Wednesday, December 30, 2015

grooming on sandia peak

The service rd was groomed by Sandia peak ski area.  The access rd (at the gate) was leveled by shovelers and packed by UNM.  The 10K loop (a shortened version was also packed and groomed for skating).
31 Dec skating reported as outstanding on entire loop groomed.

ps:  we encourage all visitors to this blog to please help with the club by becing a member.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

New Grooming (SWEEET classic track set) 12/29/2015

I went up last night and cleaned up more of the blow-down tree cutting mess and fix fences.  A huge thanks to Dave Wykoff for get out there and clearing that stuff up.

I also set a very nice classic track (most places) with the new grooming implement (our Tidd Tech G2).  It is far superior to anything else we have.

Go enjoy some classic skiing before the new snow fills in the track!

Monday, December 28, 2015

See More Frequent Updates on the SWNSC Facebook Page (you don't have to have an account!)

As the title suggests, "See More Frequent Updates on the SWNSC Facebook Page (you don't have to have an account!)"

We've had our hands full of things like this (see below).  It has snowed every single day, and the wind keeps blowing and drifting the meadow.  For the last few days, we've had one or two hands working on things, so it's not getting fully groomed very quickly (the couple of hands have day jobs too!).

Ugh, getting tired of this! 

Anyway, hopefully we're through the worst of it.  When you go ski, PLEASE take some time to pick up as much debris and branches as you can. 

Friday, December 25, 2015

Christmas Ski Conditions Update 12/25/2015

Merry Christmas!  Hope you've been able to get out and ski the trails.  They've received a steady dose of new snow just about every day this past week.  Only a little fell today, but it kept the streak going.

We've spent a lot of time rolling, blading and even a little bit of "finish" grooming, but with the wind, trees falling, and some machine and shop maintenance issues, we haven't quite had enough grooming time to get it completely finished.  So, sorry about that.

We did get a classic track reset, but of course, the wind in the meadow just keeps blowing it over and creating more drifts almost as soon as we're done.  It's tough to get a machine through there these days, and it doesn't look to let up until next week.  We'll see how much snow we end up with too.

Please be patient, and get your classic skiing in shape until we can get it all packed, leveled and groomed out.

Also be careful -- there is a tree down below Point A on the Canada Bonita trail (lower road trail).  We'll get that out as soon as we can.

Otherwise, it is very nice classic skiing, and pretty wide, albeit soft, skate skiing.  The meadow trails are fun to ski on backcountry/touring skis too, but you'll have to break your own trail for now.

Have fun!  Ho, Ho, Ho...!

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Status of trails grooming (on Sandia Peak)

Here is info from Chris Norton regarding status of grooming, etc.: greg, rich and chris shoveled and groomed the lower trail system today.   its two to one snowmobiles in width so light touring classic or even racing skis might skating yet.   just don't go full speed on some of the new switchbacks until you have skied them once. ( trying to figure out the trail in two spots so had to make some 90degree turns).    its amazing down there.   having a big shovel day this Monday so show up with a shovel after 930 and head down the access road until you see other shovelers.  already got 6 signed up and would be great to get another 6 or more. bring a shovel.   contact chris at CHRIS@SANDIASOAP.COM if you can make it.  

Chris announces:  "shoveling day cancelled.   road to crest is pretty bad so will hold off until Wednesday or Thursday depending on snow fall Tuesday.  email me at if you are interested in shoveling.   they got two feet of new snow up there Saturday night.  I am planning on going up Monday sometime to get the same two snowmobile widths set in the lower trails.  hopefully the downhill area grooms the service road. "

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

groomed trails

Sandia peak ski area groomed the service road for skating.  Chris Norton plans to set a classic track tomorrow there and groom the lower trails tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Grooming and Conditions Update 12/22/2015

Christmas is almost here, and we're receiving a nice gift in the form of new snow and awesome holiday ski conditions!

We're still trying to get some sort of consistent grooming rotation down, plus we have one or two new volunteers who are still learning, so things are not always consistent just yet.  But, we have kept things pretty cleaned up and nice for both skate and classic.

