Saturday, January 31, 2015

Sandia Peak skiing

Sandia peak received several to 10 inches new snow.  Service road was groomed by downhill last nite and perhaps will again tonite.  Very good diagonal with poling on the road; also possible to skate.  Tremendous amount of pedestrian (mostly snowboarders) damage, especially north from just below gravel pit where they have established a snowboard park it seems.  Lots of new snow on trails.  Anyone want to help pack/shovel for Fredrik's  next grooming on Tuesday?


Friday, January 30, 2015

Trail Report for Friday Evening, January 30, 2015

Some really good snow out there today.  Lots of moisture in it and there's between 8" to 10"!  That really saved the situation after last week's tropical temperatures.  Thankfully, we did a good job with the last storm, so it preserved a decent base under there, with the exception of a few little spots.

Anyway, thanks to John and Hans for getting up there and packing and blading things down.  We'll go back up tomorrow to finish the job during the day, probably once early, then later to get it all done and get whatever snow falls during the day.  Hopefully, it'll all be done by Sunday morning for skate and classic.

Should be good touring skiing in the morning, with no classic track (and certainly some new snow), but there will be a track set in the evening.  It will be packed under the new snow, so it shouldn't be such a trudge around the system.

We'll update things as we get more done.

Thanks to those of you who did send in your memberships.  We needed it!!!

Hope we just keep getting snow tonight!!!

FREE entries to nordic events in the Pagosa WinterFest Feb 14-15th.

Happy Snow day!!!
We have a limited number of free entries to give out courtesy of our neighbors in Pagosa Springs, CO, Pagosa Nordic Club. They have a set of very fun events suited for any ability over President's day weekend. 
Best part: 
- plenty of xc ski rentals for kids or adults available in Pagosa. 
- Hot springs are killler (this one is our fave esp with kids: - you dont have to stay there to use the hot springs).
- organizers and volunteers are great folks!
- can't promise this, but in the years past they always had a large amount of swag from local shops to give away, so everyone got something rather than just a winner :)
Sat Feb 14th: Red Ryder BB Gun Biathlon. That's alternating shooting targets and skiing laps, total ski distances (all laps added in) are 'kid' km, 6km, 12km (with 3 opportunities to shoot targets between laps). I'm pretty sure from past years that 'kid' k means whatever distance the particular kid is up for :) They are very flexible and beginner friendly adjusting events for participants on the spot!
Possibly relays and sprints as well.
They are so much fun especially for groups/families with all different abilities!

Sunday Feb 15th: 30k/60k races (or hot springs for the rest of us :). Not something to do 'off-the-couch' but gorgeous, fun and not as hard as some races of that distance!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Wax Clinic, Kids Lessons, Enchanted Forest, this week 1/29-2/1!!!

1) Thursday: FREE Ski Tuning clinic with SWNSC president Clay Moseley at (and courtesy of) Fusion Multisport, this Thu (tomorrow!) Jan 29th, 6pm. They are across the street from CB Fox in Los Alamos.

2) Friday/Saturday: Ski free rest of the dat at Enchanted Forest XC Ski Area by helping them out with timing UNM Ski team's homemeet there Friday and/or Sat mornings (and it is so fun to watch and cheer, there will be quite a few world class skiers!). And don't worry, the races are just in the morning, there will be plenty racer-free time to ski yourself.

