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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

More Progress Made

Everything you always wanted to know about Chickens, but were afraid to ask...

The Bauer Loops are groomed for classic and skating and are in good shape.  They do need a bit more packing to qualify as "firm", but they are getting there.

Rush connector also pretty darn good.  But that's where it ends. 

Rush Creek, the road to the top of Hamlin loop, and Hamlin Loop have all been track packed with snow machines, but they have only seen one pass with the roller.  Skating will be a challenge in the upper reaches, for sure.

The Road to the very top has only been track packed.

I will keep you posted on the grooming as it happens.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Mouth to beak resuscitation

Some new life was breathed into a suffering chicken over the past couple days with that tremendous rain/snow/sleet/slush fall.  We had two groomers out trying to tame the depths yesterday and they're back out there again today trying to free one snow machine from the soggy snow and to get more rolling and maybe even some grooming done.  So conditions will be steadily improving over the next day or so.  It takes some time to get that much snow tamed down.

Some miscreant(s) "liberated" the donation box at the trailhead. Until we can figure out how to replace the donation box, please help yourself to an envelope in the sign-in box, and drop your donation in the mail.  We need the donations now more than ever as we are trying to buy another snowmobile to replace one of ours which you may have seen dead up on Rush Creek Trail earlier in the season.  So please give what you can.

My apologies for the lapse in blog entries.  My primary goal is to provide updated grooming reports and there hasn't been much to groom for some time now.  I'll be reporting in again soon as I learn what is happening up there.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

So superbly saucey; simply creamy and dreamy...

Usually only the dishonest and/or misinformed ski area blogger has to resort to such blatant platitudes as those expressed in this entry's title.  But this chick-log hack has the facts in hand:  The chicken is choice!

Thank you groomers Andy (aka Android) and Mark (aka Ottski) for the darn-near perfect conditions found at the area today (Wednesday).  Really and truly exceptional.  Seriously.

Everything got groomed by that dynamic duo yesterday, and I can say that everything got groomed to a state of cosmic bliss (the technical term).  There is perfect classic track all over the joint; basically everywhere.  You'll have to look hard to find the tiny stretch that didn't receive the classic pan's caress.

The National Weather Service is predicting a mild warming trend later in the week, but it looks like we ought to be able to keep most of the snow.

Enjoy the hero snow while it's here - oh!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Sunday Evening ReCap

Just read my email and learned that Cap was out there grooming both Bauer loops today as well as setting classic track on both Bauer loops.  So the skiing down low ought to be quite nice.  Thank you Cap.

A friendly reminder to snowshoers, PLEASE keep off the classic track with your snowshoes as the classic skiers who like to use the track prefer it in an untrammeled state, which seems reasonable enough.  Ideally, those on foot (those feet being contained in snowshoes) would stay to the far outside edge of the track.  Your consideration is greatly appreciated.

The rest of the area is due for a touch-up early this week.  I'll keep you posted...

Friday, January 11, 2013

Wednesday Grooming Report 1:00 pm and 5:30 pm

EARLY REPORT:  Tom R. reported about an hour-and-a-half ago that he was headed up to do some grooming, starting with the upper loops.  I will update this entry once I have more details for you all...

OK, here's the promised update.  It sounds as if Tom got everything groomed, despite some technical glitches (rhymes with ditches, appropriately enough).  He also says he put in some classic track, but I'm not sure exactly where as of this writing.

After tonight's chilly temps, things should be pretty firm and sweet by tomorrow.  I intend to check it out personally.  I hope you do too.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Chicken Retrieval Mission

Today after the observation of some snowmobile operator gone bananas on Monday evening and tearing up the wonderful track set by Andy H., Peter B. honed in his chicken scratching skills to rectify what was left of the upper road.  So as of right now this minute the trail is in excellent condition.  The Forest Service has been notified of this and hopefully, our latest "Chicken Creek Bandit" is not planning a return trip to our little neck of the woods.  See you on the track, conditions have been pretty fast out there and holding up quite well.

The crying of the chickens

All that good news apparently needed some counterbalance, and that's what we got today.  Sometime last night a mean-spirited person climbed on his or her snow machine and tore up a fair segment of the groomed track.

