Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Sandia Peak update

Below is a photo taken by Steve Roholt of a section of the access trail (not groomed yet) from the tram service road to the trails near and adjacent to the 10K parking lot.

SWNSC Trail Update 12/31/2014

Happy New Year!  Hopefully, the first day of 2015 will see some new snow.  We need it.

But...  things are finally taking some form after the massive blow-down of many, MANY trees before Christmas.  I think it took Dave and me a total of 20+ hours to get all that cleared.  Sorry to keep mentioning that, but dang, that was an awful lot of work to clean up!

OK, onto the trail conditions:

Things are covered and the trail is quite skiable, but bring rock skis.  There are some thin areas and a lot of debris from the tree cutting, etc.  Rocks are just beneath in a few areas too, especially the main trail between the intersections of Dave's Dogleg and TJ's loop.

It's lumpy and bumpy, but not bad for skating and pretty nice for classic touring.  There's no classic track set yet, but with just a little more, we'll be able to set it.  The lower road is also in good shape out to Point O, but not so great above that due to rough trails underneath and of course the meadow always needs more snow to be skiable.  You can can back into the woods at Point O, or turn around and take "Clay's Cutoff" at Point B (groomed).

There are lots of aspen shoots still thriving on the edges of the trail, especially on Dave's Dogleg and the upper meadow.  Please take a little time to cut a few if you can -- 10 minutes can do a lot of good.  Be sure to cut them down below the snow line!  That really helps a lot.  I kept running out of time during this fall's work days and it would get dark, so I missed a few spots.  Now, my 44 yr-old back is worn out from lifting logs and I don't feel like bending over to cut any more aspen shoots!

We'll try to stay on top of the grooming with the new snow, but be patient.  We are down to almost no groomers now.  Hopefully, we'll get some more reinforcements in January sometime.

Resolution Race will be on Sunday, January 11.  I'll send out more details later.  We'll do a kids fun thing too, after the adults event.

Sandia peak trail update

Fredrik Landstedt, head ski coach of UNM, is planning on grooming trails (most of which have been extensively leveled by some volunteers using shoveling and snow shoes) between the 10K parking lot (on the lower elevation side) up to the tram service road, including an upper loop above the service road.  He will be doing this on the 1st or 2nd (Thursday or Friday).  If you can help with further preparation please notify with an email to or


Monday, December 29, 2014

12/29 Trail Update and possible "Annual Resolution Race" on Jan 10th or 11th!

from Clay:
Hi all,

Since there is some activity on the trails with the new snow, mega-bad wind and subsequent tree-fall, I thought I'd send an update.

So yeah, the wind did a number on all the weak trees around the trails.  I estimate that close to 50 trees fell, many in clusters of 5 to 10 trees.  That has made for a big mess to clean up, and with only a couple of us, it's been slow progress.  But the good news is that it's getting close to being done.

To get out there, we did pull a groomer through the trails, so there is a little bit of "groomed" trail open for skiing.  I hope to finish that up this evening, pending getting the tree cutting job all done.  The last big snags have to be cleared off of Dave's Dogleg, but the rest of the system should be clear now.

Please take some time, if you go out to ski, to pick up some of the debris (branches, sticks, etc.) in those bad spots where we cleared out the deadfall.  That stuff is a mess and although we did clear a lot of it out when we cleared the big trees, we couldn't get it all.

Coverage is still thin and you'll certainly hit a thing or two here and there, but some spots look great.

After this first round of work, we'll take a break and probably won't get around to grooming until next week.  Dave is gone, and I will likely be doing stuff with my family over the holiday weekend.

Please consider renewing your membership if you haven't already this year. We can't operate without it (we're spending a fortune on chainsaw maintenance this year!).  Thanks to those who have. You can renew/join/donate online here:

One last thing:  if things look good after this round of storms, we may hold the "Annual Resolution Race" on either the 10th or 11th of January.  I'll update on that as we know for sure (via email, on our facebook page and here on the blog).  It's FREE and hopefully we can also do a fun event for the kiddos too.  

