Monday, October 13, 2014

Fall Trailwork!

Hi everyone,

fixing the light in the machine shed
I've had a lot of folks ask me to send out a message for the fall trail work stuff at the Canada Bonita trails (XC ski trails).  If you've been up there lately, you're probably aware that there are a lot of trees down and a real mess of locust and aspen shoots growing in the trails.

Heading out with the chainsaw.
I got a start on cutting downed trees, which started almost right away due to the winds.  The front hill had a mess just in the first few hundred meters.  I started bucking the logs too, but realized it would be better to just dice them up and get more help moving them off, so a lot of what I cut is still lying in the trail waiting for people to move them.

We'll be up there both Saturday and Sunday to cut everything up, but we could use help with bucking the logs and doing some smaller saw work on the smaller nuisance trees and limbs (anyone have smaller saws?).

We also have a couple of gas-powered brush cutters that we can use to cut the brush at the edges of the trails, so that we can use the bigger "trail cutter" machine we have to cut the nasty stuff in the middle part of the trail.  We have to do this from bottom to top, not just the burn area.  However, if we can get help just for the burn area of the trails, that would be huge.

the kids didnt make it much past the trailhead 
All volunteer work gets counted toward our "Volunteer Cost-Share Challenge Agreement" with the Forest Service.  That means that everyone's hours count toward the matching funds we get from the Feds to pay for those trail projects all over the County, like the reconstruction of Guaje Ridge, the Pajarito Canyon trail construction, etc.  So, it's win-win situation!

We have other trail projects (real construction stuff too) if we have enough folks who want to come up.  Let me know! --Clay 
PS more photos from Sunday below, lots of wind, some snow and very pretty leaves.

sky from the shed
putting sticks ON to the trail...instead of off.


pretty leaves!

tried to show that it was snowing pretty good...but you can't tell here

Monday, March 31, 2014

Post Season Work Stuff - March/April 2014

Hi all,

Well, that was NOT the best season, but there were about six weeks in there that were more or less skiable.  I managed to eek out a few more days here and there, and even groomed that one storm in February that allowed for a bonus four extra days of skiing, the first two of which were actually pretty good.

The worst thing was all of the tree downfall.  It was a total mess and almost impossible to keep up with.  Even as we speak, there is another (live) fir tree down on the front hill that just fell this past week.  Ugh.

Spring is here (and pretty much has been since late January), and that means the spring cleanup of the trails.  But, since the season died off early, some of us have had a chance to get out and get a lot of the work done already; about four weeks ahead of schedule!

I got up and took down a few rolls after Dina, Tarik, Mila, Aida and Quanah had already taken several down.  This is on Saturday, March 22.

Still some good snow on Pajarito.  I did attempt a circumnavigation of the mountain, some of which was very good, and some that was bad.  It really could have been open much more than it was this year.  I did get in some good skiing on the west side.

This past Saturday, March 29.  Not a lot changed on Pajarito Mountain.  Still some good skiing on the west side.

This time, the work party consisted of Sanna, Lynn, Dina, Mila, Quanah, and me.  We got a lot done.

Quanah's and Mila's work ethics are questionable.  

Here, Quanah is complaining and mumbling something about Union Rules...?

So, now there are a lot of rolls all waiting to be put away, and a few more needing to be taken down.  We need to get a few more hands out one day to get the rest done.  This coming Saturday, April 5th, we'll have one last Spring Cleanup work day.  Please try to make it out.  I'll post a notice on the email lists as well.

Paul Graham will be heading up the work.  Here is his email notice to everyone:

We are at the end of another winter of fun and frolic (what you say I don't remember any snow on the trails) .. but yes we have to acknowledge that we gave it our best when we erected the fence in November but now as per our agreement it must be brought down and stored until next winter (fingers crossed that it is a massive snow year for a change).

Please try to help with this mighty effort Saturday (April 5th) .. So far one person has volunteered and we are planning to meet at 9:00 AM

I cannot underscore enough how much easier and faster this will go with as many hands helping out as possible. Simply an hour of your time will mean so much to putting this project behind us. (Otherwise it involves extended work efforts for one or two persons over several weekends when there is little help) .. bring a cutting tool if possible to help with cutting the pesky zip ties we use for attaching the fencing (or, there is plenty of work to help with rolling up fencing as well).

