Saturday, December 29, 2012

NM Cup Winter Sport Series

From our club prez, Clay M.:
Happy Holidays to everyone.  I wanted to get the news and information out to everyone on the New Mexico Cup Winter Sport Series.  It is a combination point series that comprises both cross-country skiing and snowshoe competitions. Essentially, there are three major events that are participating this year (but will likely be expanded in the future).  The events are listed below in order of their respective date.  A big thanks to the folks at Enchanted Forest for hosting so many events this year (currently GREAT ski conditions, BTW), including the Low O2 Mountain bike race.  More to come in the future!

New Mexico Cup Series general information:

Santa Fe Striders Snowshoe Classic (Jan. 12):

Chama Chili Ski Classic (Jan. 19-21):

Enchanted Forest Low O2 Challenge (Jan 26-27):

Additionally, there are other local winter events that you might consider:

* Southwest Nordic Ski Club training time trial (5km or 10km freestyle, no entry fee) at the Pajarito/Canada Bonita Nordic trails, Jan. 5;

* The Alley Loop, Crested Butte, CO, Feb. 2, 2013 (

* Mt. Taylor Quadrathlon (

* Pagosa Springs Nordic Events (list below, details can be found on

FREE Learn to Cross Country Ski Clinics
Saturdays, 9-11am, Dec. 15th / Jan 12th  / Feb. 2nd

Free Dog Harness Demo Day, Clinic and Fun Race
Saturday and Sunday, January 5-6, 2013

Pagosa Winter Fest Nordic Ski Races
February 9-10, 2013/ Saturday-Sunday

'PAGOSA PAW' Dog Sled, Canine Skijoring and Cani-Cross Races
February 23-24, 2013 / Saturday and Sunday
(Location: Kuhn Ranch)

Pagosa Springs Quad Challenge
March 03, 2013 ~  Sunday

Friday, December 28, 2012

membership info and news

from our club prez Clay M:
Hi all,

I hope your holidays have been active and merry and you've had a chance to get out and ski.  Dave has been laying down some very nice tracks, and there is good snowshoeing in the woods and Canada Bonita trail.  Hopefully, we'll be able to expand the "snowshoe network" again next year, but there's still plenty of options.

Anyway, I am writing to alert you to a change in how we'll be offering membership registration.  Right now, it's the same old way on the website. The form on the website needs to be updated for this season, I know that...just too many things to do.  Club admin housekeeping has not been my strong suit, and Dina has been busy taking care of all these kids we keep having =)  Anyone want to help us with keeping up with website content?

Anyway, coming up very soon, you'll have the option to register online at:

It is not quite ready yet and I'm working with them to get it set up.  There is a small processing fee in addition to the club "fees."  I put "fees" in quotations, because we all know it is just a donation and a charge to ask everyone to come work for your skiing =).  I'll be the first to admit that.  It is tax deductible, however.

I'll send out the notice that it is ready as soon as we get it up and running.

We are now a USA Triathlon affiliated club, which means the club has membership liability insurance.  Additionally, we had to add the club's board as an "additionally insured" entity.  Blame it on our litigious world, but it does indemnify the club and the Forest Service for club events.  Everyone needs to sign a waiver for any club activity, including the club membership form.

Your donations and club membership dues help to defray the considerable costs associated with keeping the Nordic trails maintained (year round) for all activities, not least of which is the winter grooming.  Grooming is VERY EXPENSIVE!!!  Trail upkeep and material expenses add up quickly too.  A special thanks goes out to those who have been generous donors over the years.  It has really helped us become a much more viable operation.

Again, thanks to all of you for your support and volunteerism, and here's to a long and great ski season.

Happy New Year

Buy Dave a Beer! Trail Report 12/28/2012

Professional and very timely grooming is brought to us by 'Pro' groomer, Dave Wykoff.  A big thanks goes out to him for the hard work he's been putting in.  It has been great skiing thanks to the little rounds of "freshies" and the awesome grooming.

Still lots of little obstacles (still big obstacles in the meadows) and aspen shoots to watch out for.  Please cut a few shoots when you head out.  Every little bit helps.

Hopefully, we'll be getting a real storm in just a few days.  For the time being, enjoy the skiing we have!