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

sandia peak skiing

Sandia peak has received more than a foot of snow and there is fair classic skiing on the service road and some feeder trails in that area and I also have reports of fair skiing near the 10k trailhead (south).
There has been no grooming thus far.  I have a manual track setter but need help to do anything if anyone wants to help set some classic tracks.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Trailwork update from 11/9 anf for 11/15-16

We had a small, but effective group on Sunday.  There were various nagging items that had to be checked off the "to-do" list, most of which got done.  We also managed to string up one row of shade fence from Point A, down to the end of the fencing.  

All of the fencing rolls are out and distributed along the front hill, with the rest at Point A.  Lots of trees had fallen on the "hard" field fence, requiring some awkward sawing and then repair of the field fence.  I really hope this wind didn't result in more.  That is not a quick and easy job!

Anyway, there are more zip ties on order (we ran out), and I think Paul Graham will be picking more up locally for this coming weekend's fencing hanging work group.  

Paul and Kristina Brown will be heading up the fencing project.  I'll get more information from them on times, etc. on the work groups.  It should go quickly if we can get a few (as many as possible!) hands working on it.

Looks like the weather will me more like winter by the weekend, so keep an eye on that.  

Overall, the trail is looking pretty good, actually.  Like I said, I hope todays high winds didn't result in a whole bunch more fallen trees.  It's getting tiring cutting those things out.  


Thursday, November 6, 2014

Fencing and Trail Work this weekend Nov 8,9

Hi all,

It's that time of the year.  The snow is already starting to make and appearance, so we need to get a start on the fencing.  

Unfortunately, we still have some trees falling down, so that is going to take some more time to sort out, plus some some of the "hard" field fence repairs from all of the damage suffered from fallen trees. 

But, we can still get moving on hanging the shade fence.  I have only briefly spoken to Paul Graham, who normally heads this project up every year, so I'll get with him again to see if he's going to manage this process...he's been gone a bit lately.

I am not going to be up there on Saturday due to work commitments, but I'll be up there with a couple of high school kids who have to do some community service work.  We'll start getting the fencing laid out and I'll get them started hanging it.  In the meantime, we'll also try to clear more trees and repair the field fence (posts and wire fence).

Please come up and help if you can this weekend, and most certainly next weekend too.  It's going to take some time and effort, as it always does, but with a lot of hands, it is not so bad.  If you want to work on Saturday, the fencing is already laid out on the upper side of the old "Rambo" shed at the trailhead.  I'll try to get some more zip ties.

So far, we've cleared out many, many trees and tree snags, cut thousands of aspen and locust shoots, and Dave has been running the brush cutter on those areas that are more accessible for that.  Lots of volunteer hours have already been put in to get the trails ready for what is, hopefully, going to be a great season!

See you out there.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Fall Trailwork!

Hi everyone,

fixing the light in the machine shed
I've had a lot of folks ask me to send out a message for the fall trail work stuff at the Canada Bonita trails (XC ski trails).  If you've been up there lately, you're probably aware that there are a lot of trees down and a real mess of locust and aspen shoots growing in the trails.

Heading out with the chainsaw.
I got a start on cutting downed trees, which started almost right away due to the winds.  The front hill had a mess just in the first few hundred meters.  I started bucking the logs too, but realized it would be better to just dice them up and get more help moving them off, so a lot of what I cut is still lying in the trail waiting for people to move them.

We'll be up there both Saturday and Sunday to cut everything up, but we could use help with bucking the logs and doing some smaller saw work on the smaller nuisance trees and limbs (anyone have smaller saws?).

We also have a couple of gas-powered brush cutters that we can use to cut the brush at the edges of the trails, so that we can use the bigger "trail cutter" machine we have to cut the nasty stuff in the middle part of the trail.  We have to do this from bottom to top, not just the burn area.  However, if we can get help just for the burn area of the trails, that would be huge.

the kids didnt make it much past the trailhead 
All volunteer work gets counted toward our "Volunteer Cost-Share Challenge Agreement" with the Forest Service.  That means that everyone's hours count toward the matching funds we get from the Feds to pay for those trail projects all over the County, like the reconstruction of Guaje Ridge, the Pajarito Canyon trail construction, etc.  So, it's win-win situation!

