Winter Weekend on the Way in Leadville, Lake County
In many ways, winter is Lake County’s most active season. Whether skiing, mushing, sledding or pedal pushing, most high-mountaineers find a way to soar through the sometimes six-month long freeze keeping their heart rates up for warmth.
This weekend proves to be an eventful one with respect to recreation, as no less than four events will be taking place over Saturday, Feb. 11 and Sunday, Feb. 12. Registration is still open for all of these events, so whether competitor or spectator, make it out to these Lake County winter staples.
The Twin Lakes Ice Fishing Derby, after last year’s hiatus, is back this Saturday and Sunday. Title sponsor, the Leadville Rod & Gun Club, was able to find some fresh “bait” for its volunteer line, so it’s time to get the word out and Go Fishin! This annual Lake County event draws in hundreds of winter anglers from across the state to compete for cash and prizes.
Entry fee to the derby is only $40. For an application CLICK HERE. Paper applications can be picked up locally at the Leadville Sanitation District office at the corner of McWethy Drive and Highway 24 South, near the Dutch Henry Tubing Hill, or up until Friday, Feb 10 at Saturday’s Discount, located south of Leadville at 12655 US-24, at the Malta Curve.
The Mineral Belt Trail‘s colorful premier fundraiser, the Leadville Loppet returns in its 14th year on Sunday, Feb. 12. This Nordic-style cross-country ski race in it’s fourteenth year returns with its costumes, skinny skis
and hot blueberry soup. Comprising a 44k, 22k, 10k, and kids’ fun 5k and 1k, skiers of all ages and skill level are encouraged to join in to promote the maintenance and expansion of Leadville’s year-round recreation path. Events begin at 9:30 a.m., but registered skiers should show up early for packet information. Click here to read more on Leadville Today and register for the Loppet HERE.
The Cloud City Wheelers‘ (CCW) Winter Mountain Bike Series kicks off its 17th season with the Tennessee Pass Night Jam at Tennessee Pass Nordic Center on Saturday, Feb. 11. Join the Wheelers as headlights go soaring into the night for a 12-mile mountain bike race through the trees at Ski Cooper, finishing on single track with a party to follow. The CCW are a non-profit chapter of the International Mountain Bicycling Association and advocate youth recreation, trail maintenance and accessibility. The Tennessee Pass Night Jam starts at 6:15 p.m. with at registration cut-ff at 4 p.m. This is the first of five races that run through the season until April 15. Registration costs $20 while spectating is free! Tennessee Pass Nordic Center is at the foot of Ski Cooper on US 24.
Finally, the Colorado Mountain Mushers (CMM) are dropping by for their Mount Massive Mush race at Mt. Massive Golf Course on February 11 and 12. The CMM are state-wide dogsled and joring competitors who have been around since the 1980s. They’re back for the second time to Leadville’s golf course where various apparatuses pulled by up to eight dogs will tear onto an eight mile track, all racing for trophies that will be awarded in 11 categories. Click here to link to an entry form for this event.
Be sure, the winter racing doesn’t end there. Much more is around the bend in Lake County. The Leadville High Altitude Snow Drags Races are set for Saturday, Feb. 18; both the Pedal Power and Cloud City Wheelers race series continue with races on March 4, and the fourth Cooper Cup takes place at Ski Cooper on February 19. And of course, perhaps the biggest and proudest annual event, Leadville Ski Joring returns the first weekend of March, 4 & 5. Rivaled only by Leadville Boom Days in its infamy, this crowd-pleasing cowboy spectacle features a full course built on historic Harrison Avenue, the Calcutta auction, skiers, horses, and orange hoops.
Check the Leadville Today calendar for everything coming up, recreational or otherwise, and always keep active in Colorado’s highest city! It’s easy after all.