Friday, December 31, 2010

New Year's Evening Update

John Bernardin packed the entire system this afternoon with the big roller which left it in very good shape for skating. Get out your coldest glide wax, it's really cold up there.

All the snowshoe trails have been pre-packed as well.

New Year's Eve update

Here is Dave W's grooming post from late last night:

"the road up to the ski hill was a mess....not plowed at all....packing went well, I only got slightly stuck twice and made a couple of new cutoffs in the deep powder, it was 13 when I left up there, so it should set up hard!"

So the huge snowfall has been packed but not groomed. It is predicted grooming will begin today, but it is extremely cold up there (Pajarito shows 6 below zero for a low last night) so this is going to take a while.

Pajarito also shows the road as plowed but snowpacked so be careful. Pajarito opens tomorrow, I expect they are busy grooming today.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Grooming Update, 12/29/2010

We're finally getting some serious snow. The groomers will be up working on making it into skiable tracks and trails over the next couple days. If you members see a hardworking groomer dude out there give him/her a thumbs up for all they are doing for us, and if you see a way to help, don't be shy, just pitch right in, it will be appreciated!

We hope to have everything groomed by Friday AM but with big snows it's hard to predict. Check the blog for grooming updates:

In the meantime the ski touring and snowshoeing should be wonderful, just be careful out there while the storm is at its height.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Sandia Peak ski trail updates!

We have an Albuquerque skier who is kindly planning to provide blog posts here with conditions info on the xc skiing on the Ellis Trail on Sandia Peak. His name is Ron and he says:
"Ellis trailhead is essentially the parking lot adjacent to Sandia Peak Tramway service road.  This is the beginning of a favorite x-c ski and snowshoe trail system (unfortunately also frequented by snowboarders who often tend to degrade the area for these two sports).  The tram service road is occasionally groomed by one of the alpine area's snowcat (last year about once per week).  The skating on the service road after a snowcat groom can be awesome though perhaps a little boring as a roundtrip on it is only 3-3.5 km (depending on whether one can ski on the upper part of the alpine area --which can be done after 4 pm or on days the area is not open, normally Monday and Tuesday). "

Ron will provide as regular of an update as he can and as conditions change. All such posts will be under label/link 'Sandia Peak' as listed at top left section of the blog. All of the posts will soon be linked to from a new section on our homepage listing places to xc ski in our area. I will post another update once that section is up on the site.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Day Trail Report

As promised, there is now a classic track, of sorts, on the upper trails from Point C up to the meadow. It's a bit bumpy, shallow, wavy, not straight, thin, etc., but there are some nice sections in it. It'll be interesting to see how it skis. We had two full days of skating, so it's time to get some striding in. Skating is still permitted, we guess....

The track had to weave and wind all through the trail, so it will no doubt get skated over in many places. Skiing is a little rough around the edges for both skate and classic, but it has been groomed for both.

Dina and I spent some time cutting out aspen shoots in the meadow, but there are a lot more to be cut from Point J to the top. Consider cutting some out when you ski (bring loppers). Also did some shoveling around "The Rock," so that should hold for a few more days. Could use more, though.

Things skied pretty nicely, if not a bit bumpy and uneven. Some bare patches from the front hill to Point B (upper trails) and to Point R (lower road), but nice beyond that. Some stretches were just great.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Grooming Report 12/24/2010

Merry Christmas to everyone!

Well, we didn't ever get the "mother-lode" dump we were hoping for out of this past round of Pineapple Express moisture, but the daily doses of Sierra Sludge finally added up to something we could work with in terms of grooming.

We kind-of informally rotated through a few rounds of packing passes and then with the last round of wet, heavy snow, we were able to get the small Tidd (corduroy grooming implement) out and lay down a more skiable surface.

Bear in mind that the cover is thin and there are still numerous obstacles. Keep your eyes peeled for the dark spots and avoid them. Of course, the front hill has it's usual bad (read bare...) spots, as well as the Point A to Point B section, and the early parts of the lower Canada Bonita road are all very thin and spotty. The ground had warmed back up after last week's warm weather, and this wet, warm snow just never really got ahead of the curve, so it's thin at best in those areas.

But, once you make it past Point C (intersection to TJ's), it gets a lot better rapidly. There are some nice sections. The snow was heavy and wet, and then it got foggy and colder late today, so it glazed up and will likely be a little bit icy and crusty by morning, despite being freshly fallen and groomed. It should soften up by mid-day.

One thing I'd like to ask of all of you who would like to help out in some way: take along a set of limb loppers (the little hand-held ones) and do some aspen shoot cutting up high just before the meadow, and all through the meadow itself. That part just never really got any attention during our trail days and it's a mess for sure. It really needs some work. If we all plan on cutting 4 or 5...hundred shoots, we'll be good to go! Just kidding...spend 10 minutes or so, and that will do it. Be sure to cut them down low, as far below the snow level as possible.

Another thing, and this is a little bigger: the area around the rock (where we have strung up that bright, fluorescent green fencing below Point J) needs some shoveling (snow from the woods into the trail). That spot collects a lot of sun and the trees also help keep the ground warm. The snow is super thin in that section. If we could get some scoops of snow in a path about 18" wide, it would be a HUGE help to keep it from burning out.

Otherwise, things look good. The lower road is groomed too, but I wouldn't venture out into the lower part of the meadow above Point O until we get more snow. You can do out-and-back trips on the lower road, then use one of the 3 groomed cutoffs to get back up to the upper trails.

Finally, there's no classic track. It's a little thin, but I will plan on pulling in a very shallow one later tomorrow afternoon for Sunday's skiing. It won't be super smooth or straight like mid-season groomed tracks, but it should make the trails skiable for some nicer striding on Sunday.

Thanks for all of your support. The SWNSC grooming efforts wouldn't be possible without it!

Now, get those rock skis out and go ski.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Here's a trail report from Clay

As of last evening:

> I was surprised to find a pretty decent amount of new snow on the trails.

> The snow line was just below Townsite, so it was warm and wet, but it was
> snow. Hard to say how much, but it was a lot more than I had expected.
> The only problem was that it was sloppy and the trees were taking slush
> dumps all over the trails.
> I was able to ski from the car, and return to the car. But, there are a
> dozen or so thin spots up to Point J...mainly those exposed areas where
> the ground is still warm.
> Where it was good, it was great, where it was thin, it will take some work
> to keep it. Best just to leave it for now, in anticipation for more
> through tomorrow and Friday morning. We'd just make a mess.
> So, we hold off and just use our rock touring skis a little longer. I got
> in a great ski and really felt the feeling in some of the good stretches.
> We're literally inching closer to having some groomable skiing.

This AM:

Looks like it did snow quite a bit more last evening. It was, no doubt, more Sierra Sludge. But, after a brief period of clearing, it got below freezing (in town), which is what we needed. Looks like it's snowing pretty good up there now and should snow for a while today/tonight.


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

List of great winter events in our area Jan-March 2011

From our club president with some additions by the editor :):
Well, so far NM is mostly only receiving the crumbs of all of the great storms, but there is good xc skiing to be had nearby. Enchanted Forest is open, and it will require only a little bit more for us to get the SWNSC trails groomed at Pajarito.

