Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Trail conditions report 2/19/2020

There was about one inch of new snow from last night.  The sun came out pretty strongly for a bit, so it softened up.  A single grooming pass was made on all of the front/low trails: Lower Guaje Trail, the "NO" hill from Lower Guaje into the lower meadow, back into the main ski trails from Point M to J, then down the lower stuff.  The upper tree trails and the upper/outer meadows were not groomed, but have some soft, new snow on top of the frozen crusty stuff.

The front hill is getting quite lean with narrow and thin ice, especially in that steep, south-facing middle section.  Be very careful there.

There may be more grooming this evening by one of the junior kids team parents, but generally speaking, conditions are holding alright for now.  The classic track is a bit old, but with the new skiff of snow, it is still good skiing.  Tomorrow is supposed to be cold, then maybe a wet storm over the weekend.  Hopefully we get a good dump of heavy, wet snow, followed by cold weather.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Trail Conditions (?) 2/18/2020

We don't have much to report - the weekend got pretty warm, so there was some thawing on those sun-baked parts of the trail.  The forecast calls for some new snow tonight, although not much, so we'll wait to see what plays out before heading back out with the groomer.  It'll likely be refreshed by Thursday or Friday.  Looks like an even bigger chance of some warm, wet snow over the weekend.  Stay tuned for that one as well.

Last Friday afternoon, Kevin Reid did go back out to refresh the skate lane and finish putting some reflective wands out in the meadow so we don't get lost every time it snows or drifts.  A big thanks for that.

For now, we stay in a holding pattern to see what happens.  Regardless, we'll report back by Thursday/Friday.  Still a lot of skiing to be had this season!

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Grooming Report 2/13/2020

Well, this winter, while not the biggest or snowiest, or coldest, is turning out to be pretty OK.  Just when we start getting on the dry side with some melting, we seem to be blessed with just enough to keep conditions pretty nice for a few days.

Travis and Zach got out with the YTS roller and compactor to get things started and skiable after the storm.  It was really nice skiing with the kids junior team last evening, with cold temps and all.

I got out with our Yamaha Viking and G2 groomer just around sundown thinking it would be a quick job with the faster machine.  Well, things don't always go to plan, but it wasn't too bad.  With the new snow filling in the meadow trails, the packing work got a bit off course since we haven't had a chance to set out any reflective wands all season.  The ironic thing is that a club member donated some to us and set them by the Point-L tree, but we haven't gotten them set out.  They were still leaning on the tree as I drove right by them after getting stuck out in the meadow!  sigh

Anyway, after wrestling with getting the snomo and groomer stuck a couple of times and wrestling with it out there, I finally found the correct alignment and was able to get most of the meadow groomed, but it looks kinda weird for now.  I also found that our various paths through there have drifted us over a couple of buried fence posts, so it was REALLY time to get those reflective wands set out.  I did that at noon today, so just keep an eye out for them.  Two of them are directly on the tops of buried steel fence posts.

Things groomed out well for both classic and skate.  Kevin Reid has plans to groom the skate lane again Friday evening.  Should be nice skiing over the weekend, but will probably be icy again by Monday.  Be careful on the narrow front hill ice path!

It's about time we got some photo documentation of how nice our conditions have been this year (click on the pictures to see them in larger size):
Camp May Rd beyond the gate.  Paul Allen grooms it for us when he's working the Pajarito Mtn shift.  Good man, Paul!

Point A, looking down the Lower Guaje Canyon Trail

Point A, looking up the xc ski trail

Nice view of the eastern shoulder of Pajarito Mtn

Our difficult sun-exposed, fire ravaged "Front Hill" section.  The shade fencing really has done its job this year!

