Welcome back! Here we are, winter is just about official and snow is falling.
As many of you know, the season begins on Dec. 1st, providing there is snow and enough of it to groom.
There are a number of improvements this season, one of which is some new equipment. First up is a new Skandic Super Wide Track snowmobile towing a 60" ginzugroomer. Both are excellent pieces of equipment and should last a very long time. See photo. This snowmobile is for the Salmon La Sac campground grooming. Have you been out there? It is very nice pretty area and often has better snow than up on the pass.
We should see more consistent grooming going east on the John Wayne Pioneer Trail from the Stampede Pass road since Lake Easton State Park is taking over the grooming. That should see once a week grooming for the long section and twice a week from Stampede Pass road to the Whittiar Tunnel.
At Crystal Springs, There is expanded parking both for snowmobiles and for skiers. The non-motorized portion is out of the back lot and will be earmarked for dog teams only until noon, at which time it will be open to all. This is needed due to the regular lot being a tad too small to negotiate with trailers.
Over the summer, there was not a lot of trail work, but a volunteer REI group helped brush out South Cabin Creek Loop. Many thanks!
We are all anxious to get up to the snow. For you new folks out there - the scoop for early season Sno-Park action:
Contracts are in place, IT IS SNOWING and all the contractors are working hard on last minute adjustments to their equipment. So, until there is enough snow to get on the full schedule, just plan on what you get is what you get.
Groomers typically "track pack" the trails first, filling in low spots under trees, smoothing out drifts etc. Working on an excellent base that will hold up through the season.
Some trails can be groomed much earlier than others. Cabin Creek is one of those areas, but they are east of the summit, so typically get a bit less snow on the lower trails than say at Hyak. The groomer operator often starts grooming up higher on Amabilis in early season.
As for the John Wayne Pioneer Trail - they need enough snow at Crystal Springs in order to groom to Hyak. Same thing. Typically a bit less depth at CS vs Hyak.
Erling Stordahl has really rough trails so they need close to 3 feet to really get going.
One last tidbit - I added a "Donate" button to this site since the hosting and domain charges are starting to add up. I do not want to spend my time soliciting for advertising. Up until now, the Mountaineers supported the cost of the domain charges, but their budget is gone, so now it is up to me, the webmaster, and those of you out there that appreciate this site and would like to keep it up. The "Donate" button will be taken off once the costs (not time) are covered. Thank you so much for helping out. And many thanks to the Mountaineers for supporting the domain charges for this site for the last 3 years.