Friday, December 21, 2012

Happy Winter Solstice!

Trailhead 12-21-12

The West Elk trails are open – sort of. Hwy 819 and Kay’s Loop have been packed with snowmobiles. Grooming operations began Wednesday. Trail packing, shoveling, and marking will continue through the weekend.

Since last Saturday (12/15) about 36 inches of snow fell with plenty of wind. Some of the drifts are six feet. So much snow all at once in the beginning of the season poses an incredible challenge for our groomers. Todd Kupka and his neighbor, Jay from Wisconsin took snowmobiles up on Wednesday. They opened up Hwy 819 but the snow was too soft and the drifts were too deep. Both snowmobiles got stuck. They had to hike out. On Thursday they went back up (with snowshoes) and dug out their snowmobiles. We can’t thank them enough for their hard work. Opening Hwy 819 is half the battle and made the groomers’ job today a little easier.

HWY 819 12-21-12

Today (12/21) Tod Tibbetts, Steve King, and Edgar Davidson went up with two snowmobiles. WRNF Recreation Specialist Kyle Grambley and a co-worker came up to ski and they also helped out. Steve and Edgar shoveled out the trailhead and set up the box for maps and donation cards. Tod packed the trail on snowmobile. But he got stuck just past Dorothy’s View. Tod decided to break trail on snowshoes on Kay’s Loop to lay a trail for the snowmobiles. Steve, Edgar, Kyle, and her co-worker dug out the snowmobile. Kyle hopped on the snowmobile and finished packing the trail behind Tod’s snowshoe track. We deeply appreciate all their hard work today.

Grooming 12-21-12

We need snowshoers to pack James Loop. The trail is steep and the snow is deep. Use extreme caution. Back country conditions exist.

We need snowshoers and skiers to break trail on Eric’s Loop before we can take the snowmobiles on it. Trail groomers will be up there by noon on Saturday. Call Tod Tibbetts if you can help out: 970-876-2196

Today’s photos brought to you by Steve King.

Thanks again to all our groomers!

Kay's 12-21-12

Trail opening 12-21-12

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