We also got a new Tidd Tech G2 groomer, which saw it's maiden voyage last evening.  I used it to set a new classic track in most places.  It works well, but there's a learning curve to it and it needs some more adjustments before it's up and running at 100% efficiency.  Hopefully, we'll all get some practice on it over the holidays.

Things were bladed, flattened, and somewhat groomed last evening.  It should ski nicely, but there's already new snow falling, so it'll change quickly.  I think some nice classic striding will be the best bet until we get more snow and get it all groomed.  It's all in good shape, with one thin spot on the front hill, and those big rocks near the entrance/exit to that grove of trees in the meadow above Point-M, and on that off-camber hill break-over between M and O.  Be careful in those spots.

Other than that, conditions are pretty nice and improving all the time.  We'll certainly have some nice holiday skiing this year!

Stay tuned...

Our new Tidd Tech G2 groomer after last evening's grooming.  It does an awesome job on the trails!

Saturday, December 19, 2015

grooming Monday

Chris Norton and some others (?) are shoveling this weekend preparing trails for grooming this Monday.
Chris told me he groomed service rd for skating and packed the trails below concentrating on lower meadow.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015


Chris Norton groomed the service rd for skating today. May  groom some more this weekend.  Also got several additional inches night before last.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

New snow

So far 5" new on Sandia crest.  Update dec 13: another 6" or so.  So about 1 foot new snow.  Chris Horton plans to groom the service rd (possibly more) tomorrow  (Monday) morning.  He is looking for help with the grooming (e.g shoveling).  Will update once grooming is done.

Friday, December 11, 2015

New equipment coming!! Want to help us groom?

OK, so we've been busy getting grants, donations, selling junk, etc., etc., so that we could pay off our debts and build up an account to cover the cost of some better stuff and more sustainable grooming equipment.

That being said, we just spent a ton this fall on the groomer (~ $7,500), some auxiliary stuff like a trail utility trailer,  a couple of lightweight grooming implements for certain conditions and situations, and assorted maintenance items that had to be purchased to get things back in order.  The chainsaws have also taken a lot of abuse and suck up some money to keep running!  Even without the grooming expenses, we've had to make a bunch of runs around the trails to keep things clear.

It has taken several years of miserly spending and a lot of effort and to build up the account to something we were comfortable with, but now it is going to be a little bit fragile until we get some more grants, donations, sell some more junk, etc., etc.  We got off to a pretty good start this year with everyone's generous donations and memberships.  Hopefully, El Nino will kick in and we'll see a bunch of great snow, which will be groomed to perfection with our new high-tech groomer.

We don't have a lot of grooming help, so we'll see how the schedule works out.  There may be some gaps in the grooming if no one is available.  If you're able and willing, we could use some help here and there.  Even if you can't groom, go out after snowstorms and ski pack (or snowshoe pack) the trails.  That really helps, actually!
Hope for some snow!!

Friday, December 4, 2015

sandia peak skiing

Fredrik did a good job smoothing the icy/rutty service rd and shoveling snow in many places (need more help!).  No tracks set since was too icy and pretty thin in places.  Road is skiable with rock skis and either no wax classic or skating skis.

12/6 Chris Norton reports he did some more shoveling today and also some skating on the service rd.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Trail Report 12/2/2014

After being out all last week for some actual xc skiing in Crested Butte, I feared what our trails looked like after over a week of neglect.  It took quite a few hours for three of us to clear what came down before Thanksgiving week, so with another storm that came in the form of ice and wind, I was very much dreading what I was going to find up there.

As it turns out, it wasn't so bad.  It wasn't perfect, but it was manageable for me, by myself, to complete in one evening, albeit a somewhat long one!  I counted eight new trees down, only a couple of which were of real significance, but certainly no whoppers like the "G" tree (see earlier post) that take all day to remove.

The trails are holding a good crusty base of snow/ice on at least 90% past point A.  Before that, the front hill has a long bare stretch, but also a good stretch of snow/ice, so the fencing is doing its job.  I had to fix it in a couple of spots, however.  It was really cold up there last night, so that is good.  I started taking pictures of all the trees, but only made it to about #5 before my phone's screen froze!

