Friday, May 08, 2009 Report – The 13th report for the 08/09 year.
Caution: I only had time to edit the email section. The rest is the same as the Feb. 22, 2007 report.
Click here for the TABLE OF CONTENTS for the “Extra Web Data” not in the email. This upper section will be used for minor updates until the next report is prepared. New items are preceded with an *.
Original Report Starts Here – The information above has been added since the
This report starts with the email I sent Friday, May 08, 2009, 7:15 PM
Friday, May 08, 2009, 7:15 PM
Cross Country Skiers,
I’ve been doing quite a bit of research on Trail Mapping with a GPS. I’ve reviewed a couple dozen “programs” and applications. Two that seem to stand out are ExpertGPS (a more robust version of the free EasyGPS), and TopoFusion. They have a demo version, but I’m planning to buy a more complete version. I also really like the on-line free Gps Visualizer. I’m planning to construct a “GPS Trail Mapping” Web Site. If you would like to be kept up to date on some of my activities, let me know and I’ll add you to my new GPS email Mailing List.
The Web version of this email is at: http://home.custertel.net/~ckeene41/xcskirpt.htm. I’m cutting down on the repetition, so if you want to go to some of the links in previous reports, the last report is HERE.
Snow Conditions: William’s Creek Summit Ski Trails: Lower elevations and south facing slopes have lost much of their snow. The Upper Meadow Trail (but not down to Cougar Point), The Wapiti Loop, and the Buckhorn Trails are still skiable. I wouldn’t ski the William’s Cr. Trail below the “big meadow”. We just skied the Shoshoni Trail today and it was quite good and the Mukluk Trail looks good. The meadow at the bottom of the North Moccasin Trail is bare of snow, but the alternate road that goes south from the top of that lower meadow looks ok. Although now is the time for “CORN SNOW”, we sure aren’t getting any. We keep getting new snow. At William’s Cr summit it looks like they got a foot of new snow since we were up that way last weekend (it has settled somewhat. Today we had a little of the glue snow syndrome, but not bad. Maxi Glide is your friend.
Check the NOAA point forecast for the William’s Creek Summit area for upcoming weather.
1. Tomorrow, Saturday, May 09, 2009, meet at the Forest Service/BLM parking lot at 10:00 AM for a trip to the William’s Cr. Summit area. I’ll also stop at the Shoup Bridge CG at 10:15. Tim Jones and I plan to ski the Mukluk Trail. I will be GPSing the trail beyond the head of the Shoshoni Trail. If you know for sure that you might come let me know. I think the snow should be fair, but I can’t promise anything. Those that want a mellower ski could ski some other trails that we can recommend.
2. I’m planning to GPS another ski trail next week, probably the North Moccasin Trail. Please let me know at 756-2085 if interested.
Word Count 447
End of the Email
TABLE OF CONTENTS: (Click on the following to jump
down to that section. Hit the Back Button to return here.)
1. PLANNED TRIPS:
2. PREVIOUS TRIPS:
3. Ski Trail Condition Reports: WILLIAM'S CR. TRAILS: , CHIEF JOSEPH - ANDERSON MT. ROAD AREA:
6. OTHER WEB LINKS:
The last FULL REPORT # 11 was Feb. 15. All paragraphs changed since then are preceded by an asterisk (*). To find these, do an EDIT> FIND and type in an asterisk. If you close the find box you can call it up again with a CTRL-F and continue to find the asterisks. If I make any minor updates, I won't send out any notice but they will be preceded with two asterisks (**).
INTRODUCTION: To better understand planned trips and previous trip reports, I encourage you to get three maps. Go to the A. INTRODUCTION Section of my Salmon Idaho Cross-Country Ski Web Page for Details.
The current ski report will always be, posted on http://home.custertel.net/~ckeene41/xcskirpt.htm. I saved the first report as http://home.custertel.net/~ckeene41/xcskirpt0701.htm (ends in 0701) and the next report ends in 0702, etc. As I post new reports this year they’ll be labeled xcskirpt0703, ...0704, … 0709, etc.
