Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Sandia Peak

Fredrik set classic tracks on the service road, the lower section of switchback trail, most of the UNM loop except where a tree has fallen and blocked the trail and also on a new section of trail from the just north of the rock quarry to the parking lot and just below the service road.  The service road was also groomed for skating.


Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Trails Groomed 2/25/13

Dave groomed the entire trail system for skate, and most of the upper trails for classic. It skied GREAT at lunch today 2/26, you could ski the entire front hill and all of the burn zone. The lower part of the trail will probably have ample bare spots by wednesday, but the upper trails should be good until the weekend. There is a mid meadow trail and a real loop on the NEW caldera part of the trail. Go and get some great skiing while it is still cold. There is at least one tree that was down and left some serious detritus on the trail, may be more with the winds. Watch the drifiting in the meadow, portions of the mid meadow and caldera trails are pretty soft. etc. etc. Great skiing while we got it, get some...

Lunch ski 2/26, from the Caldera portion of our trails:

Lunch ski

Pagosa Quad Challenge 2012 race report

below are photos and race summary from the 2012 Pagosa Springs Quad Challenge event. This is copied directly from The Pagosa Springs Journal entry by Norm Vance. Original url is

Special Sunday Edition – The Pagosa Quad, New Mexico Shines!

After a day of snow, Saturday began clear and 10 degree cold at the West Fork Ski Trail.
Clay Moseley of Los Alamos won the solo division (10k skate) overall leading from the start in the skate race. He said he worked pretty hard on the run to make some time on Steve Ilg of Durango who was racing as part of a relay and started with a 5k classic ski. After the run Clay took it somewhat easier on the bike to avoid any injuries having not biked much during ski season. Steve Ilg had great ski and run legs handing off to his teammate Randy Stueve of Durango for the bike and swim. Randy left everyone in the dust during the bike leg to hold the win for the team division.
Sanna Sevanto of Los Alamos was leading the women’s race well into the bike leg when she finally got caught by Molly Hummel of Durango, a long time cycling pro who has turned triathlon pro in the last 5 years as well. Molly killed on the bike for the win but Sanna held on for 2nd. Lynn Bjorklund of Los Alamos (who holds multiple women’s running records, including female course record for Pikes Peak Marathon) finished a strong 3rd in the women in her first multisport event which she had to take swim lessons for (they clearly paid off!!). 
The women’s winning relay was made up of a fast Pagosan, Emily Dietz, for the frigid run/bike legs and Dina Pesenson of Los Alamos for the ski/swim legs. Last year’s women’s winner and local, Chantelle Kay, had a strong 4th place finish in the ladies despite the whole new level of competition this year with more participants.
The temperatures at race start were around 8 F requiring some creative dressing especially for the bike leg. After the event most participants agreed they fared much better on the bike than expected, with only some cold toes at the end of the bike ride, which were nicely remedied by the hot springs pool finish and post-race soaking. 
Huge thanks to Pagosa Nordic and friends for putting this on!! As you can imagine, this was a very work intensive event for volunteers and organizers, distributing and picking up gear from all transitions, shuttling racers etc. They were all amazing sports and clearly enjoyed themselves – what a great bunch of people! As with all low-key events like this one, the volunteers outnumbered participants and the sense of community and everyone having a blast, just could not be beat. It was great to see many folks coming out to this event from Durango, Chama and surrounding area. 
It’s definitely a great event to start your season with to remind yourself what multisport is all about!
The track was groomed and fast as the pack left the start.

Some were  happy just to be skiing in this beautiful environment.
Back from the first leg...
a quick change of gear was in order..
and the run up and out of the West Fork Valley on a sheet of ice was a challenge.
Once on the highway a loop up to Treasure Falls and back down  to the chain-up area was the running distance.
After the run, its on to bikes for the downhill ride to Pagosa.
After skiing and running, “down” is a pleasure.
First into town!
At The Springs Resort ten laps of the pool finished the event.
To win the Pagosa Quad it helps to be in shape!

Steve Ilg, right, and Randy Stueve won the team class. 
Clay Mosley won the individual class.
Congratulations to all who raced, you all won!