We have other trail projects (real construction stuff too) if we have enough folks who want to come up.  Let me know! --Clay 
PS more photos from Sunday below, lots of wind, some snow and very pretty leaves.

sky from the shed
putting sticks ON to the trail...instead of off.


pretty leaves!

tried to show that it was snowing pretty good...but you can't tell here

Monday, March 31, 2014

Post Season Work Stuff - March/April 2014

Hi all,

Well, that was NOT the best season, but there were about six weeks in there that were more or less skiable.  I managed to eek out a few more days here and there, and even groomed that one storm in February that allowed for a bonus four extra days of skiing, the first two of which were actually pretty good.

The worst thing was all of the tree downfall.  It was a total mess and almost impossible to keep up with.  Even as we speak, there is another (live) fir tree down on the front hill that just fell this past week.  Ugh.

Spring is here (and pretty much has been since late January), and that means the spring cleanup of the trails.  But, since the season died off early, some of us have had a chance to get out and get a lot of the work done already; about four weeks ahead of schedule!

I got up and took down a few rolls after Dina, Tarik, Mila, Aida and Quanah had already taken several down.  This is on Saturday, March 22.

Still some good snow on Pajarito.  I did attempt a circumnavigation of the mountain, some of which was very good, and some that was bad.  It really could have been open much more than it was this year.  I did get in some good skiing on the west side.

This past Saturday, March 29.  Not a lot changed on Pajarito Mountain.  Still some good skiing on the west side.

This time, the work party consisted of Sanna, Lynn, Dina, Mila, Quanah, and me.  We got a lot done.

Quanah's and Mila's work ethics are questionable.  

Here, Quanah is complaining and mumbling something about Union Rules...?

So, now there are a lot of rolls all waiting to be put away, and a few more needing to be taken down.  We need to get a few more hands out one day to get the rest done.  This coming Saturday, April 5th, we'll have one last Spring Cleanup work day.  Please try to make it out.  I'll post a notice on the email lists as well.

Paul Graham will be heading up the work.  Here is his email notice to everyone:

We are at the end of another winter of fun and frolic (what you say I don't remember any snow on the trails) .. but yes we have to acknowledge that we gave it our best when we erected the fence in November but now as per our agreement it must be brought down and stored until next winter (fingers crossed that it is a massive snow year for a change).

Please try to help with this mighty effort Saturday (April 5th) .. So far one person has volunteered and we are planning to meet at 9:00 AM

I cannot underscore enough how much easier and faster this will go with as many hands helping out as possible. Simply an hour of your time will mean so much to putting this project behind us. (Otherwise it involves extended work efforts for one or two persons over several weekends when there is little help) .. bring a cutting tool if possible to help with cutting the pesky zip ties we use for attaching the fencing (or, there is plenty of work to help with rolling up fencing as well).

Questions? Call me at 505-660-1406
Thanks, Paul

Hope to see LOTS of you there!!!

Some further news:

Lots of USFS trail projects going on this year.  Lynn has a crew poised to do a rebuild of the lower part of the Guaje Ridge Trail, plus all of their other volunteer trail work projects.  

At some point, I, along with any willing volunteers from our club will likely be heading out to the Canada Bonita to start clearing all of the HUGE trees that have fallen between our trail system, and Pipeline Rd.  Lots and lots of big trees are down, so it'll take a lot of work.  The Jemez Mtn. Trail Run uses this trail system, and have been big supporters of our club, so I figured it is most logical that we take care of this mess if possible.  I'll try to coordinate some equipment, etc.

A few last parting shots of snow on the mountain:

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Sandia Peak skking

Fredrik groomed and set a track on the upper part of the UNM loop including the service rd the loop above the road and the small loop just below it. He used new grooming equipment so it's quite an impressive improvement.


Thursday, February 6, 2014

sandia peak skiing

Sandia Peak received several inches of new snow last couple days.  The service rd was groomed by the alpine area today.  Trails are 'packed' by other skiers for classic.  Expect more snow tonite.


Wednesday, February 5, 2014

XC Ski Olympic TV and web coverage links on SWNSC facebook page

We've been posting as much info as we can find to make XC Skiing in Sochi easy to find and follow. Check out out facebook page for links. You do not need to have a facebook account or to log in. 
Just view here and click what you want to see (if a login screen does popup, just close it, facebook can't miss a chance to get you to log in, but you DO NOT HAVE TO LOG IN to view all of our posts and be able to click any of the links we post). 

