Friday, December 30, 2016

Sndia Peak trails groomed today

Chris Norton set classic tracks on the service rd and access rd below and re-groomed entire system for skating,  Great tracks as I did classic.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Grooming Report 2/24/2016 (Los Alamos)

Got up there in the evening and got things groomed, albeit without a classic track.  I had some issues with things, especially the unfortunate finding of more trees down.  Dang...I'm getting sick of that!

Things were superb this morning, with freshly groomed trails, 10 degrees F, and a beautiful sunrise over a fog-shrouded valley.  Conditions should hold OK until it gets warm over the weekend.

Forecasts look interesting after the middle of next week...we'll see...

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Trails "Pre" Grooming Report... 2/23/2016

I think we have received a short "stay" of execution on our ski season.  That was a better storm than was predicted for us, so I'll go up and see what can be done with the grooming.  I'll report back tomorrow.

In the meantime, skiing was still possible, albeit sloppy and slow, over the weekend.  It was crusty and bumpy before the thaw, then slow and slushy afterward.  There were actually some truly "bad" spots, although they were very short and could be "tip-toed" through.  One more week of that kind of tropical weather, and it would have been over.

We'll see now how things look.  It's supposed to warm up again over the weekend, then sort of flip flop.  I think the season is going to be week to week, day to day from here on out.  We just lost too much of the base to really rely on anything.  We'll keep it going as long as it's viable.

Lots of trees came down too, unfortunately.  I was going to groom, but ended up cutting out trees instead.

High winds last week brought down a number of trees.  Getting those removed was a chore and kept me from doing any grooming.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Los Alamos Trails Grooming Report 2/16/2016

Everything was groomed last evening (Monday evening).  It was just freezing up when I got started, so there are a few minor inconsistencies here and there, but overall the G2 groomer did an amazing job of erasing the substantial foot-traffic damage and smoothing things out.

I set a new classic track as well.

Beware of the sun-exposed front's starting to go in that really exposed section. We'll have to figure something out for that spot next year, as the shade fencing doesn't protect it as well as the other areas, although it does protect it some as evidenced by the fact that it is still there after these warm temps!  Anyway, it will likely make it a few more days, then be down to bare ground by the weekend =(  If only we could have had another stretch of storms...

Otherwise, the skiing is still fantastic on the rest of the system.  There are two or three odd spots in there, but they're very short.  Some of the system hasn't even transformed yet, so we're OK for a while yet.

Enjoy while you can.  Hopefully, we can weather this drought...

Beginning the grooming just below Point A (looking south toward Pajarito Mtn).  Note the nice track being set by the G2, and the heavy foot traffic damage that is VERY hard to get rid of once it's set during warm temperature =P

After the first round of track-setting, that sun-exposed area at Point A is still nice

Up at the top of the meadow, working on cooling the machine down.  It's a liquid-cooled machine that relies on snow "splashing" a cooling system in the drive-train, but with hard-pack, this doesn't occur.  So, the engine overheats frequently, especially while using the G2 groomer's renovator teeth down deep.  It pulls heavy and slow to clean up those post-holes and ruts.  In short, it is the hardest thing to do on the equipment.

Still some very nice sections in the system.  We'll keep grooming as long as there's decent coverage.   We have to resort to shoveling here and there, but it's supposed to turn back to winter by the end of the month.  Hopefully, with our grooming efforts, we'll still have that beautifully glorious skiing in March!

Sunday, February 14, 2016

New grooming report for Feb 14

From Chris:  " I caught the tram and started grooming around 4pm.    classic track that I set was best on access road and sections of lower trails.  service road had already hardened so there the track wasn't idea, a little shallow.  
I screened in the dark and had to keep on throwing snow on it to keep it heavy so it would dig in.   again, service road was pretty hard to scrape up anything ( but I did see the downhill groomers out with their lights as I was leaving at 7 so they might do the service road ).   most of the lower trails screened out pretty good, probably the only really hard spot was the upper meadow above the aspen grove and also the downhill along the woods at the very bottom of the lower meadow.
my guess is skating would be good 10 or 11 to 1pm.  but if they groomed the service road it would be rocking 9am.   I was up there last Saturday morning after the groomed it and it was like Lake Placid Olympic trails.   
classic skiing  I hate to say is not a continuous track but best would be lower trails, especially the access road and lower meadow trails all the way into the northern woods above the 10k parking lot.  
if we had that second piece of grooming equipment I could of done an amazing job tonight since it would of chewed up the snow and then smoothed it out.  the stuff we have is just using heavy weight to press done where as the new one would of broke it up and then smoothed it out.     anyways,  let get the donations going on that second piece so next year we wont have to give grooming reports since it will always be great.
I think I am going up tomorrow at 11.  if downhill groomed service road I will get it to the posts.   pray for snow to your god."

