Looking back it is no wonder we are all tired. If you missed November and December, 2018, here is the link. And I plan to do 1 or 2 more. Thanks for a great season.
January 1st: rain and a high of 45º, closed.
January 2nd, we hosted a high school race. Almost every other Nordic center south of Craftsbury was closed. Ian groomed it up and the race was on. About 80 kids. Super fast conditions! First race on the Peregrine, we cut out the steepest downhills. Ian co-coaches the Burr and Burton high school Nordic team and this year/season they had been on their skis since Thanksgiving. And they truly had the home court advantage.
The weather trend continued: one day snow, a day to enjoy, then rain, then snow. Work, work, work. Throw in boughs. shovel, cover, do it again. Snow, rain, snow. And run that groomer.
On January 9th 6.8 inches of snow. Heavy sticky snow man snow. Catie and Graham built a snowman. And Ian groomed and shoveled on the Chickadee and most of it was open the 10th.
The 10th thru the 19th the skiing was fairly consistant: good skiing, rolling along, grooming with the Ranger/Ginzu, and the snow machine. Normal winter work.
Good skiing on the 19th, the Saturday of Martin Luther King weekend. Major snow storm in the forecast, up to 18 inches of snow Saturday night and Sunday. Late Saturday afternoon Ian was checking all the machines. Gas, all in working order, etc.
The Ranger, new last February had broken strut cables. Too late on Saturday to get the parts. Out of commission. Ian called his friend John, might need your machine as a back up. We still had the snow machine, it would work, it would just take longer.
January 20th, Sunday morning, 10 inches of snow and it switched to sleet. It wasn’t the forecast 18″, but, that was ok. 10 inches is 10 inches and now with sleet it was a great base for skiing, and still a lot of work to groom.
Ian started really early, 4am. By 5am he had the long trails packed and the snow had turned to sleet. And he was almost done with Turkey when the snow machine quit moving forward. The transmission was blown. He texted his friend John for help with a spare groomer. And John says, “Hell yeah, I’ll drive it over.” By 6:30 John and the groomer were here, I drove John home. Ian groomed as much as he could. Another friend, Jonathan came over and rode around with Ian for moral support. Nice to have good friends!
The beginning of a new weather trend? Snow then sleet. Snow is great and once packed down, we get really good skiing. But with sleet, it packs down faster and we get good skiing with less trips around. But, no, not done with rain yet.
January 21st and 22nd, high temperatures around 0º and windy. Good skiing, but cold.
Janurary 22nd we are the proud owners of a new snow machine (quieter, less exhaust fumes, more fuel efficient! And it is red.).
January 23rd, nice skiing early, then freezing rain in the afternoon. Trails iced over in a flash.
January 24th, closed, rain. 1.37 inches as of 7am.
January 25th, closed. The rain total as of 7am on the 25th was 2.28 inches. For a two day total of 3.65 inches of rain. Ian reports, “Lower trails aren’t too bad.” (Upper trails were pretty bad.)
This is Chuck and me fixing one of the major wash outs on the Chickadee. This is the spot at the bottom of the downhill, just before the 2nd road crossing. This spots has washed out before with big rains, we knew it would need work.
Janurary 26th, Ian checks the upper trails and the Chickadee and Loon have major melt outs.
On the 27th we organized a 2nd major shovel brigade. Our friends were visiting, and true to form Lena volunteered herself and her children to help any way possible. Mindy stopped at the hardware store and bought two more large scoop push shovels. And on Sunday morning at 8am, crews headed out to put the Chickadee back together. Chuck with Lena and the boys, pictured above. Jonathan and Mindy on the north part of Chickadee and around, and Andy on the Middle Blue Jay. Holy smokes. There were some major holes/wet spots.
The last few days of January, the skiing was good, really good. But lots of time was still spent shoveling, getting base in, hoping it was for the rest of the winter. Getting Waite’s Place Loop, the Upper and Middle Blue Jay skiable again. And this year we did that again and again. Ian and Dick shoveled some more on Upper Blue Jay. And Ian finished up Middle Blue Jay on his own. Whew, baby what a month.