Vicky Santibanez, left, and Alina Biernacki, 11, of Lafayette, return to the Bear Lake Trail Head after a snowshoe hike in Rocky Mountain National Park. Walt Hester | For the Colorado Daily

Since I’m taking a break from climbing by pouring myself into a brand new sport — skate skiing — I’ve had to learn a few things.

I’ve learned that pulling my entire carcass up a hill on skis with my teeny-tiny triceps is a bad idea. (Fortunately, my excellent teacher, Peter Marshall, pointed this out and showed me how to recruit some bigger muscles for the job.)

I’ve learned that waxing your skate skis and discussing wax and waxing is perhaps the best opportunity a Nordic skier has to geek out on a regular basis. Climbers geek out like this by talking about gear or route beta (complete with hand/arm gestures — “air climbing”) ad nauseam. But when our new Nordic pal Alan took me and the hub under his waxing wing and taught us how to wax our own skis last weekend, I realized we were indulging in some mega geek time…and loved it.

I also learned a new and essential word from Tracy Ross, a fab writer I know, when I ran into her at Eldora’s Nordic center a couple of weekends ago.

“What are you working on lately, Tracy?” I asked.

“Well I was going to write about Nordorking…” she said.

And a great big non-SmartRegs compliant light bulb flicked on in my head.

Nordorking. I’m so already there. No explanation required. Thank you, Tracy.

And this weekend, I’m Nordorking out in the biggest way I can muster by signing up for the Rocky Mountain Orienteering Club’s Ski-O and Snowshoe-O on Sunday at Eldora.

An explanation might be required here. From the club’s website, rmoc.org:

“In orienteering, you use a map and compass to locate a series of checkpoints shown on a specialized topographic map. You choose the route, either on or off trail, that will help you find all the checkpoints and get to the finish line in the shortest amount of time.”

The only other orienteering event I’ve done was in a corn maze in the fall — on foot. The Ski-O race this weekend will take place on Eldora’s Nordic trails. I thought about snowshoeing it, because my skiing isn’t exactly race ready at this point.

But if I snowshoed, what kind of Nordork would I be?

Info: Preregister at rmoc.org by 11:59 p.m. Friday. Registration and starts between 9:30 and 11 a.m. Sunday.

Moony snow
Not in the mood to race? Want to stop and smell the snow?

Well I don’t blame you. A stroll sounds nicer than racing until I puke.

But don’t worry — if you do the Full Moon Ski and Snowshoe at Eldora on Saturday night, you’ll be out there 12 hours ahead of me and thus won’t risk seeing my breakfast along the trail.

There’s a chance of snow Saturday night, but hey, don’t let that deter you! This night ski and snowshoe only comes along every, well, you know, every lunar cycle.

Info: 5 to 8 p.m. Saturday; eldora.com/mountain.event.php

Winter Trails Days
If this is all sounding rather intriguing but you’ve never even tried snowshoeing, this event’s for you.

There are two nearby events for Winter Trails Day this month. The first is Saturday at Echo Lake State Park, which is along the road to the top of Mount Evans. Take your driver’s license to register for the event, which will get you trying the demo snowshoes on hand (assuming there’s enough snow up there to warrant flotation).

Next weekend, you can do Winter Trails Day all over again in Rocky Mountain National Park.

Unless you’re busy Nordorking out by then.

Info: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday; wintertrails.org

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