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Classic tracks

Tomorrow afternoon (late), Chris will try to set classic tracks on the entire trail system (including the service rd)

Grooming problems

From Chris:  "we have plenty of snow but unless we groom at 6 am or 7pm its just too much stress on the sled with these soft conditions and FRED FLINTSTONE grooming equipment we have for old snow.  ( one reason we need the second piece of grooming equipment besides the one we just got that is for new fallen snow. )   will groom when we can and post but until it cools down not the regular grooming we had earlier in the season.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Los Alamos Trails Groomed 2/12/2016

El Nino is turning into El Nada.  We're in the dreaded 4-Corners "Omega" blocking high pressure pattern...again.  So, that's why we're experiencing spring in February.  I just hope it doesn't confuse the apricot trees too much.  It's too late for the juniper trees.

Anyway, the good news is that the snow base is still very good, and that last storm was a real season-saver.  It was good, heavy snow, so it's holding up to this warm, dry stretch, at least so far.  Skiing was still good before regrooming, so it should be pretty good this weekend too.  The whole trail system received some love, with a new classic track set all the way around.  Get it while it's still good!

The foot traffic, unfortunately, really does a number when it's warm.  So, we'll try to keep things groomed out.  It's costly in terms of time and resources to keep that situation cleaned up.  There have been a number of folks who are ignoring the "ski only" designation on the upper trails too, which is a bummer.  Dog poop (a.k.a. "Brown Klister") is a killer too...

We'll keep trying to keep the trails maintained to bridge the gap to the next round of winter.  Hopefully, El Nino will come back and give us some nice late-season conditions.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Sandia Peak Latest grooming Feb 10

Set track on service road, upper loop, and down to 10k and around that loop.  Shallow tracks on the service road but skiable.

Master's World Cup 2016 in Vuokatti, Finland: 30k Classic race

Hi All,

Today was the long distance classic race (30km for me) and it might be best to take it a bit philosophically:

I thought that there was slush, but actually there was white slush, grey slush, transparent slush, yellow slush, brown slush and greenish slush. Then there was water and mud and a big rock. My kick wax worked on the white and transparent slush. First it was raining, then snowing, then raining again, and snowing again. The flakes were getting bigger and denser but luckily we managed to finish just before it got really bad. My glide wax worked on any slush except for the grey or brown one and the yellow if covered with water, but the new snow was like glue and outside the track nothing glided. Some of the big downhills did not have track, and the glide was super uneven. Luckily, we had practiced that at Low O2 challenge a week or so ago. The boots were soaked before the start, but the visor was the best. Looking through it all looked a bit more rosy and the green slush looked almost yellow, and I wasn’t cold except at the toes, but one can wiggle them in the boots in downhills.

At the start I had good glide and no-one was disappearing to the horizon too fast, but the first hill was grey slush and my kick was did not work on that, and I dropped quite far seeing just three skiers ahead of me. My glide was also a bit poor on the first 15km loop and I struggled on the hills before the lake. Knowing that I just decided to take the first lap easy and see how things go. I also felt less energetic than for the other races to start with. So, the racing mood was not quite there. The lake was almost holding, but so soft that the poles were sinking at every push even if I tried all my tricks. This made the double-poling feel slow and strenuous. After passing all the yellow and brown slush on the way up the biggest hill, there was a section where I actually had kick and could ski nicely until the snow started falling so heavily that my wax started freezing. Going down required a lot of ferocious kicking of the skis on the track to get rid of the ice before shooting down. That worked, and I noticed that I actually had a fairly good glide on the track. Staring the second lap I suddenly noticed that I had almost caught up one skier in my own age group. It looked like she had a better kick than I did as she was striding on the flat where I was double-poling. In the first up hill where I still had no kick she pulled a bit away but I caught her again in the next downhill, and could stay tugged in a lot longer than her. So, I skied that way with her for a while and started to feel like in a race. Then on a longer downhill I really pushed hard and passed her. (Notice that passing was a huge effort in these conditions as outside the tracks the snow was like glue and just changing tracks slowed one down a lot). I managed to stay ahead of her in the uphills leading to the downhill to the lake, and then I knew that she won’t pass me again. Skiing started to feel a little better and even if the speed on the lake was pretty pathetic compared to the effort put in to produce that, I felt like I was gliding better. The uphill out of the lake went really well. There was white slush there and I could actually ski. Starting to climb the long final hill I suddenly felt really tired, but decided to go for it as best I could. With the variable conditions faster people from other age groups were constantly passing me and I was passing slower ones. So, it was not lonely there, and having someone to catch in the front all the time definitely helped. The slow pace did not feel quite as slow if you can pass someone, even if they are 30 years older than you. On the top of the hill the wax was icing up again and the same procedure of kicking was manifested. But the downhill glided alright as long as one chose the track that everyone else had been on. At one point I had to take the other track to pass someone, and had to really hammer the next little knoll to get past before the next drop. In one of the corners of the downhill a big rock had become visible, but despite three fast men passing me at that point, I managed not to hit it. In the last part of the downhill fast men were passing me from both sides, but I managed to double-pole the flat well enough that I was not many meters behind on the final climb. The final drop to the stadium glided well, but the stretch to the finish did not as it had been a while since someone had skied on the track I happened to choose. But I had no sprint finish with anyone.