As of now, the east leg of lower Little Bauer and the road from the picnic table on up have received moderate to heavy damage from the perpetrator.  The Forest Service is aware and they are investigating.  The damage ought to be relatively easy to undo and with any luck will be undone soon.

Anyone having any knowledge of what happened is encouraged to call Chris at the Forest Service 970-882-6831.

The good news keeps on coming...

I saw this guy yesterday evening, skating out from Hamlin to the road with a delirious grin on his face - like the cat that ate the canary chicken.  And with good reason.  The skiing is simply phenomenal all over the area.  I got a late start, so I didn't get the opportunity to ski everything, but that was the only disappointing thing about the outing.

Conditions report: There are a few spots of crusty snow developing after a couple warm days, but they are few and far between.  And nothing really scary yet.  Overall I'd have to rate conditions as Very Good to Superb.

Grooming Update:  Andy got up there yesterday with the newly resuscitated bearcat and freshened up some things. He groomed the road to the top - yeah!  Additionally he set classic track to the top and put in classic on Hamlin.  There may be a classic track on Rush as well, but I wouldn't swear to it since I didn't get there yesterday. (I saw classic track going up Rush from the bottom, but not sure if it goes to the top).

Bottom line:  whether you skate or kick and glide or shuffle or snowshoe or whatever (!) the ski area is in great shape.  Thank you groomers.  Thank you, thank you.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Monday Good News x2

I've got good news, and I've got more good news.
Brad groomed again yesterday; Monday.  Yes!
The other good news is that Hank, Brad and a third party (unknown to your blooger) rescued the yellow machine yesterday, so it no longer presents a potential hazard on Rush Creek trail.
Oh yeah, and the blue machine is running again - thanks to Hank!  Wow, the chicken's cup runneth over!  (The exclamation point key is getting a real workout today!!! )

I hope to get up there just about now and check into conditions for myself, and should be able to provide more details later.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Of Chickens and Snow Bikes

Greetings winter lovers:
This entry is an attempt to correct an earlier entry regarding the use of Snow Bikes at the Chicken Creek Cross Country Ski Area on the groomed trails.
The earlier entry stated the bikes were not allowed.  Since then I have received a clarification from the Forest Service, and I will mostly just cut and paste here so I don't change the meaning.  This is from an email received today from Chris Bouton of the Dolores Ranger District.  Here goes...

"Snow bike use is not prohibited at the Chicken Creek Ski area.   We would like to encourage bike users to utilize other groomed routes in the area such as the West Mancos road or the Echo Basin road and are open to discussing the issue more.

"If anyone would like to talk about the bike issue and how best to approach it, please feel free to give me a ring.  One idea that I have heard tossed around from a few people is encouraging bikers to stay on the dog loops. Thanks again for all of your help and feel free to call me if anyone would like to discuss this more."

Chris can be reached at 970-882-6831.

So that is the official position.  I would like to add a few unofficial thoughts into the mix as well:
This is a new issue for us and we're trying to get our minds around it.  Common sense probably ought to enter into the equation as some point.  If the bikes are doing disproportionate damage to the track there will most likely be a backlash.  When the trails are super firm, as they are today, there is really not much of an issue.  When things warm up and the snow gets slushy, it will be a different story.  Trail courtesy (safety) and respect for the trail conditions may go a long way in making this work out for snow bikes in the long run.  We have very limited manpower (and machine power at present) with which to groom the trails.  Snow biking looks fun, and I bet it is.  So I'm asking all parties to exercise courtesy and common sense when exercising their bodies out there on the trails.

Feel free to share your thoughts with comments here on the blog as we enter uncharted territory.  See you on the trail...

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Finch Preens Poultry

Brad was out yesterday - New Years Day - grooming down the feathers at the Chicken.  We skied it today and conditions were fabulous.  Cold, cold, fabulous.
No new terrain open since we're still teetering at one functional grooming machine.  The one machine is DOA, and another is going to get looked at by an engine Dr. sometime over the weekend.  The break in snowfall comes at a fortuitous time, and the chilly weather is keeping the snow intact.  Yes!

Brad groomed everything, Bauers, Rush, Hamlin and the road.  There is fresh classic track as well.  Very cool days and nights in the forecast so with any luck we'll keep this little snow we have on the ground for the foreseeable future.

On a scale of 1-10 I'd have to rate it about 9.  Go get you some...