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Saturday, December 31, 2016

Not Chicken Scratch/ Happy New Year!!


Snow is falling in earnest as I write this entry.  Today at about 11am there was a good 5+ inches at the top of the ski area and still snowing hard.  The forecast is calling for plenty more.  This is, of course, very good news and not a moment too soon.

We are attempting to muster manpower right now to try to keep up with the freshies.  I will update the blog when I know more, but currently the plan is to try to pack down the new snow first thing tomorrow (Sunday) morning.

Friday, December 30, 2016

Cocktail attire for chickens

Tail feathers nicely combed out.  No bow tie, though.

Peter B and Peter R got after it today, grooming the Bauer Loops, as well as Rush Creek Loop and the Chicken Creek Road up to the turnaround.  So new terrain was added just in time for the weekend. Yes!

Make no mistake, the snow is getting thin down low in all the usual trouble spots.  But we broke up the crust on top and laid down some nice corduroy in time for the weekend.  Things ought to firm up overnight and the (Saturday) morning skiing should be terrific.

If this storm predicted for the weekend and beyond comes through with snow, then we'll be in pretty good shape moving forward.  Stay tuned to the blog, and please remember to check it regularly, as the email take about 24 hours to go out.  With any luck we'll be able to get the Hamlin Loop open soon and start laying down some classic tracks.

Don't forget the donation box at the trailhead.  We've already spent about one thousand dollars this season and the "take" so far doesn't even come close to that; less than $200.00 so far.

The 2 Peters put in about 7 hours total today.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Winter Wonderland... At last

Finally, the rain and the wind stopped long enough for us to receive the most welcome of Christmas Presents: light fluffy snow.  Oh Yeah!
See what I mean?

Philip A and Peter B got after it and groomed the Bauer Loops as well as the Rush Loop.  By tomorrow (Tuesday) it ought to be very good skating on all those trails and the kicking and gliding ought to be quite tasty as well.  Warm temps predicted through the week may wreak havoc after a couple days, but for now we may as well enjoy it.  Right now there is not enough snow to set classic track on the lower loops.  If we can muster sufficient manpower we will set track on Rush, but with the holiday it has been difficult to rally groomers.  I will keep you posted as things progress.

It's hard to explain how disheartening it is to spend several hours working to make the track nice and then watch as people walk right down the middle of it, essentially trashing it for skaters.  So please people, find somewhere else to walk.  It's a big forest.  Snow shoe hikers are politely asked to stay off the track as well, or at least go single file on the extreme margin of the groomed track.  Also a reminder that dogs are not allowed past the gate at the top of the Bauer Loops.

Volunteer hours for today total 10.5 for grooming, schlepping gasoline, and posting signs asking people to read the signs already there.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Sorry Prince...

But this is what it sounds like when Chickens cry:
sssssshhhhhhhhhh etc, etc, etc

Peter R. and Peter B. groomed at the area today.  That is the good news.  The snow was very thin and slushy.  Water skis would be almost as appropriate as snow skis.  But; having said that, here comes the nuance.

The Bauer Loops got the full treatment and are almost good.  Spotty in places, with some rocks and whatever you might expect for very thin, very wet snow.  The Rush Loop has about a foot of soggy mashed potatoes at the top, and we did get a quick groom done on that loop.  Keep your expectations very low and you won't be too disappointed.

Now that grooming has commenced, please refrain from walking on the track.  Feel free to shame anyone you see doing so (in a loving and compassionate way, of course).  Snow-shoers please stay to the extreme margins of the track, or better yet, stay off the track completely and walk to the side of the track.  Your snowshoes are on your feet to keep you from sinking in.  Don't deprive them of their joy.

We need snow, and we need cold temperatures.  It's that simple.  Volunteer hours today total 8.75.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

On the other hand...

It looks like more snow may be headed our way after all.  We will do our best to stay on top of a system headed our way which could bring moisture this weekend.  It is a wrm system and could be very wet.  As in "rainy" wet.  As disturbing as that sounds to me, we'll keep our fingers crossed and see if we can't get some snow on the ground.

Also, I failed in the first blog entry to continue a practice begun last year of communicating and documenting the volunteer hours spent in benefit of Chicken Creek Nordic.

So far this season John G, Phil A, Peter R, Peter B and Joan B have accumulated a total of 17.75 hours volunteer labor moving machines, trailers, equipment and purchasing supplies (gasoline, oil, tarps, bungees, hearing protection, etc) and doing the book work of paying bills and maintaining our not-for-profit status with the state, etc.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

The big Chicken laid an egg blog

So sad to report that this last storm did not deliver enough snow to make grooming a possibility.  The lower loops only received 4 or 5 inches and the upper loops barely got more than that. There is adequate coverage for diagonal stride skiing for now, and actually conditions up there today were almost good.  Things are still rutty, choppy and rocky in places so please use extreme caution while skiing up there.

We are all set to go as far as having the machines tuned up and running.  We just need more snow.  As of this moment there is no precipitation in the 10-day forecast, and day-time high temperatures will be exceeding the freezing point.  So grooming at this point makes no sense and would probably only speed up the loss of the precious white stuff.  If the opinion around that changes, the blog will let you know. Stay tuned. Please tell your friends about the blog.