Short URL:

Friday, February 22, 2013

Masters World Championship 2013, Asiago, Italy PART V

Posting for Sanna:
Hi All,
Our internet connection at the hotel went really patchy with last nights snowfall, so I could not write about Paul's long distance race then. Now things are working better and I'll start with a spectatoer report from yesterday.
Paul coming up the last hill in the falling snow
Already in the morning we had light snow fall. It did not change waxing much but made some uphills a bit soft. Paul chose again my skies as they glide better than his new ones that we bought from here. Had a good hard wax as base and a high fluor coating to help with the moisture. Paul's start was at 10:25, and the cut off time for starting the last loop was at 12:45. If he went as at the middle distance race, he should have no trouble making it (30km in 2h4min), but this was a new race, slightly slower snow and a lot longer distance. We practiced technique a little on the race day and were hoping that would make a difference too. In the beginning of the race I was runnig from spot to spot trying to follow Paul's progress, taking video and photoes. We had planned that I would give feeds and drinks on top of a hill where the loop passed three times. First time when Paul came in there were a lot of people there and everyone cheering. His technique looked good, skiing was easy and the first 10km had not taken too long. Right after he passed that spot, the wind picked up and it started snowing more heavily. I could see various parts of the course from the hill and Paul seemed to start the second 15km loop very well. He didn't look too tired and was gliding well. At that point there were lots of skiers on the course and the women were hitting the last 5km of their 30km race. So, I decided to see them finish before Paul would be passing again. In my age group the gaps were clear. The Russian who skied the last leg in their relay was winning F1 and a Finn was clearly in the lead for F2. Slightly after the women had finished the youngest men passed my spot for the first time. They were going very fast. One of the interests in Paul's race was also whether  his age group winners would lap him. When he came to the feeding station again, he was still clearly ahead of them, and also ahead of another man he had been racing with in the 10km race (lost by 10s). Technique worked still well and he was gliding the uphills easy. In the last uphill before the end of the second loop he finally was passed by the three leaders of his age group, who were racing for the finish. But Paul made it to the third loop some 15min before the cut out time, so he was allowed to finish. The man he had lost to in 10km did not make it. At this time the spectator grouds started to thin out. There were only me and a canadian cupport crew on the hill any more. I tried to cheer all teh skiers as they started to look more and more tired. Some women could not glide up the hills anymore, but had to herring-bone. It started snowing more and more, and the trail got very soft, as less and less skiers were passing. When Paul came , he looked tired, but he was still keeping the technique going. He was with one F4 and one F3, who passed him at the feeding. But next time he came up, they were not too far ahead. One of them had to stop at the hill, and Paul got closer. In quite heavy snowfall Paul finished his race in 3h15min. He was the last that got a result (passed the cut off) in his age group, but there were those who did not make it. He wasn't too eager to go for a cool down. So, we headed home straight away.
pretty race venue after the snow fall
It continued to snow the whole night and we got a good 10-15cm of new powder. That changed the kickwax scenario quite a bit, but in the morning it was sunny and my start being at 10:10am, I was afraid that the track would glaze during the race. So, I played it safe and put a soft layer of Power Grip under covering with Rode blue. At the testing area it worked very well, and teh trails were nice and hard there. At the start everyting went well now. No pushing and grippy track. In the first downhill, however, I notriced that I wasn't gliding as well as the fastest. The first uphill was very soft and the trail was completely beaten up already. The next uphill was even worse and there was no chance of doing anythign else but run it up. At the next flatter part I had to stride where I had bee double-poling all other races. The track was so soft and my wax was draging. The Belarussian lady who was second in the middle distance race passed me slightly after that, and I had no way of going as fast as her. My skis just did not glide that well. Had to make a quick change of strategy. Now it was all about trying to find the least skied, hardest track, where I had best glide. I just kept going, running the smasched uphills and trying to fiind better glide. In the steeper downhills I wasn't too bad, but on the flats it was just dragged. I was doing fairly alright physically and still ahead of the norwegian F1 skier that had beaten me slightly in all the other races. Once lapping, I noticed that my skies started to work a bit better. The track started to glaze more and my glide improved. Felt strong still and just tried to push, passing a lot of older women and being passed by some men. My glide continued improving, although it was still a bit bad on the flats.  In the last uphills I could finally ski up nicely as my wax did not grip too much anymore, and I think my finish was quite strong. So, I was second in my age group, some 4min behind the belarussian lady. Paul said that the first lap she was gaining time on me all the time, but the second lap our distance kept the same. All in all, I felt I had a good race. Was physically strong all the time. I just could not ski faster today. Must say that it felt a bit sour not to be able to really race with the other lady, but this made the middle distance glod taste a lot sweeter.
Sanna on the podium with silver
The awards for today were given at the race venue, as the big tent is prepared for the banquet. So, next we heading there.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Best Conditions of the Year!!! 2/21/2013

