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Sunday, February 28, 2010

Sunday Good News

The Little Bauer loops were groomed in their entirety this morning and are now in very good shape for skate and classic skiing. There are a few spots too hard for the groomer to penetrate, but it's mostly very nice.

Steps were also carved in the mound of ice by which skiers gain access to the trail, so climbing in is no longer a maneuver requiring the balance of a balarina and the dexterity of a gymnast.

Upper loops were very nice yesterday, and will probably be kind of scary fast today, unless we get a bit of fresh snow on top or things warm up enough to soften the snow. So be careful up there.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Weekend Olympics @ Chicken Creek

Hey all you Nordic Notables, don't forget to take a few victory laps at Chicken Creek this weekend. The Little Bauer loop got groomed to perfection by our number one nitpicker groomer, Andy. Truly, it doesn't get any better.

All the upper terrain got a quick brush-up and should be very nice skiing. I actually skied most of the upper terrain today before it got groomed and it was all decent, but with the fresh courderoy it ought to be mighty fine, though perhaps a tad on the fast side.

Excutive Summary: It's all really good. Go ski!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Updated Grooming Report

Alright skiers, Barry got after it this afternoon and packed/groomed both the Dolph Kuss and Hamlin Loops. So the skiing tomorrow ought to be simply superb all over the area. When we can muster the manpower, we'll get classic track set on the upper stuff - right now only the Bauer Loops have classic track.

Groomage and zoomage

As of early afternoon today, more grooming has taken place. Now in addition to Little Bauer Loop, the Rush Connector, Rush Creek Loop, and the road to the top are groomed and open, though no classic track has been set as of yet.

We have another groomer going up now, so there will be another report later.

PS. The trail map posted yesterday showed Turkey Creek and the road to the Gate at the very top as closed. They are not technically "Closed" (as in 'don't go there'). They are simply not groomed.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Trail Map redux

Please note the uppermost loop is - and has been for weeks - closed. Probably for the duration of the ski season.

Grooming Report: Darth Vader Has Returned

Good news for all you Chicken Creek skiers. We have retreived the black machine from up by Hamlin Reservoir. That thing has always reminded me a bit of Darth Vader (though I'm guessing Mr. Vader doesn't smell quite as bad).

Anyway, before the condition report, some thanks are due. Here they are. Thanks Hank for going up early and making an exit ramp for the machine (and we also very much appreciate that you did not keel over in a snowbank last night as you were hiking out 4 miles). Thank you to Bob and Nancy for breaking trail most of the way up for us; that was major. John went up and did heavy excavation on the snow machine which was instrumental in its extrication. Joan and Peter did a great job of standing around looking puzzled. And Barry was excellent moral support, not to mention the fabulous job of carring out the ski poles. Truly it was a group effort.

And now, the moment you've been waiting for:
More thanks go to Lance for GROOMING and setting classic track on the Little Bauer Trail. And since it stayed pretty cold today the snow is still in very nice condition. Mid-winter conditions, no crowds, never any waiting for a chair lift. What are you waiting for?

Sunday, February 21, 2010


Not so fast there, blogger. Seems we have a glitch, skiers. One of our groomers got sucked into some deep snow up near the top of the course today and had to hike several miles out. He's fine. The snow machine is still up there and will require a concerted effort to recover. So sorry, kids. No grooming 'til then.

Saty posted for further updates.

Grooming Report

The Olympic Marathon Ski-Doo groom is underway at the ski area today. Beginning at around 7:30 AM today, the grooming has been nearly non-stop in an effort to keep up with this snow storm. The baton was passed twice, and the grooming will resume early in the morning.

We'll keep you updated and give a more detailed report when the dust settles. Meanwhile, go enjoy the soft, fluffy snow!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Report for 2/19

Barry rolled all the trails this A. M.. The classic is still very usable throughout and with the few inches of new should have some nice bite to it. We are in a wait and see with this storm and will try to maxamize our efforts. A request to the folks who like to walk and snowshoe at CC:Please consider doing so on the far side of the skate lane (opposite side of the classic track). This seems to be the best compromise for the most users, and would be appreciated. As you know, a tremendous amount of time is spent by our volunteer groomers preparing the trails for the variety of modes of transportation. This also, would help to maximize our efforts.
Enjoy the trails. It looks like we are going to keep grooming as long as the moisture stays white.
An update on our #1 grooming snowmobile is: 3500-4000 for all the repairs, so we have to off-set that cost somehow.
CC nordic
p.o. box 111
Mancos, 81328

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Condition report, or "My, what a handsome chicken you have there"

Thanks to groomers Lance and John, the conditions at the area are quite nice as of this afternoon.

