Saturday, October 29, 2011

Saturday Trail Work Recap

We had a good group today. We have gotten quite a lot of the burned hazard trees down on the early parts of the trail, including the front-hill road, the first portion of the lower Canada Bonita trail, and the upper trail from A to B. I would say that we have about 33% done. Still a lot of clearing and lower side structure to build back up.

Same plan for those days:
Meet at the specified time (IMPORTANT!) to go over the hazards & safety plan
Have watch sentinels over the trail ingress/egress to the work zone
Get a section of hazard trees down, secure the work area, perform bucking & clearing
I'll send out a notice on what afternoon(s) we'll work. We will likely meet at 9am next Saturday, and perhaps a little later on Sunday if there is enough interest.


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Trail Work Begins

Well, Tom gave me a good segue with his report. Great photos too (see below).....
Indeed, we are going to need some volunteers to help us with the removal of burned tree hazards. We have removed a few of the most obvious hazards, but now we need to get down to business and clean up the hazards that will be posing a safety threat this winter and next spring. All of this is in anticipation of getting the Stage 3 restriction lifted on the SWNSC trail system (stopping at the trail out to Pipeline and Guaje Canyon) in time for winter ski season.
As Tom pointed out, much of the trail system is not in too bad of shape, but the early portions from the upper part of the front-hill access road, to just about Point C on the upper trail, and Point Q on the lower road need to have the hazard trees removed.
The club has a few authorized & certified tree fellers, and we are allowed to work in two teams, separated by a pre-determined distance (>200 meters apart). This creates a large spread, and with the size of the trees and the fact that they will be falling across the trails in most cases, we need to have volunteer trail sentinels to monitor the foot and bike traffic that exists out there, despite the closure. We will have to station folks on the trails in either two, three, or even four points, depending on the work location of the felling teams. We have some two-way radios, safety vests and hard hats for everyone helping out. If you have any of this equipment, PLEASE bring it along.
We will need to conduct a safety briefing prior to embarking on the trail, and go over the work plan of the day. Anyone interested will need to sign up in advance and show up at the specified time to be involved. This isn't quite like the normal trail work days, where it's possible just to hike out and start helping.
At first, it won't be very exciting work, but as we get more of the hazards down, we will need help with the clearing, so that will be a bit more "hands-on." There are also some other work items related to the fire, such as some grading, hole-filling, log rolling, limb-lopping, etc. We will move on to those items as we phase out of the hazard clearing.
I think our first work days will be this coming Friday, Saturday, and possibly Sunday. Email me at if you would like to help out. I'll send out a confirmation with a list of things to bring and what to expect. Friday will likely be a half-day afternoon work session, with Saturday and Sunday possibly being longer hours. We will probably be working like this every week until the ski season.
Thanks in advance!

---------- Original Message ----------
From: Tom Berg Ski Trail Conditions
Date: Mon, 24 Oct 2011 15:24:46 -0600

Friday Clay and I did a walk through of the currently closed ski trails, led by 4 USFS Rangers. I have added a link of a few photos of the destroyed area, which is primarily from just below Point "A" to Point "C" on the upper trail, and From Point "A" to Point "Q" on the "road" portion of the trail, which includes a large portion of our new snowshoe trails.

Here are the photos:

I was surprised at how much of our trails are left, and in good shape in spite of spot fires here and there. But the large area from A-C and A to Q is pretty much destroyed, and the groomers are working like mad to cut all the dead hazard trees there so that the trails can be re opened for the ski season.

Here's a link to the map from the SWNSC website:

Right now the trails are still closed to the public, and much work remains to be done after the guys have finished the heavy cutting, so I hope you will all respond when Clay calls for volunteers to help for our trail work days in the next few weeks.... there is a lot of work up there that must be done if we're going to get to ski and snowshoe this Winter.


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Send in your club clothing order by Monday Oct 24th!

It appears we have plenty of interested folks to meet the minimum reorder numbers for another clothing order. Dont forget, we dont make anyone become members just for wearing the stuff. You can get it as presents for your active family/friends as well. Its obviously super cool looking, very handy and a great way to get our club's name out there. Conveniently, it doesnt even have to be 'cold weather' stuff as we are able to order any of their top/bottom standard layout pieces including cycling clothing like short sleeve jerseys and bib shorts etc. Women and men specific as well for all cycling pieces, but nordic specific pieces are all 'unisex'. So go nuts :)

Below is an email with order info and links to most popular pieces. Please check it out and send me your items (preferably with link to each so there is no mistake, plus that way you know the price of each piece) by Monday Oct 24th.
if you dont have Dina's email please use Contact Us form located here.

