Sunday, January 30, 2011

Sandia Peak Update

I and Rich Besser removed a fallen, partially buried tree trunk from the approx. 1 km loop (UNM trail) groomed recently for skating and filled back in with snow today and covered another more deeply buried log at the same location (fair amount of shoveling). Also widened about by 1'-2' (by shoveling snow and packing with snowshoes) a narrow corner in the same loop. If we get more snow and maybe get this loop groomed again, it would be in good shape for skating and classic.


Thursday, January 27, 2011

Thursday evening update 1/27/2011

Went back up and went back to grinding the old snow in the skate lanes all around the main loop from Pt.-R on the lower road, all the way around to Pt.-B on the upper trail, and worked on the B-R cutoff, which will be used in Saturday morning's club training event (1st skier off at 9:30am starting at Pt.-R on the lower road).

Things started to free up after a couple of passes, so most of the loop is in good condition, with only a few short stretches that stayed a little icy. The new alignment of the lower meadow to the O-bypass was also smoothed out a lot, so I think it'll ski in nicely. I really worked on the descents, so they won't be so sketchy. I also threw a lot of shovels of snow onto the thin or slightly exposed spots so that the loop could be skied with good skis if you're just a little careful.

All in all, it looks really good, especially considering the low snow base.

Classic track was left alone and still looks pretty good. Definitely use some purple klister (like KR-40 or Universal -3*C to +3*C) hard wax. Grip tape works AWESOME on these conditions.

Red glide wax in the 17*F to 30*F range.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Sandia Peak Update

Classic tracks set on service road and small meadow near upper tram terminal. The tracks in someplaces are marginal due to the inability of the track setter to cut into the hard packed snow.
Otherwise skating is also good on the service road. Fredrik Landstedt (UNM ski coach) set the classic tracks and also groomed a loop through the woods (a little over a km I think) for skating.
Considering the condition of the snow before he groomed in the woods the condition now is remarkably good. All total there is now a 4500 meters loop for skating if a small section over to the top of La Madera (in the ski area) is included.

Monday, January 24, 2011

NEW grooming/trail report for 1/24/2011

The trails received 1/2" to 1"+ today and it was still trying to snow lightly when I left around 10:30pm.

We got out with the ice cutters down and went to work on grinding up the boiler-plate surface and the little bit of new stuff to mix in. That is expensive and hard work, as it's a bit destructive to all of the equipment and requires a lot of manual implement operation (lowering, raising, moving weights, etc.). But, the end product was well worth it and the trails actually look pretty good.

All of the main trails got several passes; the lower road and meadow got a lot more. There's also a new alignment for the lower meadow to reach the lower road using the "O-to-M" bypass, so it's skiable and quite nice, if not a little soft and not fully smoothed out yet. Also got a few little trouble spots shoveled in anticipation for Saturday's club event.

And, the bonus is that a pretty good classic track was set. Hopefully it sets up nicely overnight and will hold out until we get some snow.

So, the loop from the bottom using the B-to-R cutoff, all the way out to the end, then down the meadow to the M-to-O bypass and the lower road all got groomed and will be freshened up on Thursday.

Pretty good skiing for now.

Sandia Peak Update

Sandia Peak received about 1" of new snow Monday pm and skating is great on the groomed service road.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

A follow up from USFS Ranger Lynn Bjorkland

Thanks to the groomers this weekend who did an amazing job with very little snow. I skied the course Saturday mid day. You need to walk much of the initial big hill and first 50 meters or so of the upper ski trail. After that it is surprisingly good. A few icy spots, a few rocks showing, and a fair amount of tree debris, but other than that it is very good skiing. Saw several classic skiers using the track and enjoying the day. -Lynn

Saturday, 22 January 2011, Grooming Report

Here is a update on Denny's Friday night grooming from one of our fastest
members, Sanna Sevanto:

"Thank you to our groomers. Went skiing this morning thinking 'where should I go
tomorrow to ski classic?' And there it was: freshly groomed clean and white
classical trail on our own trails. No need to drive any further tomorrow. You
guys are amazing creating this with so little snow. THANK YOU!!"
Report for 22 January, 2011

Service road is packed very hard but recently groomed and skating is good except for need to be careful on downhills. Someone (Paul Chandler, local x-c ski instructor) shoveled some snow onto parts of the service road between the gate and the rock quarry for a beginning class to enable somewhat better edging and maneuverability when skiing, especially classic. Rich Besser reports classic skiing on some of the trails is still OK despite the recent warm temps.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Ken's Grooming Report from last night

Upper trails and meadow groomed for skate. Lower road and daves got less passes. Not much snow in the usual spots. That is all for now.

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Here's Dina's Chama Race Report

Thanks Dina!

