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Saturday, December 3, 2011

Grand Targhee Resort Embraces The Fat


Grand Targhee Resort Embraces The Fat

[ 8 ]November 30, 2011 | 
XXC Magazine once again welcomes our friend and contributor Dave Byers to the blog to talk fat bikes.
Grand Targhee Resort has become the first ski resort in the country to promote snow biking. Beginning this ski season, Grand Targhee will allow snow bikes on their groomed Nordic Trails as long as riders purchase a Nordic ticket for $10 per day or a Nordic season pass for $115. Grand Targhee is also hosting their first snow bike race on Sunday, January 15th to coincide with Teton Valley’s Winter Festival.
I have to admit that for the past two years I have considered donning a black ninja suit and poaching Targhee’s Nordic track at night just to experience the undulating terrain that we enjoy all summer on our mountain bikes… but I resisted the temptation. Now it is perfectly legal thanks to Grand Targhee’s Andy Williams.
Grand Targhee’s 2011/2012 winter season opened on Friday, Nov 25th so we rallied a posse of snow bike enthusiasts and headed up to Targhee to experience the Nordic trails on fat tires. The first thing that popped into my head as we left the parking lot and jumped onto the freshly groomed Nordic Connector Trail was that I felt guilty for riding on such pristine corduroy. That guilt quickly faded and turned into perma-grin as we climbed up to Rick’s Basin under bluebird skies and mild temps.
What is the riding like? My face is still sore from smiling so much. There are 6.15 miles of Nordic trails with 700’ of elevation gain available to snow bikers at Grand Targhee and the loop took us just under an hour to ride at a moderate pace. The trails are almost never flat and wind through numerous Aspen groves. The views do not suck either.
I applaud Grand Targhee Resort for their forward thinking and willingness to try something new. As long as snow bikers follow the rules and respect the trails when conditions are soft, I feel as if snow bikers and the Nordic skiers can coexist peacefully on the trails. When I head to the “Ghee” to ride the snow bike, I plan to also take a pair of skate skis with me just in case the trails are too soft to ride. It never hurts to have a “Plan B”.

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