If you want me to make changes on the email list, call me at 208-756-2085 or email me. You can get my email from the messages that I send to you or call me. Currently we about have over 80 on the list.
For a short description of each ski trip to date for the current 2006-2007 season go to: http://home.custertel.net/~ckeene41/skitriprpt.htm Scroll down, or click on the February 2007, or December or November 2006 link to jump to that section.
Last years trips can be found at: http://home.custertel.net/~ckeene41/skitriprpt05_06.htm including a Ski Year 2005/2006 Wrap-Up.
Use the following Williams Cr.
Ski Trails Links to better understand the trail condition reports:
Trail Descriptions Trailhead Locations Trail Map Trail Segment table
Trail Condition Map (To be added later.)
On Monday, February 5, I measured the following trailhead snow depths: Cougar Point: 16”, Big Fir: 17”, Meadow 23”, and Mukluk: 20”. The Monday, 10:00 AM Lemhi Ridge Snotel depth was 24.0”. Since this is only an inch more than the Meadow TH, we can use the Lemhi Ridge Snotel as a fairly good gauge of our XC ski trails snow depth. On Sunday, February 11 the Meadow TH was still 23”, but based on the Lemhi Ridge Snotel which is now over 31”, I’d guess that we should have a little more snow now.
Previously all the William’s Cr. Trails were GOOD TO EXCELLENT with some exceptions. We seem to be having cycles of excellent snow followed by warm spells which results in the more exposed southerly slopes being crusty. This is then followed by more snow and excellent conditions. However, conditions have generally been excellent on the flatter previously skied trails. Earlier this week we had the warm cycle, but with the recent snow and predicted snow, we should have excellent conditions again this weekend. Previously, I listed the following exceptions to good skiing. They probably still apply. On the (upper) Buckhorn Trail # 224 a little below the A-Frame there’s a steep pitch that may require caution. Where the (upper) William’s Cr. Trail # 078 leaves the Ridge Road it is very steep and it should be side stepped by most skiers. Further on this trail just before this trail crosses the creek heading toward the big fir trailhead there are rocks (This was confirmed on Monday, 02/19/07). When we get the warm cycle again use caution on the steeper portions of the William’s Cr. Trail. In addition the Meadow Trail # 222 fork that goes down to Cougar Point might become crusty again and there still may be stumps and logging slash where the trail crosses the logging cutting unit. See my trip report for Tuesday 01/16/07 for both these last two cautions. The Perreau Meadows Trail # 624.5 has many areas exposed to the sun and will have a crust if we get another warm cycle. Also, use caution because it’s not marked very well and you probably won’t be able to find our tracks so you might get lost. The North Moccasin Trail hasn’t been checked for awhile. It should only be skied by a group of advanced skiers, with at least one being familiar with the trail. The same caution applies to the Mukluk Trail, although we have skied it this year. The Mukluk Trail now has enough snow, and because it faces north, will probably be at least fair even if we get another warm cycle. The same applies to the upper Shoshoni Trail, a telemark run for advanced skiers. (These last two trails are not on the map. See the Trail Description Page for details.
The LEMHI RIDGE SNOTEL (adjusted) snow depth reading at 01:00 AM on Thursday, February 15, 2007, 7 days ago, was 31.8" with a density of 18.2%. Maximum temperatures have ranged from +25.6 to +40.0; being above freezing for three days and also today. However the prediction is for cooler temperatures and some snow, so conditions should be good this weekend. As of 01:00 AM on Thursday, February 22, 2007, in 7 days Lemhi Ridge has increased about 4.7” and settled about 3.8” to 32.7”, (Based on daily readings) for a net change of +0.9”. Note that these snow depths are based on daily readings. See next paragraph.