Anyway, the trails are once again clear and actually skiable in a few sections, but we won't be grooming until we get a good storm.  There is a lot of debris that needs to be picked up if you're out snowshoeing or otherwise.  Please pick some of the leftover sticks and branches when you come to them, and report any new trees down.

Starting the long trip around.  This was just the beginning!

The ones with all the limbs and branches make the biggest mess.

Lots of debris left on the trail once the tree is cleared.

Don't ski across this with klister!

Tree #4 for the evening.  More branches and debris =(

Tree #5.  My phone froze shortly after this.  It was cold.

Just past point A on the lower road.  The conditions range from quite good coverage, to nothing, and much of the early sections are down to this ice crust covered by that last little skiff of snow.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Skiing conditions

Steve Roholt reports 8-12" on the trails near the service rd. 11/18/15.  Plans are that Friday Dec 4 Fredrik with pack some trails and hopefully set tracks on the service rd.  Will update Friday.

Trail Report 11/21/2015

We're still working hard on getting everything cleared out just to get around the system.  Last night, John Bernardin went out and finished clearing the rest of the tree downage and get a packing pass with the roller.  There was still a lot down, so he only got around once.

Today, Dave Wykoff is up there and there is already some new trees down.  What a mess!  This sort of happens this time of the year with the ground really freezing up and shifting the weak trees around.  That heavy snow and wind made a real mess too, so this will probably continue for a couple more weeks, unfortunately.

So, there's skiing, but you'll have to tiptoe around the tree messes.

PLEASE -- take some time to pick up the branches and debris if you go out.  It is a huge help and really makes things better for the next round of storms.


New trees down just this morning!  Please help clean up the debris left over after clearing the trees.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Trail & Conditions Update 11/19/2015

Well, we had intentions of getting the trail system packed with the little snowcat and the roller, but it turned into a tree clearing and logging operation. If you've been following things, you know I crashed on my mountain bike a little over a week ago and broke a rib, which is not feeling so great and is keeping me from moving quickly. Using a chainsaw and moving very heavy trees is not great for it! 

Also, all grooming implements were completely frozen to the ground, which took a while to deal with! So, not a whole lot to show for two days' worth of work. I think John Bernardin and the other groomer guys are mobilizing to go finish the job on the trail system. A big thanks to them...

 I did get the Camp May road section up to the Mother lift all cleaned up and groomed for both skate and classic. The ski area personnel have driven everything they have on it, so it was a mess. It looked and skied well yesterday. It may not last long. The kids ski team had their first practice on it yesterday, and it was great, but got very chewed up. We'll post pics of the ski team practice when we get a chance.

 Anyway, please be patient with the conditions and our ability to get things going. Also, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE (!) take a moment when you're out on the trails to stop and pick up some of the tree debris in the areas where we cleared out the big trees. I tried to clean out the big stuff, but there's still a lot of debris. Just pick up a few handfuls and toss it over the side. That really helps things.

You can imagine my disappointment at seeing this!
RIP point G tree
Due to my rib situation, I had to make a bunch of extra cuts, then lie on my back in the snow and push the logs with my legs!
I actually used Kermit to help move some of the log sections

Monday, November 16, 2015

Groomers Group Trail stuff update 11/16/2015

So far, things are looking pretty good.  After the big rounds of trail work days with John and Dave using Dave's tractor, I've tried to stay on top of keeping things clear after those other storms, especially that really windy one last week.  

I got Kevin Reid to come out and he was a huge help.  Dave and Kevin helped with clearing out those last sketchy trees still standing on Dave's and TJ's.  Kevin came back out the next weekend to help me clear out about 15 more trees that had come down after the first snowstorm.  The "new coat tree" collapsed, and that thing was messy.  One more big tree fell a ways above J, and it crossed the trail twice because it was such a big tree.

I broke a rib riding my mtn bike last week, so I was moving slowly by myself this week.  I went up on VetsDay to hang the fencing at the rock, so I saw that a few things came down in that big wind, but not as bad as I had expected -- the biggest thing was just past the gate actually.  I cleared out a few smaller things up to the "rock" area and only had time to hang the upper row of fencing. 