Questions? Call me at 505-660-1406
Thanks, Paul

Hope to see LOTS of you there!!!

Some further news:

Lots of USFS trail projects going on this year.  Lynn has a crew poised to do a rebuild of the lower part of the Guaje Ridge Trail, plus all of their other volunteer trail work projects.  

At some point, I, along with any willing volunteers from our club will likely be heading out to the Canada Bonita to start clearing all of the HUGE trees that have fallen between our trail system, and Pipeline Rd.  Lots and lots of big trees are down, so it'll take a lot of work.  The Jemez Mtn. Trail Run uses this trail system, and have been big supporters of our club, so I figured it is most logical that we take care of this mess if possible.  I'll try to coordinate some equipment, etc.

A few last parting shots of snow on the mountain:

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Sandia Peak skking

Fredrik groomed and set a track on the upper part of the UNM loop including the service rd the loop above the road and the small loop just below it. He used new grooming equipment so it's quite an impressive improvement.


Thursday, February 6, 2014

sandia peak skiing

Sandia Peak received several inches of new snow last couple days.  The service rd was groomed by the alpine area today.  Trails are 'packed' by other skiers for classic.  Expect more snow tonite.


Wednesday, February 5, 2014

XC Ski Olympic TV and web coverage links on SWNSC facebook page

We've been posting as much info as we can find to make XC Skiing in Sochi easy to find and follow. Check out out facebook page for links. You do not need to have a facebook account or to log in. 
Just view here and click what you want to see (if a login screen does popup, just close it, facebook can't miss a chance to get you to log in, but you DO NOT HAVE TO LOG IN to view all of our posts and be able to click any of the links we post). 

Hope everyone is as excited as we are!!! :)))
GO TEAM USA!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Sandia peak skiing

Fredrik set a classic track on the service road and upper loop and made the road better for skating.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Skate and classic ski package for sale (in Santa Fe)

skate boots

1) Rosignol World Cup Series Xium Skate Skis with Fischer Xcelerator World Cup Bindings 2011  $350.00
2) Fischer RCS Skate Boots Size 39 women $200.00
3)Carbon Poles $125.00
or the whole package for $650.00  Really great, fast, light, fun equipment...well maintained

skate skis
classic boots
1) Pro-Classic Atomic G-2 Densolite Skis with Fischer NNN Racing Classic R3 Bindigs 2011  $200.00
2)Rosignol X7 Boots size 41 women $90.00
3)Carbon Poles 125.00
or the whole package for $400.00

If interested, contact Karen karencurtin88 at yahoo dot com 
classic skis

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Jan 25-26 NM Cup/Low O2 xc ski, kids and snowshoe events!!!!!!!!!!!!

The Low O2 Challenge - New Mexico Cup winter events are this weekend at Enchanted Forest.  There are xc ski races, USSSA snow shoe races, and the most fun of all, the LITTLE KIDS' PRIZE GRAB!  (you gotta be a kid to go grab the prizes =)  

We could always use some adults to help out with the kids' events, so let me know if you're able to help out with the prize stations, course patrol (cheering and encouraging is a big help), etc.

They also added a 10 km classic race to the agenda, so in addition to the 5 km classic, there is now also a 10 km, on Saturday at 10am.  The plan right now is to have it run on the UNM NCAA course (2 laps), but that may change.  The "10 km" skate will actually be a little long, probably more like 12 km, as we'll use all the nice gliding inner trails, along with a run out to the UNM loop to finish.

The kids' prize grab (~1 km and ~ 3 km) is on Saturday, after the 5 & 10 km events.  Also on Saturday afternoon, I'll be hosting the FREE "race" clinic.  I'll cover a number of topics, mainly on technique, but also equipment choice, training, wax, nutrition, and secret tricks =)  It will be very helpful if you're planning on racing the Mt. Taylor Quadrathlon too.

Event flyer (not updated to reflect the additional 10 km classic) is here

Registration for the events is here.