A section on TJ's trail, between Point E and F on our trail system index

Looking at Point E on TJ's

Nice little narrows on Dave's Dogleg

Looking east, over the Rio Grande Valley and the southernmost tip of the Sangre de Cristos

Sun splashed tree section, above Point J

Typical curves in the climb out toward Canada Bonita

Getting higher, just above Point K

Another curve, above Point K

Nice classic skiing today

Upper Baca meadow loop

Looking down the Canada Bonita from the rim of the Valles Caldera

Looking up to the top of the Canada Bonita and the Caldera Rim

Nice view of Cerro del Medio magma dome in the Valles Caldera

Hairy Sasquatch that is commonly found out in the Canada Bonita

Final curve at the top

Another view of Cerro del Medio ~10,000 ft

Monday, February 10, 2020

Trail Conditions Update 2/10/2020

It's been a little too hectic to keep everything updated with info.  We're down to a super bare-bones grooming crew, so those long hours spent grooming means no discretionary time to keep things posted.  We're doing the best we can on the trails, so hopefully you're able to get out when it's all groomed and good.

It did snow last week, got really cold for a couple of days, then the temps went UP after a nice cold day on Thursday, during the night!  That's weird.  So, Friday, and especially Saturday were warm.  Those sections that are very sun-baked (front hill, etc.) took kind of a beating.  Everything else stayed nice, however.  There's still plenty of skiing, but things did transition quite a bit.  Sunday was nice.

Things were groomed completely on Friday night.  Lots of drifts out in the meadow, so those zones are pretty wonky.  We did get out Saturday evening again to regroom for all the full-moon baskers, and so the skate lanes were magnificent yesterday and stayed nice since there was a good cloud deck that kept the temps and sun in check.

Looks like a storm on the horizon, so stay tuned.

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Trails groomed 2/05/2020

Oof, that was a long night!  There was quite a bit of new snow for what seemed like not much of a storm.  The total amount was hard to figure out, but it looked like anywhere from 5" (bottom) to nearly 8" at the top.  Sometimes that happens.

Anyway, the entire system was packed/groomed out, but may be just a bit soft out in the meadows.  The tree trails and stuff down low will be firm right away.  It was very cold, so it set up fast.

Kids ski program this afternoon starting out about 4pm.  We'll have a classic time trial this Saturday, about 5km or so, so come on out if you're up for that.  First skier off at 9:30AM.

Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

2/04/2020 Snow Update

After a bit of a break from getting some "real" snow over this past week, things look to have improved with today's storm.  Travis got up there last evening to grind up all the old snow, tree garbage, crust, glaze, etc., so that this new snow fell on something a bit cleaner. 

We'll get this groomed out, likely without a classic track, for the week, then put in a classic track for the weekend.  The kids (and anyone else who wants to join in) will have a ~6km classic-technique time trial on Saturday morning, first skier off at 9:30 AM.  So, we'll have a pretty good track set by then.

Updates as we get them...

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Currently snowing pretty hard! 1/16/2020

It's been snowing since late morning, with some heavy squalls passing through.  Looks like the good dose of snow we were needing and hoping for...with a good, solid base underneath.  Woohoo!

Please be patient with our volunteer grooming operation, usually conducted by us "old" guys after a full day of real life.  I think there are plans for a couple of guys to go up tonight and do some packing laps, with another volunteer scheduled to go up tomorrow.  It'll likely be soft throughout the weekend, with plans to groom on Dr. MLK, Jr. holiday (Monday).

We'll try to get a classic track pulled in, so hopefully that'll be the really good option for classic touring in new, soft snow. 

Stay tuned.

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Trail conditions 1/15/2020 - GREAT!

Hi all,

Hopefully you've been out skiing since the weekend's little "refresher" doses of new snow.  It was just what we needed after the little freeze/thaw hardening of the older snow last week.  Nothing got really bad or anything, it's just nice to have some "freshies" to work with while grooming.  One day last week saw some more firm conditions for the first time this season.  Snow-pack is still holding well and I think things look great at the moment.  There's a pretty good storm in the forecast for tonight through Friday, so hopefully that will really add to our already great ski season.

We did get out Monday night to blend/grind in the new snow on the Lower Guaje Trail, then bust drifts and wind-slab crust in the meadows, and then simply "mash" in the new/tracked snow on the upper tree trails from L-J-down to A, etc. (we groom in a counter-clockwise direction).  It was a mish-mash of conditions and situations that required setting the teeth down in some spots, lifting then in others, and then combining methods in yet others still.  No two parts of that trail system are the same!

