Saturday, January 30, 2010

Saturday Afternoon Grooming Update

About a foot and a half of new snow up there, on a base of over 4 feet, it's just beautiful!

Yesterday Gene ran the roller around the trails doing a pre packing, and a bit later Dave and Ken worked long into the night grooming. Ended up with many machines stuck and had to walk out around 11PM!

This morning they were back up there, getting things unstuck, restarted, etc and by mid day had a nice set of classic tracks put in down to the "Coat Tree" so the entire trail is groomed for classic and skating and looks very good for the duration of the weekend, nice and wide.

Thanks to Gene for pre-rolling yesterday and to Dave and Ken for a great job of grooming: very wide and flat, and a very nice set of classic tracks!

Only caveat, it looks like the first day of the annual January thaw up there, so there will be icy tracks tomorrow needing a klister base for those of you doing classic.

Reminder, if you haven't yet renewed your membership now is the time! Probably the most and best snowfalls weve had in years and much packing and grooming for your enjoyment. So go to and pull down a membership form and help us out. LANB just gave us a big loan to buy our big new grooming snowmobile, and we need lots of help paying that down!

Thanks, Tom Berg

Saturday Grooming Report

90% groomed both classic and skate....just watch out for snowmobile scattered along the trail...both ken and hiked out after 1100 tonight.....recovery effort in the morning. Dave

Friday, January 29, 2010

Friday afternoon update

Anywhere from 12" to 16" of snow fell on the trail by last night. Groomers have given it a day to settle in the hopes that tourers and snowshoers will have packed down enough of it to be able to get that very difficult first pass with the snowmobile done tonight.

Deep snowfalls are a blessing, and we've had several of them this month, but they are extremely difficult to groom and involve a lot of extra work for the groomers.

Assuming they don't get stuck too many times during tonight's work the guys hope to have the trail groomed for skating tomorrow, and hopefully classic tracks set too.

Watch this spot for further updates.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Wednesday Trail Report

Trail Report:

Packed powder. Inner trail system, inner meadow, and lower road groomed for skating. Caution for potholes and ruts caused by grooming equipment in deep snow, particularly around switchbacks. Ken

Saturday, January 23, 2010

New Club Direction/ New Grooming Equipment

Well, those of you who havent heard, the club is going through a bit of a difficult time this winter. The spirits were low, the equipment took another dive, same people were getting overworked, community support/trail respect was low and the board has even considered a grooming strike trying to get the community to take notice and help us out.
All that got turned around with a very fiery response from the board. After all, we all want to ski! And we have trails so close! And we've worked so hard to get here! After a few meetings we have discussed the immediate steps for a PR push to get community support and possibly start getting important things pushed through like acquisition of rental fleet in town or at the trails (will take a while, dont get too excited :) and more. We have really high hopes that this big push will pay off. And so far, things are happening like you wouldnt believe!!!
That's right, thanks to some brainstorming by the board, foot work with the bank, co-signing and paperwork from our club treasurer Paul, we are now proud owners of a brand new fancy-a$$ snowmo!! And, yes, his name is Pablo... :))
I dont know the specs, if one of the groomer guys wants to chime in on that topic, please do. I'm sure the rest of the club techies will want to check it out.
Anyway, it will alleviate a whole lot of work on our groomers with a warranty and service contract in SF and shorter grooming time.
Meanwhile, look for articles on our work and club in the Monitor as well as in SF and Albqq publications (we are still working on which).
We will be starting a fundraising drive (our 501c3 status is pending!!!) shortly to help us pay for the snow mo as well as get more in the bank to allow for more breathing room and so time for putting on more events on our trails and generally more fun for all :).
What you can do to help right now, is to watch for the fundraising request/info emails and blog posts and tell EVERYONE about our trails. Bring friends up here, refer people to our site, encourage them to try nordic skiing etc.
We are working with USFS on multiple improvements including installing equipment to do a more sophisticated trail use count (we've had vanloads of people from SF and Albqq on a weekly basis!) and that may qualify us for some grants. We are looking for help everywhere! If you are interested in helping out more actively like leading an effort to mark a new snowshoe trail (very helpful! even the short piece Paul, Tom, Dave and Donna added this winter got us quite a few thank yous and donations!!), interested in grooming, good at working with grant applications, marketing ideas/connections, community education ideas etc. please email
Stay tuned to the site and blog for changes and updates!
Yay for all the snow!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Trail Conditions: update

Well we were running short of snow, but that's no longer a problem, we're buried, and about to get much more tonight and Friday.