Newly reconditioned are:
  • Lower Little Bauer
  • Rush Connector
  • Dolph Kuss Loop
  • Hamlin Loop
  • the road from the picnic table to the top of Hamlin Loop

Things got soft enough today for the groomer's teeth to reall bite in to the snow, ergo lovely flow.

So, go ski. Don't blow it by lying low.

Bonus round: More of the white stuff on the way to freshen things up, with tomorrow and Friday shaping up as the likely days for precipitation. The skier in me is excited, my inner shoveler is underwhelemed at the prospect. But hey, it's winter.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Grooming Report for Tuesday

John put in some hours today on the sled (in addition to all the volunteer hours he puts in as President of the Chicken Creek Nordic Association), so thank you John.

Here's what he did:

  • He dragged the groomer over the Bauer Loops
  • The Rush Connector and Spur
  • The road from the picnic table to the top of Hamlin Loop
  • Hamlin Loop
  • Dolph Kuss Loop

He did not groom Rush Creek, but that was groomed the day before.

We're experimenting with ways to derive maximum benefit from the gear we have available, but the big guns are out of commission for the time being. We're looking at a multiple-thousand dollar fix on the work-horse sled. Ouch! Your generous donations make this possible. We know this is a difficult time for many, and we appreciate the contributions of you skiers.

If it is within your means, we would greatly appreciate additional contributions, as our yellow machine had no health insurance:

Please send contributions to:

Friends of Chicken Creek Nordic

PO Box 111

Mancos, CO 81328

Monday, February 15, 2010

Have you ever groomed a chicken?

Good day, skiers! Looks like a lot of you got out this weekend and danced on the trails, and that's superb. Conditions today were getting pretty crusty, and so the Bauer Loops, as well as the Rush Connector, Rush Creek trail, and the lower part of the road - from the picnic table to the Rush Spur - all got a combing.

The results are not uniformly excellent. But, in most places the groomer was able to scratch the snow up at least a little bit. We're using older equipment which simply doesn't have the ability to work up the snow like our ginzu does. The softer snow took the groomer in its fluffy embrace and transformed into sweet corduroy. The really hard stuff had it skittering along like a child's toy.

Please exercise extra caution on the trails as the snow more closely resembles ice in certain southerly exposed places.

Looks like a possibility of more precipitation late in the week, possibly in the form of rain. Chester the Chicken says - better ski while the skiing's good!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Weekend Update

It's "ballroom dancing" on our trials, w/ our classic and skate lanes re-groomed yesterday and today. The snowgods have delivered, and We've received. All of our fantastic loops are open (w/ the exception of upper Turkey Creek road, (past Rush Loop), and will most likely get some attention over Sat. and Sun. If you like beautiful loops through the pines, sustained sections for getting your skate/classic groove-on and no-crowds, that sort of thing, come ski!

Light a candle for our grooming machine "Old Yeller", now in the shop for transmission repairs.
Donations always appreciated. The season is still young. Happy Trails!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Grooming Report; More, more, more!

More snow, more grooming, more skiing.

I went up this morning to find 2-4" inches of fresh, light snow on the trails. Two at the bottom and about 4" up high. Nice fat fluffy flakes of fun and frolic.

John groomed the Bauer loops today, and there is more grooming scheduled for Thursday and Friday.

I suggest all of you who still have jobs quit them and devote the rest of the winter to skiing at Chicken Creek. This is only a suggestion, but I think it's reasonable. Hey, skiing is more than a job - it's a way of life!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Grooming Report - Getting Better

The snow remains in great condition today, with enough clouds to keep them from melting into a solid block of ice. Lets hope the clouds stick around and the days don't get too warm, and - oh yeah - don't pray real hard for snow, since we are experiencing an equipment deficit (see earlier blogs). Is that asking too much?