3) Sunday: FREE kids' xc ski play-lesson at Canada Bonita trailhead this Sunday Feb 1st and 10am. Details below.
**Storm forecast for Fri-Sat, so this is weather contingent. Watch our facebook page (its a public url, you do not need to log in) for updates Fri and Sat.** 
FREE Kids' xc ski play lesson is set for this Sunday Feb 1st at 10am. We will meet at the Canada Bonita trailhead (just past the big rocks blocking Camp May road at the far end of Pajarito Downhill Area's parking lot). The plan is to play some games on Camp May road for about an hour to build comfort with ski handling and confidence. After that, we may take older and more experienced kids who are willing, to do some skiing on the Canada Bonita trail. All ages and ski abilities are welcome but plan to stay with your child if they are younger than 5. You will need to have your own equipment and it is very helpful if adults also wear their skis, more fun for the kids and very good practice for the parents :). Here is a list of rental places, make sure to call ahead (today!) with foot sizes, height and weight to make sure they have what you need. (Please share any experiences renting or any additional resources for this by replying all or just send them to me. We desperately need more info on rental availability to get folks started):
Albqq: Sport Systems
Albqq: REI
Taos: Adventure Ski & Snowboard Rental Shop's
Santa Fe: Cottam's Ski Shop
REI in SF does NOT rent.
Abiquiu: Ghost Ranch: 505-685-4333 ext. 4196

More views of the trails this past weekend:

Monday, January 26, 2015


Message deleted
Today,   Fredrik groomed the road and 10 k loop for skating only though

Friday, January 23, 2015

Trails are groomed in Los Alamos 1/23/15

Everyone is all abuzz about the DH area opening this weekend, but the nordic trails were groomed last night and are in nice (albeit early season) shape. get out there and get some skiing in while the skiing is good.

Watch them rocks in the meadow and on the front hill and at point J. But otherwise coverage is good and the trail is more or less skiable everywhere, although, I might recommend against skiing down the front hill if you like your skis.
To reiterate! PLEASE send in your donations and/or memberships. We really only have about 12 REAL members this year! The financial situation is taking a hit with these bad snow years, but our expenses are staying constant. We'll keep doing our best to provide a local place to ski, but we still need everyone's support.
You can go to NM Sports Online to take care of memberships and/or donations:
PLEASE help support the cause, even if it's just the minimum. That's still a big help!

Sandia Peak skiing

Sandia Peak received 8-10 inches of new snow from the last storm.  No new grooming until Monday.
Chris Norton found a switchback near the top of the "bunny hill" leading from the access road to the 10K loop and snoweshoed it 8' wide.  Perhaps it will be groomed soon?  He did a significant amount of additional shoveling on the trails below the service road.  Please report on this if you wish Chris.
I did a fair amount of skiing back and forth on sections of the upper loop to start preparing it for potential grooming on Monday.  Encountered a snowshoer by the name of Jan who may get a group together to snow shoe the upper loop tomorrow (Sunday).  She also knows Steve Gallegos, head groomer for Sandia Peak and said she will plug for him to do the service road tomorrow night.
Steve Roholt sent a photo of the snowboarders' elaborate terrain park off the service road to Kerry Wood of the Sandia District USFS.
We can use additional help to prepare trails for grooming!  Please contact me or Chris. or  


Clay, can we join SW Nordic online without submitting a snail mail form and check? 
Yep you can join solely online via: 

On January 24, 2015 at 9:33 PM wrote:


Subject: snow conditions Saturday 22nd
the service road will be good tomorrow for skating since its been snowshoed in.    it was good today except for the north wind.   access road has a diagonal track skied in and I don't know anything about the 10 k loop.    hopefully Fredrik grooms it out Monday Tuesday.   skating good on service road after it warms ujp a bit.
have fun
ps.   I snowshoed the possible switchback off bunny hill.   there is one stump to watch for and, a fallen tree that you will have to ski through a 4 foot clearing I made through its branches and poles sometimes sink down in a foot since it was snowshoe packed.  probably best for waxless diagonal to test it out.  I was skating it but its in my blood.   take a look at it if you get a chance.   maybe Fredrik can groom it once before the snow melts so we can get a real idea of it.  


Thursday, January 22, 2015

TRAIL REPORT: 1/22/2014

The xc ski trails (and Pajarito) received about 7" to 8" of new snow.  Thankfully!