The snow is still great and there is actually some new in the forecast for Thursday!  Weather looks beautiful for the weekend, though.  See you there!

Friday, January 3, 2014

NM Cup/Low O2 Challenge events Jan 25-26 at Enchanted Forest!

Mark your calendars...the New Mexico Cup - Low O2 Challenge Nordic and Snowshoe weekend at Enchanted Forest is set for January 25 and 26.

Jan. 25 - Saturday will be the 5km "classic style" (no skating) xc ski race, using the UNM NCAA 5km course, followed by the kids' events (likely a 1km fun event, and a longer 3km event, involving both skiing and picking up prizes along the way), and then a free to all registered participants xc skiing and racing clinic that will cover technique, equipment, clothing, and waxing.

Jan. 26 - Sunday will be the longer ~10 to 12 kms xc skate race, the USSSA 5km and 10km snowshoe races, and the citizen's 5km snowshoe fun race.  Both of these events will be challenging, fun and exciting courses.  

I am trying to get the Enchanted Forest ski area to get the correct flyer on their website ( but there have been some technical issues.  I'll let you know where the link to the proper flyer is when it is ironed out.

Also, don't forget that the Chama Chile Classic is the weekend BEFORE, on (January 18-19).  Find more info  This is an awesome set of events at the famous Chile Classic course on Cumbres Pass.  There is a 15km & 7.5km skate race on Saturday, followed by the big event on Sunday, the 10km and 5km classic events, plus the snowshoe.  Combine everything for the King or Queen of the Mountain competition.

Despite the dry conditions south of the Sangres, the winter conditions are great up north.  It snowed on Sunday, which made for some great ski conditions.  Go check it out...

We'll be posting more info and photos on the Southwest Nordic Ski Club's Facebook page (swnordicskiclub).  Also, there are pics of all the years' events past at the SWNSC picasa album

...if these kids can do it, so can you! 

Inline image 1
(photo taken this past Sunday at EFXC)

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Conditions Hanging In There 12-26-2013

I got up to the trails to ski just after noon today.  As usual, I ran the first parts through the burn / south-facing stuff, put the boots and skis on at Point B (the new one, closer to Point C), then was able to ski continuously up the upper tree trails, back down to Pt-M, and back into the trees.

At Pt-B, it's thin with some spots here and there, but not too bad.  The conditions generally range from "poor" to "good," depending on the stretch.  There are six bad spots, but I was able to pole through all of them, most of which are only a few feet long.  The "Rock" section is sketchy and I actually made it through on just one ski touching the snow.  There are also a few of the icy/dirty spots, but they're not long and easily passed through.  Otherwise, most of the skiing is surprisingly nice.

It hasn't been groomed, so it is what it is.  I thought it was pretty good stuff, considering.  The far upper part of the trail and inner meadow down to M is actually nice with some soft new snow still on top.

Here are two pictures.  The first one is at the lowest part of the "snow zone" at Pt-B, and the second one is the top of the meadow at the Caldera Fence.  Everything looks about like this, with some +/- sections throughout.

It would take only a modest storm, or even some easy shoveling in those 5 or 6 rough spots to really improve things.

I forgot to mention that I did leave two sleds at the rock (but need to leave a shovel with them) to haul snow to the thin spots.  It really works -- we need an "adopt-a-bare-spot" program!  I'll take care of the section around the Rock myself... =)

Be careful if you do get out, but generally, it's nice where it's nice and I think it's still worth the trip up.  Plus, I've been able to stay in uphill/downhill jogging shape!

Happy Holidays.