It was hard work. I finished probably 7th or 8th, but not awfully far behind the others except the first lady. And I did beat 2h with both laps taking pretty closely the same time. So, my pacing worked pretty well. The good glide was probably due to that two Finnish men I met in the waxing room helped me with some structure to the glide surface. That’s what I think the Italians had in the relay. My wax was not dragging (except when freezing), and it could have been a lot worse. After some eating and sauna, I think it was actually good fun. It was so extreme, that one can only laugh. Taking it too seriously would just be miserable. And I definitely have never raced on so may different kind of slush.

Check our club's facebook page for videos of before, during and after the race (you dont have to have access to facebook to view our contents). The lake section is pretty telling. I’m poling there as fast as I can with the poles sinking with each push.

Thank you everyone for cheering. It was much needed and appreciated. It makes a huge difference.

Now it’s a few days of asking for us here. Tomorrow is the free-style long distance races and I might take a rest day. Then next week I’ll visit family before heading home. Even if the races could have gone better placing-wise, I have had a blast and great races for myself. There are things I now know I need to practice more and that’s always so much fun. So looking forward to some good snow and skiing company also at home.


Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Master's World Cup 2016 in Vuokatti, Finland: Relays Day

Hi All,

the dicey lake passage
Today we had the relays. The morning started in slight drizzle at temperatures hanging around +2C as on so many days already. The constant drizzle (and occasional pizza-size snow that acts like glue on the track) had made the snow completely soaked and with no day-night difference in temperature it just stayed that way. The water puddle next to our cabin door was the biggest it has been. It’s actually hard to get out of the house without getting wet feet (where are my rubber boots!), and under the water there is solid bumpy ice. So, walking is a very dangerous activity at the moment.

This all has given the race organizers some headaches. The man-made snow on the course is now man-made slush. In the woods that still works, and actually glides surprisingly well, but all the courses rely on crossing the lake before coming to the stadium. There is no other way of going, but the lake ice, even if 1.5ft thick, is getting a bit sketchy. It holds skiers fine, but there is some cracking and seepage so that the surface is just a puddle of water and slush. The slush glides surprisingly well, but that grossing just kills any wax. Yesterday, for the relays and to keep the lake passable for the last races the organizers changed the lake crossing and made a new passage piling up some 2ft of snow in the hope that it the layer would be thick enough to keep the water surface below the trail surface. They worked really hard on it until the ice started cracking under the heavy gorging machines and they had to stop. So, for that section we had a snow passage (that held it over night) in the middle of water pools on lake ice. The passage was not groomed. It was pretty bumpy and class track pretty much non-existent. But we were just above the slush layer as of the end of the race. The last leg skiers said that when they passed, the white snow was only 2 in thick above the such, so we’ll see how it’s going to be tomorrow for the long distance classic. But for the relay it worked.

All the women teams started at the same time at 11:30am. There were a total of 24 teams with 5 of them in my age group. In our team I was on the first leg (classic), Inge on the second (classic), and Cyndy and Sara did the skate legs. I pretty much spent the morning testing glisters as the relay classic course was a bit different from what we have skied so far with a couple of really nice skiable climbs in the beginning, and I really wanted to have some kick too finally. But the snow was so soaked that anything I had tested the day before that had worked, was not kicking today, and I had to go a whole set softer with the glisters. But finally I got kick. It was maybe a bit too thick a layer and maybe could have been spread out for a slightly shorter wax pocket. But I could ski some hills.

