Thursday, January 31, 2008

Grooming Report 1/31/08

Cold conditions up there last night. Things groomed out as well as could be expected and should be good for the weekend. The snow was cold and squeaky with minus degrees (F).

Everything except the meadows (massive drifts) and the "Point O Bypass" to the meadow were groomed. The classic tracks were set, but may be a bit shallow, as we forgot the weights, which were buried on other equipment.

Watch out for sticks, small logs, and lots of pine boughs. Please take a few moments to help us clear the trails of the debris that has blown off the trees...there's lots of it, now mostly hidden just beneath the groomed surface.

Probably over 50 man hours spent this week on getting the trails back in shape.

Thanks to John Ullman, John Bernardin, Denny Newell, Ken Kisiel, Dave Wykoff, and of course myself, for the tree cutting Wednesday night. Dave Wykoff bladed the trails nice and flat for Ken and me to follow up with the looks nice.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008, uh, chainsawing trees

Welp, not much got done as far as formal grooming this evening. With hurricane-force winds, quite a number of trees came down on the trails, from start to finish, so there was a lot of clean-up to do.

It took pretty much the entire regular grooming force with chainsaws to get the trails cleared. There is still a LOT of debris on the trails, so please, take some time to help us pick some of it'll see where it is.

The lower road, between point O and point P is the worst, with some big sticks still on the snow.

Oh yeah, there was some incidental packing, as we used the machines to help us get to the trees and to assist in pulling some of them out...don't expect anything too nice.

We'll see what happens with this next storm predicted for tomorrow (Wednesday, Jan 30)

Trail report Tue 29 January

From the crazy wind storm on Monday night and Tuesday morning - John B. reports about a dozen or so trees down on the trails as of noon today including one very large one. A lot of chainsaw work required before any grooming can begin. Clay, John B., Dave, Ken and possibly Denny going up tonight heading up the trail at 5:15pm on Kermit. If you have a chainsaw and can help please come up and help! If you dont have a chainsaw but would like to help, I'm sure plenty of use for that there, as the limbs and all kinds of debris need to be removed from trail - ski up and help with that any time - the sooner the better!
Do note, that it is important to try to get most of this cleaned up tonight as there is a good chance of snow tomorrow and it will be a lot harder to pull all that stuff out once its got snow on it!
Please come up to help if you can!!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Trail Status Mon Jan 28th

Dave has regroomed the skating lane on Sat Jan 26th.
There is a classic track left from over a week ago but its quite washed out.
As of Monday Jan 28th, there are 4-5 new inches of wet snow - ungroomed.
New grooming expected tonight (Mon Jan 28th), come back to view report here.

Friday, January 25, 2008

"Repay Clay" Fundraiser Results

Our treasurer, Paul Graham, informed the BOD last night that the cost incurred buying our "new" Ski Doo Alpine known as Cosmo has now been paid off.  

Last Fall, Kesiel Coaching, Clay Moseley and Paul Graham volunteered to front ALL the money needed to buy Cosmo, a considerable amount to be sure!   This Winter we have been running a fundraiser "The Repay Clay Fund" to reimburse them for some portion of their expenses.

I'm glad to report that thru the generosity of 9 donors who gave money specifically to pay off this debt, that our three initial benefactors have had the amounts of their respective contributions reduced to amounts that they can handle.  The three still remain the donors giving the largest amounts to the purchase, but the remaining nine came thru with big bucks too.

In the end, the three reduced the amount they wanted to be repaid and that money was used to pay off a long standing debt the club had with Dave Wykoff for purchase of his near new classic tracksled.

I'd like to add that we have continued to receive "regular" donations and memberships and that income has helped to defray the  unexpected costs of Kermit's "New Shoes" [the tracks had to be replaced on the Cushman Trackster].

As you know grooming and maintaining a x-c ski trail is quite expensive, in addition to requiring literally hundreds of hours put in by our volunteer groomer/mechanics, and we depend on the generosity of you who ski and snowshoe the trail system to offset these costs.  So if you haven't yet gotten around to joining our club, please download a membership form and send it in soon...  our 3rd Annual Members Only, Spring Full Moon Ski, Party and Picnic is coming up in March, probably one of the most fun events you can do on skiis [or snowshoes], and you don't want to miss this one! 

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Trail Groomed 1/21/08

Last night, Mon 1/21, Denny ran Kermit and the six foot Tidd to 'freshen up" the trail. He left the set track intact as it looked fine. He hit the main trail, the outer meadow and a few of the cutoffs - should be in great shape until the next storm.

