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Friluftsliv is a Norwegian word that translates to “free-air life.” It’s a way of living that emphasizes moving your body in the outdoors, and connecting with nature and with the environment. It’s also the spirit that we hope to celebrate with the Grand Mesa Friluftsliv Skiathon, a new fundraising and community-building event we’re hosting this year. This event is an opportunity for you to come and connect with the Grand Mesa by skiing and pushing yourself to experience as much of our trails as you wish. This event has something for everyone.

The Grand Mesa Friluftsliv Skiathon is scheduled to take place on Saturday, February 17 from 10AM-3PM at Skyway and County Line Trailheads. We invite skiers of all levels and abilities to ski as far as you can while collecting donations and fundraising for the GMNC. For some folks this might mean skiing a 5K, for others it could mean setting a goal for the season’s longest ski, but whatever your interests, the goal is to celebrate being outdoors, to embrace the beauty of winter on our trails, and to take time to connect with nature – to breathe in fresh air and to appreciate the simplicity and raw beauty of our winter landscape. We hope that this event offers a time and space for anyone who wishes to participate to find the purity, clarity, and joy that Nordic skiing can offer.

To participate in this event, there is a $30 registration fee that includes a soup and hot cocoa lunch at Skyway Trailhead provided by Lost Mesa Grill and Octopus Coffee. The first 35 registrants will receive a cool Friluftsliv swag item.  Distance skied will be reported on the honor system. This is a FUN event, not intended to be competitive but rather an opportunity to enjoy a day on our trails while fundraising for the GMNC to support our operations, grooming, and programming. Prizes will be awarded to the top male and female that ski the furthest distances and to the top two fundraisers (thank you, Jagged Edge Mountain Gear!).  There will be FUN participation prize categories, too, thanks to the generosity of an anonymous, long-time GMNC member including best costume, most photos taken, and most time spent savoring the trails. 

Huge thanks to our event sponsor Starr’s Guitars in Cedaredge.

A bit of background:

The GMNC intentionally offers low cost, affordable memberships to individuals and families. For instance, Telluride Nordic Center charges $200 for an individual membership and $400 for a family membership, Crested Butte is $300 for an adult membership, and Breckenridge Nordic is $310 for a 10-punch adult pass. An annual GMNC individual membership is $75 and family membership is $125. Our goal is to allow anyone and everyone who wishes to be a part of our Nordic community the opportunity to do so. We wish for our trails to be inclusive and accessible, not presenting any financial constraints to those who want to ski and snowshoe.  

This said, it is only with fundraising events like this that we are able to meet our operating budget. Our low membership fees alone do not meet the mark, and it is opportunities such as this that allow us to fundraise and meet budget, ensuring that our membership fees stay affordable and not prohibitive to everyone who wants to get outdoors, enjoy world-class grooming, and become a part of our GMNC community.

How It Works:

Register for the Grand Mesa Friluftsliv Challenge online at

  • Registration is $30 and includes a soup lunch at Skyway Trailhead.

Your own participant fundraising page will be created on our online platform.

  • You will receive an email within a day of registration enabling you to personalize this page and set your fundraising goal.

Fundraise for the GMNC!  Sponsorship donations can be made now through February 25, 2024.

  • Make sure to let donors know that processing fees and Stripe transaction fees are OPTIONAL, and the option can be selected to NOT cover these costs.  However, by covering processing costs, the platform is available to the GMNC for free, and by covering transaction fees, the GMNC keeps 100% of the donation.
  • Share your fundraising page electronically and on social media by using your fundraising page.
  • Donations can be made online with credit card or by cash or check and applied manually to your fundraising goal.

Ski your heart out and have fun while doing it, knowing that your effort and energy are supporting the work of the GMNC!

Online registration has now closed.  Event day registration is available at Skyway Trailhead from 10AM-3PM.