Every year about this time, I get a batch of questions from a number of you on the lists about xc skiing, where to go, events, etc. So, here's a quick summary of "nearby" events that are actually some of the best events anywhere -- definitely worth giving a try. If you're training for the Quad, consider coming out for the Chama Chili Classic and the NM Cup at Enchanted Forest.

Jan. 8 - Santa Fe Striders snowshoe race -- Santa Fe
Jan 8: Headlamp Snowshoe Cookout Tour at Enchated Forest
Jan. 15,16,17 - Chama Chili Ski Classic (both skate & classic events this year plus snowshoe; historic NM event -- lots of fun stuff for this year's festival. Check it out!)
Jan. 22, 23 - USSSA National Qualifier Snowshoe Race - Enchanted Forest
Jan. 23 - Tour de Ski at Purgatory (epic single 45km loop promoted by a bunch of Durango mtn. bikers)
Feb. 5 - Alley Loop (Crested Butte, CO - very fun race and coolest course around, great party too)
Feb. 5 - Durango Langlauf (great race, but not the best date [see Alley Loop])
Feb. 13 - NM Cup/Low O2 Challenge (20km & 10km skate at Enchanted Forest; more info to come. Check the SWNSC website or Enchanted Forest in a few days for info)
Feb. 19 - Mt. Talor Quadrathlon -- 'nuff said


Feb. 18-19 - Pagosa Winterfest Events
Feb 26: Just Desserts Eat and Ski at Enchanted Forest! Best way to get newbies into xc skiing :)))
Feb. 27 - Leadville Loppet - (highest marathon ski race in the world, that I know of. Cool course too)
March 19 - North Routt Coureur de Bois 90km - Steamboat Springs, CO (ok, not local, but definitely LOCO! I did this last year and am still trying to recover from it. It's tough, an adventure, and very awesome. It's interesting even if you're not an xc skier.)

Comment on this post or use Contact Form on our site for questions.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Friday Trail Grooming Update

Here is Denny's grooming report from mid day:

"So there is about 5-8 inches on the trail. I ran the 6 ft roller around a couple times and it at least knocked down the high grass. We need another storm like this one before I would even consider the Tidd. I would not skate it without serious rock skis. getting out on some off track classics would be good though."

Enchanted Forest XC Ski and Snowshoe area open for the season!!!!!!!!!

Yay! New Mexico's finest full service xc ski and snowshoe area is finally open for the season! Winter fun in a family/group friendly atmosphere and wide range of activites/events for all! Rent/buy ski/snowshoe/pulk gear including kid gear, take lessons, hang out in the improved lodge, rent out the ski-to yurt for the night and more! Easy day trip from Los Alamos! Fun will be had by all. See details below from Geoff, EFXC owner:

Enchanted Forest Cross Country Ski Area, New Mexico's finest cross country ski area, is finally open for the 2010 -- 2011 season. The most recent winter storm has done the trick and covered the trails with a blanket of New Mexico's finest frozen white powder.

The delay in snow actually gave the Enchanted Forest time to complete some projects that looked like they may have to wait for the next season. 2 new snowshoe trails, remodeled day lodge, new rental yurt and overall trail improvements all were completed while the snow waited to visit northern New Mexico.

Coming events include the now famous Christmas Luminaria Ski and Snowshoe Tour December 25th , and the New Years Potluck with lighted skiing and sledding in the base area December 31st , as well as monthly Moonlight Ski and Snowshoe tours and the famous Just Dessert Eat and Ski on Feb 26th. At Enchanted Forest we invite you to come celebrate winter!

For more information on Enchanted Forest, point your browser to or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
Enchanted Forest Cross Country Ski Area 575-754-6112

Geoff Goins, Owner

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Crested Butte Citizen's Series 10km Classic 12/12/2010

Crested Butte got a foot of new snow on Friday afternoon/evening. Pretty sweet, especially for skiing on Saturday, but it was at fairly warm temperatures, so waxing for a classic race was a little bit tricky. It was stormy there all day on Friday, but like I said, it was oddly warm...somewhere in the neighborhood of 32 degreesF. It never got all that cold the 3 days we were there, but it was humid. I think the temps were in the mid-high 30's sometime on Saturday, so the new snow got a little bit sticky, then it did it again after the race on Sunday; only that time it got into the 40's.

Luckily, it got colder overnight on Sat./Sun., so the snow cooled down, but after scrambling around with Mila's babysitter, registration, getting over to the race site, etc., I just had to take an educated gamble at going with a somewhat warmer kick wax than anyone would have expected because it was warming up fast. Turns out, my guess was right and Dina and I had pretty good kick during the race.

The course was pretty cool, utilizing their new "Mike's Mile" trail, which I would have to say is probably one of the best trails CB now has. It's an amazing addition to their trail system, and the name is misleading, as it's a 2.3 km trip out, then you make a small turnaround at the end and come back. It crosses Slate Creek twice (and if you look slightly north, you can see the Slate Creek road). The only thing about Mike's Mile is that it is open to dogs (still great skiing, though), as it is really an extension to Pooch's Paradise, another trail we used in the race that started right at "The Gronk". The best description I have for Mike's Mile is that it is a lot like skiing that trail in the Boulder Mountain Tour in Sun Valley, except without the highway over to one side. Here, it's all wilderness views, creek crossings on some cool bridges, and sublime cruising.

The early part of Pooch's Paradise is a little bit hilly with a few steep kickers, so having good kick was important because at the top where it intersects with all the Magic Meadows trails and Mike's Mile, it was a double-pole contest and having a low heart-rate was essential to going fast. Lots of folks showed up for the race; all local except for a small handful like Dina and me. The field consisted of a few tough-guy-and-gal locals, some college kids on the Western State and Mesa State club teams, as well as Master's 55-59 and now 60-64 world champion, Murray Banks, ensuring at least a good workout.

Sparing you all the gory details, here's a summary: the race was quick off the line thanks to the young guys, but it eventually settled down a bit once they all went anaerobic over the early steep hills and we got out onto Mike's Mile and all the double-poling. One by one, I watched the small group give in to the lactic acid demons, then managed to latch onto the first college kid guy who had a solid double-pole. He kept the pressure on the whole time, but I didn't freak out and was able to use my bike racing sprint tactics in the final 500m to get around him in slight turn, claim the fast tracks and give a good sprint to the line. The college kid had drawn even with me at one point, but he threw in the towel when we hit a rise in the final 200m.

Dina also had a great event, staying strong and consistent throughout and was mixing it up with several gals around her the whole time. She's been working on smoothing out the kinks in her classic technique, and it was great to see her giving it 100% and not worrying so much about the details. It's amazing how putting in 100% effort helps solidify things you're working on at slower speeds. She had a fun race and there was a lot of "I get it" moments afterward. I think she was something like 15 minutes faster than she had expected.

Not long after we were done, the sun came out so strongly that the snow got a little bit mashed-potato-y and the kick we had before became a mixture of icing and grabbing, mixed with some slipping. We skied around for another 40 minutes until we ran out of babysitter time, so we went back to eat a proper breakfast/lunch instead of a small bowl of oatmeal.