Sometimes when one compares daily readings and there’s been a fair snowfall during the early part of the period, there will be settling of the snow before the next reading. Thus daily readings may understate the actual snowfall. I have the option of using 3 hour readings. However, there is always some fluctuation in the depth gauge readings even when we know there was no snowfall or appreciable melting. Thus sometimes the 3 hours reading actually overstate the snowfall. In other words, fluctuations in the depth gauge are reported as snowfall.
Calculated Snow Density has ranged from about 18.7% up to 19.6%. The "current" (01:00 AM) value is 19.6%. Note that this is the density of the entire snow pack. The density of the top layer that powder skiers ski in will be somewhat lower than this. This is about 1.4% higher than in past week.
The midnight PST (01:00 AM MST) reading for Snow Water Equivalent was 6.4”, 80% of average, or an increase of 3% since February 15.
Weather Prediction: CLICK
HERE for the 7
day forecast for the approximate location of William’s Cr. Summit. CLICK
HERE for the Table Version of the forecast. Note that the table
version sometimes gives a better display of snow accumulation.
CLICK HERE for an alternate more graphical weather forecast for William’s Cr. Summit. It looks like we will get some snow tonight. Predicted temperatures for the next several days are to be below freezing.
CHIEF JOSEPH - ANDERSON MT. ROAD AREA
The groomed Chief Joseph Trails and the un-groomed trails should be excellent. CLICK HERE for my latest report. Note that although the Richardson Ridge and the Cabinet Cr. / Shoofly Trailheads are being occasionally plowed, they are often only suitable for a high clearance 4 wheel drive. Go to the Bitterroot X-C Ski Club snow conditions reports at: http://www.bitterrootxcskiclub.net/conditions.htm and also to the Missoula Nordic Ski Club grooming page and scroll down to “Chief Joseph”: http://missoulanordic.org/cgi-bin/snow_grooming/discus.cgi to see any updated information.
Check for any Beaverhead NF news releases. (They just posted an update.)
The Saddle Mountain SNOTEL lists snow conditions similar to the top of the Lost Trail Ski Area and similar to Chief Joseph Pass. The snow depth reading at 01:00 AM on Friday, February 12, 2007, 6 days ago, was 53.3” with a density reading of 26.3%. Maximum temperatures have ranged from +24.2 to +39.1; being below freezing for all but two days. Temperatures were also below freezing today. As of 01:00 AM on Friday, February 22, 2007, in 7 days Saddle Mtn. has increased about 11.6” and settled about 1.1” to 63.8”, (Based on daily readings) for a net change of +10.5”. These Snotel accumulations are based on daily readings and the actual accumulation is probably higher. See my comments regarding 3 hour readings in the Lemhi Ridge Section . CLICK HERE for Saddle Mtn 3hr readings.
Trail reported the following Snow Data:
the comparable Snotel reading.
New 24Hr Bottom Top | Snotel
Snow Depth Depth | Depth (01:00 AM)
11/30/06 12PM 10
06” 13” 18” | 18.5
See Last weeks report for missing values
02/14/07 10AM 24 06”
59” 65” | 53.3
02/16/07 ??AM ?? 02”
59” 65” | 56.6
02/17/07 06AM 22 04”
64” 71” | 57.1
02/22/07 06AM 24 10”
64” 71” | 63.8
Calculated Snow Density has ranged from about 24.5% up to 26.3%. The "current" (01:00 AM) value is 24.5%, 1.8% less than last week. Note that this is the density of the entire snow pack. The density of the top layer that powder skiers ski in will usually be much lower than this.
The midnight PST (01:00 AM MST) reading for Snow Water Equivalent was 15.6”, which is 75% of average, 5% higher than it was February 15. Overall the Salmon River Basin was 77.7% of normal.. Salmon Basin (and other Idaho) readings can be found HERE. Scroll down to the Salmon Basin and select the Site of interest such as Lemhi Ridge or Saddle Mountain or the Basin Wide Summary. Then look at the Percent Departure from Avg. Column. Subtracting this value from 100 gives the Percent of Normal Value.