Logan Ott also set some good track on most the system, so classic is great too.  Travis Gibson went back up last evening to clean up the drifting and untidy passes from Monday nights' efforts.  We had to pull out different equipment to run everything, so it needed just a bit more work here and there.  A big thanks to those guys, and to Kevin Reid for keeping up the shade fencing maintenance work.  The fencing is SO incredibly crucial to the grooming and continued great ski conditions.

Ski on!

Monday, January 6, 2020

Resolution Classic Results - January 5, 2020

Conditions were fantastic for this year's Resolution Classic "Tourace" - we call it that because it's hard to give it 100% when you're just out there having fun.  You're kinda racing, but also looking at the views and just enjoying the conditions, so it's halfway between a race and a tour.

Speaking of conditions, there was plenty of snow that had just a bit of transformation from what had been pretty much new snow conditions for two weeks, to a more frozen and faster type.  Some of the course was rocket fast, but some sections were still cold and grippy.  The day before was fairly warm, but it froze up hard overnight and didn't warm up much during the race, keeping things firm and fast.

It was a day to apply a slightly warmer grip wax, somewhere in the violet/purple range, or a very thin and short section of universal klister - that's what I opted to use, but very thin and very short under my foot.  It provided solid kick when my technique was good, while also allowing my skis to glide well.  The snow was the type that would have allowed a pretty good range of things to work, depending on where on the course you really wanted the best kick.

The track was set in a "best line" path in the trail, which made for a smooth course that is quite a bit easier to ski than when it is groomed for both skate and classic (classic track way over on the low side of the trail).  It skis quite a bit differently when it is set like that with wider turns and straighter lines.  It was kinda sad to go groom it out after the day was over.

So, here is the tale of the tape.  Great job to everyone who came out to enjoy pretty much perfect classic conditions.  You've achieved your New Year's Resolution!

2020 Resolution Classic Tourace

10km Course
Name Start Time Finish Time              Race Time
Clay Moseley 00:50.0 29:16.0 28:26.0
Sanna Sevanto 01:40.0 31:54.0 30:14.0
Travis Gibson 02:05.0 32:45.0 30:40.0
Scott Baily 00:00.0 31:22.0 31:22.0
Zach Leonard 01:15.0 33:30.0 32:15.0
Liz Quinney 03:45.0 36:04.0 32:19.0
Andy Jones 05:00.0 42:11.0 37:11.0
Tarik Saleh 04:35.0 42:48.0 38:13.0
Kevin Reid 04:10.0 44:13.0 40:03.0
Siobhan Niklasson 02:30.0 42:55.0 40:25.0
Dina Pesenson 00:25.0 42:21.0 41:56.0
Paul Gooris 03:20.0 50:54.0 47:34.0
Steve Venturoni 02:55.0 57:22.0 54:27.0
5km Course
Levi Gibson 06:25.0 25:36.0 19:11.0
Mila Moseley 07:15.0 26:42.0 19:27.0
Zach Gibson 07:40.0 28:27.0 20:47.0
Diego Leonard 06:00.0 28:38.0 22:38.0
Madalyn Baily 06:50.0 32:12.0 25:22.0
Chris Michel 09:20.0 35:33.0 26:13.0
Axel Niklasson 08:55.0 35:58.0 27:03.0
Anders Niklasson 10:10.0 38:03.0 27:53.0
Lindsay Gibson 09:45.0 39:04.0 29:19.0
John Ullman 10:35.0 40:08.0 29:33.0
Phoebe Reid 08:30.0 38:51.0 30:21.0
Aida Saleh 08:05.0 38:48.0 30:43.0
3km Course
Luke Gibson 12:00.0 29:21.0 17:21.0
Quanah Moseley 12:50.0 32:37.0 19:47.0
Harper Reid 13:15.0 36:13.0 22:58.0
Liv Niklasson 13:40.0 37:21.0 23:41.0
Samantha Baily 12:25.0        ****                      ****

January 6, 2020 Grooming Report

Trails were groomed (sadly) after yesterday's great classic-only "Resolution Classic" event.  I think everyone who came out to pre-ski and do the event all agree that our trails are hard to beat when groomed for classic skiing.  They were so much fun like that.