It was fun to get back on snow. They don't have as much as usual, but they're getting steady small doses and it's still an xc skiing paradise. I think they have about 35km of their usual 50km (well, now 60kms) open. Driving there and back was super easy and fast, as there is nary a patch of snow until you are almost to Crested Butte itself. Maybe things will change for them and for us this next week. Think snow!!!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

New trails marked and open

As of Sunday, all the new and old snowshoe trails at SWNSC Pajarito Trail System have been marked and signed, including the one called Wyatt's Way which runs from the Camp May Road just across from the "MOTHER LIFT" at the base of the Camp May Hill, winding it's way thru the Aspens on up to Point "A", a much more scenic alternative to the front hill road.

All trails have "Official" signs saying "Snowshoe Trail" and all are marked along their entire length with a mix of Red, Orange and Hot Pink flagging.

Still no snow to travel on, but the trails make a nice hike without snow, and I think you'll enjoy seeing all the new trails. Lynn Bjorkland of the USFS has created a new trail map showing the new snowshoe trails as well as the x-c ski trails, which can be found on the website:

Thursday, November 18, 2010

EFXC Season Pass discount to SWNSKI member until Dec 1st

Enchnated Forest XC Ski area is offering an extremely generous discount on season passes to SWNSKI members. But you must purchase by Dec 1st. See list below for prices. Note, this is only until Dec 1st. Buy it today to avoid missing the deadline due to Thanksgiving week craziness. Little paragraph at the bottom about latest happenings at Enchanted Forest. Lots of snow in the forecast for them, they hope to open in the next two weeks! Here is a link to photos of their opening day skiing last year (Nov 21st!!!). Pretty amazing early skiing and an easy day trip for a lot of us.

Regular pass price:              Pre-season price by Dec 15th:              SWNSC special by Dec 1:

Single $200                        $150                                                    $100

Couple $250                      $200                                                    $150

Family $300                       $250                                                    $200
To buy it call Geoff direct at 575-770-2431, or call the area and leave a message 575-754-6112, or send an email to get it reserved and they will you call back to get your payment info. They are at the area every day, but working hard on the yurt, addition to the lodge and on the trail so they cant always answer the phone.

Note the pre-season discount until Dec 15th, so those not part of SWNSKI or those who miss Dec 1st deadline can still get that discount on a pass by Dec 15th.

For those who dont know, Geoff and Ellen Goins are the new owners of the area originally owned by Ellen's parents John and Judy Miller. They are making remarkable improvements to the area this year. The yurt has been put up just in the last few weeks and will be available for rent this season. They are adding onto the ski lodge, completely revamping their website (going live soon), improving their already awesome trails and more. Please support them and their efforts by getting your passes and spreading the word. It is the only full service xc ski area in NM. We all know its not a big money business (xc skiing that is :) so lets not take it for granted that we have such a great place to ski at and make sure to support them as much as we can!

Their site is and is also linked from our homepage
If you are on facebook, make sure to join them by clicking here.

Hang Snowfencing THIS Sat Nov 20th!

Come out this Sat Nov 20th, 10am at trailhead bulletin (below Aspen Lift) to help us hang the snowfencing along the front hill. The metal posts (so the heavy part) have already been taken care of. This job is fun and goes by really quickly with more people. Bring work gloves and lunch. Leatherman and extra zipties could be good too just in case.
If you arrive late you will find us working on the front hill, so just walk up the trail a few 100 meters.
see you there!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Rent snowshoes from Los Alamos County Rec!

Anyone interested in trying out snowshoeing, or familiar with it but dont want to own a pair? you can  now rent snowshoes from Los Alamos County Rec Center at the front desk of the Aquatic Center (662-8170). Prices are great and its easy! Use them on our volunteer created and maintained snowshoe specific trail! Photos of the trail here. Snowshoe rental details below:

Snowshoes: Adult and youth size snowshoes, to fit individuals from 50 to 250 pounds, are available along with ski poles in youth to adult sizes.
Pick-up at Aquatic Center Front Desk 662-8170
Available November - April

Snowshoes              Day $ 5.00        Week $20.00        Weekend $10.00

Poles                       Day $ 2.00        Week $ 8.00         Weekend $ 4.00

Snowshoes & Poles Day $ 6.00        Week $25.00        Weekend $12.00

Sunday, October 31, 2010

New trailwork posting from Clay

Spent most of the day cutting out downfall with Orion Staples. We cleaned out the lower road and hacked our way through the snowshoe trail...again. It's clear through there, if not a little rough and not as neat as it was before the wind storm. The stuff that came down near the intersection out at point O made it a bit messy through there. But, we were also able to improve some of the other sections that we didn't have very clean before, so it's probably nicer as a whole.

Interesting thing happened while we were cleaning out the snowshoe trail: we actually heard another big aspen fall down on the lower road. We found it later and cleaned it out.

After getting the lower road clear out, we went up the R-to-B connector (cleaned it out) and started hiking up the upper trails, finding trees down every couple of hundred meters. Many things down on TJ's and Dave's. TJ's had a huge [still live] tree come down, but fell in a very fortunate direction (makes the trail look entirely different there now). There is a massive root ball that peeled up a large section of trail that we'll need to go reclaim with the Pulaski/axe/shovel/saw. The hole left by the root ball is impressive. Orion got pictures on his cell phone -- one with me down in the bottom of it below the root ball. There's also one other tree that I think Pete Stilwell cut part of when he cleaned out the E-to-P connector, but still needs a couple more cuts to clear out of the trail's full width. We skipped it, as we were running out of time and needed to go see the rest of the damage.

At J, we found a huge mess, or two actually. We did our best to clean out the first one, but there's still a lot of boughs on the trail. There's another big cluster mess above J. The old big dead trees were all breaking off near the tops and brought other stuff down with them. There's another down tree at J itself that needs another cut, but my [brand new] chain had finally had enough after cutting out more than 20 trees.

Further up, we cleared out what we could without a saw, but there's a couple more places that need some cuts: one near the first short cut, and one at almost Point-K. There's some stuff that came down on the side of the inner meadow trail (below L heading to M) and is in need of trimming back too. I noticed a big Doug Fir that fell out in the meadow island of trees about where the meadow trail might track. It's worth looking at closer.

Closer to home, there's a green spruce tree down just beyond Point-A. It's a pretty small cut.

That was ONE HELL of a wind storm. It brought down a lot of stuff, not only into/across the trails, but more out in the surrounding forest. I could see many places where clusters of trees had come down and changed the characteristics of what things looked like. All things considered, I think we got fairly lucky. Two big trees came down right next to our trails but fell such that we didn't have to clean them out except for a relative little. Point-J still needs some work, though. I sure hope this cleared most of the weak stuff out so that it doesn't happen during the winter.

If you're looking to do a little evening trail work, take a trip up to Point-J (among those others)and get after it. Looks like dry, warm weather for the next several days. Some parts of the trails are quite muddy after last week's snow; around point-L, there was still some lingering snow and icy trail.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Donate to SWNSC THIS WEEK and have your donation matched by LANS!

Hey everyone,

This is for our members/friends/suporters who happen to work at Los Alamos National Lab. Since we are now a 501c3 organization, LANL employees who donate to the club can have LANS match a portion of that donation if they hurry up and contribute through the LANL Employee Giving Campaign.