Weather Prediction: CLICK
"Lost Trail Pass" NOAA NWS Digital Forecast. CLICK
HERE for the Table Version of the forecast. The table version gives a
little bit clearer picture, but it doesn’t print out very well.
CLICK HERE or CLICK HERE for two alternate weather forecasts for the Lost Trail area. There’s more snow predicted for tonight and temperatures are predicted to be below freezing for the next several days.
Another good forecast is the backcountry weather forecast. Look for the Bitterroot – Lost Trail Pass area. This doesn’t cover as long a period so you need to check it again periodically. Notice that this lists the “Snow Level” (The elevation where rain changes to snow.) Thankfully the snow level is somewhat lower than the ski area.
Lost Trail Ski Area. LOST TRAIL is open. Today they measured 64” at the lodge and 71” on top and will have Chairs #2 & 4 running, with all lifts open on weekends. They are now running the “Saddle Mtn. Chair # 4 on Thursdays and Fridays from now on. Here’s their ski report: http://www.losttrail.com/snowreport.asp Lately their readings for snow depth at the top of the mountain have been somewhat higher than the “Saddle Mountain Snotel” site which is not actually on Saddle Mountain but rather just off the Saddle Mountain Road, about a half mile NW of the top of Chairs 1 & 2. The latest daily reading was 53.3”. See the Snotel daily readings taken at Midnight Pacific Time (01:00 AM our time) at: http://www3.wcc.nrcs.usda.gov/nwcc/sntl-data0000.jsp?site=727&days=20&state=MT. This report only lists daily readings, which is often less confusing. But to see the latest current depth or temperature, you’ll need to go to the 3 hour report at: http://www3.wcc.nrcs.usda.gov/nwcc/sntl-datarpt.jsp?site=727&days=14&state=MT.
Links to Lost Trail & Chief
Joseph Ski reports:
If you want the link to Lost Trail and dozens of others GO TO "CLIFF'S SALMON IDAHO, CROSS COUNTRY SKI PAGE" at: http://home.custertel.net/~ckeene41/cksalxcski.htm
For Chief Joseph reports see my comments in the email above. Check the following links for any new updates
Missoula Nordic Ski Club: http://missoulanordic.org/cgi-bin/snow_grooming/discus.cgi Scroll down to "Chief Joseph.":
Bitterroot Cross Country Ski Club: http://www.bitterrootxcskiclub.net/conditions.htm Scroll down a ways.
CLICK HERE to see if there are any
ski related news releases from the Beaverhead National Forest.
They have been posting quite a few updates lately, check ‘em out.
CJ & LT MAPS: The Idaho Falls Ski Club has
links to local XC Ski Area Maps. Click
Here for links to very good maps and information for Chief Joseph
and for Mt. Haggin. I think the IF Ski Club’s map is the same as the one
Here’s Jay Silveira’s scanned image of the latest Lost Trail area map
Some ski related forums have
semi local information. The following SW
Montana Telemark Tips Forum topic sometimes has information related to
Lost Trail and Chief Joseph. Click on the last page number listed for
The following “No Bull Ski Reports” Forum used to have regular Lost Trail Reports, but the author moved to Vermont, so most likely any reports will be ones that I post. I still enjoy reading some of the posts so I’ll leave the link here for awhile. http://www.firsttracksonline.com/boards/viewforum.php?f=3
* The previous author of the Lost Trail Reports has a nice web site and I still enjoy viewing his reports and photos at: http://www.jandeproductions.com
Skating Party: Sometimes if the snow isn’t too soft it’s possible to skate ski at Chief Joseph after the ski trails are given the first grooming and before the actual tracks are set. That’s been called the “Skating Party” and is described as follows: "The skating party … refers to the fact that in the morning and usually until about 1pm on Fridays (the USUAL grooming day) you can skate-ski at Chief Joe. ... They do a very nice job dragging implements around to flatten and wipe out the old tracks and prepare it for the new tracks. The best trails to skate on are the wider roads like CD, Timber, and up around Sentinel meadow and back to the trailhead. ... At about 1:00 PM they start setting the track classic kick and glide track so one needs to plan to skate before this”.
