Monday, February 23, 2009

Tarik's Alley Loop Race Report, 2009

Buddy and me during better times

See that picture above? With me and the 7 foot tall bear costumed skier? Those were the good times. The Alley loop starts on Elk Avenue which is the downtown main drag in Crested Butte. This year we started by going up Elk avenue and looping back through the alleys. We were supposed to follow the guy in the bear suit through the sketchy parts of the alleys as a neutral start. Here is what happened. I was on the front row of the starting line. Buddy the Bear was in front of me. The race started. Everyone started skiing except the bear. The bear was still dancing. I hit Buddy the bear hard and bounced off. By the time I recovered everyone was way up the road and the bear still had not figured out what just happened. That, pretty much, sums up my race. You need not read any further, that was the best part of the report. For those who are looking for the usual overblown, late and too wordy report, please read on. For everyone else, thanks for coming by.

click for the rest of the story

Friday, February 20, 2009

Grooming / Trail Report 2/20/09

Dave and John got out last evening and regroomed things. Here's John's summary:

skated it this am. Its pretty good beyond point B. The track from there up to the top is pretty good but the track in the outer meadow is poor. Lower road is pretty good between the meadow and the cut-off to B. We made multiple passes above J and in the meadow, only 2 passes on Dave's and TJ's but they are in great shape. Ski hill jeep road on west side is also groomed 3/4 up. Ken, Jess and I skated it this AM before the downhillers go there. Enjoy.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Trail Photos from Pres day Weekend

Here are some pictures from Sunday Feb 15th to go along with Clay's trail report below.
Btw, again, thanks so much to all the groomers - if it wasnt for your work and time we wouldn't have such an awesome place to ski so close to where we live!

1) Front hill - much easier if you switch the skis for wheels (or hiking boots) right now - burnt out spots are getting closer and closer together, but the snow fencing is still a huge help. Here is Clay with Mila in the Chariot, this is actually on the way back to the car:

2) Just past point A you are good to change over to skis!

3) Nice corduroy and good classic track - pretty great skiing (and even more so because you dont expect it from the way the front hill looks :)

4) Coming up the Outer Meadow trail with the Valley behind:

5) Outer meadow trail layout was well done - makes for some really great skiing:

6) Going up the Outer meadow to the top:

Grooming / Trail Report 2/19/09

Well, it's not so much a grooming report as just a trail conditions report. Nothing has been regroomed since last Friday before President's Day weekend.

Anyway, things are holding up, if not getting crusty, glazed and rough around the edges again. The upper tree trails and the lower road are both still in pretty good condition, but there's a lot of hard pack, glaze and wind-strewn tree debris in the trail.

The classic tracks in the trees on both the lower road and the upper tree trails are still in pretty good shape, but with a lot of debris. I picked out the major stuff where I could. It drifted out in all of the meadow locations and really needs to be reset out there.

Speaking of drifting, it did snow a little bit. I discovered that on my ski today, but I was not the first one out there to discover it. I saw a couple of sets of skate tracks on it, so someone beat me to it. The tracks left by said skater indicated that the upper meadow sections were drifty in the skate lane too. It's amazing how much drifting was present after such a small amount of snow. The outer meadow trail had all of the new snow blown clean off it, so it's still crusty and hard, except at the very bottom where it's protected from the wind.

For classic skiing, I applied 3 layers of klister: one generous layer of ice klister, one layer of hard/course snow klister (both torched in and allowed to freeze outside), then a thin layer of "vario" klister (corn snow) on that, just corked in. It worked great and kick was as solid as can be expected in all sections except for around point K, where there's a weird moist drifty spot that iced up on me for a few meters. It cleared up pretty well once I got back on something crusty and hard. Even the icy section from the lower road out to the upper meadow skied well with that combination and I was able to stay in what was left of the track all the way up.

It's funny, but I get a little bummed out with the lack of snow down here in town and it's depressing walking up the mostly brown front hill now, but then once I get back into the trail system, it's amazing how well it is holding up and how good the skiing is. I would say keep gettin' out there once it gets groomed again.