At Pt-B (or so) just where the snow gets contiuous (at "Clay's Cutoff")

Looking east down the meadow from the top - the meadow trail is really nice still

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

More on Sandia Peak ski tracks

re: some photos courtesy of Rich Besser

Monday, December 23, 2013

Sandia Peak skiing (very good classic)

Dec 23rd email from Fredrik: 

Hi Sandia Peak Skiers,
This morning I groomed and set a classical track on all trails on the map attached.  Around 5 inches of powder and cold snow.  Great skiing up there so have fun.   If you enjoy the tracks and like the grooming, please consider donating a small amount to the UNM Ski Team on 
I have received one very generous donation so far and I am in the process of ordering some grooming equipment that will make the trails even better.  I also put up some signs so maybe a couple of people will walk on the side, instead of right in the track.
I will post updates on my grooming on the University of New Mexico Facebook site in the future.  Today’s grooming will be the last for a while.  I am taking the team to Utah and Montana in early January and I will not be back until the 19th.  After that we will put in some hours again to get the trails better.  The best way you can help to make the grooming easier for me when I get back is to shovel snow from the upper side to the lower side of the trail.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Fredrik Landstedt
Head Coach UNM Ski Team"

see map below for trails groomed:  

(to get to the groomed trails either take the Sandia Peak tram to the top and enter on the tram service road (sw corner of loop) or take the crest hwy to either the 10K  or Ellis


Thursday, December 19, 2013

Grooming Report, December 19, 2013

We had some new guys volunteer up for grooming, so last night we went out for grooming lessons.  I forget how tough it can be at first, but all of them seemed to catch on pretty well, and actually enjoy it...I think.

Probably to their dismay, they were also wrangled into doing a little bit of shoveling in a few very thin spots.  The weather isn't cooperating very well, so a few short sections (all on the skiable loop above the burn) of the trail have taken a beating this week.  So, we shoveled quite a bit in those short sections, mostly around the "Rock."

While it is not a very pretty "groom" job, parts are still probably pretty nice.  We have maybe one more week of decent skiing if it doesn't snow.  If it doesn't snow, then it'll be back to rock-bottom, even on the upper loop.  Lots of the classic track got wiped out, so don't expect much there if you go classic ski.

Of course, the burn area is full of bare ground, so you'll have to hike through all that until past point "B" or so.  The lower road is only skiable past the burn (past that big hill), and then only to about Point "O".  The steep "bypass trail" from Pt. "O" to the lower meadow is barely skiable, and then that only dumps you out to the cooked-out lower meadow.  I suggest skiing back and forth on the skiable part of the lower road, then taking the "Clay's Cut-off" trail back up to the upper trail.  There is also skiable trail from Pt. "O" to "F," which is the end of the lower road up to the switchback on TJ's.

Get it while it lasts, and pray for snow!


Friday, December 13, 2013

Sandia Peak skiing

Fredrik (UNM) groomed quite a long loop up near Ellis and 10K.  Primarily groomed for classic but skatable in sections.  We still need help on some sections of trails with shoveling.


Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Sandia Peak skiing

UNM has groomed the tram service rd. & the UNM loops for classic skiing.  The road is skatable.


Friday, December 6, 2013

More Sandia skiing

Fredrik intends to groom again on Monday.  Again need help shoveling to level trails for grooming. So far haven't had any.  Fredrik will be encouraged to maintain better trails if he can get help, both trail work and  monetary wise; so please help or donate at web site if you're interested in better grooming at Sandia. Fredrik has to transport his equipment all the way up the mountain from UNM each time he grooms since USFS and Sandia Peak aren't willing to let UNM have a safe place (any place actually) to keep a snow machine up there ( there is dismal lack of support from Cibola National Forest for nordic skiing). 


Sandia Peak skiing

Fredrik groomed the service road and the UNM loops Tuesday Dec 2 and now we have additional several inches, very cold.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

sandia peak skiing & help needed

Fredrik (UNM ski coach) is planning on grooming once the team gets back from Yellowstone.  There's nearly 2' of snow on the trails.  It would be a great help to Fredrik's grooming efforts if some levelling of the trails could be done; in this case shoveling snow to level out the trails (side to side) due to slope of mountain and snowshoeing to prepack are both needed.  The upper UNM loop has 1st priority I think, then the lower trail (below the service road).  Please contact me if you can help (

Friday, November 22, 2013

Trail work & SNOW(!) update 11-22-2013

I had to go up to pull down the Ditch Witch last night, but unfortunately found a number of new trees down (again!).  One pretty big one fell onto the fencing on the front hill and sort of crushed it.  It was blocking the path for the Ditch Witch, so I attempted to move it, but it being dark and all, ran into a little problem with the slick (lack of) traction.  I twisted a track off the side and it did another slow topple with the tree still in the bucket.

