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Sunday, December 30, 2012

Oops, I forgot to mention...

Our liaison with the US Forest Service mentioned he saw the tire tracks from 2 "snowbikes" yesterday.  He wanted me to pass along that these are not allowed on the groomed trails of Chicken Creek for safety purposes.
So sorry, no snow bikes.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

The few, the tired...

Saturday night update for you hungry weekend skiers:

John G. Spent a lot of time grooming this afternoon and got it all!  Everything that's been done so far, anyway, which is:
Bauer, upper and lower
Rush Connector
Rush Creek Loop
Hamlin Loop
The road linking them all, but only to the top of Rush Creek Loop

He also Set classic track on Bauer Loops, Rush Connector, and the road.  Thank you John!

John was using the only remaining working machine we have at the moment, with 2 machines out of action due to mechanical issues.  Looks like Ol' Yeller is done for the  season, perhaps eternity.  And the relatively new machine we got last year will not start (four stroke, fuel injected).  And when it was running, it would not go backwards.  Our board president, Hank, is pretty-much singlehandedly trying to get these issues in hand.  He is feeling out of his depth, and if anyone out there can help, please email me at jpeterbee@yahoo.com

Hopefully the high winds won't undo all John's work tonight.  See you at the base tomorrow!  Better get some before our last machine decides to quit...

Thursday, December 27, 2012

New Years Resolution? SKI, SKI, SKI

What a beautiful winter wonderland up at the Chicken Creek Cross Country Ski Area these days.  Today was filled with a whole lot of great volunteer helpers to help rectify the little Christmas burp that our jolly old St. Nick encountered on Christmas morn.  John Gilbert groomed out the Upper and Lower Bauer loops, Rush Connector, and up the Rush Spur.  Then the fine engineering by John Gilbert and Hank Taylor, along with Tom Rice, Allan Farnsworth and passerby skier David Blaine (Absolute Bakery), were able to get the very stuck and dead Ginzu Groomer fired up and dug out and back in service.  Allan F. ran the Ginzu groomer over the Upper and Lower Bauer Loops then handed off the snow machine to Tom Rice who rolled Rush Connector, Rush Loop, the road (twice), and Hamlin.
However, we regret to say that the yellow machine (Old Yeller) is still at a standstill on the top of the Rush Loop.  It may be a sad day for Old Yeller and for the humbled volunteers of Chicken Creek.  The prognosis so far does not look good.  But needless to say the skiing is fabulous so get out there and ring in the new year with some great resolutions like . . . "I'm going to ski like crazy this year" . . . or . . . "This time I'm really going to put money in the Chicken Creek donation box" . . . or . . ."I'm going to save money by just paying for the suggested membership listed on the envelopes in the SIGN IN box" . . .or even . . ."I'm going to sign in every time I ski, because this is my contribution to help these crazy volunteers possibly get some much need grant money."
Oh yeah, see you up there.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas Day Extravaganza in the Chicken
Fine Folk of the Skiing Kind . . . hear ye, hear ye.  The Lower and Upper Bauer Loops got a fine grooming on Christmas Day by non other than our Good Ole Jolly St. Nick (Hank).  Yes, your wondering eyes DID read correctly.  However, when St Nick was planning his get away up Rush Loop some of the reindeer decided to go on strike.  "NOT ENOUGH CHICKEN!" seemed to be the chatter among the retaliating fleet.  So they left the sled right in the middle of the Rush Road and off they went to . . . greener pastures?  Hmmm.  So watch out for the sled in the middle of Rush as Santa and his helpers are planning just what strategy it takes to get that sled full of presents and toys back to it's proper home.  Keep checking for more updates on this very pertinent event for the Chicken.

Monday, December 24, 2012

T'was the flight before Christmas...

Good news classic skiers:

Cap got up there yesterday and set fresh classic track all over the joint.  That combined with nice cloud cover today should make for some nice skiing.  Burn off a few extra calories today, eat a few extra tomorrow.  Ah, balance.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Fries with that?

Little did I know when I titled the last blog "Turkey McNuggets" I would witness the aftermath of a feathered feast soon after, making my title eerily prescient.  Anyone who skied up by the picnic table overlook on Hamlin Loop today probably noticed the profusion of turkey feathers scattered along the trail, and the late Thanksgiving meal 25 feet off the trail.  A good time was had by one.

