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Wind Rain Snow


Jan. 14th, 2021

Well, another busy week with a noteworthy weather event. I found myself retreating to our downstairs to attempt sleep with a multitude of little orange, red and blue lights all over and too many backup battery beeps. After the roar and cracking subsided, back to bed I went. Up in the mountains, trees heavy with snow blow over. Lots of them. Some of us remember the heavy snow toppling trees about 3 or 4 years ago? Well, it was not nearly that bad, but there are trees down. I heard a reference to needing the “big saws”. Trees down mean power outages. I read that Alpental had a 121 mph wind gust!


I saw many Facebook posts about “is it groomed? – no report!”. Well, power was out so that means some communications are unavailable. The grooming schedule for all areas by all contractors is mostly adhered to 98% of the time, if it’s not, most often it can be traced to equipment issues, in which case, they are often too busy to report. The overall general schedule is found here. One of my sources was up today and witnessed power company over the snow cats traveling out in Crystal Springs area. This time they did not plow or create giant ruts on the P2C (The Palouse to Cascades State Park Trail) – as of this afternoon anyway. The P2C has occasions at least once a winter it seems where utility snow cats go out for repairs, so it is what it is. I was stuck returning once having to deal with challenging ruts. It happens. We all like our power right?


On the subject of grooming - schedules. Yes, there is a change for this season! Many of you noticed that the P2C between Crystal and Hyak is not groomed on Tuesday – Thursday. In this pandemic year, it would be nice if it was. Ok, why not? Well, the weekend groomer from last season did not return, much to their disappointment and State Parks was unable to hire a replacement. What makes it harder to hire is they need a CDL that permits transport of the haul trailer/truck. We are really hoping the future groomer shed currently in construction at Hyak will be finished by next fall. That will shave nearly 3 hours off their already long day and no need for that special license add on. The updated schedule is found as a button on the home page – snowrec.org. I am not providing a direct link to it since you all are in training to become self-sufficient. The same schedule applies to the sled hill.


Continuing the grooming subject, if you like corduroy on Wednesdays, try Erling Stordahl. It really is a fun place to ski with steeps, rolling, and family friendly terrain. I was told it was excellent skating in there today. And for skating lengthy tours, try the sled dog trails on Tuesdays. Take a map as those power lines can be confusing at first. Found here – then click on the map. It can be uploaded into Avenza Maps. Dog teams are out on the trails midweek. Fun system.


I almost forgot - the Skijor clinic tentatively scheduled for Saturday Jan. 30th is cancelled due to crowds. We are looking at Tuesday Feb. 2nd. Email winter.recreation@gmail if you are interested.


See you up there!




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