Monday, February 28, 2011

Sandia Peak Update

The service road was recently groomed (very nicely) by Sandia Peak and skating looked excellent (unfortunately I was unaware and didn't take skating skis, etc.).
Tracks set by UNM week before last are still intact in the woods but were groomed over on the service road (unfortunately).
If anyone wants to donate to the UNM ski team, the money goes directly to a ski team fund; contact Fredrik Landstedt at UNM.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Sandia Peak Update

Attention Albuquerque skiers: As you know if you've been reading the Sandia Peak posts, Sandia Peak ski area (contact is Steve Gallegos) has been kind enough to regularly groom the service road with a piston bully for us nordic skiers. It wouldn't be a bad idea to show some appreciation for that. Any ideas?
Also the UNM ski team coach, Fredrik Landstedt, has done some grooming, including classic tracks, up there as well.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Sandia Peak Update

Skied classic on the service road in the same tracks Fredrik set last week. They are in good shape fortunately as foot traffic has missed them. Conditions vary from icy slush to packed powder so tricky to wax for; I used no wax for that reason.
I'm guessing the tracks in the woods are all still in good shape as well. Skating looked a bit tricky due to the icy conditions and pitting from foot traffic but doable.
Still plenty of snow up there (about 30") so as long as we continue to get some grooming, skiing can continue.
Saw the infamous Phil Book up there (first time I've seen him up there this year) --he told me he's been very busy with work, etc.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Trail/Grooming Report 2/21/2011

The trails got about an inch of new snow, which turned them white again, at least. Looks like this will be the last week of grooming if we don't receive a significant amount of snow very soon...

I groomed everything (mostly just for classic) that is still hanging on by a thread. Lots of it looks really good, mostly the upper trails. The lower road track didn't set as well because I got in a rush. The track and snow gets better as you go up, but be very careful around the "rock" just below Point's burning out quickly.

You'll need to walk in to point B, but it's spotty for the next 200 meters thereafter, and a big tree had to be cut out, which left a big mess just over the next little hill, so be careful there too...things improve after that.

Like I said, it's best for classic, so go up and get in some striding! There are some very good stretches, so maybe pull out the old skis and go have fun! The meadows also got a nice classic track installed.

Get it while the gettin's good!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Sandia Peak Update

As promised, Fredrik (UNM ski coach) regroomed the service road for skating and also set classic tracks on both sides. He also groomed and set a classic track on the UNM loop in the woods (very nice) and then went about setting a classic track up the switchback trail all the way up to the upper
road cut which runs out of the lower parking lot at the crest; he also set a classic track on this road. I skied this track on the upper road several times because it was such good classic skiing. There is also a track running up to Kiwanis meadow from the service road-- I didn't ski there. Haven't seen this kind of classic grooming up there for a long time; it was ski heaven (for the Sandias).
Skating was obviously very good on the service as well (Steve Roholt was enjoying that).

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Sandia Peak Update

Decided to update because today I worked on improving the UNM loop through the woods mostly the meadow section which needed a lot of work; so I shoveled snow over a significant part of that section in an attempt to enable Fredrik (UNM ski coach) to groom that loop on Friday. It is certainly significantly more skiable now. Could have used more work but I was getting wasted. I will update Friday if Fredrik grooms.


Tuesday evening grooming

The skate lane was ground up and re-combed last night. Conditions are pretty challenging up there for groomers right now, and it was felt best to just leave the classic tracks as is. This means they are hard and icy, so be careful up there.

However the skating should be pretty good today. The plan is to regroom on Thursday evening.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Sandia Peak Update

Newest update is that as of Friday, Feb. 11, the service road was groomed wide by the alpine area's piston bully for skating, beautiful job.


Nordic Skiing Pajarito - Los Alamos: High Desert Dirt

Nordic Skiing Pajarito - Los Alamos: High Desert Dirt

Great review of our ski trails on this site. Impressed that he saw it as good when we only had an inch of snow over that awful icy crap we were grooming and skiing on for the last weeks of January!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Trails groomed by the estimable Dave Wykoff

Dave Wykoff put in a big day of grooming today. He finished late this afternoon, grooming the entire trail system, with all the shortcuts and cutoffs. Conditions are amazing. Wide corduroy for skating, plus classic tracks. Today was green wax, tomorrow is forecast to be green warming up to blue by afternoon, a refreshing change after the couple weeks of warm, trashy and icy conditions we've all had to put up with.

