The 2019 Ski for Light, Inc. International Week will be held from Sunday evening, January 27 through Sunday morning, February 3, 2019. First and second year guides will need to arrive one day early, by Saturday afternoon, January 26th, for guide orientation and training.
The 2019 Ski for Light, Inc. International Week will be held at Snow Mountain Ranch in Granby, Colorado, near Winter Park. The skiing portion of the Ski for Light week has been held at Snow Mountain Ranch ten previous times, from 1992 to most recently 2017. This year, as in 2017, we will not only be skiing at Snow Mountain Ranch, we will be staying in three of the hotel and ski lodge buildings on the property. This will allow attendees to ski onto the trails just a short distance from their lodging.
Snow Mountain Ranch is a 5,100 acre complex at an elevation of 8,750 feet. The site was originally the location of two high-country homesteads, the Just Ranch established in 1895 and the Rowley Homestead established in 1919. Many of the buildings are still standing, near the Nordic Center and on the trails, as a reminder of what life was like in this rugged country a century ago. The YMCA of the Rockies acquired the property in 1966 and created the recreational mecca that it is today.
On the grounds of Snow Mountain Ranch are a 100 kilometer cross country trail system that is consistently rated as one of the best Nordic venues in the country. There is even a lighted 2 kilometer loop near the Nordic Center for those who do not get enough skiing during the day. Trails are wide and wonderfully well groomed. Also on the property are a lighted tubing hill, a covered outdoor ice skating rink, fat bike, snow shoe and hiking trails, an indoor pool and sauna, a roller skating rink, an indoor climbing wall, a craft center, a horse stable, and much more. Visit the Snow Mountain Ranch website for a complete listing of all of the activities available on the property for guests. While cross country skiing will as always be the only official Ski for Light activity, attendees will have many options available to them for their leisure hours.
Getting to and From Snow Mountain Ranch
Unless you are driving to Snow Mountain Ranch you will want to fly into and out of the Denver International Airport for your trip to Ski for Light. The Denver Airport is about 115 miles from Snow Mountain Ranch, a trip that usually takes from 2.5 to 3 hours depending on traffic and the weather.
Ski for Light will provide free charter bus service between the Denver airport and Snow Mountain Ranch. If you wish to take advantage of this service please be sure to schedule your arrival in Denver for no later than 1:30 pm on your arrival day, and your departure for no earlier than 10:00 am on departure day, Sunday February 3rd.
Please be sure to read the 2017 Arrival and Departure Information page for additional important information that you will need before making your travel plans.
The trip from the airport will take you westward on I 70 to and through the city of Denver, and then onward and upward into the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains. In Clear Creek Canyon you will exit onto U.S. Highway 40, and then climb steadily upward on switchbacks until you reach the summit of Berthoud Pass at an elevation of 11,307 feet. This route to the Fraser Valley was discovered by Edward Berthoud and Jim Bridger in 1861 when they were searching for a route through the mountains for the railroad. After passing the summit you will drop down into the valley and pass the Winter Park Ski Resort before arriving in Granby and reaching your destination for the week.
Lodging For The Week
We will be using three separate buildings on the grounds of Snow Mountain Ranch for lodging. Each building contains only rooms of a specific type.
The rooms in all three buildings have a private bathroom, in room telephone and wireless internet access, but none contain a television. Linens and towels are provided and there is daily maid service. Each building has a central lounge area for games and relaxation, with free tea and coffee service.
Indian Peaks Lodge is a traditional hotel type building: each of the 79 rooms in Indian Peaks contains two queen beds, a sofa sleeper, a mini fridge, a microwave oven and a balcony or patio; Indian Peaks will be used for single and double occupancy rooms.
Aspenbrook Lodge is a ski lodge type building. Each of the 47 rooms in Aspenbrook contains two queen beds and one set of bunk beds; Aspenbrook will be used for single , double and triple occupancy rooms.
Silver Sage Lodge is also a ski lodge type building. Each of the 47 rooms in Silver sage contains one queen bed and
two sets of bunk beds; Silver Sage will be used for quadruple occupancy rooms, and as an overflow facility for single , double and triple occupancy rooms should it be necessary.
There are wheelchair accessible rooms in each building. In Asspenbrook and Silver Sage the wheelchair accessible rooms have one queen bed and one set of bunk beds, rather than the descriptions above.
View the Silver Sage photo gallery
View the Snow Mountain Ranch Property Map.
Meals During The Week
At Ski for Light all meals are group meals, meaning meals with a fixed
menu and in a location apart from other guests, as follows:
Breakfast each day will be in Schlessman Commons, a five minute walk from each of the three lodging buildings. From Monday through Saturday breakfast is a “distributed buffet”,
which means a number of items pre set on each table, such as hard
boiled eggs, yogurt, granola, fresh fruit and similar items, for those desiring a lighter
breakfast, and two to four hot food stations that offer items such as
scrambled eggs, oatmeal or cream of wheat, which rotate
from day to day. Breakfast on the final Sunday is a continental
Lunch each day is a buffet at the Skinny Ski Cafe
on the upper level of the Snow Mountain Ranch Nordic Center. The
buffet includes hot entrees, sandwiches, soup and similar items.