We managed to revive another of our old snowmobiles monday night, so we now have Cosmo (1984 Alpine Ski Doo) and Rambo (1981 Alpine) up and running... and we're keeping our fingers crossed that they will keep going thru this great sequence of storms.

Good news is the guys have been able to get out and pack in the last two snowfalls a bit, to build up the base, and they have been helped greatly by those of you who have been out touring in the new snow and stopped to ski pack in some of those steep hills. Ken said that his grooming last night was helped A LOT by the good people who had prepacked the hills for him yesterday: there is enough snow falling that it is a real challenge to get a snowmobile thru deep snow on the 1st pass.

Clay tells me that the County plowed up and around the 1st bad steep turn late this afternoon in preparation for their plan for keeping the road open tomorrow for skiers to get up to Pajarito Ski Area which is open Fridays. So it should be possible for all of us to get up there and ski tour and snowshoe on the trails tomorrow during the 3 installment of snowstorms.

Check the blog for grooming updates. Also check the new webcams on the Pajarito website for visual updates on what's happening up on the hill.

Thanks for your help!


Monday, January 18, 2010

Santa Fe Snowshoe Classic race report 1/9/10

I love snowshoe races. You need to be able to turn your heart rate up to 11, keep it there and not die too badly. Strapping ungainly boards to your feet favors the power runner over the finesse. High altitude racing only sweetens the deal and the pain.
Start of the Santa Fe Snowshoe Classic
As such, intrepid race hater Paul and I trekked up to the norski area in Santa Fe last weekend for the Santa Fe Snowshoe classic. This was my third time doing the race. The last two times were pretty successful with me taking third in the 5k in 2006 and 4th overall in the 5k in 2004.

click here to read the rest of the race report over on moscaline

Chama Chile Classic

We had a great turnout for the race.... there must have been 10 or 12 of us at the start, all wearing Dina's SWNSKI red jerseys. Clay blazed to an amazing 1st overall finish as a number of more mortal SWNSKI's took their age groups........ They had over 100 preregistered for the race, and it was very well run.

Thanks to Clay, Denny and Dave the grooming was 1st rate (with help from the Pagosa groomers and, I think also groomers from Alamosa).

I hadn't skiied up there in more than 10 years and had forgot just how beautiful a nordic venue it is.


PS: Clay took VERY good of us waxwise... his suggestion to use blue klister covered with VF45 was right on, and we had good kick and good glide on very old coarse snow; the snow quality reminded me of my younger days skiing in Maine!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Thursday Evening trail conditions

The trail received an inch or a bit more of fine grained, humid snow which revived last weekends grooming nicely, just enough snow to cover the pine needles and other trash in the classic tracks and the skating lane.

Skiing after 3PM I got good kick skiing classic using blue klister, but my glide would have been improved had I covered it with something like violet hard wax. Denny reported good skating and good turning late this afternoon. If you're lucky enough to have tomorrow off, I recommend you get up and enjoy very good skiing!

You may have noticed we haven't been able to groom as much as usual. We are in the midst of a grooming crisis with three of our four old machines broken down (and even the 4th machine is having its issues!) and so instead of grooming, the guys find themselves working on fixing the machinery! And machine number 4 is on it's way to Chama to groom for Sunday's Chama Chile Classic, a service the guys have been providing the Chama folks for some years now.

