Thursday, March 26, 2009

2009 Pajarito Pinhead Challenge Race Report 3/14/09

Here is an excerpt from my Pajarito Pinhead challenge race report, for the full report click here.

Flurries blew in midrace

The descent was really soft and I did my best to try and stay upright the whole way, but I quickly crashed pretty hard twice, once almost hitting myself in the head with my own ski, so I decided to try some alternative methods of getting down the hill. My first plan was to try to slide down on my hip like last year. It was too soft and I ground to a halt. I then sort of fell into the successful plan. I basically sat on the tails of my skis and glided down the slope, half on my ass, half on my skis. When it was steep, I would grind my butt into the snow and essentially, uh, snowplow with my crotch. When it was a more shallow slope I would kind of paddle with my arms to maintain momentum. It worked pretty well, but I am sure I looked ridiculous. While I am dedicated to you dear readers, my dedication does not extend to wishing that video of my ignominious descent existed.

OK, if you want to read the whole report with race results and real names this year, please surf on over to my blog Moscaline. Dina's photos are over on the swnordicski photo page

Monday, March 16, 2009


Are we done?

After cutting out 3 down trees before point A, one pretty good size, I groomed a "best line" classic track on the upper tree trails Saturday afternoon/evening since there was about 8" new and still pretty cold. It turned out awesome, especially early in the day yesterday. It stayed nice and cool -- especially in the shade, but the sun was high and strong and the new snow annealed with the old rotted stuff underneath and it got weird if you didn't have big rills and good wax. It was a blast to ski, though.

I suspect that's about it if no one wants to go groom again. There are three spots that are going to open up quickly this week -- the hill past point B, the "Rock" below J, and that weird spot where the first shortcut above J intersects that upper flat section of trail, where the sun hits it hard this time of the year. All of those sections are short, but getting thin by the second, otherwise, there's still good coverage everywhere else. The current groom job won't really be good for skating.

The 6' Tidd is still just above point A, and we can give it a ride back down on the 'Gopher Fence' when we have our trail day. Some bamboo still standing in the outer meadow; the ones that fell were covered by the storm.

Friday, March 13, 2009

New Snow 3/13/09

Happy Friday the 13th of March.

There's now a little more than 6" new snow on the trails, and still snowing. So far, there are no immediate plans for grooming...maybe early next week something might get a pass or two if someone gets motivated.

So, be prepared to ski in your own classic touring tracks if you do go up.

Remember, the Pinhead Challenge is tomorrow'll be groomed late tonight.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Grooming / Trail Report 3/5/09

Believe it or not, there's still quite a bit of Nordic skiing to be had on the SWNSKI trails. Of course, you have to hike in a little further now...all the way to the "coat tree" at point B on the trail map. Up to that point, the trail is very sun-exposed and really took a beating with these record temperatures.

The lower road looks completely destroyed from the junction at point A, but beyond point R, it's in OK shape and groomed out to point O and even has a nice classic track set. The cutoffs at R to the upper trails and O to the upper trails at TJs are sort of groomed too, so there's skiable access to the lower road, which is actually in good shape where there's snow.

That's the theme around the rest of the trail system. Where the sun hasn't beaten down too badly, it's good spring skiing, although really dirty snow. There are about 3 or 4 very short stretches where it's very narrow, then fine just beyond.

I wasn't able to set a classic track on the rest of the trail system because I had a problem with the grooming machine. The lights failed due to a charge system/battery problem and I ended up grooming in the dark using only the stars and whatever moonlight was available. There may be some weird swerving around in the skate lane down low. Too bad, as it would have been good to get in one last classic track. Maybe this weekend...

It finally cooled off dramatically when the clouds cleared out, so it froze and started setting up. Hopefully, we'll get some new snow to squeeze out a few more days. Otherwise, we may have one more grooming session left if we're lucky.

Go ski and say your farewells this week....