The groomer's actual quote on the overall experience last night follows:
"well, it was actually quite an enjoyable experience. full moon. barely needed to use the lights. Of course, I attribute the ease in grooming that I had to pure skill, expertise, and grace, yes grace."

Denny will be signing autographs for all interested groomers at a club event near you. ;)

Chama Chile Classic Jan 20, 2008

Well, I didnt get to go this year because Clay gave me his flu while conveniently getting over it himself just in time for Chama! Anyway, as expected I seriously missed out.

It was a gorgeous sunny day with yet another great turn out of 80+ skiers/snowshoers. The course was made easier this year as all downhills had a nice run out (for those of us who cant turn :) and was beautifully groomed thanks to dedicated Chama help consisting of 5 days of solid course packing by their snomo volunteers and Clay's work on Friday and Saturday with our club's 4 ft tidd and track setter pulled by Cosmo, our 'new' snomo.

Everyone really enjoyed the race, and our John B. won the 10k. The 5k and the snowshoe race were also quite popular. The awards ceremony after the race at the High Country restaurant was fun, with all the green chile stew and loads of giveaways including $50 gift cards to Sportz Outdoor store - they were one of the race sponsors this year! Of course there is also the whole Chama/High Country Restaurant volunteer gang that makes the whole thing just a lot more Chama and a lot more fun, but you have to be there to understand and to drink the beer (so make sure to attend awards next year!!). Results and race report will be posted at soon (currently the 2008 report and results link points to 2007 report and results).

SWNSKI had John B, Clay, Dave Judy and Wyatt W, Greg O and family, Gene, Denny, John and Nancy U., there representing us which is very nice. But I really hope our club participation increases next year. The race really needs our support - if we dont make an effort now to support such events, we will lose the fragile nordic culture of NM completely!
There was talk of keeping some groomed trails in Chama - a few locals who already have the necessary machines and the means are interested in finding out more about grooming there! They will be contacting us hopefully.

As I was not there, I'm sorry to say neither were my photographic skills... well maybe not skills, but the fact that I try to take a few shots before the event is well over with. Anyway, here are a few shots taken by Toma and Clay well after all races were over and then down at awards.
1) Toma driving Cosmo:

2) Toma, women's 10k winner - check out the cool medals everyone got!

3)Clay in front of the warming hut out on race course (start/finish 'stadium' visible at right)

4) While awards were a lot of fun, Wyatt was just too tired from watching mom and dad race skis and snowshoes all morning :)

Friday, January 18, 2008

Just heard from Dina on the current {Friday evening] grooming situation on the Chama Chile Classic race course [which will happen Sunday at 11:00AM:

"Just talked to Clay. He has groomed the Chama course today and it should ski well for those interested in pre-skiing it tomorrow [Saturday].  You will have until about 3:00PM after which the course will be closed and regroomed for Sunday's race.    Dina"

Thursday, January 17, 2008

grooming update, 1/17/08

Entire trail regroomed last night and this morning for classic and skate skiing.   Conditions remain very cold so the conditions should be good for the holiday weekend.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Trail Report 1/10/08

Hi everyone! Hope you get a chance to get out and ski. There is a lot of new snow and the wind has finally quit howling...mostly.

I went skiing today at noon. The sun was out and temperatures were in the 20's. After a cold night, the snow had set up and was still pretty squeaky.

Dave Wykoff had jumped back into the trackster (he groomed yesterday too) and was out grooming with the 6-foot Tidd today, including the meadow trails. He had his ski clothes under his work close, and was even going to ski a little afterward. What an animal!

Overall, the trails are in amazing shape. They are still a bit soft, but setting up quickly. I don't know if Dave was going to get around to setting a classic track. It's only fair that he gets a chance to ski after two grooming sessions in a row.

If anyone is willing to lend a hand, there are a couple of sections of the front hill fencing that need to be reset. The first long stretch is leaning so far out that it is not really doing much, and then further up, there is a fairly short segment that needs to be reset with another bamboo pole and some cord.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Lots of new snow 1/7/08

Snowpack is no longer a question mark for the season. We got hit big time by this storm. Unfortunately, we also got hit with a mechanical breakdown on one of the machines, so it had to be taken out of service and down to the shop in town for repairs.

