Updated: Feb 1
January 27, 2022
After going 24 x 7 for 7 weeks, and a couple weeks of catch-up, it is a bit of a letdown – frozen solid tree debris covering snow which resembles concrete. Well, it was certainly a memorable December and 1st half of January. And oh so many gorgeous days.
As for news, there is not a whole lot, but I can tell you that staff is still catching up.
The annual winter meeting of the Winter Recreation Advisory Committee (WRAC) is this Saturday. They were originally going to have it somewhere in person in the I-90 corridor and some of us had ideas of tours, show and tell etc. Thanks to Omicron, that’s not happening. Zoom it is.
The meeting agenda is posted here:
The typical format for these winter meetings it to have fun on Friday with tours and skiing or snowshoeing, then meeting on Saturday where the budget is reviewed, program issues discussed, and a variety of subjects are brought before the board.
On to a grooming note – our reports from Lake Easton State Park crew went silent as numerous rangers were out sick and some are on family leave, along with a new boss on board. So many of you have questions about when this trail and that trail is groomed etc etc. Well, with our interconnecting trails (with nicknames) and 3 different contractors it does get confusing. Even for those of us who pretty much have it down. Routes can change due to conditions, equipment issues, budget and other oddities that pop up.
I will try to get some new way of explaining better since not all of you know all the lingo and names and ski areas. It will probably involve a new map.
Many of you have tested out the grooming map by State Parks. I've have had a bit of a hard time to see where it is useful for skiers, and it is tweaked on occasion, but see for yourself:
The main purpose for this map is contract compliance / auditing for both programs (motorized and non). For a program with winter recreation in many very remote areas, it was hard to track all contracts. This program was run on the honor system and a network of clubs with volunteer "grooming coordinators". When GPS technology advanced to the point where they could implement this program, it solved many questions about potential or perceived non performance questions. Now they are working on making it user friendly, and as requested by motorized users, who wanted a lag built in so the snow had time to set up after the groomer passed. What is done now, is at about 5 AM they download the data from the previous 24 hours and the map is refreshed. This process takes about 2 hours. While for us, it is not totally helpful, but this map is still very useful for the program and a lot of work went into getting this application to this point.
If you haven’t read the Gunnar Hagen race report from Kongsberger's, check it out here:
Their next race is the Stampede on Feb 6th.
Last weekend was Ski For Light’s first ski of the season and they had an excellent turnout. Guide and skier pictured above.
See you out there!