We are in desperate need of a new, dependable snowmobile to enable our groomers to spend their time grooming instead of repairing. Our current machines are ancient: dating from the mid 1970's to the newest at 1984, and even when they are running, they are not very dependable.

So we are looking at a big fundraising project to raise the $10,000 needed for a new grooming snomobile. This week we had a Board Meeting to discuss the possibilities. We are now a "pending" 501 Tax Exempt Corporation which should help greatly in getting business donations, and some of our Board Members are beginning to make the rounds soliciting donations from area outdoor related businesses.

Additionally, we will need help from our members and trail users to raise this huge amount of money, and I hope you will be able to join us. Our trails and the quality of the groomed skiing and snowshoeing we have been able to provide area residents is of an exceptionally high quality, which is even more notable as use of our trails is free to all. And we have been providing this groomed skiing for almost 30 years now.

In the next weeks you will be seeing posters on the trail, articles in the paper, and messages on the web asking for your help. We hope you will find yourself willing to give us a hand, not only with a donation, but also by helping us spread the word among area skiers and snowshoers of our need.!



Saturday, January 9, 2010

Grooming Updates

Last night Ken spent a number of hours out there regrooming the trail system, grinding up and resetting all the skating lanes in the woods, the inner meadow trail and the lower road. The classic track is still in pretty good shape and didn't really need to be regroomed.

And Wykoff picked up the machine at 9:30PM as Ken finished and took em up to the Norski Tracks above Santa Fe where he groomed the course this AM for the snowshoe race there. Of note, he says he set a classic track as part of his grooming so here is a rare chance to ski groomed classic on the Norski Tracks!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Thursday Evening trail conditions

Trail continues to hold up well with our low temperatures but the classic tracks are getting pretty hard. I was skiing classic, and found that Blue Klister was called for, and it worked perfectly on all parts of the trail late this afternoon.

Some grooming of the skating lanes will be taking place tonight, but now it looks like the classic tracks will not be regroomed because there is very little snow under them to work with, as most of our snowstorms seem to be going further South along the Gila, where I suppose the conditions are great!

Anyway, check the Blog tomorrow mid day for grooming updates.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Tuesday Evening Trail Conditions

SWNSKI Pajarito trails PM update.... classic and skating were very nice beyond Point B, very little glazing in the track, was able to wax with VF40 (cold violet). Tracks were mostly hard "styrofoam", and skating looked good too, this cool weather is really keeping things from wearing down. Lower road was good too, but the meadow trails are of course blown in.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

skate clinic Saturday, 9 January

You've been skating around on the SWNSC trails for a while, and are ready to improve your skills. Here's your chance to jump up to the next level of skating in Ken and Jessica's VIDEO clinic, which they do annually as a benefit for the SWNSC Pajarito X-C Trails and grooming program.

SWNSC and Kisiel Koaching present
Ski Skating Clinic
Saturday, January 9th, 10AM – Noon
Taught by PSIA Licensed Instructors
Ken and Jessica Kisiel

Skate Video Clinic by KisielKoaching. Located at Camp May Road and the Pajarito Nordic trails

Intermediate to Advanced skill level.

FREE for SWNSKI Members & $20 for non-members, which includes a free SWNSKI membership.

No pre-registration.

Skating equipment is required.

More info at

Monday, January 4, 2010

Possible new grooming machine


Anyone have a model T hiding in their basement to donate?

Friday, January 1, 2010

Trail/Grooming report 1/1/10

Happy New Year! It's weird writing down the new date...

All trails, except the little cutoffs were bladed and have fresh classic track set. Some got a final grooming job, but not all. The lower road was in the best shape, but there were a lot of snowshoers and dogs out there when I was finishing up, so it'll be chewed up somewhat by tomorrow.

I groomed a new meadow loop from the top of the trail system. It's not the full outer loop, but it's a nice little addition for now, until we get more snow. We'll use it in the club training time trial.

Plans are to regroom tomorrow afternoon to clean things up and let it set up overnight.

Try to make it out Sunday if you can. It should be a lot of fun.