posted on behalf of Clay, SWNSC club prez:

What a difference a storm can make.  That was some much needed heavy snow.

Ken and Dave just got done grooming everything out to perfection, and added the anticipated Canada Bonita drainage trail (the outer meadow) from the top of the Valles Caldera section, down to the Point M intersection.  That is the best trail we have when we can get it in.  It is groomed for both skate and classic.  That puts the trail system up to about 15 kilometers!

Get up there and get in some of the best skiing of the year.  Hopefully we'll be able to hold out until at least mid-March.

Ahem, hat in hand here... if you haven't renewed your membership or made a donation to the club, please think of us.  We're trying to keep things running on bailing wire and duct tape most of the time, and it would be nice to upgrade some of our grooming equipment.  Everything we have is so old and worn out.  The guys are still making it work, though. Click here to renew membership and/or make your tax deductible donation now - you can request an electronic tax deductible receipt with it. Just click through registration and choose donation amount instead of membership fees from the required category dropdown menu.

Thanks, and here's to our best skiing of the season!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Masters World Championships 2013, Asiago, Italy, PART IV

Posting for Sanna:

Hi All,
Today was the relay day. The night was cold again, but it was foggy and the snow glazed very fast in the morning. The first starts were at 10am, but women started only at 11:40am. By that time the tracks were already very shiny, so glide was no problem. I actually had the best gilde I've had here so far. But that was also partially due to that I nailed the kickwax now, thanks to Clay's Power Grip, and had less kickwax I've ever had in a race. The course was fairly flat too, which allowed little kick. Had to run the little knolls next to the track, but I think it was a good choice in this race.
The relay format was 4x5km. First two legs classic and last two free style. The classic loop was the beginning of the 15km race course and the skating loop the last 5km of the same course. The skaters had all the hills. I skied the first leg in the youngest women agegroup. To get enough teams the age categories for women were now groupped in 10-year increments, and we were a total of six teams in my age group: Russia, Canada, France, Finland, Italy and USA. 
We started together with the second youngest age group and there were some 15 teams lined up. I had a bad start. Somehow my lane was very sticky and I did not get going that fast. In the first turn some 50m to the course before the first downhill there was some pushing going on and one racer literally forced me out of the track by changing lane on my skies. Anyway, we got going and no-one fell. I managed to pass a few teams in the first little knoll. Had a good glide in the downhill and when the double-poling sections started I passed more teams. There was the russian team in front of me but she slid and fell in the next little uphill. Nevertheless after a while she had passed a few teams and I tried to not let the distance increase too much. I was skiing behind a Finnish team from the other age group. The lady in their team had been about 4 min faster than me in the 10km race and I just tried to keep up. Then came the gradual up hill and I was able to pass her with kick-double-poling. In the last curve before last uphill I did a small lining mistake and there she passed me again and came to finish 5 seconds before. But I was quite happy that I didn't loose any more. In our own agen group I was third, 30s behind Russia and 19s behind Canada. Marie skied our second leg, and she had too hard wax as the tracks changes so much even during my leg. So, she was slipping in the uphills and had to double-pole some hills where striding would have been a lot faster. But she did well in any case. Passed Canada, but had to let France and Italy pass her. Beth skied the first skating leg and did such a good job that she passed Italy right in teh beginning and France in the last long uphill. Russia had already gone along ago, but the time difference between second and fourth team was less that 45s and Finland was catching everyone up with their very strong skaters. Inge skied our last leg and was some 5-10 s ahead of France until the last long uphill. The French skier caught some time on her in the downhills, but she was able to pull way a bit in the uphills. Finland was flying behind and visibly catching everyone. The victory went to Russia with a clear gap, but after that it was exciting. In the last uphill Inge pulled away from France, but Finland was still getting closer. In the end, Inge finished second, but Finland passed France in the finish line and got third.  
So, it was awards tonight again. Other US teams did well too. We got silver in the oldest women's age group and at least one male team got a medal.    
Tomorrow is long distace free style race, and I have a rest day. Will be out there cheering Paul on his record long ski ever.
In the photo we are from the left: Beth, Marie, Sanna, Inge.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Trails Groomed 2/18/2013