I'm learning my lesson with how that thing can do this with an uneven load pushing up high.  I don't think this would have happened in the day time, but am not so sure.  I shouldn't have pushed it out so far, but the main problem was the lack of traction.

Also, there was quite a bit of new snow, all very heavy and wet.  That was before it really began to snow, which was about when I left around 7:30pm.  Lots of the trails were already skiable!  I'm sure they're quite skiable now, but some sections will still be very thin with the big rocks.

Here are some pics of what it looked like last night before the storm hit:

Good snow near the trailhead.  Several people still trying to ride bikes up there, plus some skiers

Fencing is working well already

Lots of the trails were quite well covered

Trees down on Dave's

Tree down on Dave's up near the steep hill and the big "rock" section

A live spruce down on TJ's

From the other angle

That infamous root ball

I still had a section of tree to remove on the trails that I had forgotten about, so I got to it before it was too late

The big tree down on the fence.  It was awkward

A little better shot

The aftermath of my struggle to get it over the fence.  Bad move!

The underside of the poor Ditch Witch.  Gotta head up today to pull back up and get it off the hill. 


Here is a quick report on some trail work I got to on Saturday, November 9, 2013.  It was a nice day and there were quite a number of little "punchlist" items that hadn't been hit yet, so I just made a plan to go up with Kermit and hit a number of them all at once.  One thing I wasn't sure of was whether I'd be able to take the Ditch Witch up to one of the other sections of trail that needs a bit of a rebuild, as that type of work takes a lot of time and sort of consumes the entire work session.

So, I decided against starting with that, and just going out to cut the remaining areas that I know have bad aspen shoots.  I found some parts of the lower road still with a few, but then made up to the meadow, and that is where the fun really began.  We always seem to work just on the tree trails and skip working in the meadow, which is always not good because as soon as the snow flies, it is very hard to work on that stuff.

As you can see from the pics, there were still some trees down in the meadow sections, plus LOADS of aspen shoots.  Our new trail cutter blew out a bearing before we were able to hit it with that thing, so I had to do it "by hand."  By that, I mean that I used the clubs new motorized brush cutter (a Poulan trimmer thing).  It worked well, but is hard to start.  It did the job.

I also got the trees out of the meadow trail envelope.  When we did the tree cutting for the trailfest running races, we didn't get them cut the full width, so now was the time to do that.

Finally, I ran the tree trails and found a number of new trees down.  Some were large and I needed to wait for some help from Dave the next day.  Unfortunately, I also found a new HUGE tree down on TJ's that had just toppled over from the root ball.  It was large.  Luckily, it was right where the Ditch Witch was parked, so I didn't have to go far to move the carnage.

Unfortunately, it was a bit of overload for the Ditch Witch.  Once I got the root ball free from the ground (late in the day), it toppled out of the bucket and took the Ditch Witch down with it.  It is a "ride behind" version, so I just hopped off and had to watch it fall over.  It is too heavy to pull back up with Kermit, so Dave had to come with an arsenal of winches, chains and his tractor the next day.  It was a pretty big battle to get it back up on its tracks, but we were successful.  Here are some pics:

Already good snow in the meadow.  You can see the large number of large diameter aspen shoots!

A closer look at those aspen shoots

chopped down!

Still a lot of trees in the meadow trails

A few of these on the tree trails where the fire came through.  I have found these every time I've gone up there.

The big tree that came down on TJ's.  It consumed the big saw.

A closer look at the base near the root ball

This section of TJ's will look and ski completely differently now

Looking up the trail as we would ski toward the meadow

Luckily, I was able to use the Ditch Witch to move the big sections

Working on the root ball.

Back breaking work made a lot easier!

That was a big root ball

Root ball came out, Ditch Witch went down.  It was like pulling a very tough weed when the roots finally break free and sends you back on your butt!  Dave had to come up and help me get it back up.  It took some serious redneck engineering to get it back up.