Sanna heading out to enjoy the freshly groomed snow on Christmas Day.   Dave groomed this section of Camp May Rd last, so it hadn't been groomed yet.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Weekend Trail Update 12-22 through 12-24

We had a good weekend of skiing for our first "full" groomed weekend.  Things were a little lumpy and bumpy, with lots of aspen shoots still poking through, and some grass here and there.  But amazingly, things were quite well covered with only those really big rocky sections being an issue.  Otherwise, I didn't even hit anything with my rock skis.

I was pleased with the trail on the early sections, including the front hill, where we completed the regrading/erosion control work.  It groomed and skied nicely, and seems to hold the snow much better.  We did get the usual elk stampede and a couple of errant runners who must have trouble reading, otherwise, the trails looked pretty good all weekend.  Please keep a wary eye out for things until we pick up a lot more snow.  Use caution and ski lightly!

A HUUUGGGEEE  thanks goes out to Paul Graham for his complete dedication to going out and cutting aspen shoots for 4 hrs on Friday, then again Saturday and Sunday.  Sanna got in the action too on Saturday and just skied sans poles and cut shoots.  They were really bad and now there are very few sections left with any in them.

Hopefully, we continue to pick up a few inches here and there to cover all those little obstacles and fill in the holes and trenches.  It'll improve steadily if so.

Thanks also goes out to John B., Chuck C. and Dave W. for all the trail prep work, grooming, blading, sawing, etc.

I'm going to set up our club registration on this week to renew club memberships. We also need to update the release form.

Thanks everyone and hope to see you out during the holidays!


Monday, December 17, 2012

First "grooming" of the 2012-13 ski season

After a busy fall with trail work projects and many, many other was finally time to get up and pack the snow that has finally arrived.  This droughty fall was making us sweat it out, so it was nice to see some good snow that actually had some moisture in it.  

We're very short-handed this year with groomers.  We've lost one groomer (Denny moved to Utah), and Dina and I had another kid a few months ago, so it's going to be lean with the grooming if we get on the pattern of the recent years past.  If you know of anyone who might be willing to spend some cold, tough nights working out on the trails (and can operate machinery and lift some heavy objects... =), please have them get in touch with us.  It's actually pretty cool when you get the hang of it.

All that said, things are looking OK.  There was quite a bit of snow and it was setting up nicely with the cold nights.  It packed out well, but it's still thin for skiing.  Lots of people had already been skiing, but there are still lots of early-season obstacles, so be very careful.  No classic track yet.  Use your rockiest of rock skis if you do go up to ski.  

I packed the lower road out to Point O (still trees down above that point to Point M and to Point F).  The upper trails all got a couple of passes out to the end of the meadow (or, more like to the Valles Caldera fence), but there are some narrow spots due to some deadfall that needs to be removed.  I cleared what I could with a hand saw and just brute force, but we need to get up with chainsaws and even a pry bar to move the rest.  

It'll be lumpy and bumpy, plus there's lots of very tall grass and weeds, no doubt stimulated from last year's fire.  I'd never seen the weeds get that tall - several stretches with weeds higher than the machine.  Also, there are lots of aspen shoots that didn't get snipped.  Consider bringing a little set of hand snippers out with you if you'd like to spend some time helping get the trail cleaned up.  It would be a huge help.

Looks like more snow on Wednesday, but with wind =(.  Hopefully the storm scheduled for Christmas will get us up and running at 100%.  Again, we REALLY need some grooming help.  If we don't get someone new, it won't be groomed quite as well this year.

The SWNSC "garage"

Getting "Kermit" hooked up to the roller

First bit of trail from Camp May

On the lower road looking toward Pajarito

Looking north through the burn damage near the old Point R

Looking up to the upper trail where we had to extend the fencing and do some considerable trail repairs this fall

Over the big hill on the lower road headed to Point P; just out of the burn zone

Looking back up toward the burn zone.  The FS let us move those rocks out to the original Canada Bonita road width

One of the numerous trees that had fallen since the fall cleanup projects

Another broken tree (upper part of the picture to the right of center)

Farther up the trail; snow gets deeper and looks pretty good for skiing

The roller smoothing things out

Lots of grass and weeds had to be rolled and knocked down 

Entering the Canada Bonita meadow near Point L;  pretty deep snow here

Out in the meadow -- it is hard to see where to go with no previous grooming, or our bamboo markers placed for guidance