Anyway, temps were warmish for a couple of days and that means that a few sun-exposed segments saw some snow transformation for the first time in a while, but mostly it's still nice mid-winter crystals conditions.  We had to finally "grind" some of it up, which makes for some nice faster skiing.  

So, everything has been re-groomed, business as usual, for both skate and classic.

Friday, January 3, 2020

January 3, 2020 Snow & Grooming Report

That little quick-hitter storm resulted in about 2" to 3" new snow on the trails.  It was colder, dryer snow, so kinda perfect to mix in with the wetter frozen stuff underneath.  The meadow trails were completely snowed over and filled in and needed to be regroomed.

Again, we've been slowly getting the edges groomed and doing a few other things on top of the grooming, so it's still not 100% complete, but getting there.  Last evening, the lower Guaje Trail out the meadows was groomed, leaving old track on the lower trail, setting new track in the meadow trails.  Had to groom the main ski trail "shortcuts" for Sunday's classic race/tour, so the upper trails only received a single pass on the high side.  That sort of wiped out a lot of the classic track set the other day.  We'll be setting a new track on Saturday evening.

For now, things will be nice for skating, especially for tomorrow.  There will not be new track set on the upper trails for tomorrow, but there will be good track on the lower trails and the meadow trails.

Looks a little warmer over the weekend, so expect some variability from sun to shade.

Conditions are great, so enjoy!

Thursday, January 2, 2020

Grooming Report(s) Catch-Up for NEW YEAR - January 2, 2020!

Very sorry for not having kept up with this grooming reports blog.  There has just been NO spare time to do that this past month or so.  There was a LOT of industrial work just to get the trails functional again after the crazy storms of late winter last year, over the summer, and then this fall.  We didn't get much snow in November, until that hurricane snowstorm hit over Thanksgiving that left us with yet another big mess of trees down, etc.  It has been nothing but catch-up ever since.

Anyway, trails have been groomed all December, and we recently opened the Upper Caldera Loop and the Outer Limits Meadow trail!  They look great, if not still a little bumpy.  We seem to perpetually be short on grooming volunteers, so we make do with the very few hours spread among two or three guys.  Things are groomed pretty well as of today, but will be groomed again for this weekend's SWNSC Resolution Classic club events.  Hopefully this quick little storm will leave us with just a nice topping to go over the tracks from the high volume of traffic we've had over the holidays.

Come out and join in the fun this weekend: 

Saturday - skate sprints in the meadow (leave trail head by 10am, meet in meadow about 10:30 or so)
Sunday - Resolution Classic (no skating), best line tracks, ~3km, ~5km, and ~10km loop options; first skier off from Point A promptly by 9:30 AM.  Just show up to put your name on the list!




Wednesday, February 6, 2019

February 6, 2019 Trail Conditions and Grooming Report

Dang, sorry for the long delay in posting a trail conditions report.  We get busy with the SWNSki Kids program each week, and then there is a big time vacuum with keeping the grooming coordinated and stuff like that...not to mention the demands of a "regular" life with family, work, school stuff, etc.!  Whew, winter gets hectic!

We were gone for the Alley Loop events in Crested Butte last week/weekend.  The kids all did such a great job in their events, and it's very cool to see how they're becoming such accomplished and confident skiers.  Their hard work and dedication, plus all of the parents who have so enthusiastically gotten involved, has really paid off.  Our club is producing some future Nordic skiers, for sure!

OK, on to the trails and grooming report:

Our snow still looks great, with only some narrow/chunky stuff in the very sun-exposed areas like the front hill, and maybe one spot out near that "SunRock" section.  Otherwise, it's a good base that is holding up well to the warmer/humid conditions of late.  John Bernardin groomed last Friday, which kept things in shape for the weekend, so that set the trail up for hopefully some new snow.

New grooming hand, Casey, and I got up there last night for some new-groomer training, which is always a slow and laborious process, but he took to it well, having been a snowmobiler in Wisconsin.  He ran our big Viking snomo with our lightest trail drag (LiteGroomer for training), while I ran the Ranger UTV with the G2 groomer with the tiller down.  While the LiteGroomer didn't do a whole lot, we tinkered with it for quite a while to adjust it and get the razor bar down just right to get it to scarify the surface more.  It paid off, and started to look a lot better by the time we were finishing up a long, slow pass.  The G2 did a magnificent job, of course, but is a real chore to get through refrozen base for any machine.  We have to stop periodically to cool things off, even when it's below freezing.