The trails have been rolled and will be groomed for skiing this weekend.  Lots of spots on the early part of the system were completely burned out by the blazing sun the last couple of weeks, but beyond point C or so, skiing should be good.  There are those few little bad spots that have just not really ever built up a good base, so still use "rock skis," which is a bummer because the good parts are really good.

Have fun skiing this weekend!

Oh, and PLEASE send in your donations and/or memberships.  We really only have about 12 REAL members this year!  The financial situation is taking a hit with these bad snow years, but our expenses are staying constant.  We'll keep doing our best to provide a local place to ski, but we still need everyone's support.

You can go to NM Sports Online to take care of memberships and/or donations:

PLEASE help support the cause, even if it's just the minimum.  That's still a big help!

UNM grooming

If you would like  to help support the grooming efforts by the UNM ski team (by head coach Fredrik Landsted) you can make a donation at

Monday, January 19, 2015

Sandia peak grooming

Today Fredrik set new classic tracks on the service road (2 way), access road to lower loop, and lower loop.  Tracks were still in pretty good shape on the service road when we came down about 2:30.
Chris Norton said he did some shoveling on the access road and parts of the lower loop.


Saturday, January 17, 2015

Sandia Peak

Look:  Official USFS sign with xc ski trail designation:

                                This is somewhere on the 10 K loop (sent to me by Chris Norton)

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Sandia Peak grooming

                                              Track on service road before it was walked in

Today Fredrik groomed the UNM upper loop, service road, access road to lower loop, and probably lower loop (did not go below top of steep hill off access road) with classic tracks everywhere.  Between the gate and the rock quarry tracks were already nearly demolished already from pedestrians (mostly snowboarders) walking in tracks.  We need some signs!

Access road

                                                      Lower loop just above 10K parking

                                                            Lower loop

Conditions and grooming up date 1/14/14

from Clay:

Hi all,

Sorry it's taken me this long to get this report out.  Lots going on.

Anyway, I did find some help last evening to get out and do something about the new snow.  Club member and Valles Caldera ski director, Hans Hanson graciously stepped up and learned how to run our little "snowcat" and all its complexities.  We started off pulling the groomer, but quickly realized that the new snow, as scant as was/is, had a lot of moisture in it and couldn't be groomed right off the bat.

We could only run the roller over it, but that actually did a fine job in packing and smoothing out all of the damage from sun, heat, tree debris, walkers, etc.  So as of last evening, the skiing looked good, and I gather that we've had probably another inch or two since then, making even better.  It'll likely be nice through the weekend for touring and maybe even OK for some skating.

Keep in mind that it's still very thin, especially down low and on the sun-exposed front hill.  That tropical week with the inversion really did a number on the good conditions over the New Year holiday time.  Not a whole lot more we can do until we get more snow, so go get out there now while the gettin's good.

We'll plan on freshening things up early next week.  I have some of the club grooming equipment and will be heading up to Chama for this weekend's Chama Chile Classic, which should see some absolutely stellar conditions, so come on up for that if you can.  You don't have to race, just bring your skis and have fun.  But, the events are so much low-key fun and you can wear your favorite costume.

Go ski!

Monday, January 12, 2015

Sandia peak skiing

Another inch or so with about 3 new in last few days.  Only a couple skiers up when I was there.  Pretty dead for such great conditions.  Met another skier by name of Tommy (not Kirchgessner). Told him about the UNM loops.  Upper loop was good (thanks to Rich for removing more of that big tree across the trail) but needs a lot of leveling.  Anyone want to help  with that?  Let me or Chris know (my email is  Access road to lower loop was great until I hit that steep downhill (turned around).  Service road is good as well.
Hopefully Fredrik grooms Wednesday.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

alaska skater and sandia trail conditions

I am chris, and if you are one of the three sledders who wanted info on skating trails in nm you can email me at   I can get you on the email list for sandia grooming also.   nice meeting you.  
chris m and I shoveled the full length of the access road today, leveling and widening.   I bet is almost 12 feet wide for 90% of the trail now.   its done for the season, except for that tight corner.  I think Fredrik is going to have to look at that when he grooms. 
1 to 2 inches of fresh snow made the service road perfect for skating since you could catch a edge and there is a great solid base of snow underneath.   you can ski on the access road but there is a lot of loose shoveled snow on it so might be better to wait until Fredrik grooms it.  stick and glide guys can go to it.   