team at the finish, happy with 4th place against some tough competition!
At the start, I managed to go pretty well, but soon realized that my skis could have glided a bit better. I ended up asking with one Finnish team from an older age group, a german team from a younger age group and the italian team from my age group. The russian and Finnish teams of my age group had just disappeared to the distance pretty much from the start. I was stronger than any of them in the uphills, but especially the italian always passed everyone in the downhills. So, I decided to stay behind her so that I could use the draft in the downhills without too much effort, and hopefully pass the finn and german. That way we went until the last uphill before a long downhill to the lake at ~3km (the whole leg was 5km).  In that uphill I managed to get ahead of the finn and the german but the italian passed me again in the downhill. The lake was alright. I did not notice any huge cracks, even if others said they were there. The italian was double-poling in the front, but despite her better glide I was catching her and easily staying with her because the surface was bumpy, the poles were sinking through the snow to the slush, and I had a much better technique to deal with all this than she did. Thanks to my background in ski-orienteering, I know how to pole low and under my own skis to avoid sinking poles. So, that was where the tactics were finalized. There was a short but steep climb to the bridge after a drop to the stadium. My only way of trying to be ahead of the italian and give any seconds good for Inge to fight for a 3rd place was to attack the hill like and use all the hill bounding we have done with Dina and Clay to get as far ahead as I could and hope that she won’t catch me in the downhill. So, in the beginning of the hill I pushed past her, tried to ski nicely in the track but it was too mushy, moved to the middle and ran up as fast as I could. Then full on double-poling the whole down hill and flat, and right at the last corner the italian flew by… Anyway, I was right behind her when tagging Inge, and panting really hard. 

Inge did a good ski, but the Italian ladies had phenomenal skis and we were some 10s behind after the second leg. Cyndy skied the best she has ever skied (according to her own words), and pretty nice it looked too especially on the last hill, but the italians were clearly ahead. Sara skied really well too, but we had no chance catching them. So, we ended up 4th. 

Check our facebook page for the two videos from the start, one from the start and one from the exchange between me and Inge (you see the big strong Italian lady in pink/blue suit) - will find a way to add/post those shortly. I’m now off to celebrate with the team-mates, and then to clean and rewax the skis for tomorrow. 30km classic in slush will be interesting. The weather is supposed to get a bit colder, but only on Friday with some new snow also forecast. So the classic long race will be what it has been the last few days.


Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Boulder Mountain Tour 2016 race report from Steve

The Boulder Mountain Tour or "BMT" was held last weekend near Sun Valley/ Ketcham Idaho. Ketcham is referred to by locals as "Nordic Town USA"for good reason. The area has miles of groomed trails along with a world class downhill area. The weather and snow conditions were ideal for this years race.

  The racecourse is 34K and is point to point from Galena Lodge at around 7200 feet to the Sawtooth National Recreation Area at around 6100. The net downhill made for fast times and it's a super fun race.

  The University of Utah ski team pretty much dominated the men's and women's races. The two guys in the second photo went 1and 3 and the women had several in the top 5. Caitlin Gregg edged out one of the Ute women for first overall. Results are posted on the BMT website.

   The photo of the female moose was taken just off of one of the local ski trails . The deep snow this year has forced the local elk population down into neighborhoods and they were everywhere!
   I enjoyed a beautiful day of Alpine skiing on Sunday. The views from the top are spectacular.
    The BMT weekend conflicts with the Alley Loop races and Sun Valley is a bit off of the beaten path, but it is well worth the effort! If you love Nordic, you've got to go! 


Canada Bonita Trails Regroomed 2/8/2016

Still great snow holding up on the Canada Bonita trails here in Los Alamos!  It's warmer this week, but there is a very good base that will weather the more springlike temps.

John Davey got up there last evening (2/8/2016) and refreshed everything, but left the classic track as-is.  It's a bit of a freeze-thaw cycle, so a good klister in the morning will work very well for classic, but I'd go with a waxless setup if you go after the sun starts to soften things up.

Skating will be firm in the morning, and softening in the afternoon as well.

Please don't walk or snowshoe when it's warm!!!

Next storm is supposed to be on the horizon for next week...keep you fingers crossed.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Sandia Peak: New grooming equipmment

Chris Norton, our groomer, bought and donated to the UNM's Ski Team this roller groomer:…/rollercompactor.html
It will be delivered this week and Fredrik, the UNM Ski Team Head Coach, is transporting it up to the trails so that we can start grooming with it. The roller was a $2100 and will improve the grooming of the trails dramatically. A track setter will be attached to it so that classic tracks can be set at the same time. This groomer will compact new snow, and poles don't sink through on the edges.
Next fall: We will be looking for donations to purchase this…/84ytsginzugroomer.html along with an adjustable track setter.
This will set a perfect skate lane, classic track, and also break up and then smooth out icy trails. It will run about $5k to $6k. Chris is already putting $1000 towards it.
If you are interested in donating, please contact us. Any donation, modest or large, would be greatly appreciated and will greatly increase the quality of the Sandia Nordic trails.
Let us know of your interest and we will put you on the list for next fall. Thank you