If you dont know what the uniforms looks like check out the layouts here. The background color is 'fire engine red' and isnt the orange you see in the photos but also not as dark as the red in the photo. The layouts have the correct red color showing.
Also, you will note that this company does not do a 'standard' nordic hat and we've had lots of requests for those. I did find another company that does good hats and allows orders of as few as 5 items, but they will still run us $20-30 each depending on how many hats will be ordered. These are however well made, look good and are very comfortable (we got their hats at the US Nationals in March and we liked them a lot). Here is the link to the hat site and layout. If you are interested in ordering a hat please let me know as soon as possible and I will check into it. It will be a completely separate order from the rest of the clothing.
Below are links to the more popular items in the past including the standard ski uniform pieces. Prices are as listed on that site (they dont charge tax) plus a $2-3 per order (not per piece) for shipping. Note, once we meet the 6 piece minimum we really can get any other pieces, that includes cycling shorts/jerseys and most other large top/bottom pieces from nordic or cycling custom sections (so excluding things like arm warmers, socks, gloves etc)

1) basically a warm cycling jersey with brushed fleece interior (men/women specific)
2) ski vest
3) racing top (can be ordered with brushed fleece lining for warmth for extra $10)
4) racing bottom (can be ordered with brushed fleece lining for warmth for extra $10)
5) warm jacket, not as much for skiing in but maybe to keep warm between events and general cold weather wear

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Ellis area ski trail enhancement project

Today a group of nordic ski enthusiasts including Rich Besser, Fredrik Landstedt, Ron McCurley, and Chris Norton along with USFS rangers Kerry Wood and Ryan Reineke walked some trails potentially suitable for grooming in the area near the Ellis parking lot and the Sandia Peak Tram service road. Fredrik pointed out places along the trails that needed improvement (e.g. widening, stump lowering, trail rerouting) which were, for the most part, approved by the rangers walking with us. We agreed to meet with them again at an unspecified date in early November (weather permitting) in order to actually make the improvements proposed today. The rangers would be doing the actual cutting with volunteers assisting them with the work by clearing the trail of the resulting timber fall and by insuring that hikers not intrude into the work area for safety reasons. The work will probably be on a weekday (not a weekend). Any Albuquerque area skiers willing to help should contact Ron McCurley (505 2284949) or Chris Norton (505 2286116).

Monday, October 17, 2011

Crested Butte Thanksgiving Camp Nov 24-26

Well! Its getting close to ski season and as usual a group of SWNSC members will be headed to Crested Butte for their awesome Thanksgiving Camp!

This will be their 11th year holding it and some subset of SWNSC members has been to most of these. Everyone who has been to one of these will agree that you cant have more xc ski fun than at this event for all levels of skiers, not to mention that there is definitely no more affordable way to have such consistenly high quality instruction.

The entire event is a fundraiser for the Crested Butte Nordic Center, so all the amazing instructors and olympians who teach there are doing it for free as a donation and because they love it so much (that means you should probably tip them if you enjoyed your lesson - took us a few years to figure that out...).

All details (as well as online registration!) are at link below including a schedule of events - they have something during each day and this year that includes Thanksgiving day morning as well. There is also the dinner and silent auction on Saturday night - that's always fun!

To see pictures from last year's event (all the really good ones are by Dave Kerr - thanks, Dave! :)

We typically get a few places to stay depending on how many people are coming and how big the places are. A group of us that goes almost every year is already set at a house very near the Nordic Center Wed Nov 23-Sun Nov 27th. We will probably have the group Thanksgiving dinner there. Please email me if you are coming up and want to join us so we can coordinate.

If you are coming up and need a place to stay, I can put people in touch with others interested to make groups (to get in touch about this comment here, post on our facebook page or user Contact Us form on our homepage). I would highly recommend booking through

They have quite a few very well located and affordable properties that we've stayed at before. For those places where the high/low season price change happens during the Thanksgiving weekend, they said they will extend the low season rate to us if you call to make a reservation and tell them you are booking from Southwest Nordic in New Mexico for the Thanksgiving camp.
If you are new to staying in CB, make sure your property is down town (not in Mt Crested Butte or '7mi down some road') if you want to be walking distance to the nordic center and most ski trailheads. Nordic center is located at the south end of 2nd St about a block off Whiterock Ave. Google map shows it incorrectly. Just see bottom/south end of 2nd st here where the ice rink (white) is visible:,+Crested+Butte,+CO&sll=38.870686,-106.987278&sspn=0.011694,0.019205&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=219+Whiterock+Ave,+Crested+Butte,+Gunnison,+Colorado+81224&ll=38.870587,-106.987288&spn=0.011695,0.019205&z=14
Each property comes with a map showing its location so check it. There are also cheaper condos to rent up in Mt Crested Butte but you will need to drive into town for all camp events and ski trail access.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

New snow on Sandia Peak

Between 5 and 6 inches fell on Sandia Crest.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

LANL (and Sandia) matching donations to SWNSC until Oct 28th!!!!!!

LANL and Sandia Lab employees!

If you were going to donate to SWNSC now (until Oct 28th) is the best time to do it because the LANL Employee Giving Campaign is under way. This is a great way to make your contribution count for the SW Nordic Ski Club. Donor designate through Worker Self-Service and LANS will match contributions of employees up to $1M total. Last year LANS matched $0.65 to each dollar contributed.
Please make sure to do this in the next week or two. The campaign ends October 28th.

Below are the instructions on how to do it for LANL from last year. Feel free to comment and correct or to add helpful hints etc (I believe this year the club name Southwest Nordic Ski Club should actually appear in the dropdown for the organization as we have listed with them, let me know if it doesnt and use address below until we do):

To get the match employees need to enter their donation through the time and labor system.

1. 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).

2. The Campaign ends on Friday October 28th so that is the last day to donate.

PS I know a some members who are Sandia Lab employees contributed through their program last year which also went to us successfully! However, the deadline for them may be different.