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Winter events to plan for now!

Lots of great fun nordic events in our area, almost every weekend is taken up! He is a quick list with links for more info so you can plan and sign up soon!

Jan 16-19 Chama Chile Ski Classic, loads of events every day with the flagship events on Sunday. Easy drive from Los Alamos, but we highly recommend staying over night and enjoying all the events and live music!

Jan 24th Durango Langlauf races (kids race too). Great events and across the road from Purgatory, so your downhillers can get some time in too!

Feb 14th the famous Mt. Taylor Quadrathlon! Totally EPIC. Started over 30 years ago by then UNM Ski coach, the venerable Klaus Weber. An amazing event. Must do. Great way to preview the course and how it works is to volunteer for it, which incidentally is a fun party all in and of itself! :) Note the event now features a QUAD KIDS for kids ages 3-13- check out the website for more info.

Feb13-15th Pagosa Springs Winterfest! Includes BB gun biathlon event. Need we say more?! Great set of super fun events, and who can beat soaking in the hot springs at the end of each day?!

Visiting Enchanted Forest XC Ski and Snowshoe Area for Dummies.

All the info you really need is of course on Enchanted Forest XC Ski and Snowshoe Area's website However, here are some highlights of that info that you might want to review before heading up for the first time.

- TIMING/DRIVE: drive from Los Alamos to the base lodge is 2 hours (slightly under even). It is a gorgeous drive with Taos about half way. If you are doing a 1 day trip, you could stop for breakfast/dinner in Taos on your drives. Plenty of amazing places to eat there. See below for our faves.

snowshoes for kids too!
rental skis for kids, toddlers and adults!
- GEAR: EFXC has skate and classic xc ski rentals, as well as snowshoes (snowboots included). They have all gear for kids and adults including kid pulks. They also have quite a bit of merchandise, including nice socks, mittens, gloves, hats, sunglasses and more, so if you forget the small stuff, you'll be all set.

- DO I NEED 4WD?: last 400m or so to the area parking lot from the highway is a steep hill. You will need 4WD for it. If you do not have 4WD or are uncomfortable driving that part, you should park on the large pullout off the highway and call the base lodge (large EFXC sign with their number and info at the pullout). They will pick you up and drop you back off at the car as well. You can also walk that 400m if you prefer.

- FOOD: EFXC has a nice warm base lodge with tables, a microwave, cold water, hot water, coffee. They sell microwavable burritos, soups, hot chocolate and cider, bars and candy. They also usually have Nature Valley granola bars out for free as Nature Valley sponsors xc skiing and sends lots of samples out to xc ski areas. We usually bring a lunch and snacks. There is also a warming yurt out on the trails. It has a wood stove in it, a couch to sit on, some table and chairs, so it's warm and cozy. Makes for a great 'picnic' lunch or warm up stop while out skiing/snowshoeing. They also  have a fire pit outside which they get going for some days and tables outside for particularly sunny lunch times (gotta love the NM sunshine all winter long!!)

- OTHER TIPS: if you are traveling with small kids and worried about slow process of getting going, it is really helpful to either stop in Taos to eat on way up, or packing food with you and handing it to the kids just after you pass Taos so they are fueled up and ready to go as soon as you get to the area.
- There are many awesome places to eat in Taos, but in case you are really unfamiliar with Taos, here are the ones we tend to use most often (all right off the main road you'll be on, except El Gamal):
-- for burrito or other to-go breakfast: The Coffee Spot.
-- for sitdown amazing breakfast/lunch: The Taos Diner (either location is convenient off the main road and yummy).
-- famous (and awesome) dinner spot: Taos Pizza Out Back.
-- all around, breakfast, lunch, dinner, bakery, great NM style food and more: Michael's Kitchen.
-- vegetarian-only option with a spectacular kid's toy/play room and floor seating: El Gamal.