On Saturday, I went back up to hang the rest of the fencing and to see what else was left to cut out. I saw that the bypass from O-M had two clusters that came down, but with only one medium/big tree, while the rest were fairly minor.  The meadow also had several trees sticking into it because those trees above it are all burned and dead.  Point L had a cluster down too.  

Overall, it was manageable for one person and so I hope we'll have an easier time of it when we go out on the groomer -- always bring a saw just in case.

So, as of yesterday, it was all clear.  We'll see how it goes with this storm.

Kermit noticeably runs better after John's tune-up.  That is such a useful machine.

We still need to work on the Viking too (oil, plugs, engine coolant).  I did clean up the shed and the new drainage system is working well on Kermit's side, except for the back part.  I still need to seal some of it up.  It isn't sloped enough in the back, but it shouldn't make any bad ponds.  I think I'll just tack the tarp down on the floor so that it'll be easy to push the water into the drains.

If it snows enough, we should consider getting out with a roller to start packing things down.  There were still many long stretches that were completely snow-covered from the previous weeks' storms.  I think we'll be in business soon.

Also, we've ordered a whole new, completely modern grooming rig from Tidd-Tech.  They are having some supplier issues, so our delivery date is being pushed back quite a bit.  I hope we see it in December.  It'll take some effort to get some new things installed (hitch, wiring, etc.), but it should really improve things!

Fall tree clearing begins!  However, we'd been clearing trees throughout much of the summer this year...

Some of the less-traveled trails had a lot of scrubby trees down.  Several dozen, in fact.  More frequented trails get cleared periodically by SWNSC volunteers.

A common sight out in the burned areas of the trail system

The burned areas are now burgeoning with new undergrowth, including a very healthy raspberry crop!

Fall started a little late, but then really popped

We had to get some areas, like that very badly burned zone on Dave's Dogleg, cleared out for safety reasons

Down that hill near the big turn on Dave's

We probably cut out over a hundred hazard trees in some areas

It began to look like a logging operation

Lots of locust still popping up on the trails.  Thanks to all who helped cut it out

Kevin Reid was a huge help in keeping things clear later in the fall

How things looked in early November after the first flakes fell

Using our small "cat" groomer, "Kermit" to get around and help pull big logs out of the way.

The "new" coat tree fell victim too.  RIP new coat tree.  Time to find a new one!

This bigger tree was very tall and actually crossed the trail in two different locations

We had to make some modifications to our equipment barn to keep water from ponding and destroying the floor.  Note the sloped parking stall and the holes in the middle (the black spots) for drainage.  It already seems to be working.

Veteran's Day:  had to go hang some fencing, so Kermit got a short workout to go up and clear some trees that fell during the high wind event

Thankfully, our pre-emptive strike on the bad hazard trees limited the number of trees that came down to about 15, rather than 150, which we saw around Christmas last year!

The fencing has been installed at "The Rock"  (this area faces south)

The area around Point J was getting to be very dangerous.  We had to mitigate the situation, so these big trees had to come down.  

This area really looks like a logging operation!

Sunday, November 15, 2015

sandia peak trails

Steve Roholt reports that the access rd just below the service rd and much of the trail system down to 10K has been significantly improved from last year.  Anyone who is willing to please go up and help with moving deadfall to further improve trail or also with shovelling when snow falls  (contact info provided on that later).

Friday, November 6, 2015

sandia peak

We now have a temporary storage shed (a conex unit) to store at least one snowmobile and grooming equipment on the flat meadow area at the south end of the service road.  There are some improvements to the trails from the service rd down to and including the 10K loops; also added is a loop going back over to the ski area at the 10K loop elevation.  There is an upper loop above the service rd but there may be fallen trees on this loop. Stay tuned for grooming updates (which hopefully will be pretty often) once we have sufficient snow.


Friday, October 23, 2015

Snow Fence Hanging Party THIS Sun Oct 25th, 9:30am!