2007 update: CLICK HERE to find the Bitterroot XC Ski Club’s 2 February 2007 Ski Condition Report where they state: “Any of our members that would like to do some skate skiing can use (the) Broadway or (Timber) Trails”. This is a change from previous regulations. Normally we get enough new snow that one might expect good skating for only a day or so after grooming (usually on Fridays).
I'm sometimes asked where a good place to “skate-ski” is. In addition to the above Friday Morning Skating Party at Chief Joseph Pass, some of the groomed snowmobile trails are suitable. Usually the skate skiing is best soon after grooming. Probably the best spot is the Ridge Road. Other possibilities include Carmen Creek, and possibly the lower Warm Springs Wood Road. When recommending these snowmobile routes for skiing, I always add that we need to use courtesy and give the snowmobiles the right of way. I point out that we can’t have it both ways. We DO prefer that the snowmobiles stay off the ski trails, so we should use extra courtesy when we use the snowmobile trails.
The Salmon Ridgerunners Snowmobile Club had a web site at http://www.geocities.com/salmonridgerunners/ but it hasn’t been updated since January 2004. Additional information can be found at: http://salmonchamber.com/recreation-winter.htm and possibly at the Idaho State Snowmobile Association web site
SNOWMOBILE / SKATE SKIING GROOMING REPORTS: (Also includes other snowmobile club info and Mountain Bike Club Info):
Here’s the latest Ski Skating / Snowmobile Grooming Report: I don’t have a current grooming report, but from personal observation on Sunday 02/04/07 the Ridge Road was fairly smooth for snowmobiles and for classic skiing, but it didn’t appear to me to be smooth enough for good skate skiing.
In addition, periodically
check out the Bitterroot Ridgerunners Snowmobile Club at:
http://www.ridgerunners.org/ - Check out the Announcements and Club Info link. They have some interesting information in their December meeting minutes and there’s also a list of 2007 events including some “fun runs”.
The following site normally
has fairly current reports of major avalanches for the US & Canada. http://www.avalanche.org/av-reports/index.html There
are several new reports listed since last week. There are links to news
The following site has US Avalanches only otherwise it’s the same list as the above list, but you might check it out in case it has something not listed above: http://avalanche.state.co.us/Accidents/UnitedStates/
The following link only has a list
with no reports. It does however list world-wide accidents rather than just
http://www.csac.org/Incidents/ If you want to see a list of earlier reports (Up through Dec. 2005) go to their database at: http://www.avalanche-center.org/Incidents/search.php
Avalanche conditions are rated as: Low, Moderate, Considerable, High, and Extreme. Go to http://www.avalanche.org/~svavctr/danger.php for definitions. You should try and become familiar with the critical slopes for avalanches. This time of year, 30 degrees (58%) slope is the start of concern, and real concern starts at 35 degrees (70%) slope. In some conditions (usually with wet snow) there is concern down to 25 degrees (47%) slope. When I laid out timber sales I used to be able to judge these slopes better. Note however that of our marked ski trails only the Upper Shoshoni Trail exceeds 47% (for one short pitch). Note that there are some undesignated trails that we ski that do exceed these slopes.
Go to my General Cross Country Ski Page to the Avalanche Section for these several web sites, including the following:
Go to the following link for
the latest Sawtooth NF Avalanche Center:
http://www.avalanche.org/~svavctr/adv_current.php. Always check the date on these reports. Currently this report is updated every couple of days or so, with the latest report to date being Wednesday, February 21.
There is an alternate link to the same site at: http://www.sawtoothavalanche.com/adv_current.php
Go to the following link for the latest West Central Montana Avalanche e Center prediction:
http://www.fs.fed.us/r1/lolo/avalanche/advisory.htm. Regular reports will be each Friday. There may be special reports from time to time. The most recent is one for February 16, 2007.
