Monday, December 7, 2015

We're Back!

It's snowing like the dickens at the pass, and you know what that means: time to charge up your headlamp!  Headlamp racing starts next month, and a new schedule is posted over there on the left.

You know the drill: this is self-lit, self-started, self-timed, and FREE!  (Also, Brent reminds me, it's non-sanctioned, so that means no whining.)  The cabin will be open for changing clothes and eating dinner and talking smack, and there will be a clipboard on the counter for you to write down your time. Like last year, there's a good chance I won't make it up there very often, so if one of you regulars could send me the results, I'll get them posted on this blog.

Also over there on the left is a link to the pass conditions and to the grooming report from our fabulous groomer, Nick.  Keep in mind that on Wednesdays, Nick will be focusing his attention on the race course (the Berg loop); you're totally welcome to ski wherever you want, but if you venture away from the Berg and you're not satisfied with the grooming, complaining will not be welcome.  And if you do venture farther afield, Brent reminds us to ski with a friend; there are slinking cougars and attack owls and hypothermia out there.

More reminders from Brent: a headlamp of at least 100 lumens will give you the best results (hint: Petzl is one of our sponsors) and cost you between $50 and $100, worth every single penny.  The course may be modified at the last minute if conditions require.  Racers are welcome in the cabin and wax shed, but there is no trash pickup or maid service, so be sure to clean up after yourself and tote your stuff back home.  Snowpark permits are required, and carpooling is always a good idea.  End-of-season awards will be based on attendance and on weighted age group results: first in age group with five people racing gets five points; first in age group with two people racing gets two points.

Now get out there and have some fun -- winter is finally here, and we've been dreaming about this all summer!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

It's Over

... as if you didn't already know.  Here is Nick's grooming report from this morning, high up on Amabilis.

31 degrees and heavy snow.  3 inches new snow.

  Groomed left Y from saddle up to top.   Set track. 

 Winter blizzard this morning but expect rapidly rising freezing levels this afternoon.  Get a snow fix while you can.  This could be it for the season. 

Go get it if you can get away from work today.  If not, have a great summer, train hard, train often, rest well, eat right, and see you next winter!  Look for a new headlamp schedule to be posted in December, and in the meantime, come join us for trail work parties in the fall; they make Mother Nature happy and maybe she'll smile on us next winter.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015


This is a picture Nick took today of the road at Cabin Creek.  You can probably intuit from this that headlamp racing is pretty much done until we get some new snow.  I am despondent.  But ... Nick says the skiing is great above the Y on Amabilis and should continue to be good into next month!  So all is not lost, but we have to come up with a way to get some closure on the headlamp season.  Any ideas?

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Ice, Man

People, I don't know what to tell you.  Nick the groomer laid out this very thorough description of the conditions up there as of this afternoon -- thanks, Nick, for the great report! -- and I heard this evening that the skiing is actually very good on Amabilis (25 inches!), beginning about a hundred yards below the Y.  Maybe the headlamp race needs to move up to the Y!  As always this winter, if you go, let us know!

45 degrees and broken clouds.

  3-inch base at lower trails and 25 inches on Amabilis Mtn.

The Road has a couple large bare spots and is mostly ice. Skiers have been skiing classic up the side but it's very icy. We will not be grooming it unless we get more snow or it cools down for a couple days. 

The Berg and Viking have melted out in numerous large areas. No more grooming them unless we get more snow. 

We are planning to groom the Amabilis loop tomorrow and the rest of the week. The left Y is in better shape then the right. Good snow from below the Y and the hike up does have a few ice patches you will have to skirt around. 

The weekend does look cooler and a huge improvement from last week.

Think snow...

Thursday, February 5, 2015

"An Unexpected Joy"

Wow, even the ever-optimistic Nick sounds a little discouraged in his grooming report from this morning: "36 degrees and raining."  We all share his pain; it snowed a little bit earlier this week, but now the freezing level has gone flying back up to 6,000 freakin' feet and it's raining hard.  Sigh.

But Ian and his son went headlamp skiing last night, and found a happy place nonetheless.  Here is their report; thanks for sending!  Did anyone else make it?

Kaiam and Ian made it up - they report that, in another year they might have said the Viking was a little gloppy, but the presence of even an inch or two of bare-spot covering new snow qualified the conditions as great and made skiing it an unexpected joy for them.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

February 4

People, it's been snowing at the pass today and Nick has been grooming, so hopefully you made it up there.  If you did, please share your story of skiing happiness with the rest of us who were glued to our desks all evening!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Jon's Wednesday Night Report

Great information here from Jon about trail conditions art Cabin Creek and the work Nick is doing so we can ski.  As Jon says, go get some!

I am super impressed with Nick and the herculean work he has been doing on the trail to keep us skiing!  More on this below...

Yesterday at Cabin Creek there were at least three groups of skiers:
- Norwegian "Boys" group during the day
- Ellensburg Ski Team in the afternoon
- Night skiers - I counted 9 of us. 

The road was ice with some sugar on top.  Tracks were pretty good in most places.  Only a few places where the gravel or pavement was showing through.  SUPER FAST! 
- I double poled the road on skate skis, and was flying!  During the race, going to the end of the road and back only took 12:53!

The trail were showing some more brown.  I skied the Berg and Chris Fast skied the Viking.  This would have been easier in the light, rather than with headlamps. 

When I left at 9PM, Nick and his Dad (?) were just starting their work.  Since temps had just dropped below freezing, they were starting a big project: They were taking snow at the end of the parking lot, moving it across the highway to the ski trails, then, using snowmobiles and trailers, hauling the snow out onto the brown spots on the trail.  He and I discussed how many there were and where they were.  From his posts at 7 and 8 AM, it seems that they worked ALL NIGHT to bring us good skiing for this weekend! 

Nick's blog post talks about work - and that is an understatement!  I expect we will have fast skiing on the trails and road through the weekend.  While you still may need to watch for some dirt, I expect the brown spots are greatly diminished and Viking and Berg should be good to ski all the way around.  Go get some - and if you see Nick, please thank him!

Race Report from Chris

People,  I have a little bit of an idea how hard Nick is working to move snow around and create a course we can ski on, so I almost don't even want to post Chris Fast's bleak report from last night!  FWIW, I know Nick was focusing his efforts on the Berg loop for the headlamp race and Chris headed out on the Viking loop and the road, and I did read on Facebook that the Berg loop was in pretty good shape.  it's rough down there on the lower trails, though, so get yourself on up Amabilis this weekend, and keep doing those snow dances!  Winter's not over yet!  And thanks, Chris, for venturing out there and sending us back the story.

Small turnout tonight.  Temperature right around freezing.  The course was rock hard with patches of blue ice and a few bare spots on the main road. I didn't even venture onto Berg.  Viking had multiple bare patches, and the snow was a solid mass.  The hills were scary, because you couldn't tell if there were bare patches just around the next corner.  I crashed twice while double poling on the main road - that's how icy it was!  It felt like crashing on a road bike, only without the blood loss.  I acquired the most interesting bruise I've ever had. 
Daytime Just Skiing:  Ozzie, Gunnar, Grete, Gene, Paul, Pat, Suzanne, Rob, & Jim 
Evening Just Skiing:  Ian Whyte, Eric Hansen, Steven Nagode, Nolan and two friends 
Racing (double poling out and back on main road):  Jon Fewster 12:53,
Christopher Fast 15:29 
Unless the freezing level drops and it really dumps starting Sunday, there will be no skiing next week.