It was just snowing oh so lightly, but not really adding up just yet (hopefully that changes today).  So, the skate/maneuvering lane is softer and smoother, but the classic tracks are not reset and were still icy and a bit washed out.  They need to be reset, for sure, but we didn't want to waste time/energy/money by working on that so hard if it's just going to snow and get filled up.  We'll get that done after it snows...at some point. 

There are plans to regroom before the weekend, so we should have a great weekend of nice conditions. 

Thanks for all of your support, and get out and enjoy these conditions!  Looks like an active month of storms is in store for this February.  It may be a bit warm, but hopefully, our snowpack will increase.

Clay

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Groomers report 1/15/2019

Trails have been rolled and packed as of today.  A big thanks to Chris Michel (CM Arbor Care) for taking on that whole task after the big storm.  It's quite an endeavor to break trail, then roll, then pack/groom.  He had a bit of an issue at the end of his session yesterday - he started in the early morning with the roller (which is made of black polyethylene) as the morning turned into a sunny day.  The lower part of the system is sun-exposed and the roller gets warmed up, creating ice that makes the new snow stick to it.  It "balled-up" and began to drag the snow in the trail, not roll over it.  He had to park it for the day, but he heroically went back up last night to finish the job! 

Logan Ott got out on Friday to groom things for the clinics and the weekend.  A huge thanks to him as well!  It's a hard ask to get folks to give up a Friday night, be out in the cold and dark and hard work environment, to get things in shape.  But, these are great volunteers with big hearts. 

We'll go up tonight to get things fully groomed, probably just in time for another round of snow, but at least it'll be more firm under there. 

We took a good group of SWNSC kids (about 10 kids!) to the Durango season series race #2 (Coke race series).  They were all so awesome and had a great time and experience.  We'll be taking them to the big JNQ (Junior National Qualifier) there in mid-February, so they got a good recon of the courses they'll be racing on for the big event.  It was a lot of driving on wintry roads, but we'll take it!


Thursday, January 10, 2019

Conditions Report - 1/10/2019

We had the kid's group practices last evening, and it was humid/wet and a bit on the warm side.  The kids got a lesson in snow type variability, and a couple of them on waxable skis (the kick zone part) got to feel the challenge of wet conditions and how it forces very good kick mechanics.  The snow got saturated with its own moisture in many places, making for variable skiing.  Some areas still had cold, dry, powdery snow; some areas had wet/glazed snow, and some places were a little slushy.  Temps were in the low-30s, but strange things happen with ~100% humidity, which is not the usual situation around here. 

Once darkness set in and the temps lowered, those wet areas froze up, making for a hard-glaze.  It'll probably soften up a bit today, but be prepared for a mix of frozen glaze, mush, and dry powder.  Trails could use a bit of a re-groom, but we do not have a full team of volunteer groomers to cover it.  Something might happen Friday evening, and hopefully, we get some new snow.  Keep your fingers crossed.

Overall, the skiing was incredibly good last evening with the new grooming on the lower road and the meadows, with new track out there as well.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Lower Road & Meadows Regroomed 1/9/2019

Beautiful conditions continue here into the second week of January.  Last evening, groomers got out to clean up the Lower Road (a.k.a Guaje Canyon Trail 282, a.k.a. "multi-use" trail) and reset the track, and to go bust up those drifts out in the meadows from the little skiff of snow and load of wind that accompanied it the other day. 

Things continue to look good for nice conditions this weekend.  Be sure to catch Sanna and Lynn's clinics both Saturday and Sunday.  Check the SWNSC Facebook page for info and updates:

https://www.facebook.com/swnordicskiclub/

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Trail Report for January 8, 2019

I keep meaning to get a trail report out, but the "other" SWNSC reporter gets it posted up on FB more quickly.

