Skyway Skuffle a great race for ordinary skiers

As the race director and a competitor, Tom Ella may not have time to hit the slopes during Saturday’s Grand Mesa Nordic Council Skyway Skuffle 10-kilometer freestyle race on Grand Mesa.

But he hopes the ordinary skier will come out and race the rolling course.

The Skyway Skuffle begins at 11 a.m., but registration begins at 10 a.m. Entry fee is $10 for Grand Mesa Nordic Council members and $15 for non-members. Hot soup will be served afterward, along with various giveaways.

Ella said early season conditions on the mesa that are the best in the state should make for great racing.

“Grand Mesa seems to be able to catch snow early in the season and we’ve captured it with our grooming and we’ve been skiing for almost two months now,” Ella said. “People are coming from around the state to ski Grand Mesa. Hopefully it means a big turnout for the race.”

Ella expects between 50 and 60 competitors, most of whom are ordinary skiers.

“Mainly people watching are skiing anyway and come to watch the skiers go by,” Ella said. “Of course, the start and finish is right by the parking lot. And it’s fun to watch people skiing fast.”

As a bonus, the weather could be sunny.

“The weather is always a huge contributor to turnout and it looks like it will be a nice day,” Ella said. “We do encourage people to come out and give it a try. It’s casual. There’s always some hot shots, but it’s designed for the citizens.”


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