This ends this Friday Oct 29th, so you have 2.5 days left to do it. Please do it now if you can!
Last year the match was $.76 for each dollar donated.
To get the match employees need to enter their donation through the time and labor system.
Select United Way of Northern NM (they will charge 14% processing fee), donor designation “Nordic Club” and the official address for the Club. (Southwest Nordic Ski Club, P.O. Box 1556, Los Alamos, NM 87544)

Dont forget campaign ends this Friday!
Also, (and Friday deadline doesnt apply to this part) LANL employees who volunteer for the club need to log hours on Volunteer Match. All volunteers who give more than 100 hours, LANS will contribute a donation to that organization on behalf of the volunteer.

SWNSC snowshoe trails expanded!!!!!

Thanks to all those who came out to help with our trail maintenance weekend!! Lots of stuff done and all that help in effect freed up some time for our main guys to work on yet another snowshoe trail addition. Thanks to hard work and persistence of Paul Gr. to find and mark this trail and all the people who helped him complete the marking, laying out and cleaning it out. Huge group effort with hours and hours of volunteer time with an amazing trail for all as payoff. Thanks everyone! If you wish you could've helped or want to enable us to do more of this, please click here to donate! We are 501c3 now, so your donations is tax deductible!

Great description of the new trail addition below from Clay including link to map:

Well, it's beginning to look a little bit more like winter is on its way, and with that, the Southwest Nordic Ski Club has been ramping up its volunteer trail work.

Something that we've been planning and now actively doing is developing a "real" snowshoe trail system. This new "trail," which is really just a cleaned up corridor that we've found & scouted out over the past few years, is located below the Canada Bonita road (or FS Trail 282). The corridors through the dense forest were presumably cut by surveyors years ago, but never really cleaned out. They had just cut what they had to in order to complete a survey. We have found a few relics of the survey(s), including marks on trees, some nailed-in tags, etc.

Anyway, we've been slowly cleaning out the extremely dense downfall and brush to get a very nice path put in. This is not like the other trails that the club has developed over the years with the purpose of groomed xc skiing in mind, but rather a more up-close-and-personal contact with the natural state of the forest and existing terrain. This new section is absolutely amazing and everyone should go up and check it out, either on snowshoes when the snow flies, or even now. It is a very hikable/passable corridor that is a bit more adventurous and natural than the other trails up there.

Refer to the Nordic Ski Trail Map that was put together by our very own Lynn Bjorklund at the Forest Service (thanks for the great map, Lynn!). You'll see the "railroad tracks" trail symbol off of the lower multi-use trail (before and at Point-R, what we call "Paul's Portal") that denotes the portion of snowshoe trail we had gotten in for last season -- a trip out the "overlook" is a must, btw.

We've cleaned up that bit of trail even more, and finally scouted out and [mostly] cleaned up a long corridor all the way out on that somewhat flat "shelf" below the Canada Bonita road; it is now passable all the way out to Points-P and -O, with exits at those points and also at Point-R. We put up some flagging to keep snowshoers (and hikers) on the right track, but really, it's quite obvious because it's basically the only passable corridor through the dense forest there.
You can go see it for yourselves, but traveling through there is a special experience that I highly recommend. I was making a sweep of the entire length of the corridor and went from the "overlook" out to Point-O and realized I went from an open old-growth, fire-recovery ponderosa/aspen/locust forest, to a very dense, wet, mossy, dark spruce/fir forest in less than a mile. Intermingled in there were the amazing variety of deciduous trees that were lighting up the dark greens of the conifers. Travel through there and you'll see what we've been talking about.
We hope you all get out to enjoy it!

Trail Work Weekend recap

Photo courtesy Dave K.
  Yet another great weekend up in the Jemez Mountains. By all accounts, the SWNSC Fall Trail Work Weekend was a success.

So many folks chipped in and basically adopted a section or two or three...and got after it clearning the brush, aspen shoots and etc. to make things ready for the ski season. Snow or no, it needs it every year so that it doesn't get too overgrown.

I think with all of everyone's efforts, we got almost all of the tree sections cleaned up. There still may

Tarik biking in water etc for group camping Fri night.
be some work to do on TJ's, but I need some confirmation on that -- we were all so scattered all over the system doing different things, that I didn't get a chance to see it all once we were done. We were also able to get the steel poles set out and ready to be pounded in for the fencing setup. We managed to get a few of them put in before running out of time. We also got the trail counter installed, so we'll hopefully be collecting some numbers on the amount of traffic in and out of there.

The snowshoe trail system is going to be amazing this year with the additions scouted and partially cleared out by Paul and Tom. There needs to be some clearing work on it still to get it ready, but once that's done, it'll be something everyone will need to go take a look at.

The chainsaw class, put on by Miles Standish from the Santa Fe National Forest Espanola Ranger District, was very informative and provided very good instruction for those of us "self-taught" amateur sawyers who basically "hack" our way through the job of clearing out the dead-fall that plagues our trails every year. Some of the safety points were new for us, as well as the various strategies to tackle tough clearing jobs. Thanks to the FS (Miles) for coming out and working on getting us officially certified on our volunteer agreement.

Along with the usual SWNSC members who always energetically show up, we had a number of new faces out there who dove right in and got their hands dirty with the trail work. We even had some 75+ yr old Finnish volunteers, courtesy of Sanna Sevanto, who wrangled her visiting parents into coming out for an entire day of brush and aspen shoot cutting. They showed us how it is done and got a lot of work accomplished!

sun coming into the work group camp
 Our Albuquerque folks also made the trip up, with John D., Beth, Dave K. and Daryl D. pitching in and also camping on Saturday night. A few people came from Santa Fe as well.

Speaking of which, the camping was also a great time, with four of us the first night, and a whole bunch more the second. It was pretty cold on Saturday morning, but that night, the moist air moved in and made Sunday morning a bit warmer, if not a little more damp. Very nice experience waking up to the sunrise in the meadow and just basically being right on the trail for a weekend.

photo by Dave K.
 A big thanks goes out to all of you who came out. I was a little bit under the weather, so I didn't get around as quickly as I would have liked, but it sure looked like everyone got a lot done. We'll have more to do from now 'til the snow flies -- hanging up the fencing, clearing the snowshoe trail, cleaning up the meadow sections (they also get aspen shoots and a lot of errant branches and rocks), etc. If you have some time, consider taking some shoot cutters or go pound in some steel fence poles on the front hill!

photo by Dave K.
 See you next time. We'll probably have another shorter day or two in November to get the rest of the things done.
Big thanks for the great photos to Dave K. More photos from the weekend on our homepage photo gallery tab.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Ski Postural Conditioning Classes in Los Alamos Oct 25-Dec 9th

Hey locals!  Jessica of who has been a SWNSC member and sponsor for a long time, is offering the following ski postural class:

Ski Postural Conditioning Classes


Develop snow sport specific strength, flexibility, cardiovascular fitness and balance all with attention to proper posture and function. It is the body that you bring into the downhill, snowboarding and cross-country skiing experience that influences your risk of injury and can enhance or diminish your efficiency of movement while carving turns, striding up a hill or maneuvering the bumps.