Master's World Cup 2016 in Vuokatti, Finland: Day 2

Hi All,

We had the second race today: 10km classic for me. The weather was turning interesting already yesterday, and it forced me to do more ski and wax testing than ever. It was misty, occasionally raining, occasionally snowing a bit. Temperature at +2.5C with gray clouds hanging over everything, and typically to here the temperatures or anything in the weather did not change at all overnight. So, I woke up really early and went to test glisters on the race course before the first start. My glide waxing was pretty much the best I can get with what I have for this weather, and I chose to use the skis for wet conditions. When testing the wax my glister was freezing on the track, which had been drying out slightly with the wind over night. So, I opted to put a really thin layer of glister on the race skis and cover it with the softest hard wax I had, and ice on the wax really kills the glide. The man-made snow also looked like if it could get mushy and pulverized by the male skiers that would start before us, so avoiding too soft and thick glister felt like the best option. That done, we started walking to the warm-up and race area as my start was already 9:40am. By the time I arrived on the testing track, everything had soaked with more rain so that I basically had no kick on my race skis. The only option I had with me was adding the soft hard wax, and that did the trick. I had an alright glide and decent kick on the test track. Even in the start area I tried how the kick felt, and it was alright, maybe not the best, but still sticking on the surface.

The race start went a lot better than the previous start two days ago. I had somewhat comparable glide to the others and could easily follow the leaders on 4th position out of the stadium. Keeping up with them did not even feel hard, but in the first slight downhill it was obvious that I still could improve the glide of my skis a bit. Then in the first up-hill the name of the game was revealed. I had absolutely no kick anymore, and two more ladies passed me. So, my only option was to herringbone-run between the tracks to get any traction. Luckily, the others did not pull away tremendously fast, and I could see them ahead until the longest gradual climb. But my only option was to double-pole like crazy until I could not anymore and then run up all the hills in between the tracks. Luckily, we have been training running with Lynn the whole summer, and I could do that easily and graciously at every hill, even if it was slower than a nice kick-and-glide. The snow was changing really fast during the race too. By the time I was on the lake section (middle of the course), the track there was completely slushy and I had to double-pole between the tracks to get any glide, and the suction started to eat up the glide also on the tracks of the steepest and longest downhill. On top of the tallest hill there was a ice-water seep bursting brown water on top of the tracks making the trail brown slush. So, there will be a lot of ski cleaning to be done today and tomorrow.
I think I placed 6th, but not awfully far behind the group fighting for the 3rd place. The winner was very far ahead, but I think with better kick wax I probably could have stayed with the others, which is most encouraging. It looks like that if I get the skis working better I could be competitive with the crowds in my age group. The weather forecast is for this moist, warm weather to hang around until Friday evening, which means that the conditions will be like today for all my remaining races. For the glide I can’t do much as I used all the tricks I have already, but I can improve the kick, and will try to get that for the 30km race on Thursday. Tomorrow is a rest day and then the relay on Wednesday, where I hope to get a leg to ski too.

Here attached one photo of the start that went a lot better, a photo of the winner in the last uphill (see the nice technique), and me at the same spot, which tells it all…

Thanks, Sanna

Master's World Cup 2016 in Voukatti, Finland: Day 1.

So, today was the 15km classic race here in Vuokatti. The morning opened overcast, but a tiny bit warmer and more humid than yesterday. It was -7C at breakfast, and the forecast for race time was -6C and warming towards the evening. In the warm-up I think my skis were pretty good. I had reasonable kick, and good glide even in a bit mushy, worn-out snow of the warm-up trail. Here the snow on race trails is completely manmade. There is some natural snow too, but to play it safe, the organizers have spread a foot thick layer of man-made snow on all the race trails. Just think about the effort as we ski a 15km in one loop! The course is really enjoyable with rolling hills for the first 5km, then a roughly 500m stretch over a lake to the side of a bigger hill where there is some nicely skiable continuous climb before dropping back to the stadium in the last 2km.