Several of the main groomers are not available for various reasons. Grooming this new snow will be slow. The trail could use some packing by snowshoe or touring skis anyway, especially the meadow trails. The drifts are going to be horrendous, as the wind is howling now.

The trail will probably get packed out by the weekend or so.

Pajarito Ski Time Trial Results Jan 6th 2008

Despite having to leave their car half way up the unplowed ski hill road and hike up Judy, Lyle and Luke Amer from Santa Fe did make it to the time trial. Actually, at that point it was well after 10am and Denny has been groooming since 4am (Clay did a lap after 9am), but both efforts were hard to see due to all the snow coming down and being blown very quickly! So the fact that Amers did make it was complete and utter luck! They skied up to point B as I was sending off Paul - the last in line after Clay and Denny, so they had 60 seconds to get ready and hear what the course was.
The TT course was from point B up to top of meadow coming back on lower road and finishing at B again - start/finishline was the Coat Tree, no shortcuts were used. The snow was very very soft and it was snowing the whole time. Here are the results:

Clay Moseley 25:55

Denny Newell 34:09 (After grooming for 5 hours that morning)

Paul Graham 34:08

Judy Amer 35:42

Luke Amer 34:39

Lyle Amer 32:39

Here are pictures Clay starting and Denny and Paul lined up (note their fancy club clothes!) and then the Amers frantically stripping and getting ready to start:

Clinic Action Shots

Here are a few more shots from the ski clinic on Sat which was very well attended and a lot of fun:

1,2) Learning the 'Neanderthal-GunSlinger' pose as demonstrated by Jess:

3-4) Serious fall-forward action (NOT a trust exercise!):

5) Below, Ken and Jess showing correct stance.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Great clinic day

What a great clinic this morning at the Pajarito Ski Trails. It is great to have such knowledgeable skiers and teachers in the club. About 15 people in the classic class and 6 in the skate. Classes ran for about 2 hours on suprisingly warm and humid snow. The trails were groomed to perfection despite no significant snow in the last few weeks. Thanks so much Jessica, Ken and Clay for teaching, and to all the groomers for keeping the trails in such great shape this year. A bunch of us went skiing up to the meadow and back afterwards and boy am I pooped. Remember low key time trials tomorrow (sunday 1/6/08) AM, 8:30 for warm up and 9-9:30 start of the racing, unless it snows 4 feet tonight...

Here are a few pics thanks to Tom Berg, click each image for huge uncropped pics:

Jessica watches Paul lead a poleless drill while a snowboarder flattens the classic track behind her

click for big

More poleless classic skiers

click for big

Clay and Jessica entrance the classic class with their squatting and arm swinging

click for big

Friday, January 4, 2008

Trail Groomed for Weekend (1/04/08)

Entire trail system was regroomed during the course of the day and this evening. Everything looks great again. Both skate and classic were completely redone and should be in great shape for the weekend's activities (clinic tomorrow and training time trial on Sun.).

It was becoming more humid and snowing very lightly (and blowing a bit) this evening, but the temps were hovering right around freezing. The track may still be somewhat softish tomorrow if it doesn't cool off more than that.

Hope to see you out there this weekend.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Trail Report 1/3/08

The temperatures climbed more today than they have in a was actually pretty warm up high, and colder down low...typical with a NM high pressure inversion. So, while it was pleasant temps with filtered sunshine, it was still cool enough to keep the snow from transforming in all but the sunniest areas.

The trails are still holding nicely. The grooming from the weekend did a great job. There is quite a bit of tree trash and few little uneven places, but overall it is good skiing, both classical and skating. The snow is quite firm, but not icy. The meadow trails are very firm with wind cups and drifts. The classic track is good in the trees, but wind-blown in the open meadow areas.

All trails still have some powdery snow (not ice) to edge on for control. For kick, it looks like some blue klister mixed in with whatever hard wax is necessary for the current temperature would help out quite a bit. Conditions vary from bottom to top.

Watch out for a few obstacles lurking just at the top surface of the snow. I noticed the tops of some of those big rocks are right about to poke through. looks like some snow is on the way later in the weekend.

Don't forget about the clinics and the 'for-fun' training time trial this weekend.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

New Year's trail update

Denny and Dave groomed the night of Dec.  30th---in spite of the old hard snow they had to work with, it still came out just great...   classic track gets better and better as you get higher in the woods.

The meadow of course is blown in, but the rest of the trail network is fine, so get out and enjoy it!