October 25th-December 9th, 2010 (no class Thanksgiving week)

Time: 5:45-6:45 PM

Days: Monday and Thursday

Monday class will be strength, stretching and balance exercises, please bring a yoga mat

Thursday class will be a challenging circuit of full body and ski specific movements

Location: Unitarian Church in Los Alamos

Monday class - Hearth Room

Thursday class - Robinson Hall


Both nights (12 classes): $72

One night (6 classes): $48

Drop-ins: $10/class

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Trail Work Weekend Recap

Here's the final from Clay Moseley. It's the largest and best attended trail work day(s) in the club's history, thanks for coming out!

"Yet another great weekend up in the Jemez Mountains. By all accounts, the SWNSC Fall Trail Work Weekend was a success.

So many folks chipped in and basically adopted a section or two or three...and got after it clearning the brush, aspen shoots and etc. to make things ready for the ski season. Snow or no, it needs it every year so that it doesn't get too overgrown.

I think with all of everyone's efforts, we got almost all of the tree sections cleaned up. There still may be some work to do on TJ's, but I need some confirmation on that -- we were all so scattered all over the system doing different things, that I didn't get a chance to see it all once we were done. We were also able to get the steel poles set out and ready to be pounded in for the fencing setup. We managed to get a few of them put in before running out of time. We also got the trail counter installed, so we'll hopefully be collecting some numbers on the amount of traffic in and out of there.

The snowshoe trail system is going to be amazing this year with the additions scouted and partially cleared out by Paul and Tom. There needs to be some clearing work on it still to get it ready, but once that's done, it'll be something everyone will need to go take a look at.

The chainsaw class, put on by Miles Standish from the Santa Fe National Forest Espanola Ranger District, was very informative and provided very good instruction for those of us "self-taught" amateur sawyers who basically "hack" our way through the job of clearing out the dead-fall that plagues our trails every year. Some of the safety points were new for us, as well as the various strategies to tackle tough clearing jobs. Thanks to the FS (Miles) for coming out and working on getting us officially certified on our volunteer agreement.

Along with the usual SWNSC members who always energetically show up, we had a number of new faces out there who dove right in and got their hands dirty with the trail work. We even had some 75+ yr old Finnish volunteers, courtesy of Sanna Sevanto, who wrangled her visiting parents into coming out for an entire day of brush and aspen shoot cutting. They showed us how it is done and got a lot of work accomplished!

Our Albuquerque folks also made the trip up, with John D., Beth, and Dave K. pitching in and also camping on Saturday night.

Speaking of which, the camping was also a great time, with four of us the first night, and a whole bunch more the second. It was pretty cold on Saturday morning, but that night, the moist air moved in and made Sunday morning a bit warmer, if not a little more damp. Very nice experience waking up to the sunrise in the meadow and just basically being right on the trail for a weekend.

A big thanks goes out to all of you who came out. I was a little bit under the weather, so I didn't get around as quickly as I would have liked, but it sure looked like everyone got a lot done. We'll have more to do from now 'til the snow flies -- hanging up the fencing, clearing the snowshoe trail, cleaning up the meadow sections (they also get aspen shoots and a lot of errant branches and rocks), etc. If you have some time, consider taking some shoot cutters or go pound in some steel fence poles on the front hill!

Be sure to check out the pictures on the SWNSC photo album (follow the links from the website).

See you next time. We'll probably have another shorter day or two in November to get the rest of the things done."


Monday, October 4, 2010

FREE Skiing and Posture Workshop

Jessica of is a long time SWNSC member and sponsor. Check out this free ski posture/alignment class from her:
Ready for the snow? It's coming...there was at least two inches of hail on the top of the ski hill yesterday. To help you prepare for the cross-country ski season I'm offering a free workshop where you'll learn how being in good posture alignment can improve your skiing performance, lower your chance of injury and alleviate chronic pain.

Monday October 18th

  • Time: 5:45-6:45 PM
  • Location: Unitarian Church in Los Alamos
  • Cost: FREE!
  • Reserve Your Spot: contact me
Invite your downhill and snowboarding friends, the discussion will be applicable for all snow sliding enthusiasts!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Oct 16-17th "Camping and Trailwork with Fall Colors" weekend

Save the date Oct 16-17th for a fun weekend of camping and trail work surrounded by fall colors! Details from our club president below:
I know it's a little early to start talking about the upcoming ski season, but stuff seems to approach faster than we want when it really is time. I am looking at when we might be able to get together, as many as are willing to help out to go out and spend some time working on the trails this coming October.
The Forest Service is also wanting all of us volunteers to complete the trail work and chainsaw field safety classes. They will be there to conduct these, as we get some work done in the process. There are several problem areas where deadfall has collected very close to the sides of the trail, and where brush is getting out of control, so there is plenty to do. There may even be a couple of aspens and dead firs that can be removed to clean up the trail line and keep us from having so much grief during grooming season.
Upon review of the calendar, it appears that the 3rd weekend of October looks best (16th-17th). People have various things going on the first couple of weekends (including trail fest running and off-road duathlon races at Ullr Fest) of October, plus the aspen leaves will be in peak season about that time, so it should be very nice.
I am proposing perhaps setting up some camps on the trails during the week prior, so that we can spend a weekend outside getting lots of things done, like drainage, grading, aspen shoot whacking, fence pole setting, etc.
You don't have to camp, but it might be fun and more efficient to get everything done for some of us, so there may be some things that could be done by everyone like keeping the camp running and etc. There's definitely something for everyone and it'll give us all a closer relationship with this amazing trail system that we've all worked so hard on for all of these years.
Please consider marking that weekend off for trail work volunteering. It's been a while since we've put in a big club weekend to clean things up, and if you've been up there this summer, you can see that things are getting a bit shaggy around the edges.
Please RSVP by leaving a comment on our facebook page, responding to Clay's original email or leaving a comment on this blog.
Clay Moseley
SWNSC Chairman

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Jemez Mountain Trail Runs and Atomic Man Du donate to SWNSC!!

Jemez Mountain Trails Runs has just voted to donate $500 from this year's earning to SWNSC! They appreciate the work we do to upkeep our nordic trails which their event uses as part of the run course. So make sure to support the famous JMTR (which sells out so make sure to register nice and early next year!) and come out for SWNSC trail work days :) Info on trail work days is posted here, on our facebook page and sent to the members email list.

Atomic Man Duathlon has also donated $300 to SWNSC last month as part of their work to donate all earnings to groups supporting athletics in our community. Do support this local April event by volunteering or participating next spring.

Thanks to the above goups and the private donations that have been generously coming in since our 501c3 status has been approved we are doing quite well especially for an off season! We have also submitted a proposal to the county lodging board for funding to use in advertizing/promoting our trails and club outside of Los Alamos. We should know soon whether that has been approved and the quantity if so.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Master's Nationals in Craftsbury, VT

We ventured to Northern Vermont for a different type of vacation ski experience and to participate in the National Master’s events (a 10km [actually 11km] freestyle and a 50km classic race), which included the most formidable classic-technique marathon in the country, the Craftsbury Marathon, a 50km race that is usually a point-to-point event, taking in some of far-Northern Vermont’s most scenic xc ski trails through dense forests and open farmland, as well as across frozen lakes and into small villages.