Ski Report:
Little Bauer is getting lots of traffic and feeling the heat a bit.  Still pretty good but needs a touch up soon, both with snow and grooming.
(We ask people to please respect the work of the groomers and not walk on the groomed trail without skis or snowshoes as it puts big holes in the snow.)
Rush was mostly righteous with a few choppy spots here and there.  Overall very good.
Hamlin still quite nice, probably the best conditions up there right now.
The road is mostly OK, but the top section is a bit uneven and/or choppy in spots; rough for skating.

70-80% chance of snow Sunday night through Monday night.  We need it.  Keep your wings crossed.


Friday, December 21, 2012

Turkey McNuggets

Saw a few wild turkeys up on the Hamlin Loop yesterday; looking for some scratch and trying to stay warm. No chickens, though...

Condition Report:
The snow is super lovely all over the joint up there.  Fresh and cold, cold, cold.  For skating yesterday I wanted the coldest wax available (too bad I didn't have it on!)

What's Groomed:
Both Upper and Lower Little Bauer got some attention yesterday and are in superb shape.  Hamlin also got it yesterday and is a dream come true.  Even the road to the top and Rush are all newly dialed in.  This is amazing considering how quickly all the snow fell, and that we had a glitch with our major grooming machine already.  The Bearcat apparently really wanted to climb a pine but was not up to the task.  Inconvenient, but no one got hurt.

AS GOOD AS IT GETS; so go get some...

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

More snow, more grooming

I finally got away from the computer screen yesterday to enjoy the "hero" snow up at Chicken Creek.  What a delight!  Soft and firm all at once.

Grooming report:
Groomers Tom and Andy reported in last night that they Re-rolled the Bauer loops, as well as track-packed the road up to the top.  They also got some track packing done on the Hamlin loop, so with any luck we can open Hamlin to skating in the next couple days.  All the internal gates are now open so grooming can take place everywhere.

With the heavy snow taking place as I write this, it is doubtful there will be any hope of skating until this afternoon at the earliest.  John has volunteered to go up and try to pack this dump out, and maybe even set some classic track on the Bauer loops.  We'll see how that pans out and I will try to keep the blog as up-to-the-minute as possible.

This storm may be over with as early as about 1pm today, and then temperatures are supposed to plummet.  Should make for some nice conditions!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Afternoon Update

Mark and Brad Fearlessly flew up and down the hill of the Chicken Creek area all morning, and the Bauer Loops as well as the Rush Creek Spur (The West Leg of Rush) are now well-groomed.  The FS Road up to Rush has been track packed but not yet groomed.

Looks like lots of people are checking out the blog, which is great.  Some pent-up demand, I think.  Let it out, people!

It snoweth, let's go-eth!

Apparently Winter is here, or at least the snowfall aspect of it.
There is grooming action happening today and more to come Tuesday.  I will endeavor to keep you all up to date as soon as reports come in.  Sounds like soft, loose snow; not so well suited to skating as classic stride skiing.
Rush was groomed yesterday afternoon, and reported to be in fair condition with the occasional rock sticking out - so caution is advised.
More later, after the groomers report in...

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Good News! And a request for blog readers.

Hank and Mark Groomed both sections of the Little Bauer loop today, so disregard the earlier blog entry.  Actual grooming has taken place! Yes!

More grooming scheduled for tomorrow and lots of snowflakes on the forecast.  Maybe our luck just changed.  I will keep you as updated as possible.

Here's the request part:  Please share with anyone you think may be interested the fact of this blog's existence.  Let's spread the word.  Post it on Facebook, link to it on your own blogs, shout it from the mountain tops, whatever.

Season's first snowfall!

Yes!
Snow is finally here, and a lot of you are wondering what we plan to do about it; grooming wise.
The information I have so far is that two groomers are up there attempting to track pack as much terrain as possible.

Track packing simply means they are out there zooming around on the snow machines having a blast.  Well, not exactly.  But it's true they are not hauling any grooming equipment like rollers or track setters.  Before any actual "grooming" can take place the snow must be packed down.  Otherwise the grooming equipment floats along behind the machines and creates multiple levels of snow and just generally makes a mess of things.

It is a possibility that tomorrow some actual grooming may take place.  I will endeavor to keep you all posted.  Once the grooming begins the poultry puns cannot be too far behind.  Brace yourselves.