Touring center season starts

No charge for Nordic skiing activities through Saturday

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J.J. Ross exercises on the Steamboat Ski Touring Center's 10-kilometer trail on Wednesday. The Touring Center is now open for the season.

— The Steamboat Ski Touring Center opened for the season Wednesday after crews groom ed all 15 kilometers of trails.

Operator Birgitta Lindgren said the storms that swept through Steamboat during the weekend and Tuesday produced ample coverage for early season skiing conditions.

"After we groomed on Tuesday, the packed snow in the teaching area was 4 inches deep," Lindgren said. "We have everything rolled and we're trying to improve the grooming."

In acknowledgment of the early season conditions, Lindgren is offering free skiing through Sunday.

Looking ahead, the forecast from the National Weather Service in Grand Junction suggests the trails will set up during frigid overnight temperatures, but daily high temperatures rising into the 40s could erode the base. There is a 20 percent chance of snow in the forecast for Saturday.

Lindgren said opening the Touring Center, which operates on the Sheraton Steamboat Golf Course, in mid-November isn't unusual.

"In the last 27 years, we've been open for Thanksgiving except for two years," Lindgren said.

In the meantime, the Steamboat Nordic Council reports Bruce's Trail on Rabbit Ears Pass continues to be groomed with every snowfall.

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