Well, we're still hanging on despite the frequent warm spells.  I got out last evening to grind up all the ice and debris that had formed and collected over the long weekend.  There is no classic track anymore; some places got just a bit too thin for it on the edge of the trail.  Instead, I focused on grinding up the trail and shoveling (and hauling) snow around to patch those few thin and eroding areas.  Most of the trail looked quite good above the "new" Point B (B2).  Above that, only around the "Rock" and that short portion below Point J looked bad, plus that very short section on the wooded downhill out of the lower meadow, just above Point O.  I hauled snow to those points and shoveled what I could in anticipation of some new snow later this week.  If it snows on what is on there now, it'll hold a lot better and extend the skiing for a while.  Right now, skiing is continuous above Point A, but rather rough in the burn area.  The front hill started off pretty good over the weekend, but looked pretty cooked by late yesterday.

Seems like we just can't catch a break with a good dump of snow to overcome the ever-increasing warm spells and ubiquitous thin base we've managed all season.  But, looks like something is in the pipeline for tomorrow evening, through late next week.  We'll keep our fingers crossed and hope it keeps us going into March sometime.  It seems like up to now, we've had an average of one good week, then one bad week, and repeat.  Unfortunately, the bad interval seems to have increased a bit.

Quite often, this is a time of year that we get frequent wet storms that keep the skiing pretty good.  The last couple of years, however, have not been good this time of the year.  I think we got our last good storm around the first of March last season, only to have a nuclear meltdown within a few days.  I hope that is not the case this season.

As I was out grooming and shoveling those bad places last evening, I had a strong sense of deja vu back to last season.  It is almost identical.  I hope we part with last year's pattern starting this week!

Anyway, the skiing will actually be quite good today with the trail all freshened and ground up.  The meadows will be especially nice, just be careful on that short little spot on the lower meadow where it breaks over before descending into the woods.  There are some big rocks there and I had a hard time shoveling there.  The "snow" on the side of the trail there was so hard and crusty that I couldn't get any scoops out without breaking the shovel.  Plus, it just skittered off the hard-pack anyway.

Think snow!


Monday, February 18, 2013

Masters World Championships 2013, Asiago, Italy PART III

posting for Sanna
RACES 3&4:
Today we had the short distance races. 10km classic in the morning for me and 10km skating in the afternoon for Paul. The gap between the races was too short for us to return to accommodation, so we had a long day at the event center.
The night was cold and it snowed a little, which changed the tracks quite a bit and made it somewhat slower skiing than yesterday. I had the same Power Grip base, but now covered it with Rode blue. Had very good grip, even a little too much as I was left behind in the first down hill by some 15m by the russian younger ladies. The age groups go from 1 to 12 with 5 year increments 1 being 30-34 year-olds, and generally all age groups start separate, but F1 and F2 (F for female) categories are so small that we always start together even if we don't compete with each other.
I think I had a good start. There was a Finnish lady in my age group coming down the hill next to me, but then I did not see her again. Skied with a Norwegian F1 skier. She had slightly better glide than me, but now I did well in the kick-double-pole sections and uphills, and in the finish she was only 20m ahead. Overall the race went technically better than yesterday, and I could even speed up a little towards the end of the last uphill. The course was the same as in the 15km race excluding the last 5km, which contains all the nice hills. So,it was quite flat. No hard climbs, but no rest either. Finished first in my age group, fourth in my start and ~2.5 min behind the russians.
The award seremony was very similar to yesterdays. They showed again the Italian olympic relay win from Lillehammer on the big screen and now the awards were given by Silvio Fauner, the last leg skier in that big moment for Italians. Yesterday it was Giorgio Vanzetta. I did not get to shake hands with Silvio Fauner however, as he was saved for the skate races and classic race awards were given by some FIS representative.
The snow conditions changed completely for the skate race as the weather warmed up. It snowed slightly every now and then, but not enough to make any trouble for the glide. The trail glazed again and generally people had a very good glide. So much so that skiers with less balance and ability to maintain nice flat ski, had some trouble with slipping sideways. The fastest skaters did the 10km in 22 min! Paul did well too. He managed to push a bit harder and finished in 38min.
Tomorrow is a rest day and we plan on a trip to Campomulo, the near by mountain ski area.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Master's World Championships 2013, Asiago, Italy PART II