Important Notice! Only certain portions of the front hill are skiable. I recommend that after you have skiied up to the beginning of the sunfence, that you remove your skiis and walk all the way to point A and above a ways, as well. The reverse applies for descending afterward, don't try to ski down the front hill.

It's worth the walk into the trail system, conditions from Point B (the coat tree) are just great!

Sandia Peak Update

Thought I would post a new update even though Sandia Peak didn't get any significant snow out of the last storm and no new grooming has been done since last Tuesday. The service road has a decent classic track over much of it's length which is fortunate given the amount of wind and foot traffic on parts of it. The loop in the woods Fredrik groomed a couple weeks ago is getting some ski and snowshoe traffic and I encourage more skiers to start using it on a regular basis; it is a nice wide trail (averages about an estimated 10' width). This trail, if done in a counter clockwise direction (which I recommend), start just above the gate at the north end of the service road (first right once you head up into the woods from the gate) and from there is easily followed by following the ski tracks. Hopefully next year we can have some signs posted on the trail. It has stayed cold up at Ellis trailhead so the snow has remained at powder and packed powder. Skating is possible on the service road but far from ideal given the foot traffic over parts of it and the windblown condition of the snow.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Grooming/Trail Report 2/8/2011`

That was a little bit of a strange storm. The predictions seemed to hold so much promise, but I guess we can't complain: it did snow somewhere between about 5" to 12" up in the mountains. Unfortunately, it was more in the 5" to 6" range. But, all things considering, the trails look pretty good and should ski well once we get them all groomed out to the finish product.

It did snow somewhere between 5" and 6", but the problem is that the front hill and just beyond where the ground was bare did not keep the full 6" of snow and so the rocks are still lying just beneath the snow. Otherwise, the rest of the trails looked great with the new snow on top.
Tonight, I went up and ran the "blades" to smooth and even things out after all those weeks with no snow and intermittent spring temps mixed in with the short bursts of arctic cold. What a weird year. Anyway, the trails needed to be leveled out quite a bit, as they were getting very bumpy and uneven. Everything got several passes, but I didn't get the final grooming completed with the groomer and track setter. That may get accomplished either tomorrow and/or Thursday.

For now, the trails are a little soft but bladed, so they'll ski well with either skate or classical skis (just no track). I still suggest walking up from the half-way point on the front hill to about 250 meters or so past point A. Even that hill below point A to the lower road is too thin to ski now. The cutoff from B to R got a pass, so it's possible to loop from the lower road to the upper trail there. Other cutoffs were packed as well.

The meadows had drifted a bit with the wind, and it began to blow again while I was up there, so there may be some drifts here and there again tomorrow, but probably won't be too bad.

Some pictures for your viewing pleasure:

just gettin' started at the base on Camp May Road

at the top of the meadow at the turn-around looking down Canada Bonita

The mighty "Viking" pulling the "blades" to smooth things out

New snow at one of our reflector wands

Maybe someday soon we'll be able to groom into that little piece of the Valles Caldera adjacent to our trails

The blades really help to level things out after all that time with no new snow

"Groomer cam" view

This has nothing to do with grooming, but just makes a nice picture

Leaving the upper part of the meadow and heading into the trees at point L

A blurry picture, but you can see the "smoothing" effect of the bladed groomer

...and my personal favorite. Frosty night grooming offers a different landscape than what we experience while skiing during the day.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Sandia Peak Update

Can't promise but have been told by groomer at Sandia Peak that the service road will be groomed tonite (Saturday). Meanwhile classic skiing remains fairly good (nothing machine groomed) on the service road and some of the trails as of Friday.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Sandia Peak Update

Sandia Peak received 12"-15" of new snow from the last storm. I went up and skied classic on the service road (has not been groomed yet) today. It was cold (-5 F) but at least little to no wind, so a brisk but pleasant ski. Snow is very cold right now but will change as the temps warm.
Steve Roholt braved -17 F (not counting wind chill) yesterday and skied in the gravel pit and switchback trails.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Here's Clay's 4PM post about the trail conditions

"I went up for a quick ski at about 12:30. It had snowed about 2" at the bottom, and 4" by the top of the meadow. Somewhere in-between for the rest of the trails. Actually not as cold up there as in town, so it was a nice ski, but still pretty cold...about 12*F vs. the 5*F it is here in town!

It was simply awesome from the low point of the meadow to the top.

It is still snowing lightly up there and is supposed to pick up . Things are holding steady up there now, it's not too windy. The trails actually ski GREAT right now because it's not too much snow, but enough to cover the crap and make for soft, silky skiing over a rock-hard base." Clay Moseley