Vista Verde Ranch, Colorado: www.vistaverde.com
The following article by Jill McKay has been provided by Vista Verde Ranch for use by xcskiworld.com. All rights reserved. Photo: Vista Verde Ranch
Best kept secret in the Rockies! - A ski vacation at Vista Verde Ranch is the perfect combination of a natural setting, nestled with luxurious cabins, gourmet cuisine, personalized attention and Amazing cross country skiing – which is the reason why we came! At Vista Verde, I quickly forgot my home-land routine and found a new, healthier one – Relaxing in the cozy cabin, Indulging in the tasting cuisine and Skiing, skiing, skiing! I skied everyday – working up my appetite for the Chef Jonathon’s next gourmet spread. I skied some days right from my cabin at the ranch on the 30 km of beautifully groomed tracks for both Classical and Skate skiing. I love the double set of classic tracks – my husband and I could ski together side by side. The last time I found double tracks like this was in Europe!
The guided Back Country tours into Routt National Forest were more beautiful and inspiring then I imagined. Our expert guides, Steve King and staff, showed us the Zirkel Wilderness Area, took us to scenic lookouts and even helped us try our hand at Telemark skiing. They seemed to always know our limits, helping us improve along the way and leaving us with a “wow”, inspired feeling. Let’s go…where are we going next?!
Having heard about the high-quality of instruction at the Ranch Nordic Center, I decided to take a skate ski lesson. I’ve been skate skiing for 2 years but knew I could use a few pointers. I learned more in 1 hour from the personalized attention I received – truly valuable. You could tell that Emily was a true professional in the industry – so many helpful tips delivered in a personal manner and the simple love of skiing. The Ranch trails were a perfect place to practice my new found technique – diverse with flat areas, rolling hills and peaceful skiing in and out of trees.
Sharing these ski experiences with the other guests was also a treat – Backcountry tours and lessons were always well thought-out by the guides and we were paired up with others of like ability, how fun! We also enjoyed a few private-trip outings where it was just the two of us and our guide. The other Ranch activities simply added to the diversity and fun of the whole experience: Horse back riding (in the snow! Where else can you do this?) , dog sledding, fishing, ice climbing, hot air ballooning, snowshoeing were also activities to fit in throughout the week! We were greeted each morning, along with a steaming cup of mountain brew coffee, to a smiling face and the simple question: “what do you all want to do today”. Again, the personalized approach to planning the activities was very special.
And how about a cozy afternoon indoors? The cooking class and wine tasting by Ranch Chef Jonathon Gillespie were icing on the cake! The lessons were classy, fun and totally absorbed us into Jonathon’s creative world. Such a knowledgeable, charismatic person. No wonder the meals are so incredible!
For more information: or www.vistaverde.com.
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