Saturday, November 26, 2011

skiing at sandia peak

Did a little classic today on the service road and some of the lower trails above the road as did Rich Besser. The service road is mostly skiable but a few problem areas exist due to a few rocks and some wind blown icy areas. The lower part of the switchback trail is surprisingly good as is the UNM loop.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thanks to the Saturday trail workers

Great job to all of you trail workers on Saturday. The fencing looks great and will start working right away by keeping the ground from thawing out and shading what snow we receive. The fencing at "the rock" got strung up, despite the challenges that were faced in getting the materials out there, etc. It looked awesome too.

We also got a number of the bad "burn out" holes filled and some aspen shoots cleared out, especially in the burn area. The cut-offs are clear and some of the low-side log structures were replaced.

The trail still needs a lot of work with those holes and lower edge burn-outs, but I'd say we did a great job getting a lot of that burn damage mitigated.

Special thanks to Paul Graham, who came out a few times this week to help me with a few things and get the fencing project all prep'ed. I know he probably feels like I held him hostage with some of these projects, but he stuck by me and we were successful on a number of things.

Also a big thanks to all of you saw guys, log movers and hole fillers. Those are back-breaking tasks (I'm icing mine as we speak) and really make us tired. Things look great.

Still contemplating getting some shade fencing to attach to the nice field fence that was installed in the burn area. It would no doubt help there to preserve the snow we get as well.

You could stick a fork in me and pull it out clean. I'm toast. No more trail projects this year (until grooming and more trees fall down...).


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Trailwork this week and this weekend

THANKS to all of you who have jumped in and committed to working this Saturday (and those who are helping out this week too). I think we're going to just make it happen for the season and get almost all the big ticket items checked off. It's been a crazy fall for trail work and we've had a lot of hands out there...again, thanks to all of you. I realize it's hard to work that in with family and other commitments.

We have a lot going on at the moment with the Rocky Mountain Youth Corps working up there this week. I will talk more about their organization and work efforts later, but so far, it's just incredible how much they've gotten done, and how eager they are to do more. I'll be posting some information for all of you to make some contact to them and say 'thanks'.

The Los Alamos Coop market fed them tonight, and that was really cool, as they put in a long, hard day. Not having to make their own food in the motel room was nice.

Anyway, we'll have many and various work items for folks to do this Saturday, so come prepared: boots, gloves, warm clothes, food, water, etc. Some work items: hanging shade fence (no post pounding!), aspen shoot cutting, filling holes, moving some'll be fun.

Oh yeah, we'll meet at the trailhead at 9am, as usual.


Monday, November 14, 2011

Enchanted Forest skiing

Donna and I found good early season conditions yesterday at Enchanted Forest: a half dozen SWNSC members skiied there yesterday, and the UNM Ski Team was there training from Thursday until Sunday morning.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Red River is Open!

Here's the latest from Geoff and Ellen up at Enchanted Forest...they are open so it's time to strip the storage wax from our skiis!

Just a quick note to let you know Enchanted Forest is open for the 2011 - 2012 season. We have had over 36 inches of snow in the last 3 weeks, and this last storm dumped up to 20 inches on some trails. This is enough snow to be at 80% open for this weekend. We will be doing a sneak peek weekend with $5 trail passes and $5 rentals!

This is earlier than we expected to open, so there are still a few things we need to get done, and there may be a missing sign here or there or a bench in an odd place, but the skiing and snowshoeing are great!

We will be open Fridays Saturdays and Sundays, if the snow holds, until Thanksgiving and then every day starting that weekend.

Come on up and give it a go. Season passes are still on early season discount and available this weekend at Enchanted Forest!

Sandia Crest (Ellis) trail improvement

Today, Nov. 10 (Thursday), Rich Besser, Ron McCurley, Chris Norton, and rangers Ryan Reineke and Kerry Wood worked on the UNM ski loop above the service road rerouting the trail in 2 problem areas and some additional trail maintenance to improve the trail. One problem area that now has a great re-rout (also makes grooming that section easier) is located near the crest highway at the north end of the small meadow near the 10400 sign; the other re-rout (located at the top of the section of old logging road) was created mainly to make grooming that section easier. Some of the problem stumps on the trails were truncated as low as possible. Chris went down to the lower UNM trail and did some pruning of the small shoots that endlessly sprout up in the trail. We also did limited pruning of the shoots on the upper trail. Some work remains to be done in this regard. A couple of intrusive logs were cut back as well as one fallen tree and an old semi-buried log across the trail. We also did some infill where trail is uneven. There was anywhere from 1" to 5" of snow on the trails and service road. A few more inches and we can start skiing!


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Clay's Trailwork Update

It figures that when we need a little extra time to get some trail work done, it decides to snow and get cold. But that's OK, we'll take it...
Things are starting to look pretty good with our season preparations and the trail work in general. We've gotten most of the real hazard trees down and bucked off the trail. In some places, we just didn't have the horsepower, so they're pushing in a little tight, but I think we have a plan to get that bit pushed out a little wider. It was a LOT of work for the small crew we had this past weekend, but amazingly, we got most of it done. There are still a couple of big trees (already bucked up) that need to be moved off the trail on the lower road (with the help of a pry-bar), and some stuff on the trail from A to C that needs pushing out a bit. We also need to work on the "log platform" at "the rock" just below point J. It got burned out and we need to replace it with some logs. That log platform at the other big rock on Dave's Dogleg also needs some significant work.
On top of all of that, there are a LOT of new aspen shoots, or more like shrubs, in the trail throughout the burn area that need to be cut. They keep standing when the snow comes and we groom over them. They're pretty now, but not so nice to try to ski through, and not to worry, they *will* return!
I am gone this coming weekend, but Paul Graham will be around to provide guidance on the specific areas and work tasks that are still in need of some love. Things are quite nice out there with the snow and more open areas. It is still an amazing place to be.
The Rocky Mountain Youth Corps will be here this coming Monday, as will the fencing material. They're mainly going to focus on installing the fence, but there will be some trail work that they will get to as well. I'm going to list the things they could work on that we haven't gotten to, but the fence will take much of their time. The fence will serve to keep snow on the trail (by providing shade and a wind break), and hopefully improve the skiing and keep moisture on and in the ground longer to speed up the recovery process.
If anyone wants to feed a hungry crew at any point during their stay, they would certainly appreciate it. They are youth crews who are building their experiences with these work projects and live on a shoestring while on these work stints.
After that, we have one more team of burn area recovery folks who will come in and take out the few big hazard trees that we did not want to approach ourselves. Once that is complete, we should be ready for being able to open up for the snow season, we hope.
Once again, a HUGE thanks to Lynn and Co. (Myles and Jennifer) at the Espanola Ranger District of the SFNF. She/they have provided us with so much support and assistance in getting the recovery efforts moving and all of the red tape, finances, etc. headed in the right direction. I know I've been a major pain in the neck for them and they've handled it well. If you enjoy the trails and feel the need for sending some appreciation notes, don't hesitate to drop them a line...they are rarely thanked for the amazing work they do.
That's all I have for now. I'll update more as I get more information.
Also, a big, BIG thanks to all of you who have taken time out of your busy lives to lend a hand. It all makes a difference. The trails will be open for everything that we love to do around here and you'll know you had a hand in that.

Clay Moseley