Unchained Winter Sports in Leadville
Ski, Skate, Pedal, Sled – It’s SNOWtime!
As the wall calendar flips to a new month it’s time to check in on #wintersports in Leadville Today. How are the virtual competitions going? How are the winter trails looking? It’s some winter sports #newyoucan use as the recent storms continue to leave measurable snow on the ground every few days.
It’s been great to see Leadville friends and families getting out and enjoying all of the recreational opportunities just outside the backdoor, from cross country skiing with the dogs to taking a spin on the skates at Huck Finn Ice Rink. Yes, it’s disappointing to not be able to gather in friendly competition for Leadville’s traditional Winter events, many are are still happening virtually, thanks to the dedication from organizers.
Loppet’s Month-Long Ski-Extravaganza
Today kicks off the Leadville Loppet which will be held virtually in 2021 with competitors logging their own data throughout the month.
In January the race organizers determined “In the interest of the health and safety of our community, we are going virtual this year.” Starting today, February 1 through February 28, 2021, Leadville Loppet competitors will log their skied (classic and skate) kilometers in RunSignUp from wherever you are racing. Once a milestone distance is reached, you will receive a fun Leadville-themed digital badge via email.
While the favorite awards ceremony and soup-fest will not take place this year, please note that 100% of the proceeds will go towards winter grooming of the Mineral Belt Trail. Register to participate and donate an additional $25 to receive a Melanzana Leadville Loppet hat.
“We hope that you’ll join us in celebrating the beauty of Leadville and cross-country skiing from wherever you are in the world!” the group stated.
Whoa! To The Grandaddy of ‘Em All
Leadville Ski Joring (LSJ) is still uncertain. The latest conversation with Lake County officials can be viewed on this YouTube link, beginning at point (2:31:35). The discussion involves LSJ organizer Duffy Counsell’s idea to slide the racecourse off of Harrison Avenue down to McWethy Drive. This current plan is in response to the LSJ’s initial meeting with city officials where it was determined that the event could NOT be held downtown, nor have ANY spectators.
In the end, Counsell was left with more questions than answers, including the thoughtful observation (2:53:24) from Paul Clarkson with Lake County Land Use and Building Department which will issue the final permit should the event move forward in its proposed venue: “I can’t imagine that spectators aren’t going to come.”
The questions concerning crowd control leave city, county, and most certainly Lake County Public Health officials with eroding public trust issues as leadership credibility crumbles a bit more with each adoption of unenforceable COVID-19 restrictions, leading to the cancellation of economic-driven events.
- “Why is it possible to cram on a bus at Copper Mountain and ski with 1000’s of people from all over the country (and then come back and go in and out of Safeway and all of the restaurants in town) but it is not possible to watch a horse run by on Harrison Ave?” posted LT reader Jared Schneekloth.
Or more directly from the business community via Dawn Todd: “What’s the point? It makes no sense! I love the comment about skiers on the bus and stuff so very true! We need things that are going to help out local businesses, how will this be helpful to anyone ???”
For Leadville Ski Joring fans and those new to the sport, one of the conversations on LT’s social media platforms was where the skier-meets-horse racecourse has been located over the years since its 1949 inception. Longtime competitor and volunteer Tony Fox help provide part of that history:
Leadville Ski Joring was brought to Harrison Ave in 1994 with the revival of the Crystal Carnival. Prior to 94, it was held for many years in various locations, including poverty flats (present-day Railyard property) and Poplar. I believe at one time in the early ’50s, it was held for a brief time on Harrison but was moved to the outskirts of town. I was proud to work with community leaders and many volunteers to bring ski joring back to Leadville’s downtown in 1994, but the fact that it has remained on Harrison for almost 27 continuous years is a testament to the community itself.
Leadville Winter Mountain Bike Series
The first event in the Leadville Winter Mountain Bike Series was held virtually in 2021 and wrapped up yesterday, January 31. The Colorado Cup allowed participants to log in times and distance from Saturday, Jan. 23 through Sunday, Jan. 31 on the singletrack course designated up at the #fatbike trails at Colorado Mountain College.
Looks like there were plenty of sweet giveaways and prizes! Results will be posted to the Cloud City Wheelers website when compiled. Next up in the series will be Tennessee Pass (Night Jam) this coming weekend. While this fat-bike-favorite is usually held at night with a festive awards party, for 2021, the course will be marked out at the Tennessee Pass Nordic Center.
Racers will be able to log data from Friday, Feb 5 – thru Sunday, Feb7 and again the following weekend, but only from 5-7 p.m. according to the website.
“The Pandemic might have changed things around a bit, but not enough to stop us from doing what we love,” concluded Sterling Mudge, Executive Director of The Cloud City Wheelers.
The Leadville Winter Mountain Bike Series is typically the largest fundraising event with 100% of the proceeds being put directly back into the Lake County trails community. So please support them through this virtual season. All the details and registration HERE. Kudos to the local bike club for keeping ‘em spinning through the snow this winter.
Ice Rink Stays Busy
The youth hockey league continues to play out at the Huck Finn Ice Rink on Tuesday evenings. And The Cloud City Curling League has been drawing some big crowds at their dedicated ice rink right next door on Wednesday nights. The rink has been looking good this season and it’s been great to see families getting outside and enjoying the winter season, which has its own built-in masks need as temperatures hover close to freezing in recent days.
Cooper Hill Mid-Season Report
The 2021 Colorado Ski Season has definitely looked a bit different this year as resorts make adjustments to stay open under the current Colorado Public Health restrictions. And so it goes for Leadville’s local Ski Cooper. Required mask-wearing is one of the COVID-19 policies that Cooper’s General Manager Dan Torsell addresses in this video released January 31.
The video update includes everything you need to know concerning current restrictions and requirements guests need to plan for when heading out to Leadville’s ski hill. Thanks to all the dedicated Ski Cooper staff for keeping things running smoothly through these challenging times!
Keep Things Flowing With Tai Chi
For winter athletes looking to keep everything flowing in the right direction, consider the New Beginner Tai Chi class in Leadville starting this Thursday, Feb. 4 from 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. This weekly Beginner Tai Chi class meets at the Ray of Light on the corner of W 6th and Pine St in Leadville, CO. Pricing: $40 for 4 consecutive classes or $15 drop in. For more information visit: www.ElaineWaters.com
Learn the art and movement of Tai Chi in a relaxed and supportive environment, from a longtime, local instructor. Tai Chi is both a moving meditation, as a well as a sophisticated martial art.
- Tai Chi practice cultivates awareness, and the wisdom of the senses, thereby developing the mind-body connection.
- Tai Chi practice calms the temper and clears the mind.
- Tai Chi postures flow together with a rhythm that has a lubricating effect on the body joints.
For more information, connect at Elaine Water’s website.
New Year 2021: Twice as Nice on Ice