Tuesday morning the Bauer loops were re-rolled, widened and had classic track installed (at least on the perimeter).

Rush connector to the road, and the road to the picnic table got the same treatment.

The road up the hill from Rush connector got widened and repacked.

Dolph Kuss and Hamlin are still only half rolled.

Rush Creek loop has not been rolled yet.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Condition and Grooming report - Lots of New Snow!

Thanks to groomers John, Allen, and Peter we have lots of groomed terrain up at the ski area. The Bauer loops are in great shape, as is the Rush Connector, the road (from the picnic table to the top of Hamlin) which accesses the loops, and even Dolph Kuss and Hamlin loops are groomed.

The caveat is that the trails are only groomed on one side. As soon as possible we will groom the right hand side and set classic track. Meanwhile, the classic skiing is phenomenal, and the skating on these trails ought to be very good.

Rush Creek loop has been track packed but not yet groomed. The road from the top of Hamlin up to the gate has not been touched yet.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Good News/ Bad News

First the good: Nice fresh soft snow up at the Creek; go take a peek. And more on the way. John and Alan were up grooming this morning and into the afternoon. Even better, due to the high holy holiday (Super Bowl) there is just about nobody up there.

The snow is soft, so classic is probably best until things set up a bit more.

Now the bad news. The yellow snow machine, our reliable work horse, has taken a dive and may be out of commission for some time. We plan to trailer it for repairs on Tuesday. It sounds like the transmission is fried. Not good. Almost as if the machine read the previous blog predicting imminent immobility.

We'll keep you posted as to it's recovery, and we'll do our best to keep the snow packed down with the remaining machine. Our only options are packing and rolling until the big yellow machine is revived. So the classic track will become history, at least for now. Thanks for all your support this season. And if anyone has a super-duty utility type snow machine we could utilize in the meantime, please respond with a "comment" to this blog entry.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Grooming plans/Donations

Chicken Creek Lovers: It looks like another series of storms. The conditions should be great for saturday, and we plan to groom some new snow sunday morning. We are also asking that you consider making another contribution to the Chicken Creek cause. We are entirely a volunteer organization and rely on donations from CC users. We presently groom with two snowmobiles. The black machine is a 2000 model that is not designed for the torture we put it through. It also responds by belching fuel/oil smoke into the very considerate groomers lungs. We spent over 2K last year to keep it going through this year, but a new machine(approx. 10K) would be more efficient and appropriate for grooming. It would also be an investment in the future of CC. The yellow machine is an 05 and is surely due for an overhaul soon. There is no question that CC is a great value. A for profit Nordic area charges, 12-15$ for a day pass,125$ for an individual annual membership. We explore various avenues to fund CC (grants,etc.) however all of us who enjoy CC should be the people who support it. Donations can always be made in the green donation box at the trailhead or: Chicken Creek Nordic, box 111 Mancos, 81328 Thanks very much!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Snow Farmers Almanac 02/05/10

Greetings, fellow Chicken Creek Folks. Our "latest storm installment" delivered approx. 1-2" on to our trials, (Wed, eve. 02/03/10). All trails were "re-conditioned" (skate lane) w/ our "Ginzu" sled and track leveler, mixing the new snow in w/ the old. Skiing remains fabulous, fast in the a.m. on firm/frozen, or "packed-powder" to borrow a phrase from the ski areas.
Our Classic track remains intact, and we encourage folks of all levels to slide through the Ponderosa Forest. Pets welcome on our Dog loops!

Let's keep up the snow dancin"!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Grooming report, or "Kiss my Kuss, Dolph"

Late on Monday the majority of the trails got groomed, levelled and packed. So the trails are in Very Good condition as of this writing. Things got pretty crusty over the weekend and were a bit scary this morning - slip sliding away.

  • So, the Bauer loops are now re-done and should be quite nice for a morning ski.
  • The road is refreshed from top to bottom.
  • Dolph Kuss loop got the treatment.
  • So did Hamlin.

The odd one out here is the Rush Creek loop and the Rush Connector. Until that is groomed, the nicest access to D-K and Hamlin would be the road, starting by the picnic table. Rush Connector and the Rush Creek loop are certainly open and skiable, just kind of hard to get an edge in.