Friday, November 21, 2014

Trading the Downhill Skis for Nordic

Setting down tracks in Pagosa
The nordic/cross-country ski scene in New Mexico is not well established. Trails are sparse, the knowledge base is sparse, ski partners are few. For these reasons there's a frustrating dynamic in that decent and affordable used gear is simply not available for a newbie looking for an inexpensive entry to the trails. Alpine Sports or NM Bike N' Sport are great places to pickup a nice starter nordic setup for $400 and up, but there aren't many that will make this leap when you can flip that same coin for a seasons pass at the local mountain. A serious economic barrier to entry.

There is however one fine resource in town to bridge this cost/knowledge gap - Mr. Kelly Kellstedt. A one man outdoors shop with loads of used gear, personal tech services to swap out bindings or boot pairings, and the occasional buyer for un-used equipment laying around in storage. If you've ever browsed the nordic selection at the annual Santa Fe Ski Swap, Kelly's the guy selling 90% of what's available. He's an annual fixture there and he'll gladly talk you up and give you one of his cards because selling directly is better business than working the Swap. The man's also got a wealth of stories about river trips and general adventuring. I've prodded him in hopes of learning of unknown 'secret spots' in the backcountry. He offered several superlatives for the Colorado River. Not so secret, but hard to disagree with.

I think this season is going to have solid snow cover up here in the sierra norte, and I think I'll be out on my skinny boards quite a bit. I think other outdoorsy types want to be out there too if only they had the beta to make it work. I think this will help.

Related Posts:
 - Cross Country Skiing Santa Fe
 - Enchanted Forest Ski Trails
 - Ski Season Cometh - Santa Fe Ski Swap
 - Area Nordic Trails Listing

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