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The East Fork Mink Creek Nordic Center will be opening for the 2017-18 season Friday, December 15.“Right now, the racecourse and the trails up to Ermine are in good shape,” said Lance Clark, Outdoor Recreation Program Manager. “With the snow we’ve received, there are no set classic tracks, just corduroy.”New for the season is a series of classes including the early season backcountry refresher on January 12, women’s beginner classic and skate lessons on January 13, and women’s intermediate classic and skate lessons on January 20.“Every year we try to adapt to changing demand and bring fresh classes to the community,” Clark said. “We also have a staff with very strong skills in specific areas and try to utilize their skills. Adding the backcountry refresher is just a good excuse to come out and shake off the cobwebs for how to use backcountry avalanche gear. It is the type of thing everyone should do regularly but it is hard to find people to practice with.”For those just looking to try out cross-country skiing, the center will host its Ski Free Day January 6.“Most runners and bikers already own the right clothing to get started,” said Clark. “Snowshoeing or cross-country skiing keeps you warm so all you need are a light wind layer, a hat, and some gloves on most days.”Trails are open to skiers 24/7 and passes cost $9 per day for adults, $4 per day for youth, and $7 per day for seniors. The rental shop, which is open on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., has classic and skate rental ski packages for youth and adults starting at $14 per day. Snowshoe rentals are available for $7 and no trail pass is needed when using the designated snowshoe loop. When snowshoeing or sledding, a $5 per vehicle parking fee is required. Parking is included with all ski packages. A 30’ warming hut is available onsite for trail users and can be reserved for overnight stays.The East Mink Creek Nordic Center is located just seven miles south of Pocatello at the base of Scout Mountain. Season passes are available at the Community Recreation Center and day passes can be purchased onsite through fee boxes if the area is not staffed. Daily grooming at the East Fork Mink Creek Nordic Center is possible through volunteers with the Pocatello Cross Country Ski Foundation.For more information on the East Mink Creek Nordic Center, visit nordic.pocatello.us.