Tarik's NM cup race report

Well Clay already contributed his timely report so here is mine, or at least a portion click here to read the rest

The mighty wax box

Anyhow, when Paul and I got there, it was warm and getting a bit warmer. So klister it was, with the advice of Clay and a few others I reapplied the swix blue klister that had worked reasonably well the week before. Paul, who hates klister, went with some super warm hard kick wax. We headed out on the trails and it was clear that it was much warmer than either of our waxes could handle. We double poled around for an hour or so and returned for a snack. I cleverly applied Universal Klister , which, in theory, would work in a huge variety of warmer conditions. I will now refer to as UMAKlister which stands for Universal My Ass, which might tell you how the rest of the day went. I actually had great kick, but no freaking glide as the wax was filled with a giant snowball after about 15 minutes of skiing. I realized if I kept moving and did not stop at all I could get reasonable sking done. Paul still had nothing, so I skied back an forth on the trail while paul walked around on his skis. He looked like he was having fun, and it was, upon reflection, a pretty good day, so I kept on skiing. Later I ran into clubmember Tom who clued me in that UMAKlister was too warm for the day, I needed violet Klister, and he was getting amazing kick. Feh, Universal my ass.

click here to read the rest including an actual race report

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Note from the Mora Vasaloppet courtesy of Tom Br.

Ideal conditions at the Mora, Minnesota Vasaloppet Feb. 8. Tom skied the 35Km freestyle. He’s going back to Wisconsin this weekend to ski the American Birkebeiner for the first time in 28 years; 50Km for his 50th birthday. (He just got his first piece of AARP junk mail).

Shot of him and Ben from the race - doesn’t that hat look good!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Nice skiing with colder temps and fresh snow!

Thanks to all the time put in by our wonderful and dedicated groomers the trails are in great shape and particularly sweet now that we had a few more inches to freshen things up. Thanks a lot to all the groomers!
also, thanks to whoever was the considerate showshoer(s) on the lower road! Great job stomping all the edges and not following the same track - made for a very nice and even wide road all the way through the outer meadow where they kindly stayed to the sides and nicely framed the trail - very cool!
Here is a shot from earlier today. This might look a bit grey, but being spoiled with all of our sunshine here in the southwest, its actually a nice break to get the colder, humid, grey winter day - just like where I grew up! :)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Scarlett Johansson punished by a fan

Boost your nether rod's abilities

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Chama Chili Classic Ski and Snowshoe Race Report 1/18 2009

Here is an excerpt of my typically long Chama Chili classic 2009 race report. read the rest here.

Shack near the start line. Why is there a shack here?

So my ski race went a little something like this. Double pole in the tracks in the frenetic start. Ski up on the person in front of me, try to get out of the tracks to go around. Crash. Get up, go up the climb, crash. Go through the fast twisty part in the trees. Nearly crash into trees, but instead crash in snow hard enough to have bruises. Look up to see the next group ski neatly away from me. Get up, ski frantically, crash. Have my teammate Dave, who is probably worse than classic skiing than me, come up upon me and inform me that if I keep crashing that he will beat me. Get up and then crash in front of Dave again. Get through the rollers and then, I am now on to part two of the race.

read the rest here

Classic Track set on 2/4/2009

Classic track was set on the lower road (past the hill at point A), all the way out to the meadow, on the outer meadow trail, and then down the upper tree trails to the point where there's a burn-out spot just above point A.

It'll be purple klister (or even yellow for a while tomorrow...) during the day, and probably ice klister in the early morning and evening. Otherwise, waxless skis would work well if you ski in the warmer parts of the day.

Please help to educate people you see walking on the "no walking" portions of the trail. There seem to be a lot of these sign disregarder people and they've done a lot of damage to the "skiing only" designated trails. It's a mess to groom and ski on...

Ski on!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Grooming report 2/2/09

We figured a few things out with the ice grinding, so some of the trail is in more or less pretty good shape for skating -- at least for a day or so. The lower road still stinks because a lot of people walked on it when it was warm and very soft. It just isn't possible to repair that damage. Just what the allure of walking on groomed ski trails is, I'll never really understand...

Anyway, the upper tree trails are pretty good all the way out to the end of the meadow. The outer meadow trail is in OK shape. We didn't use the "new secret ice grinding technique" out there, so it's not as well ground up as the tree trails, but still should be in good shape.

If time permits, I'll attempt to get a classic track pulled in on Wednesday (so plan on skiing classic with klister on either Thursday or Friday). It's supposedly going to snow this weekend, so hopefully this extended "January Thaw" will end.

Bear in mind, that the front hill is total crap now (much in part thanks to the winter walkers) and it's probably better to walk it up past point A or just to point A if you plan on starting by skiing the lower road. The lower road is actually pretty good once you get past that spot where we had to cut out a bunch of down-fall trees. From there, it's pretty good all the way out to the meadow.