Dinner each evening, also in Schlessman Commons, is a served, plated meal. The four meal plans that are available for the week are the Standard menu plan, which includes red meat, poultry and fish, the Pescatarian menu plan, which includes eggs, dairy products and fish
as well as other sources of protein (legumes and soy) but
no red meat or poultry, and gluten free versions of both the standard and pescatarian menu plan. Attendees must choose one menu plan for the entire week, with their choice noted to the wait staff by the color of the name tag that they must wear at dinners.
The Ski Area
The Colorado Rockies are renowned for their dry powder snow. This makes skiing a real joy for skiers of all ability levels. It is also quite common for the early morning chill to turn into sunny and clear weather by the middle of the day. At an elevation of nearly 9,000 feet, the sun can be intense and skiers will need to remember to bring their sun block: sunburn is much more common than frostbite at Snow Mountain Ranch.
The trail system covers more than 100 kilometers, with plenty of terrain for every ability level. There are practice loops and hills right outside the Nordic Center for those new to the sport.
The Nordic Center is a large two story building with upper level decks for sunning and warming. On the lower level are storage spaces, waxing benches and the rental shop. On the upper level is the Skinny Ski Cafe where we will have lunch.
View the Snow Mountain Ranch Trail Map.
View Current trail conditions.
Cost For The Week
The total cost of the week is:
- $1,125 for single-occupancy in Indian Peaks Lodge
- $950 for single-occupancy in Aspenbrook or Silver sage Lodge
- $775 for double-occupancy in Indian Peaks Lodge
- $690 for double-occupancy in Aspenbrook or Silver Sage Lodge
- $600 for triple-occupancy in Aspenbrook or Silver Sage Lodge
- $550 for quadruple-occupancy in Silver Sage Lodge
This amount includes room and all meals from Sunday evening January 27 through Sunday morning February 3, round-trip transportation between the Denver airport and Snow Mountain Ranch (at designated times), all trail fees and all afternoon and evening programs and activities. Cross-country skis,
boots, and poles will be provided free of charge to first-time visually-impaired participants.
The cost of transportation from home to and from Denver is the
responsibility of the participant. Partial stipends based on financial need are available for
guides and first- and second-time visually- or mobility-impaired participants. Full payment is due from all accepted applicants by December 1, 2018.
Please be aware that participants pay, on average, only 80% of their share of the total cost of each event. The remainder, amounting to $160 to $180 per person each year, must be provided by donations from individuals, organizations and foundations. We encourage anyone who is financially able to participate in our direct mail financial appeals, or to go to our donation form and make a tax-deductible contribution to SFL.
If You Are New to Cross-Country Skiing
If you have never cross- country skied before, or have minimal experience, there are two things that you need to know before applying to attend the Ski for Light International Week, or before actually attending the event.
- First, cross-country skiing is an aerobic activity that may not be physically appropriate for every prospective attendee. Each person who is considering cross-country skiing at the International Week must make his/her own personal decision about participation in this activity. To best make this decision, it is advised that each prospective participant consult with a physician, who can best inform the applicant about the risks of participation, given the individual’s medical history and physical condition. This is especially important for any applicant with any underlying medical condition, as cross-country skiing might exacerbate the effects of any such condition. For more information on this subject please read About Cross-Country Skiing and the Ski for Light International Week
- Second, once you have determined that cross-country skiing is appropriate for you, you should endeavor to get into a state of physical conditioning that will allow you to fully participate in the week’s activities. This is just common sense for anyone planning to participate in a week of physically demanding aerobic activity. To give you some suggestions on how to do this, here is a podcast describing how one SFL veteran prepared for a recent event.
The Application Process and Acceptance to the Event
In order to attend the Ski for Light International Week in 2019, you must first complete and submit an event application, linked below. The application asks for your contact and personal information, your desired meal and housing options for the week, and about your skiing ability and experience.
Ski for light will review the information in your application and make a decision about whether or not you can be accepted to attend the event. Important considerations in this evaluation are your skiing ability and experience if applying to be a guide, and the number of guides anticipated and your ability to participate in cross-country skiing if applying to be a visually- or mobility-impaired participant.
Applicants will be formally admitted quickly, in the order that they apply. It may become necessary later in the process to delay admitting additional visually- and mobility-impaired applicants if it appears that the number of guides who will be attending is not sufficient. We doubt that this will happen. But a word to the wise is to get your application in early.
While there is no formal deadline for the submission of applications, it should be anticipated that applications submitted after November 1 will be accepted only on a space available basis.
To apply to attend the Ski for Light International Week in 2019, please complete and submit the appropriate application form below.
- Guide Application for 2019
- Visually-impaired Participant Application for 2019
- Mobility-impaired Participant Application for 2019
- Worker-Bee, Companion and Guest Application for 2019
Forms for Accepted Applicants
If you have received a notification of acceptance to the 2019 Ski for Light International Week, please follow the links below to let SFL know how and when you will be travelling to and from Ski for Light, and to make your event payment.
The Ski for Light Guide Handbook contains a wealth of general skiing tips, SFL-specific terminology, a standard progression of instruction for beginners, and other information to help new guides approach their first event with confidence, and to help everyone ski together more safely and enjoyably.