Craftsbury Outdoor Center (located outside of a small hamlet called “Craftsbury Common”) is well known on the East Coast as one of the best places for cross-country skiing, period. It has a wide variety of ski trails, literally over hill and dale. It is not western skiing at all – the hills are abrupt and quite often very steep, trails are often more uneven and twisty, and the skiing is generally quite a bit more challenging, in that the snow conditions vary throughout the countryside, depending on directional aspects and varying levels of humidity. East Coast skiers definitely have a more built-in hardiness when it comes to the varying conditions and hardships put in their way by Mother Nature -- more on this later.

The Craftsbury Outdoor Center (COC) was just a fantastic place to drop anchor and ski our butts off for over a week. They fed us well and we got a lot of peaceful downtime, at least when our little 18-month old, Mila, let us. The COC has functioned in various capacities as a sports camp of all sorts (running, rowing, xc skiing, mtn. biking, etc.) since its beginning in the 1910s. Now, it’s a commercial operation that caters to the more adventurous East Coaster, and we felt like we were at a rustic sports camp for adults…mostly senior citizen adults, for most of the early part of our stay. Closer to race day, the clientele changed demographics and we knew it was time to get ready for the races.

We flew to Manchester, NH because Southwest flies there. It was a good plan, but we had to drive ALL the way up most of New Hampshire, cross into Vermont over the Connecticut River at St. Johnsbury, VT, and then drive on very rural roads to our destination. It was a fun trip that took us through parts of the White Mountains of NH, where I had downhill ski raced on one trip back in college. I quickly recognized the part of I-91 that narrows down to one lane each direction to pass through what is called “Franconia Notch” where the Cannon Mountain ski area is located. It brought back memories of my one trip to ski in New England and the very challenging snow that people ski on there.

The first day on snow was great. They hadn’t had a great winter, but it was good enough and the COC had been doing a remarkable job in “farming” snow so that any thin area was covered well. The temps were stable and wintery, but not too cold. It was just about ideal and Dina and I had a great time while we pulled Mila around in a rented pulk – pretty tough on some of those steep Vermont hills, but at that low altitude, I felt really strong.

The next morning, we woke up to a torrential downpour of RAIN(!) and temps in the high-40s. How weird! By mid-day, the temperature had risen into the 50s and the rain just increased. We got out and skied a little bit anyway, but it was just sad to see what was happening, and we literally watched the snow disappear before our eyes. The COC crew got to work and harvested as much snow as they possibly could from any open area, mostly local corn fields. Literally hundreds of local Nordic skiers showed up during the day, and the next, to come lend a hand with shoveling and moving snow for the races. They were smart and focused on a primary 13-15 km loop. Miraculously, they salvaged the loop, despite a winter-time record-breaking 2.5 inches of rain that flooded much of New England as the snow melted so rapidly.
The next day of skiing was still depressing: extremely dirty snow with a LOT of tree debris and even mud and some pebbles. I actually skied right over someone’s discarded klister. They must have been having a horrible ski and just scraped it off like a big ball of slime and slung it right into the trail. It got all over my skate skis and I almost fell right on my face when I slid across it. It was a real mess to clean off of my skis and caused me to have to bail on our outing because my ski would no longer slide on the “snow.”

By this time, I was getting nervous about what kind of wax was going to work in those kinds of conditions, so I spent a good afternoon testing Rode klisters (they work the best in wet, miserable snow types). I had Dina try out some combinations too. I finally found something that worked EXTREMELY well – Tom Berg had given me a bunch of his old Rode klisters for those types of snow, which he said he would never bother with again anyway, so they were mine. I researched them and sure enough—they work like a charm if applied correctly. If I remember correctly, I had a base of Rode Neri, with a blend of Chola and Gialla mixed in layers over the top. Awesome!

Those klisters are weird. They also smell like pine tar and horse liniment. One funny moment was when Denny showed up (over 4 hrs after he was scheduled to arrive due to having a disastrous trip) in the middle of the night – he walked into the room where I was now staying alone (while Dina and Mila stayed in the room next door) and smelled the combination of klisters and all of the wet clothes from the weather, which I had apparently gotten accustomed to. He let out an exasperated gasp that woke me up and I then had to explain about the weird klisters, etc. He didn’t believe me and replied, “…that ain’t ALL klister!” The next day, I had to make him sniff the bottom of my skis to prove my point, but he still thought it was weird. All that klister finally killed his senses too, because he got used to it after only one day. When we all got home, we opened our bags and that musty aroma came rushing back to remind us of the ordeal we all went through there.

So by Wednesday, unfortunately, or depending on how you looked at it, the temperature began dropping dramatically and some light snow fell. The next day was Thursday, the day of the 11km freestyle race. That changed everything and I didn’t have time to keep testing classic skis, as it was time to prepare for the skate race. I had to figure out which type of skate ski I was going to use for the race: a stiff, cold snow ski, or a softer, warmer (and wetter) snow ski. It was a toss-up because the course was getting more firm and crusty by the minute, but it still had an unbelievable amount of moisture in it from the rain and the new snow. It just wasn’t intuitive to us there – lots of humidity with cold temperatures and aggressively crystalline wet snow – just something we’d never really seen.

Denny and I scrapped thinking about the classic race and went out to test skate skis. We both had trouble deciding and it was especially hard for him because he had a pair of untested “warm/wet” snow skis that just didn’t have any racing miles. I told him that I felt the drag of the wet snow, despite the cold temps and hard (more like crusty/icy) trail conditions and that I was going to go with my soft, “plus” base skis. I knew I would give up the control and responsiveness of my hard-flex cold snow skis, but I would get some better glide out of my “plus” skis. He was on the fence, but gave into the logic and decided on his “plus” base skis too. Dina only has one “good” pair of skate skis, so I waxed those up, put structure into them, and we called it good. She said, “whatever!”

Before the race on Thursday, they were calling for a big storm to come in. Denny and I went out to ski and warm up on our “other” skis, the ones we decided not to use. We went between skiing easy and making some pretty good efforts for warm up, and I felt like my cold-snow stiff skis were gliding well and also that Denny’s were too. He seemed to be skiing quite well, so we were confident, but wondering if we had made the right choice.

Lots of New England and mid-Atlantic (i.e. New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania) skiers were there, even for a Thursday race. We found a young lady who worked at the COC who volunteered to watch Mila for the 40 minutes or so that Dina and would both be away, and Mila got to watch us and everyone else race and had a good time picking the little Toko course flags up out of the snow (we consequently had a few of them in our room the rest of the trip). That worked out well.

Denny and I were in the same wave, which consisted of the M0 – M3 groups (M0 is 25-29 “pre-masters” and M3 are the 40-44 group), so we fit right in the latter half. I tentatively found a front row start position, as no one was overly aggressive about being in the front right away. Lots of “pro” sponsored skiers were in the group, so I could see why most guys seemed to hang back in the 2nd through 5th rows. I felt a little like a sitting duck in the front, but decided that I didn’t have to take off like a bolt of lightning, even though the start went straight up a stiff little hill right off the bat. Denny opted for the far side of the 3rd row, so we never really even saw each other during the race. Dina’s wave would take off some 15 minutes later, so I knew I would get back quite a bit before her to take Mila.