We just now found out that our faithful snow-fencing-party organizer from previous years, Paul Graham, has chosen personal life over the our trail's snow fencing needs ;) He is available at end of Nov but we are hoping to be burried in a good amount of snow by then!
SO! we are going to try to round up some volunteers to hang as much as we can THIS Sunday Oct 25th.
That's you (and anyone you can wrangle into it on our behalf :) !!!!
Let's meet at 9:30am at the ski club shed (across from Canada Bonita trailhead).
If you come up later, just walk on up the trail and join a group.
Dress appropriately, bring gloves if you would like them, water, snacks, and wear layers. We will have Clay distribute the fencing rolls and bring up zipties. Something to hold your share of zipties for easy one-hand access will make things much better (regular pants pocket are NOT great as when you have to bend/squat and the ties will poke you and fall out).
Those of you who have participated before - you know it's a lot of work, but also quite a bit of fun with a good group of folks and is totally doable with kids helping or playing around, so come on up and bring out the whole family!!
We'll see how far we get this Sunday and then plan next weekend accordingly.
Hope to see you up there!
PS Mila says she (we?) will make really good cookies for those who come up! :)

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Enchanted Forest season passes 50% OFF for club members until Nov 15th!!!

Did you know that our long time friends and sponsors and our favorite ski area Enchanted Forest Cross Country and Snowshoe Area has started their early season passes deals?!
Their passes are currently 25% off to the general public as early season price, however, for current Southwest Nordic Ski Club (SWNSC) club members the passes are 50% OFF! What a deal! That means that a full season family pass (which also comes with a 10% off merchandise and special events discount!!) is only $150!!
see full prices here (50% off price is NOT listed since it's only for our club members)
WHEN: 50% off discount to SWNSC members is only good until Nov 15th. That means you need to RENEW your SWNSC membership (or join) by Nov 13th to allow time to get your coupon code (see below) in time to purchase your discounted pass by Nov 15th.
1) Renew or join SWNSC online  here
2) within 2 days you will receive coupon code and instructions to purchase from us. Please contact us by messaging our facebook page or comment on this blog post right away if you do not receive it in 2 days.
3) make sure to use coupon code by Nov 15th to get your 50% off discount.
4) Feel good because SWNSC is a 501c3 non-profit so all membership fees and donations are tax deductible!
5) Feel even better because you are supporting a lot more than our club and our ski trails: SWNSC is also a contractor with USFS which allows the club to procure federal money to use to improve trails in our area (NOT just our ski trail!).
6) Tell your friends, like our facebook page and follow our blog!

Thanksgiving Camp by Crested Butte Nordic - Sign up now!

Hey folks,
I'm sure most of you know of the Thanksgiving Nordic camp put on the Crested Butte Nordic center. A fairly large group from our club goes every Thanksgiving.
Beautifully groomed trails with Crested Butte in the background. Quick ski before Thanksgiving dinner: 2014 camp.
sledding hill!!!!!
Getting around town for kids is easy :)
The house rentals in town are the best prices of the year (summer season is over but downhill skiing hasnt quite started yet - although there is often FREE downhill skiing on the early snow conditions that weekend, so you can take your downhillers and they'll have fun too). So you can get a great place right downtown and have a great time enjoying what is the most fun and best way to start your ski season by taking the awesome clinics Crested Butte Nordic Camp provides (they even have Intro clinics, so bring on your beginners!).

2014 kids thanksgiving clinic at CB Nordic
The list of instructors is amazing and the cost of clinics is more than reasonable (and is a fundraiser for the non-profit nordic center - great cause). You get a LOT of attention in all the clinics as well as video analysis for the intermediate/advanced clinics. This year, they also have a FREE kids ski camp which your kids can attend (grades K-6) while you are taking your clinics. They also have lots of gear rentals so you can try skating or classic, if either are new for you. Kids rentals are usually free during camp!!!
Here is the link for the camp:
And here is the link for the rental place we usually use for houses (or vrbo works well too). And we ALWAYS recommend the wonderful Cristiana Guesthaus (and their spectacular breakfast!!) they have been longtime sponsors and supporters of CB Nordic and they give 20% off to the camp participants (see camp page for details at right side under Lodging Deals).
Usually, even if going separately etc, we do try to hold thanksgiving day dinner at a larger house with all of us as a potluck. If you are interested in participating, let Dina (see email) know soon so we can arrange the potluck food etc.
Hope to see you out here!! 
So what are you waiting for?! Sign up today!!! :)