Seriously, it is too bad that I dont have time to post an event blog for a while here. If someone else can do it sooner please do. For now I've uploaded all the photos I had and received from others (thank you!) to SWNSKI Photo Gallery. Just go to our homepage http://swnordicski.organd click Photo Gallery tab. I havent had time to put any comments yet either.
Chama Chile Ski Classic had 199 race participants this weekend! 199!! That's amazing considering a few years ago we were THRILLED they managed to get 75 participants. It is so great to see this event get back to the participation levels I've only heard about from the 'old timers' :). Speaking of 'old timers' a whole lot of them came out for this event - NM has some great movers and shakers in the nordic world and its great to see them out enjoying Chama's come back.
The Chama folks putting it on did a fantastic job. And a huge thanks goes out to our SWNSKI groomer volunteers hauling our machines and spending days doing back breaking grooming work (shoveling included of course) before and between races (and racing afterwards!).
Huge thanks to all of you who came out!!! We hope everyone had fun and comes out next year and brings some more friends/family along.
This year's course layout was absolutely amazing, absolute best use of that beautiful and challenging terrain! The weather was spectacular! If you havent ever (or lately) been to this event check out the photos and plan on it next year, it is amazing to have such a fun winter event so close to us! And if you think you 'arent a (ski)racer', do note that participants range from UNM skier level racers to 9 year old kids in lion costumes to guys in knickers on wooden skis, to casual snowshoe hikers to crazy fast snowshoe runners. And all of them seem to love it the same.
Btw, I have a LOAD of awards to pass out to people. I mean a LOAD! I dont even remember whose is whose there are so many. Will have to look up results (found here: But the point is, that aside from all the fun people also scored more awards than I could imagine! Wohoo!
Thanks again to everyone who participated! Spread the word, share the photos and tell your friends now while you are still excited and high from all the fun :) so they can plan to join us next year!
Chama Rocks!! :)

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Grooming update for the long MLK weekend

The skating lanes of the lower loop trail have been smoothed and bladed this evening. The classic track is still in pretty fair shape from Ken's grooming last Sunday.

The upper loop is still in great shape and should hold up well for skating and classic as long as temperatures remain normal, which is the current forecast.

Be warned, there are some rocky spots in the 1st kilometer or so, getting into the network, and we advise walking down the short 50 foot hill at point A, there are exposed rocks everywhere.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Grooming update for Wednesday, January 12th

Dave regroomed the entire network for skating and classic.... I skiied it yesterday afternoon and it is quite good, cool conditions, blue kick wax is what I used. That steep little descent right at Point "A" at the top of the front hill is rocky now and best walked if you love your skiis! Hey it's only 25 feet of walking.... :o)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Sandia Peak update

Sandia Peak received about 1-2 inches new snow from the quick moving storm that came through Monday, January 10. The tram service road had been regroomed over the weekend by Sandia Peak ski area.I skied classic Monday afternoon but stayed off the service road for the most part since it was so cold with a 15-30 mph wind.


Sandia Peak update

Monday, January 3, 2011

Sandia Peak received about 8" new snow from last week's storm and Rich Besser reports the tram service roadhas been groomed (for skating) by the snowcat and looks good. The switchback trail and the upper section of the UNM trail are 'packed' from skiers and snowshoers, need fairly wide pole baskets for good poling.


Friday, January 7, 2011

Weekend Grooming Update

Here is Denny's report:

"Ken and I groomed last night. We focused on widening and flattening. I ran Kermit with the blades to widen the high side - Ken ran Viking with the 4 ft and teeth down. Then he picked up the 6 ft and I ran the 4ft to set track. The edges, especially in the meadow and still soft (you will see where I fell off the trail a few times). the track is as far over as possible with the 4 footer and the current snow conditions - sorry for the spots where it is in the lane. ken made a lot of passes so the surface should be real nice for the weekend."

Monday, January 3, 2011

Free Skate Clinic, Technique and Video Analysis, Sun Jan 9th!

This Sunday, January 9th, Jessica and Ken Kisiel are doing their annual ski clinic club fundraiser at our ski trails. Free to current club members and only $20 for non-members. Details below. Make sure to come and bring friends!

Jessica and Ken are certified level 3 ski instructors and longtime club members, board members, sponsors and more.
This event is also listed on our facebook page if you would like to RSVP there.

When: THIS Sunday, January 9th 10am-noon

Where: Meet as the SWNSC trails (Canada Bonita trailhead) at the Pajarito Mountain

What: Skate clinic including technique drills and video analysis!

Cost: Free to current SWNSC members; $20 for non-members and includes individual membership

Equipment: Participants must have their own ski equipment. Unfortunately, Pajarito Mountain Ski area does NOT rent xc ski gear. Closest rentals to our trails would probably be Santa Fe. My rental info is outdated. If you know where to rent in SF or Albqq or Taos, please comment here to let us know.

More info: Additional donations to SWNSC club accepted and encouraged.

Contact: Jessica Kisiel at
If you are interested in more ski lessons from Jessica, check out

Sunday, January 2, 2011

WyKoff Kustom Grooming Service

Dave Wykoff did a huge Sunday's work up on the trails, he started grooming at 9:30AM and finished around dark. The entire trail system is now leveled off, groomed and smoothed for skating, and classic tracks set.

For those of us fortunate enough to be skiing classic up there later on this afternoon, with the nice cold temperatures, it was just amazing, great tracks, and good glide. This is as good as it gets, blue/green kick wax and perfect tracks.

I saw Sanna skating beautifully, round and round the trail system, so I'd guess that the skating conditions were great too.

Thanks to Dave.