I felt pretty relaxed at the start and figured I didn’t have to kill myself since it was only a warm-up event for Saturday’s marathon. The gun went off and I was cautious not to get stepped on up the steep starting hill. I quickly found a group not far from the front runners that seemed about my speed, if not a little quicker. I really had to stretch out my technique to get everything I could out of it at that quick low-altitude pace. Everyone was so fast and had solid technique, so it was a booger right from the start. The course was a real mixture of technical turns, twists, and short, sharp hills and false flats that required a sort of double-time level of effort. It was fast with the frozen-rain base, but also sort of ground up sugary consistency from the Pisten-Bully tillers and traffic.

Despite skiing as aggressively as I could, I felt like I was more or less struggling to hang on until we hit a long, fairly steep hill that was about 1,200 meters in length. At that point, I had relegated myself to the back of the group I was with, which was really the “main” pack. It was about 8 or 9 guys and I was just focusing on not getting dropped. At the long hill, I noticed our tempo slow just a notch and suddenly the first two guys in our group were pulling away. Gaps started forming and I didn’t really feel too badly, so I started to go around the guys in front of me until I was on the front chasing those two who had attacked in front. Near the top, I caught the 2nd guy and we went over together and I was pretty pumped up. I didn’t notice it until we were at the top, but my heart rate had gone out the roof and I was still working at 100% power level – at our altitude, I would have had to back off. It stayed that way until I just ran out of gas in the sprint finale.
That guy and I worked together but couldn’t catch the first guy who split off our group. He dangled tantalizingly close, but never seemed to lose ground. I took over the pulling after a while because I could hear some guys working their way back up and didn’t want to deal with the group again going into the finish. It was a little too late and a little group caught us. I backed off to catch my breath and got passed by two or three guys. I stayed behind until the top of a particularly steep hill, and then I punched it and got a little gap. I worked my butt off until the 1km to go mark, when I could hear someone behind. Over the last steep hill, two guys were tussling behind me and one made his move to pass over the top. I gave it everything I had to get on him, but he was in an all-out punch on a grinder false-flat. I could hear others behind and just had to focus on giving it 100% and not fall flat on my face because my muscles were quivering and twitching like crazy and I wasn’t used to that. At the end of the false flat, the guy breathing down my neck finally caught me and inched around me as I agonized toward the finish line. It was a fun race, but that type of finish is frustrating. I just mistimed my effort and it cost me. But, I was really psyched about the race and had a blast mixing it up out there with a different group.

Minutes passed and I wondered what the heck had happened to Denny. I realized at some point that he had taken just about as much time to race the course as we had taken to just warm up and ski it for practice earlier, even talking quite a bit. Sure enough, when he came in he had the most perplexed and frustrated look on his face. His skis were just horrible and were completely white and fuzzy looking when he took them off. They didn’t hold any wax and the bases looked really bad. He had indeed taken the same amount of time that we had to just warm up on the course. So, the race was a complete bust for him and he was bummed but a good sport about it. We talked it over and he knew he needed to get those skis fixed…which I think are currently at a shop in Boulder, where the techs said they were the most sad thing they had ever seen and admonished him for just ordering skis from any old online shop.

Dina’s race went well, but she got hit by the very sudden blizzard that came up about one minute after Denny finished. Holy crap, that was amazing and it snowed about 3 inches in one hour. In all, it snowed about 5 inches that compressed down to a wet consistency.

We went to the awards, where they provided wine and cheeses and Dina and I both won some very nice glazed pottery bowls.

The next day, we just went out for an easy ski, but I felt hosed. We had all signed up for the “Dash for Cash” sprints that night, but the temperature had dropped into the negative numbers and I had a lot of ski waxing to figure out and get done in a very frigid little wax shed. It took way too long because these clowns from California kept trying to get us all to leave so they could apply their toxic magic flouro dust. I had banked on skiing on one particular pair of skis for the wet conditions, but with the new snow and the arctic temperatures, I was faced with having to change my ski selection to my stiffer, colder snow skis. Plus, the entire kick wax / klister scenarios had changed, and gotten even more complicated.
Everyone had different ideas and I had my own too. I ended up following the Swix recommendation, which was not intuitive at all, so I was extremely conservative with how I applied it. Despite the cold temperatures, they called for using a very warm klister applied in layers over the Swix KR-20 ice klister. We just weren’t sure what to do and so I applied a very thin layer of the warm klister with a cold hard wax over that. On Dina’s skis, I was much more liberal with the warm snow klister and ironed in 3 different layers.

Well, she was the only one of us three who had good kick.
After all of the waxing and freezing, we got ready to go watch Dina do the Dash for Cash sprints in front of the Nordic center. It was moved from the little local town “common” due to the loss of snow, so it was closer to where we were staying. That’s a good thing because it was like -10*F and hard to stay outside for very long just being a spectator and having a baby in tow.

We watched the first few pro guys and gals go off, and HOLY CRAP! -- did they ever go fast! It was weird seeing that much speed on skis. Dina had a good run of it and got a big mention from the Bulgarian girl doing the announcing over the loud speaker. It was quite fun to watch. Dina also advanced to the heats in her age group, but they were taking a long time, it was frigid and getting colder by the minute, it was late, and she wanted to make it to the chow hall for dinner, so she bagged the rest of the race and an assured prize.

When we woke up the next morning, it was COLD! REALLY COLD!!! The temperature on the tree outside of our dorm/barracks/lodge was reading about -22*F. And, it didn’t seem to be rising while we got ready for the event. But, they announced that the race would go off without delay. We all wore extra everything, and had even gone to the little Nordic gift shop the day before to buy extra balaclavas…good call!
Denny and I applied our hard kick wax over the klister, opting to go colder than recommended because we were certain they hadn’t expected it to be this cold. We figured that anything would grip on the arctic snow. Were we ever wrong!

We both started in the first wave, but now we were in a huge group, so I opted to start further back this time. 50km is a long race, especially in those conditions on that tough loop, so I wanted to be conservative for the early parts. I was feeling pretty good early and found a good group that seemed to be right about my level, and my skis felt quite fast. But when we hit the first series of steep climbs, I was slipping badly and had to get out of the tracks to get any purchase at all. I got gapped, but easily strided back up when the gradient lessened. This was the pattern of my race for the entire first 25km. It really took a toll on me and going through on the 2nd of 4 laps, I was not feeling that great. We went up that first steep hill after the start/finish and I was slipping horribly and just instantly made the decision to throw in the towel. I kept skiing, but was frustrated and tired despite skiing with guys who were not any better than me. I just had to resign myself to skiing as best I could to even finish because things weren’t good as far as my kick was concerned. In summary, I had completely hit the wall at the 25km point and still had 25km to go…not good.

The next 25km were miserable. I just hacked, clawed and cried my way through. I was so exhausted by the finish and had considered giving up entirely several times, but am glad I didn’t. I did get passed by something like 85 people, including what I can only best describe as a lot of senior citizens and members of the opposite sex. That’s something I’m not *ahem* entirely accustomed to.

Dina was waiting with Mila at the finish and gave me a lot of good cheers. I wanted to sit down and cry, but it was only a balmy -4*F in the sun and I was so cold, tired, stiff and bonked that I had to keep myself moving to get into our room and get some sustenance in me. It was a while later that Denny came in looking just about as bad as I did and felt just about the same. We got our butts kicked by the elements and the competition that day, that’s for sure.