All the racers of my age group showed up in the start. Most were finns and russians with an addition of one lady from Kazakstan and me. I felt really small at the line between huge, strong ladies. Once the little “beeb” told that it was time to take the first push, it was pretty obvious that my skis, even if they felt good to me, did not glide quite as well as those of most others. I skied the first 3km with someone who had a better kick than I did, but worse glide. Then dropped her finally in once the hills got a little longer before the lake. I had no chance even trying to keep up with the front group right from the beginning. They just started far too fast for me. But saw two ladies some 50m in front of me all the time. At the lake crossing I used my double-pole and was able to get slightly closer the those two and after the lake one of them was dropped. In the climbs I caught her and passed, and felt pretty proud of myself, but the 2km downhill showed again where the trouble for me was. She caught me and just blew by. It probably was the skis to some extent, but she was also quite a bit bigger than me. And I could not catch her again as there was just a small climb over a bridge before finish. So, I placed somewhere towards the end of the pack. But I actually think I had a good race. I felt strong all the time and could really hammer it without getting tired. My skis and wax worked alright for what they are. They are not made for man-made snow… Maybe I could have raced a bit more to develop the ability to push more as I had no lack of oxygen here at sea-level and could have done one more loop with the same pace. But as to the goal of having fun in the race, this was completely fulfilled. I have seldom enjoyed the effort of racing as well as I did today, and am looking forward to the next challenges. The weather forecast is for warming up, and the next race (10km on Monday) might be in temperatures well above freezing, which means tricky waxing. But I could try the other pair of skis and see it it works on the man-made wet snow.

Here a few pictures Paul took from the start and along the course. In one of them you see a Finnish lady (#306) ahead of me. She is the one I passed in the uphills, but who passed me in the long downhill.

Hope Alley Loops is as much fun as it always is there. Here the atmosphere is great and I have met a few skiers I met in Asiago. As long as I say away from the up-tight Finnish groups, with the more relaxed americans and more experienced skiers, I’m having a blast.


Saturday, February 6, 2016

Sandia Peak grooming report for Feb 6

classic tracks set and screening done on service road and entire lower trail system.   beautiful skiing.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Sandia Peak: Grooming report for Feb 3

downhill area groomed service road last night.   entire lower trail system was groomed out with some shoveling help from jeff.  6 inches of dense but not moist snow fell so trails are in excellent condition.   classic track will be set Friday or Saturday.   regroom on Monday or Tuesday as needed.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

New Snow...and the beginning of fresh grooming! 2/2/2016

Lots of new snow out of this latest storm...reports are that between 12" and 16" fell, much of it full of water, so that's great!

It took a while to get moving on it, but a couple of the new grooming hands, Jim Fredrickson and Petr Anisimov have stepped up to begin the multi-step process of getting things rolled and bladed so that it'll set up and be ready for the heavier hauling of pulling the groomer around.

So, things are rolled and bladed as of this evening.  Plans are to get it groomed by the weekend.  It's nice and cold, so it should be good skiing.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Sandia Peak Friday grooming

Fredrik groomed classic on UNM upper loop, service road and 10k trail system. On Friday, Chris will screen the lower trail preserving as much classic track as possible. Monday or Tuesday, depending on when the snowstorm comes through, the trails will be groomed again. Happy weekend!

Thursday, January 28, 2016

sandia peak grooming

Trails groomed including "upper loop" above service rd.  Everything in great shape.

Monday, January 25, 2016

SWNSKI Trails groomed 1/25/2015

New grooming hand John Davey and I got up to the trails this evening and got a nice jump on the storm (great timing) with some new grooming. What a nice little storm to freshen things up nicely. Go ski!

Sandia Peak More grooming!

Chris quoted:  "I groomed today(monday), same as last thursday. classic all around ...and then pulled the screen over for skating and took the classic track out on corners and narrow parts of the trail. next groom thursday or friday this week. go have fun. 14 degrees this morning up there at 9am. no inversion. oh, yeah, gotta add the trail comes counterclockwise out of the northern woods i stayed to the left instead of taking the long slanted route up to the top of the meadow. i instead went south to where there is a bank turn that will connect half way up the slant route. watch for it."

Friday, January 22, 2016

NM Cup Flier and Release Forms are Posted!

See the Google Drive location for the NM Cup Flier and Release Form!

NM Cup Flier and Release Form

Also, we have the first pass of our new [working] version of the club website:

Check it out!!!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Sandia Peak Latest report (21 Jan)

Chris reports:"
set classic track on service road and over new trails below service road.   afterwards screened lower trails for skating and wiped out classic track in tight corners and narrow sections of trail.   probably at least 70% of lower trails have classic track.   might regroom Saturday.   great conditions.
set classic track on service road and over new trails below service road.   afterwards screened lower trails for skating and wiped out classic track in tight corners and narrow sections of trail.   probably at least 70% of lower trails have classic track.   might regroom Saturday.   great conditions."

New Mexico Cup / Low O2 Challenge Weekend - January 30-31

We REALLY apologize about the lack of information for the New Mexico Cup race weekend.

