. Ruth, a seventy nine year old grandmother of twelve from Cedar Rapids, Iowa had been skiing with us for over three decades. She and her husband whom we called “the invisible man”, was such an avid alpine skier, we rarely saw him at the Nordic Center. With their extended family in the Midwest, they would keep an eye on the weather, and pick the best times to make several two week vacations to Breckenridge, Colorado. Ruth had become a member of the Breckenridge Nordic family. She was so familiar with the operations, that we gave her a name tag and she would frequently answer the phones when we were busy. Her time off trail was spent reading, or enjoying the soup of the day in our cozy lodge, as she rested up for another loop of the her favorite trail “Troll Forest”. Two complete knee replacements did not stop her from enjoying her outings in the mountains. She and her husband chose Breckenridge after an extensive tour of the country’s western ski resorts. “You find a Nordic Center that you like honey and well buy our second home there” said her husband of forty years. So they did, and we have enjoyed her visits. “Ruth’s here, we can start the season now” we’d announce, when she’d arrive for the first of her annual visits.
Now what? Here she is, ready to stop Nordic skiing at seventy nine because she felt “out of control”. Trail conditions vary, even with the best grooming equipment available especially in the spring when the temperature can fluctuate fifty degrees or more and you get freezing and thawing, and hence ice. Scott Yule, local endurance sports hero and Mark Taylor, had the answer for saving skiing for Ruth. Mark made up a couple pairs of what Scott had described as “tip skins”. The “tip-skin” that Mark made up for us consisted of a retired climbing skin cut to reach from the tip of the ski to the tip of the toe of the waxless kick zone of the ski. I went to the wax room and there were the tip skins Mark had given us the previous season. I placed them on Ruth’s favorite waxless cross county skis. Reluctantly, she put them on and returned to the classic set tracks in front of the Nordic lodge. I walked along side, as she made a few timid strides. It seemed at this moment, a whole new era of Nordic ski instruction blossomed. She was astounded at the improved control she experienced, and it gave her a new of level of confidence. “You saved my sport for me, now I can ski my favorite trails and I never have to take my skis off”.
Breckenridge is known for all types innovations in skiing. It was the first Alpine area in the west to embrace Telemark skiing, Freestyle skiing, and Snowboarding. Now the Breckenridge Nordic Center can provide ski tip-skin skiing for those wanting to enjoy the Nordic ski trails, but who are in need of more control and/or are more cautious by nature. They are also ideal for the beginning Nordic skier.
Written by Gene L. Dayton, Professional Ski Instructor Association - Examiner/Member 35 years, and operator of the Breckenridge Nordic Ski Center, Inc. E-mail: PapaNordic@hotmail.com or call 970-453-6855 for more information.
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