WINTER FUN: Enchanted Forest XC Ski and Snowshoe Area also offers ski lessons (both classic or skate) and snowshoe tours. They hold spectacular special events including the super famous Just Desserts Eat and Ski at the end of Feb. They also have two warm yurts you can rent. Great way to winter camp or glamp (glamour+camping :), with the groomed trail access and even an additional option of having them deliver and pick up your gear, it's an easy way to try out a winter adventure!  (you can also rent the yurts in the summer and hike or mountain bike on the trails!) Make sure to check out their site for more details and don't hesitate to call them if you have any questions:

PPS if you have avid downhillers in your group, you can easily xc ski in the morning and downhill at Red River on the way back, or just drop them off at the downhill on your way up to EFXC!

SWNSC Trail Update 1/8/2014

Trail is still mostly covered, but has taken a beating with a lot of foot traffic and the very warm days earlier in the week.  There is now a big bare spot where the fencing stops on the front hill, so be careful above and below it.

Lots of debris on the trails have left things in sort of a mess, so keep that in mind if you go ski, and pick some up and toss it off the trail if you can.

Trail may be bladed to preserve the base until we get more snow.  That cold front with the fog didn't quite reach the higher elevations, so it may not be as icy up there as it is down here in town, but the snow did transform a lot during the warm spell, so it'll be icy unless it's groomed.

The UNM-LA ski class is this weekend, so new track will be set on the Camp May Rd.

Hope for snow next week!

Remember, the SWNSC kids' clinic will be this Sunday at 10:30 A.M. at Enchanted Forest.  The clinic (games, relays, obstacle course, etc.) is free, but regular trail pass and rental fees are still in effect.

sandia snow conditions

it was 32 degrees at 10 am  up there today.  service road was a bit hard packed but still skateable.  I imagine it will be better once the sun warms it.  access road in the woods was good, kind of like skiing on one inch new snow in spots.   a little bumpy in spots.   10k loop is actually good skating, just watch for two branch stubs that are sticking out a bit on the downhill with the sharp corner in the northern woods section.   don't know what warm temps are going to do to it the next couple days.  okay, its not great groomed skiing but its the next best thing.     

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

sandia conditions wednesday

it was 32 degrees at 10 am  up there today.  service road was a bit hard packed but still skateable.  I imagine it will be better once the sun warms it.  access road in the woods was good, kind of like skiing on one inch new snow in spots.   a little bumpy in spots.   10k loop is actually good skating, just watch for two branch stubs that are sticking out a bit on the downhill with the sharp corner in the northern woods section.   don't know what warm temps are going to do to it the next couple days.  okay, its not great groomed skiing but its the next best thing.     

Trail Report 1/7/2015

No new grooming since Saturday. Perhaps a possibility late this week before UNM-LA class on Saturday.

Try not to ski during warm part of day. It actually accelerates deterioration.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Sandia ski update

Groomed trails below service road Chris Norton reports are deteriorating due to a variety of reason.  I did some classic on the service road. It has deteriorated drastically from 2 days ago.  Only a few hundred meters of any semblance of the groomed tracks left, heavy damage due mostly to pedestrians.  Isolated thin coverage due to winds.  I have a manual track setter and would be willing to bring it up the tram if someone wants to help with pulling it.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Grooming on Sandia peak

Fredrik groomed and set diagonal tracks on the  service road.  He also groomed the access road from the service road down to the 10K loops along with the actual 10K loops themselves (no tracks set).

Classic tracks on service road