More blood, sweat...and money: TrailWork, Fees/Donations, NEW WEB DOMAIN!!!

from our club prez, Clay:

Photo courtesy of Lynn Bjorklund
OK, I'll admit that the club is loosely a charitable organization that continually asks for blood, sweat and tears...and your money, but it is great to be able to xc ski when there's good snow, right? There would be no possible way to have any of the skiing if we didn't have all of the above from all of you, so please help in any way you can by volunteering and/or renewing your memberships.
Just so you know, the club does function beyond just local XC skiing by maintaining the trails up at Canada Bonita and beyond. Club equipment is used by and donated to other local trail organizations, as well as club volunteerism, and the list goes on. We're all connected, so it is a good cooperative organization.
Club membership is mostly a charitable donation, but it also adds a bit of "political" clout to our cause and helps us to be in the running for grants and so forth. So please renew!
Here is the link to the renewal registration (don't forget, we are 501c3 organization and your donations and club fees are both tax deductible!! - you can request a reciept for your records when paying via link below):
Also, we have a new website domain (still hosting our old website for now): you may have noticed, the old one got hijacked by an unsavory group who has held it ransom. Shame on them!
We'll be producing a new website over the next few weeks with more up-to-date information and etc. Thanks for your support and patience.
Lots of trail work has been completed by a few hardy volunteers, but there is more to be done. We'll be cutting brush and fixing fencing some this coming Sunday (Pajarito Trail Festival is on Saturday). Come November, we'll be doing the "all hands" trail weekend to hang the fencing, so please set aside some time on the second weekend in November to help out with that if you possibly can. Info will be coming...
Thanks to all of you!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Temporary storage shed for UNM grooming equipment on mountain

Fredrik (UNM ski team) has been given green light from Ben Abruzzo to put  a storage container on the meadow area at the south end of the service rd.  Looks like usfs is very close to approval as well.  The plans are this season for a temporary structure which will be a conex (sp?) about 10' long by 6' wide by 7' high (I believe).  There will be a cost associated with rental, possibly transport, and for fuel for the snow machine.  Local skiers are asked to donate (if they choose to do so) to the UNM ski team and designate donations to fund shed rental and grooming expense (fuel, etc.).  More updates to come later.


Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Snow Fence take-down party this Sat 4/11/15

Hi all,

Help volunteer so that we can pay for trail projects!!!  Your volunteer hours all count in our trail construction funding projects!  All those trail crews you've seen around the County have been paid for through a cooperative agreement with the Forest Service and the Southwest Nordic Ski Club.

Spring is definitely here, and for sure, we won't be doing any more trail grooming.  But, we do have to keep the Canada Bonita trails maintained.  We'll be taking the shade fencing down this coming Saturday, so please come up and help, even if it's just for a little while.  It all helps.  All you need to bring is a pair of clipper pliers (diagonal pliers) or even a pair of needle-nose pliers.  We'll have a few pairs extra, but it's easier if people bring their own.

It's not a hard job and is a good volunteer opportunity.  If you do come up to help, please send me your volunteer hours so that we can enter them into the Forest Service volunteer cost-share register. Or you can enter them yourself by going to our homepage and clicking the red hexagonal "VOLUNTEER, enter hours here!" button.

Thanks to everyone who has helped with everything over the years.  It's been a tough few years with the droughts and fires, and now more drought and falling trees!

Hope to see folks on Saturday!

(read Paul Graham's email for the details below...)


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Paul Graham

Hello everyone,

We are hoping to recruit folks to please help take down the Nordic trail snow fencing this Saturday (4/11).

With a large turnout we can make short work on this project. If possible plan at least even a small bit of your time to help. No effort is to small.

The routine by now is pretty much known: Cut zip-ties, roll fence, leave rolls on trail edge.

I will plan to be on the trail around 9:30 starting at the far fence line end (lower road) .. (but you can pick any spot along the fence line to take down fence if you need to limit your time and walking to the far fence line ends).

See you Saturday, Paul G.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Skiing still to be had!

Looks like we could still be skiing (classic anyway):