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.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Wednesday Morning Report

Nick's report from early this morning:

38 degrees and clear sky. 6 inch base. 

Groomed The Road.

Pleasantly surprised the snow held as good as it did. It's almost repeat of last week. Bigger dirt section at start of Amabilis and a few dirt patches on lower trails. 

We will be actively working during day grooming so watch for us on the trails. Amabilis will be groomed tomorrow.

I will eagerly look forward to reports from any of you who head up there.  Ski it while we have it!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

We Have Reports!

Wow, thanks, everyone, for sending reports of what sounds like fantastic skiing last night!

From Chris:

You missed a surprisingly good night.  The snow was really fast, and it made me feel like a much faster skier than I am.  Cold enough to make it firm but not hard.  The grooming was great!  Nick did a good job of grooming what little snow there is, and it looks like it got a lot of use today.  Only one section on Berg had some bald spots with dirty snow; Viking was clean.  
Results 1/21/15 - Skate Night - 2x Berg, out on main road, no PK loop 
Dale Bohm 16:55  
Joy Cordell 19:08 
Jeff Clark 16:42 
Jim Cahill 13:1 
Christopher Fast 12:50  
just skiing:Carol Anway, Lauren Sancken. Daniel Young ,Brian Palm, Ian Whyte

From Dale:

The road and Berg loop were excellent on Wednesday evening, thanks to the fantastic groomer and also trail work done by Kongsberger members. The tracks were deep and solid on the groomed areas and it made the downhills safe on Berg; however the PK loop and upper trail by the cabin were not groomed and icy. Ian Whyte did the Viking loop and he said it was also very good. There were lots of Bush kids with headlamps screaming down the road and also Ellensburg kids receiving instruction from Jeff Hashimoto. 
I warmed up with a lap around Berg, and then did my time trial of two Berg loops in 16:55. I continued to skate on the road for about an hour and the temperature was nice and crisp. There was a sign up sheet at the cabin with the names of the skiers and I saw Jeff Clark and Joy Cordell just as I was leaving. 
It was another fun Wednesday night at Cabin Creek!

From Carol:

This was my first time to attend.  I arrived at 5:00 to get a loop in before it got completely dark.  There seemed to be a lot of people out and about, so I tried to inquire more about the totally dark setup, and got very little information from the other skiers.  There were two ski teams (Seattle and Ellensburg) out there, and a bunch of kids in an after-school thing with parents hanging around.  I asked one kid about trail conditions and he very promptly listed the five thin places with dirt visible.  He described their locations accurately for me so I anticipated them correctly.  Didn’t get his name, but wow!  Got good trail info.   
I did the Viking loop once in the twilight.  The snow was fast and lovely to ski on, and of course perfectly groomed.  I saw some tracks that looked like elk tracks to me, until I realized it was just dents from a big basket on someone’s ski pole. Ha ha.  At the top of the second hill, the one with two summits and a little swoosh between them, I saw tracks off to the left that looked like big dog tracks.  They were fresher than the grooming marks, and I could count the toes.  Four toes, so perhaps a coyote?  I didn’t see the advertized puddle.  Lots of kids on the Berg loop.  The thinnest snow on the whole loop was on the Berg loop on the way out.  That area seems to be just enough thinner in snow to be a problem even for Nick the miracle groomer.  There was room to ski around.    
My new Petzl headlamp automatically changes brightness when I look up to scan the trail ahead, like brights on the car headlights.  It was good.  Hopefully I didn’t blind anyone. Back at the road I had some warm water and ate some of my sandwich.  Then I did the Viking loop again.  This time, I felt like I was all alone out there.  No other headlamps, no one to greet.  At the top of the big hill in the middle, the one just before Ozbaldy (Ozbaldy is still not able to be groomed), there was a ski team preparing to do it over and over again.  While I caught my breath, I inquired, and they were from Seattle, Bellevue, and one kid from Auburn.  They had come backwards along from the Berg loop, skipping the lonely parts with animal tracks.  After I left them, I didn’t meet anyone until I got to the road, so I decided that they hadn’t inconvenienced anyone with their backwards approach.   
At the road, there were a few other people around, mostly grownups, so the after-school kids must have been done with their workouts.  I decided the Viking loop was too lonely for me, so I did the road.  People don’t seem to say much when it is dark out.  Is it too socially awkward?  But for safety, I think it is really important to know who I’m skiing with, so I started greeting everyone with a friendly “hi!”  It’s good for them.  Half still didn’t respond.  Maybe they were in the zone.  
Along the road, I was having trouble telling which sections were uphill and which downhill, so I figured I must be bonking for fuel and headed up to the cabin to have more sandwich.  I met Joy, who was really nice and told me where the latrines were and about cleaning up crumbs to discourage mice.  Very sensible.  She went off to ski.  In the cabin I found the paper to sign in, and also what my time trial was to have been.  Oops!  Rookie mistake not checking there first.  Two Berg loops without PK.  Well, I wasn’t going to ski anymore, so I wrote my name and what I had skied instead of a time.  The organizer can go ahead and ignore me for the tallies.   
There are signs in the cabin that list a 10 k route and other known distance routes, very handy.  I’ll have to check them out again next time.  After a few minutes, Lauren and Daniel came in.  They were checking in prior to skiing, and this was their first time to do the totally dark ski, so I was able to give them a trail report.  We had a nice chat.  Then a man came in who stared at us, evidently decided he didn’t know us, and brushed past with his big bundle without speaking.  We decided it was likely he didn’t want conversation, and headed out.  I was home before 8:00 with 16 k of work-out accomplished in about 2 hours ski time.

Come on, everyone, be friendly out there!  Life is short, and we're just doing this for fun.