Anyway, things are looking simply fantastic, and there's more winter weather in line to keep things nice for the foreseeable future.  Chris Michel (of CM ArborCare) has been so kind to help us out with grooming and spent a good deal of time getting on top of what hadn't been done after the New Year's Whopper, plus mixed in with the little 3"er from Sunday.  That one came with some wind, so there were drifts out in the meadow, which makes it really hard to groom and keep in shape.

We'll probably go bust those drifts up as much as possible this evening using the Ranger and the G2 groomer, both relatively new tools in our rag-tag fleet of grooming equipment.  The G2 is our newer Tidd-Tech groomer with the electrically activated (huge improvement over having to deal with all that back-breaking weight, and hand-smashing stuff by hand) grinder teeth and track-setter.  It is prone to electrical/mechanical breakdowns, mainly the actuator relays blinking out, but overall, it's such a huge improvement.

Our workhorse and very reliable snowmobile has thrown us for another uncharacteristic loop - the starter has failed, but we have one on order and so the "groomer staff" has a plan to get it replaced, which is not easy (SF PowerSports would have charged us $1,000+ to do the job), but doable.

So, go out and enjoy the skiing!  It is simply beautiful!

2009 Polaris Ranger with Tidd-Tech G2 Groomer in action, December 2018

Friday, January 4, 2019

Still Working on It! "Grooming" report 1/04/2019

Happy New Year!  While I'm back at work and juggling family life (with visitors), including some sick family members, we're still trying to get the trails fully groomed.  Plus, 50" plus is a lot!

We do not have a full-on snowcat, so anything over 2 feet of snow is a problem for us to groom until it gets tracked in by skiers/snowshoers, then just a machine towing nothing, then a roller, then a period of setup (let it densify, freeze, harden, etc.), then it can be groomed!  That simply takes a while to get done.  Combine some machine breakdown issues with all of that, and it doubles the time...add in volunteer groomer absences due to holiday stuff, and well, you get the idea.

Anyway, we do have some great guys working on it now, so hopefully we'll be fully in business by this weekend...just in time for another round of snow.  We'll take it, but it may take just a bit to get it all groomed.

Thank you to everyone for your memberships and donations!  It is helping to keep the machines running and the effort alive.  I think we're going to have a really great January, and hopefully entire winter cross-country ski season.

We'll keep this blog updated.

Pretty great conditions on the SWNSC xc ski trails this year!

Thursday, January 3, 2019

2018/19 Holiday Miracle! (and machine issues, of course)

Haven't been keeping up with the trail conditions and grooming blog much this year.  Things have been super busy with life and family, fall trail work, then getting the machines back up and running this year.  Hopefully, the dust will settle and we'll be running more smoothly soon.

We're having some machine issues (surprise) and are slowly hacking through the NEW 50" or so we got on top of the previous two storms, which were also significant.  Our "new" Polaris Ranger is awesome in the snow, but it is not a new machine and has some bugs that needed to be ironed out since it had sat around in a dealership yard for quite a while.  With grooming, all machines show their skeletons in closet very quickly, and so that's what is happening now.  

Thankfully, our "ol' reliable," Kermit (1972 Cushman Trackster with modifications/replacement engine) is still running like a champ, just very slow.  It's limited on power and traction, but it manages if driven with care and expertise.  Our Yamaha Viking snomo is our "beast" machine, but has trouble in deep snow and drifts out in the side-sloping meadows.  It needs to have the meadow packed out a bit before being taken out.  I had taken it out the other day, before this storm, when the main relay/starter solenoid crapped out.  I had to hot-wire it and hold wires with a zip-tie to get it home.  The part should be here soon.

Many hours have been spent fixing stuff, with some auxiliary hours spent packing and grooming.  Hopefully that'll flip this week and we'll have it all groomed.

As of now, we had only managed to get the newly downed trees cut out, with a few track-packing (no groomers/rollers) passes, and a couple with the roller down the lower road and the meadow.  The upper tree trails are not groomed yet - only a single track-packing pass, so sorry for that.  Logan Ott is headed up to finish the rolling today, and maybe we'll groom some tonight.