Hope everyone is as excited as we are!!! :)))
GO TEAM USA!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Sandia peak skiing

Fredrik set a classic track on the service road and upper loop and made the road better for skating.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Skate and classic ski package for sale (in Santa Fe)

skate boots

1) Rosignol World Cup Series Xium Skate Skis with Fischer Xcelerator World Cup Bindings 2011  $350.00
2) Fischer RCS Skate Boots Size 39 women $200.00
3)Carbon Poles $125.00
or the whole package for $650.00  Really great, fast, light, fun equipment...well maintained

skate skis
classic boots
1) Pro-Classic Atomic G-2 Densolite Skis with Fischer NNN Racing Classic R3 Bindigs 2011  $200.00
2)Rosignol X7 Boots size 41 women $90.00
3)Carbon Poles 125.00
or the whole package for $400.00

If interested, contact Karen karencurtin88 at yahoo dot com 
classic skis

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Jan 25-26 NM Cup/Low O2 xc ski, kids and snowshoe events!!!!!!!!!!!!

The Low O2 Challenge - New Mexico Cup winter events are this weekend at Enchanted Forest.  There are xc ski races, USSSA snow shoe races, and the most fun of all, the LITTLE KIDS' PRIZE GRAB!  (you gotta be a kid to go grab the prizes =)  

We could always use some adults to help out with the kids' events, so let me know if you're able to help out with the prize stations, course patrol (cheering and encouraging is a big help), etc.

They also added a 10 km classic race to the agenda, so in addition to the 5 km classic, there is now also a 10 km, on Saturday at 10am.  The plan right now is to have it run on the UNM NCAA course (2 laps), but that may change.  The "10 km" skate will actually be a little long, probably more like 12 km, as we'll use all the nice gliding inner trails, along with a run out to the UNM loop to finish.

The kids' prize grab (~1 km and ~ 3 km) is on Saturday, after the 5 & 10 km events.  Also on Saturday afternoon, I'll be hosting the FREE "race" clinic.  I'll cover a number of topics, mainly on technique, but also equipment choice, training, wax, nutrition, and secret tricks =)  It will be very helpful if you're planning on racing the Mt. Taylor Quadrathlon too.

Event flyer (not updated to reflect the additional 10 km classic) is here

Registration for the events is here.

The snow is still great and there is actually some new in the forecast for Thursday!  Weather looks beautiful for the weekend, though.  See you there!

Friday, January 3, 2014

NM Cup/Low O2 Challenge events Jan 25-26 at Enchanted Forest!

Mark your calendars...the New Mexico Cup - Low O2 Challenge Nordic and Snowshoe weekend at Enchanted Forest is set for January 25 and 26.

Jan. 25 - Saturday will be the 5km "classic style" (no skating) xc ski race, using the UNM NCAA 5km course, followed by the kids' events (likely a 1km fun event, and a longer 3km event, involving both skiing and picking up prizes along the way), and then a free to all registered participants xc skiing and racing clinic that will cover technique, equipment, clothing, and waxing.

Jan. 26 - Sunday will be the longer ~10 to 12 kms xc skate race, the USSSA 5km and 10km snowshoe races, and the citizen's 5km snowshoe fun race.  Both of these events will be challenging, fun and exciting courses.  

I am trying to get the Enchanted Forest ski area to get the correct flyer on their website ( but there have been some technical issues.  I'll let you know where the link to the proper flyer is when it is ironed out.

Also, don't forget that the Chama Chile Classic is the weekend BEFORE, on (January 18-19).  Find more info  This is an awesome set of events at the famous Chile Classic course on Cumbres Pass.  There is a 15km & 7.5km skate race on Saturday, followed by the big event on Sunday, the 10km and 5km classic events, plus the snowshoe.  Combine everything for the King or Queen of the Mountain competition.

Despite the dry conditions south of the Sangres, the winter conditions are great up north.  It snowed on Sunday, which made for some great ski conditions.  Go check it out...

We'll be posting more info and photos on the Southwest Nordic Ski Club's Facebook page (swnordicskiclub).  Also, there are pics of all the years' events past at the SWNSC picasa album

...if these kids can do it, so can you! 

Inline image 1
(photo taken this past Sunday at EFXC)