The events are most certainly ON for the two days.  And, the conditions at Enchanted Forest are AWESOME!

It's quite simple: Saturday = 5km and 10km CLASSIC races start at 10am, registration from 9am to 9:45am - don't be late! (kids events, 1-3km will follow)

Sunday = 5km and 15km skate races, starting at 10am, registration from 9am to 9:45am - don't be late!  (kids events, 1-3km will follow)

The weekend also includes the Low O2 Challenge snowshoe races (inquire with EF about details on that).  I think the race is officially on Sunday...???

All xc ski races are $5 (kids are FREE!), but TRAIL PASSES MUST BE PURCHASED, plus normal rental fees, etc.

I'll try to get some forms up to the EF folks to have on hand the days prior to the races, if you want to pre-register.

Great grooming and fun courses await.  Bring the kiddos!  See you there...

Los Alamos Trails Regroomed Wed and Thursday evening

There was actually a little bit of new snow with that wind-bag storm.  There was also a lot of tree debris and even a couple of trees that came down.

We went up and cleaned up most of that, bladed out the drifts as best as possible, and even ran the "harrow" to grind and rake up the tree trash.  Lots of pre-work just to get to an actual grooming job!

Still working on some new things to keep the shop running, as well as our new equipment.  New changes and improvements come with a learning curve.

Skiing should be pretty nice this weekend.  It's supposed to be warm both Friday and Saturday, so keep that in mind in planning your ski outings and any associated waxing...

Thanks for all of your support!  

Info on fees/access for skiing/snowshoeing in Valles Caldera and Bandelier trail heads.

Everything you need to know on fees and correct access/use of Valles Caldera (and Bandelier trails) for xc skiing and snowshoeing courtesy of VC Park Ranger Mike Frederick: 

* The $20 fee is a vehicle pass that is good for seven days. For example, if they purchase the pass on Monday, it is valid through the following Sunday. The preserve is open every day, seven days a week, 9 AM to 5 PM, weather permitting. If the preserve gate is locked, visitors with passes (7-day, Senior, Annual, Access, etc) can still access the ski areas from Highway 4 by parking in one of the pullouts. Please be aware that often the state doesn't plow some of the pullouts so parking can be hazardous. Please ask them to park well off the road and not to block any access gates. This includes the entrance to the Banco Bonito Staging Area on the west side of the preserve.

* Visitors should have a pass of some type (see above) to ski anywhere within the preserve.

* Visitors accessing the preserve from any location (Pajarito, etc) should also have a pass. 

* Visitors who ski or snowshoe into the preserve and want to use the groomed trails must check in at the visitor center. The fee is $10 per individual. If it's a party of one, they save $10 if they haven't driven in. Parties of two pay the same as if they'd driven in. Parties of three or more would benefit from driving in, of course, since they'd pay $20 instead of $10 apiece.

* Visitors skiing in from Pajarito to the VC would pay $10 per person unless they have a pass. Most of the ski club members I've met do have passes, mostly Senior or Annual. Vehicles that drive in to pick them up wouldn't have to pay. We don't charge a fee unless the visitor is recreating - skiing, snowshoeing, hiking, bike riding, fishing, etc. Visitors who drive to the VC to look around and take photos aren't charged.

* Unfortunately, we don't have a printed map or one on the website that is up to date on groomed trails. The conditions change very frequently based on weather and use. Our groomer aims to have up to 30 miles of trails groomed but often it's no more than five to seven. Last week, for example, he had to freshen up a number of trails since high winds and drifting snow had obscure much of what he'd done the previous day. The situation is very fluid and we don't know from one day to the next as to what the conditions will be. It's best to call the  VC for up-to-date information (505-670-1612).

* Groomed trails are mostly for skate skiing. When he can, the groomer adds classic track. That is usually the 1.5 mile La Jara Trail (the hill behind the VC) and the 1.8 mile History Grove Trail. 

Contrary to popular belief, Bandelier's trailheads and access points are NOT free. Visitors who use the trails and access the monument anywhere from Highway 4 are supposed to have a pass or pay the seven-day fee. While not scrupulously monitored, law enforcement rangers have been known to issue warnings or tickets to vehicles parked at Bandelier trail heads that aren't displaying passes. 

