Nordic skiers play waiting game |

Nordic skiers play waiting game

Emma Garrard/Sierra Sun file photoJohn Cobourn of Truckee skate skis at Royal Gorge at Lake Van Norden Saturday afternoon. Royal Gorge opened 39 miles of groomed trails last Friday.

The post Thanksgiving snowfall that fired up winter sports enthusiasts is dwindling, leaving area cross country ski resorts longing for another dose.

Royal Gorge and Auburn Ski Club are the only cross country ski areas open for Nordic skiing. Both opened to the public on Dec. 1.

Carol Ellis, marketing director Royal Gorge, said the opener attracted many novice Nordic skiers to the resort.

“We have had a lot of beginners and lessons today, which is unusual (for opening weekend),” Ellis said on Saturday. “It is usually a lot season pass holders.”

North America’s largest cross country ski resort, according to its Web site, Royal Gorge is offering nine trails seven days a week for an early-season price of $10.

Though the base of snow is thin, the resort is hosting the High Sierra Nordic Camp from Wednesday through Saturday this week.

While not opening to the public until Dec. 1, Auburn Ski Club allowed Nordic prep teams ” including Truckee High, Colfax, Nevada Union and Alder Creek Middle School ” to begin training on Nov. 29, said Carl Baer, assistant Nordic director at the resort.

Baer said there is roughly a 16-inch base of snow, with five of its 20 trails open, and two of its 15 kilometers.

“It better snow,” Baer said, referring to the snow forecast for the weekend.

Tahoe Donner, Tahoe Cross Country and Spooner Lake cross country ski areas have yet to open, and Kirkwood has 10 kilometers of trail available for snowshoeing but has yet to offer Nordic skiing. All four resorts have less than a six-inch base.

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