Wow, what a storm!  I *think* that's the most single storm total I've seen since moving here 21 years ago.  The winter that followed the Cerro Grande fire (2000/01) was a bigger winter, and we had at least as much, if not more snow on the ground, but it didn't happen in one single storm.  It was a continuous stream of storms with very short breaks in between, and also cold temperatures.

Despite frustrating winters of late, there have been some good intervals in there.  Here's a quick run-down of winters going back to 2000/01:
2000/01 - this winter set the standard.  It snowed...A LOT, and it began in October, and continued into May. Plus, it was very cold.  We all got tired of snow that year, and it was just almost impossible to keep up with it.  During that time, we didn't open the "gate" at the beginning of the trailhead, and it just finally topped over it and we were able to drive the snowmobile/groomer, plus ski right over it.  It didn't emerge again until late April!

2001/02 - 02/03 - almost identical (lousy) winters.  We groomed, but the base never was all that good and both years were low-snow and kinda warm.

2003/04 - started off a little slow, but gained a LOT of momentum toward the middle/end of January and continued through May!  February was fantastic, with so much snow.

2004/05 - this was a warm and wet winter, but resulted in a very healthy, wet snow pack that stuck around until late April.  That year, we set the record with our latest day of regular season grooming...April 15.  Good crust skiing all April.  This was a great year.

2005/06 - this was the year we built the SWNSC shop, but it wasn't finished in time.  The winter was horrible, with hardly any snow, until very late.  It was chilly, but extremely dry.  We didn't really groom that year.

2006/07 - 2008/09 - this was a run of moderately OK winters.  None were super great, but there were some nice stretches in all of them.

2009/10 - this was a very good winter, that saw the snowpack build steadily and never suffer a long "thaw" stretch.  It wasn't any single storm that made it great, but rather a steady stream of storms with cold weather that kept the base solid and gave both town and the mountains a very good snowpack.  It was the last good winter for a while...until now.

10/11 - lousy winter.  Started off OK, but got warm and dry early.
11/12 - post Las Conchas winter.  This one started off really well, actually and we built up a base early, with cold weather.  It snowed sporadically after January, but at least we had a season.  The black soot on all of the burnt trees would slough off and get into the snow, causing the sun to melt it quickly down in the burn-affected areas
12/13 - lousy winter.  Not much snow, kinda warm.  Some skiing, but a shorter season.
13/14 - ditto
14/15 - this was an OK winter, with some nice periods.  It wasn't super-great, but was a little better than the others in this string of low-snow winters
15/16 - kinda lousy winter, some skiing, not a great year  
16/17 - This one had periods of good snow, but was pretty warm.  We did get a lot of snow up on the trails, but it was always followed by warm weather.  It rained a lot in town during the winter, so not a lot of snow built up below about 8,000'.
17/18 - the winter that never was.  There's nothing good about that year...it was the worst on record.  We finally got some snow for about 2 weeks in late February, and we ceremonially groomed, but it never was a real winter.

2018/19 - WOOHOO!  Although, we had a rough stretch there in mid-December, but at least we had a little bit of a base.  We'll see how it goes for the rest of the season...


Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Post-Mortem Recap of Winter 2017-18

Just for "keeping up the records," I'm posting a very brief description of the Winter of Discontent 2017-18.  In short, it sucked.  It was a record that was so far away from anything ever observed in over 125 years of weather data collection.  It didn't even amount to 10% of normal snowfall, and was incredibly warm.

We did manage to eek out about 2 weeks of skiing, with about one week of grooming...all in the last part of February.  I skied on the trails a total of 4 times, myself, and I would say that last time was pushing it and resulted in making my pair of rock skis even rockier.

It was too bad, as we had gotten the trails in pretty good shape and would have had a good season.

As I write this in November 2018, it looks like the winter of 2018-19 will be better...we'll keep our fingers crossed.  We have a new (to us) Polaris UTV that we're putting "snow tracks" on so that we don't have to suffer trying to drive Kermit, and will hopefully not have so many problems getting stuck while using the snowmobile (the Viking) out in the meadows after a windy storm. 

Thanks to all of the club volunteers!  Keep up with things via the Facebook site, but we will post more text here.  Think SNOW!!!