I hope I've answered all of your questions. Thanks for your assistance with getting the information out about the Valles Caldera. I know there's a lot of confusion now with the transition and what the do's 

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Sandia Peak Groomed again

Trails groomed again today with classic tracks on service rd.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Sandia Peak facebook site

Go see the new facebook site for the Sandia nordic system:

Friday, January 15, 2016

Sandia Peak Grooming Friday/ Jan 15

Downhill area did great job grooming service road very wide.   chris ran screen over lower trails and then set two classic tracks on service road.  chris will regroom Saturday 11am.
Also Chris said the downhill  area groomed;  the area near the shed to within a foot for us! Let them know we appreciate it.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Sandia Peak Trails groomed again for skating.

The new trail system was regroomed today (Chris said best yet) for skating.  Next groom is set for Friday with classic tracks on the service rd.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Sandia Peak More grooming

Chris reports: "
lower trail system was groomed out Saturday morning (3 hours).  its beautiful.  everyone should get up there and ski it sunday.  chris is going to regroom sunday at 11am and will do the service road if downhill area doesn't.   no classic track.  
greg brought up that we should rename the 10k loop since everything is 10k in that area.   my entry into the name contest is ASPEN VISTA TRAIL. since its in the aspens and there is such a great view of the northern territory.
Tuesday chris and rich are going up to groom, shovel and transport gas up.   "

Chris reports a low hanging power line on the service rd.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Sandia Peak Latest grooming

First  another 11" fell last 24 hours.  Chris said he packed the trails about 10-12 feet wide except for service rd and a few narrow spots on the trails.  Tomorrow he plans to groom the whole system for skating and possibly set a diagonal track on the service rd. Hopefully Sandia peak will groom the road with their snow cat tonite or Friday nite.

Jan 8:  Chris groomed the trails 8-10 feet wide.  Sandia Peak ski area groomed the service rd last nite.
" the entire trail system below the service road was packed out today and the groomer attachment was dragged twice over for a width of 8 to 10 feet.   again there are a couple bottlenecks where the trail is just five feet wide.    it took over three hours which included getting the sled stuck.  unstucking was a 45 minute ordeal.   no classic track.  service road had been groomed last night but has two or three inches of new snow on it.   when I left at 4 it looked like it was done snowing.   no more grooming until Monday or Tuesday.  "

Wanted, SOUTHWEST NORDIC SKI Club Members!!!

Thanks to everyone who has registered to be a Southwest Nordic Ski Club member.  Your membership is more than just a donation, it's also part of a movement that helps us acquire resources for trail development and maintenance programs (not just winter ski season, and not just the Nordic trails).  It's also an influential political body as well.

This year, we've done a lot of trail work, acquired a new groomer that does SO much better than what we had before (and keeps us old guy groomers from wearing out our backs so much), maintained a lot of high-mileage equipment, etc., etc.  We've also developed a quickly-burgeoning kids outside fitness and ski program (all-season club activities).  Check the pictures on FB.
Wednesday afternoon SWNSC Kids practice at the Los Alamos golf course!

But, we need memberships and involvement, so please be sure to become a member (no other commitment required!).  It is tax-deductible.

Jump drills for the kids ski practice at the Los Alamos golf course
If you're up for helping with the kids ski program, please contact:

Resolution Race 2016! This Saturday at the end of the Pajarito Mountain Parking lot

Time to wax up the skis and don the lycra suit (if you can still fit in it after the holidays). Conditions are fantastic and we'll have the course groomed out nicely for our little club training race.

We'll start right at the end of the parking lot this year, and will have two distances for adults (about 15 km and 10 km), and several short distances for the kids. We'll also do a few technique exercises after the event to add some teaching to the day.  

Adults will start (promptly) at 10am, and we'll run the kids events at noon.

The downhill area will be open, so keep that in mind for parking and timing to get signed up and warmed up, etc.
It'll be fun and beautifully groomed!

Hope to see many of you there!!!

Sunday, January 3, 2016

More grooming (classic)

Today (Jan 3) Fredrik set classic tracks on the entire trails system as displayed in the map in the previous post (Jan1).   
Also from Chris Norton an announcement: "
organizing final week of shoveling for sandia trails.    930 to 12 on Wednesday and 930am to 3pm on Thursday.   please bring your own shovel but if you need one contact  
the idea is to get it all 12 feet wide and level this week so we can lay our shovels down for the season and get to skiing some great trails. we are pretty much 90% there today.  just need to finish it off.  "

Friday, January 1, 2016

Unofficial map of groomed trails (temporary status this year)

The groomed sections are in light blue.  Black hash marks are cutoffs where actual groomed trails this year (so far) are somewhat shortened due to problems packing and grooming. Updates on the grooming status will be provided once the grooming has been done.
Today Chris Norton shoveled and packed the first couple of switchbacks going down from the service rd.
Ski the trails with caution until you become more familiar and until they are groomed for faster skiing (especially on the downhill sections).