more from Sanna:
DAY 2:

Today we had the 15km classic. It was very moist and started snowing right before my start. Struggled a bit with the wax. Had Rex power grip under covered by SkiGo red, but needed something softer for the glazed parts. Layered with SkiGo yellow, but that froze. Went back to SkiGo red and called it good. It worked well in uphills that were not glazed, but kick-double-pole did not really work that well as the tracks were really icy and wet at flat parts. But it did not freeze either, so I should be quite happy.
The start went well I was second off the stadium thanks to double poling. Then I struggled with technique for a while and the russian F1s passed. I skied a long time behind a canadian F1. She had a bit better kick and went the uphills better, I caught her on the flats with double-poling. At half way I got the breathing trouble a little again and struggled for a while. In the last long downhill it eased up a bit, but the canadian was then gone and I was alone. I really enjoyed the long gradual final climb, but then got the breathing trouble again and could not hammer the last steeper uphill as well as I would have wanted. Managed to ski it up in any case and do the planned kick-double-pole to the finish. Was 3min 56s behind the F1 winner, but 58s ahead the second F2.
Sanna in first place :)))

So, it was awards tonight. The ceremony was actually quite grand in Italian style, and the awards were given by a former Italian team member, whose name I just forgot. Clay would probably know his name. It was familiar to me too. Will tell you if it pops up. Got a big heavy medal and a bottle of dry, strong champagne. It may end up with Liza when she comes to visit.
Here are some pictures from today. My posture was still a bit too far back as one can clearly see from the photo and the skiing wasn't light.

Master's World Championships 2013, Asiago, Italy PART I

Posting contents of Sanna's emails as they come in. Sanna S and Paul P are SWNSC club members representing us at this awesome event [personal comment from me - we are SO bummed not to be able to make it to this MWC. Italians really know how to put on great events...of course! :) Well, maybe Finland MWC 2015 will work out for us.] Btw, if you click the photos you can see them larger.


Had a first ski round on the race course today. It's a fairly easy course with a flat start and some really nice hills, both up and down, in the end. Finishing is uphill. The Russians are all over everywhere, we met some Australians and saw a few Americans, but as I don't really know any of them and they don't know me, didn't talk with anyone yet.
It snowed here on Mon-Tue a good 1-2ft. So, the snow is really nice and plenty. Weather is now sunny and the trails were starting to glaze already today. Had a little trouble with kickwax as Swix white was freezing in the shady spots but not kicking in the sunny. It worked well until noon though, which should be the time my races finish in any case. The new snow is surprisingly dry, but if the sun keeps shining, it may be klister in any case.
Bought a new pair of classic skis too and might even race with them. They have felt very easy to ski. We'll have a ski testing day tomorrow, and I'll test a few different kick waxing scenarios. Then on Sat it is Paul's first race and on Sun mine.  


Today was the first race day. Paul did his second ever 30km ski (he's never done anything longer either), and was going very well. His time was 2h and 3min, and he said he could have done one more lap on the 15km course. Looks good for the long distance.
I was the support team with feeds and cheering. Stood in one corner and cheered for everyone. It was very touching how many thanked for cheering when passing.
Here attached a few pictures from the race (Paul is #6003) and opening ceremony. They had the local ice hockey team bring in the flags and local ice skaters then performed little programs. I was very happy that they included also the very youngest in the show. And, then there were a lot of speeches, of course, and one welcome by Bjorn Daehlie. He was supposed to race today, but I did not spot him and the announcers did not highlight, so I assume, maybe he did not.