On the other hand, Dina had a fantastic event. She skied the 25km and had perfect kick and glide the entire time. She was careful about letting me know what a great time she’d had until I was sufficiently over my grief. At one point on the course, I was lapping around some skiers and catching up to her and remarked at how much better she was kicking uphill than I was and noticed how long it took to catch her, really only after the hill was over. She cheered me on like crazy and that kept me moving.

So, we learned some valuable lessons about klister, once again (remember our McCall MWC long classic race story?). From now on, I’m going to do a lot more asking questions and getting a lot of opinions, and even getting someone who knows better about those complicated scenarios to do it for me (which a lot of racers do, I’ve come to know…). At least I got it right with Dina’s skis…she still remarks at how great her skis were that day…so close! She says that was her favorite classic race so far.

Denny packed up and left the next morning. I was resolved to just watching Mila the next day while Dina skied, but the temperatures had helped the lakes to refreeze, so they had gotten out there to groom them. We both went out for an amazing ski on the lakes and a few more of the connector trails that we hadn’t been able to ski earlier in the week due to the loss of snow. Wow, that was just amazing. We got to see what New England skiing was all about.

See all of our photos at:

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Paul and Clay score big time with the IRS!



It has been determined that you are exempt from Federal Income tax under section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

Contributions to you are deductible under section 170 of the Code.

You are also qualified to receive tax deductible bequests, devises, transfers or gifts under section 2055, 2106 or 2522 of the Code.

More details:

We determined that you are a public charity under the Code section: 170 (b) (1) (A) (vi)

Effective Date of Exemption: January 20, 2005

Friday, May 21, 2010

Legendary Runner in Los Alamos for Jemez Moutain Run this weekend!

Jemez Mountain Trail Run is this weekend Sat May 22nd! The event always sells out early and often attracts top ultra runners and this year Micah True or "Caballo Blanco" will be participating. See the Los Alamos Monitor story.
If you havent read Born to Run its highly recommended. Its a great story and extremely interesting for anyone who has done any running and avid runners in particular.

Micah is from Colorado but lives most of the time down in Batopilas, Chihuahua, in the copper canyon of Mexico with the Raramuri, or more widely known as the 'running people', the Tarahumara Indians. He has adopted their way of life and style of running. He puts on a 50mile ultra marathon in the rugged "Barrancas Del Cobre" each year that attracts the local running people and few legends from around the world. Everyone donates their race winnings back to the local communities.

Caballo Blanco will participate in the Sat race and will also give a talk on Sunday at 4pm at the Unitarian church in Los Alamos, donations requested for his charity Norawas de Raramuri. This should be very interesting so try to attend!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Club news from Dina

Hi everyone,

Unfortunately, we found that our 501c3 application has not been processed yet.
In fact they said they are still processing applications that were recieved 3
months before ours. In view of that fact, we've decided to wait until the fall
to run a fundraising effort with the expectation that we should hopefully have
our 501c3 status by end of summer.
You are welcome to contribute any time and we thank the many of you who have
been so generous this winter - it is what's been paying the monthly payments for
the snowmo and keeping other expenses taken care of! But we think a lot of
people will be able to contribute a significantly larger amount once we have
501c3 status, plus by the fall hopefully more people will be back to thinking
about snow and skiing :)
Dont forget that we still need to have a trail work day to put away snow fencing
etc. We are hoping to do this on the weekend of April 17-18 weather/snow
permitting. So watch for emails on the final dates and time (or check out our
facebook page for
updates \
Thanks for your patience and support!!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

A bit more grooming

FYI, In conjunction with some other trail work the skating lane on the woods trails was regroomed this morning...

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Season Wrap up

Hi all,
Well, by all accounts it's been a great season! And although things are still
quite skiable, all good things must come to an end.
This past Saturday evening, we had a wonderful "Walpurgisnacht" celebration with
lots of food and libations, and an awesome fire. The skiing was fantastic, the
air was cold, the moon was bright, the food was delicious and the fire was warm.
See some of the photos I've attached to this message -- we'll put more up on the
website album when we get them sorted out.
Anyway, with this round of spring temperatures, we have decided to end the
organized grooming for the season. It just gets too weird with these long days
that get warm. The crust out in the meadows will stay skate-skiable in the
morning for some time to come, but the regular groomed trails will begin (or
have begun) rotting out.
With that, I am begging and pleading with all of you to help us get some of the
end-o-season chores done. My first question to all of you is when is the best
time to have a general club clean-up day(s)? I am thinking toward the end of
April (17th-18th, 24th-25th?), or even early May, as we need to wait until the
ground thaws more to pull out the fence posts.
Some of us groomers will be making some trips out to the meadow to gather up all
of the wands and bamboo marker poles to stash in the off-season, so that task
will be done before then.
Please take a look at your calendars and try to make it out to one of the work
sessions. It's not so bad with a few hands helping, and it's what makes our
volunteer organization work.
Thanks in advance,
Clay Moseley
club prez

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Weekend Grooming Report

Ken got out early this AM and regroomed the trail system:

"All trails groomed for classic and skate. Klister hard wax combo. Best skiing ever for march 27!

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry"

Don't forget, tonight is the moonlight tour and potluck.... check the website for details.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Thanks for the tracks, Ken!

Great winter ski conditions with some awesome classic tracks -- compliments of Ken Kisiel. It was great, and the temps stayed below freezing all day. Super cool.

Tomorrow will get wet and warm, but there's more snow on the way. Get out the BBQ brush, put some big rills and wax up the base of your skis. It ain't over yet.

Grooming Report

All trails were groomed perfectly this AM by Ken, conditions are just amazing for both classic and freestyle.

Remember, our club moonrise ski event next Saturday PM... check the club website for details:

Friday, March 19, 2010

Great March skiing!

Well, we started with beautifully groomed trails on Dec 11th and we are still having a blast skiing on fresh snow on March 17th. Not too bad! :))

Here are a few shots of the trail in Canada Bonita Meadow on March 17th:

Great tracks in the trees, especially above J:
And here is our club shed with loads of snow on it! :)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Clay and Denny's Grooming Report

Lots of new snow up there over the weekend. We didn't get around to getting it groomed until Tuesday night.

Things looked amazing when we were done, except for a couple of bad holes where we buried the machines =P

Classic track set on most trails, and skate lanes groomed out nice and wide. It'll be fast in the mornings; soft and variable in the mid-day to late afternoon hours. There's now about 12 hrs of daylight, so enjoy it while we got it.

We'll be having the end of season celebration "Moonlight" ski on March 27.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

March 27th, Saturday, Full moon ski and bonfire

March 27th, Saturday, Full moon ski and bonfire
March 27th, Saturday, Full moon ski and bonfire or WALPURGISNACHT!!
Come join us for SWNORDIC End of Year Celebration!

WHEN: Sat, March 27th; ~4:30pm: Pace-dependent ski or snow shoe to Canada Bonita for 5:00pm Moon Rise. Bonfire lit at 6:30

WHERE: Meet at trail head for ski or snow shoe, then bonfire in front grooming shed

WHAT: Enjoy a ski or snowshoe on the trails out to catch the moonrise over the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, then relax and celebrate a great winter season around the fire. Club will provide hot water, cocoa, stove and bonfire. Bring food and adult beverages for yourself and to share.