Post Mortem on 2014 Winter Trails Day

Strong turn-out where there was snow — except in Colorado

WinterTrails-logoThe 19th annual Winter Trails Day on January 11 experienced a strong turnout at recurring locations with good snow, especially in the Midwest with attendance up 20 to 30 percent at some venues, according to administrator Reese Brown, who noted that snowsports newcomers were “very excited” for this year’s event. It’s a free intro, which might enhance the excitement. However, other events were canceled in the Pacific Northwest and California due to low or no snow and driving, then freezing rain in the Mid-Atlantic and New England region.

Colorado’s two big Winter Trails Days that focused on snowshoeing were canceled, but not because of weather. REI’s Denver flagship store, which traditionally provided loaner equipment and personnel for the event at Echo Lake in the foothills west of Denver, has had major changes in personnel and is “not ready” for this year. The Estes Park/Rocky Mountain National Park event generally held a week later was canceled because the park’s and the town’s were severely strained by wildfire, the federal government shutdown and catastrophic September floods.