Tomorrow is my race. It starts late and the weather has a chance of turning tricky for waxing with drizzle or new snow. So far the Power Grip has been great, but have to see tomorrow what happens.

We have been enjoying the time here very much. The food is good. Paul's cooking is as good as always, and it is easy to get local fresh ingredients. Before the races we went up to the mountains to ski. It was very beautiful, and hopefully we'll be able to make a trip there on the rest day again. Don't have any pictures from there yet, as I did not bring my camera.
Italians are very friendly and I was really impressed how the spectators forced people out from the ski trail while the race was going on. During races  no-one should be skiing there, but of course people go to "cool down" etc. But even the toughest, ignorant and deaf-playing guys could not stay with all the boo-ing.
The sunsets are also almost as beautiful as in New Mexico! The last picture is from our balcony while I was waxing skis tonight. 

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Trail/grooming update Feb 13th, 2013

Ken K groomed the trails yesterday evening. Here is the update:

All trails groomed for classic and skate.  Thin spots and rocks remain up to Point B.  Excellent track above, klister with a hard wax on top should work great.  The track really looked nice on the upper trails and meadow.  The lower road and main trail only got one pass up to the B1? Cutoff.   I groomed all of the trails above J first so they got an extra pass.  Should hold very nicely up there into the weekend if we refresh the skate lane.  

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Trail update Feb 6th.

From Clay:
It took a couple of night's efforts, but the trails are all cleaned up and groomed.  Several thin places exist and the classic track has had to be adjusted accordingly.
Watch out for the very thin spots on the lower meadow and the section that connects to the lower road.  Perhaps skip those sections and go back in at point M.
Chances for snow in the forecast...

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

New photos posted and list of upcoming events!

Hey everyone, 

Hope you have been enjoying winter! A whole lot of SWNSC members and friends certainly have been!
Here you will find albums from Chama Chile Classic events (MLK weekend), NM Cup/Low O2 events (Jan 26-27 weekend) and Alley Loop photos from last weekend. or you could just hit the Photo Gallery tab from our homepage anytime

A few other folks may have photos they'd like to share from these events I'm sure. 
Matt D, Max L, Ellen G, Elena/Tarik, Karen K - please email me if you would like to add any photos to these albums. 

Race reports, xc ski stories, anyone? Please post here on our blog!

Tri/non-ski friends: Don't let winter pass you by while you are getting utterly bored if not burnt out on the trainer/treadmill! Get out and enjoy the outdoors while taking your training to a whole new level! Don't know where to begin? -- Head to Enchanted Forest for a day or the whole weekend, rent some gear and take some lessons. You will be hooked in no time!
There are plenty of great places to stay in Red River, but Golden Eagle Lodge in particular has always been super accommodating to xc skiers and offers suites with kitchenettes for those needing to cook. Although best place is of course the yurt at Enchanted Forest if it isn't already booked.

Our trails are also getting regularly groomed thanks to our Master Groomer Dave and his helpers as you can see by the trail updates here. Plenty of places to have winter fun around here (see list below for next few weekends)!
And get the kids out - it may be frustrating/hard to get going with kids sometimes, but so worth it once you are out having fun!
Next up:
Feb 9-10 Pagosa Winterfest is coming up this weekend - less than a 3 hour drive from Los Alamos. Great events for kids, citizens and racers, including the super fun Red Ryder BB gun biathlon! The hot springs afterwards really make this a spectacular event weekend!
Feb 16-18 President's day weekend: Mt Taylor Quadrathlon. Those not helping/participating in the quad, can head to Enchanted Forest - if you are renting call ahead to book your rental - it gets busy!
Feb 23-24 Just Desserts Eat and Ski at Enchanted Forest or Leadville Loppet on the Mineral Belt Trail in Leadville.
March 2-3 Snow Mountain Stampede for those willing to drive (2 days of races with kids races every day) OR Pagosa Spring Quad Challenge OR ski/snowshoe/sled/yurt Enchanted Forest, Pagosa Springs, our trails etc. 

There are photos from most of these events from last few years up on SWNSC Photo Gallery.

Don't miss out on winter!