Here’s a link, not yet in my main ski page. CLICK HERE for a description of an Avalanche Danger Rose that’s used by the Utah Avalanche Center for some of their forecasts. I haven’t seen it used on our local sites, but it may be in the future. Here’s an actual forecast using the “Rose”.
OTHER WEB LINKS:
In evaluating ski conditions I've found the following SNOTEL link helpful: http://www.wcc.nrcs.usda.gov/cgibin/sdr.pl?state=MT Select Saddle Mt. or Lemhi Ridge for snow conditions near Lost Trail; or near Lemhi Pass, which is usually comparable to William's Creek Summit. If you want TO SEE THIS LINK and dozens of others GO TO "CLIFF'S SALMON IDAHO, CROSS COUNTRY SKI PAGE" at: http://home.custertel.net/~ckeene41/cksalxcski.htm
The Current “Ski Report” (This page) is: http://home.custertel.net/~ckeene41/xcskirpt.htm
My Introduction to X-C Skiing is at: http://home.custertel.net/~ckeene41/IntroToXc101.htm
Most all the links are now up to date. Let me know of any good links to add or correct.
In addition to those pages I have
links to several related to the Williams Creek Cross-Country Ski Trails Area
a. General description - http://www.salmonbyway.com/salmon/ski.htm
b. Cliff's Williams Cr. Ski Trails Sites:
Trail Descriptions Trailhead Locations Trail Map Trail Segment table
This last table gives the mileage for each segment of a trail and indicates where there’s a trail junction. The total miles from the trailhead is listed for each segment, with the last "Miles From TH" being the total miles one would ski to get to the end of the trail, which is often at another trailhead. I've still got some work on these, so let me know of additions, corrections or changes needed. You may copy this; just give credit if you publish it.
I’m working on pages similar
to the above for the Lost Trail – Chief Joseph Un-Groomed Cross Country Ski
c. I currently have a Lost Trail Chief Joseph Trail Segment Table in draft format.
Links not yet in "CLIFF'S
SALMON IDAHO, CROSS-COUNTRY SKI PAGE:
Here's a link to a site that describes the TEN ESSENTIALS to carry on the trail. He's added a few additional items:
Some folks may want to do some
skiing in Stanley Basin or the Sawtooth Valley:
The following site has links to the summer recreation report (last updated in September) and to some general info re winter recreation:
The Outdoors Sections
of the Missoulian and the Ravalli Republic on-line newspapers often
have articles of interest.
CLICK HERE for the Outdoors Section of the Missoulian On-Line. Check out the latest Outdoors News Briefs. Although I don’t see too much of interest except the Chief Joseph Snow Report. I was especially interested in a previous ARTICLE ABOUT THE SUGAR LOAF CABINS AT THE MT. HAGGIN XC SKI AREA.
CLICK HERE for the Outdoors Section of the Ravalli Republic. Currently I see at least two articles of interest. One is about Chief Joseph Pass and the other is about the Lost Trail Ski Area and some recent changes.
Last years articles are no longer listed but the following links to some interesting articles still work: An article relating to the Lost Trail Ski Patrol, another that relates to Nordic Skiing including areas to skate ski, and another on snowboarding at Lost Trail Ski Area called Battle On The Border.
CLICK HERE for the Outdoors Section of the Butte Montana Standard Newspaper.
CLICK HERE for the Outdoors Section of the Boise Idaho Statesman Newspaper.
Here's an interesting link to some
history of ski (mountaineering) equipment:
Here's Lou Binik's
"Foxwear" web site:
http://www.foxwear.net/. Be sure to copy or type this correctly. "foxware.net", "foxware.com" and "foxwear.com" are all different sites.
Tawna Skinner services cross country
skis and equipment.
She will also give cross country and telemark ski instruction.
Details are at: http://home.custertel.net/~ckeene41/TawnaXCski.htm
Here’s another club with similar interests in trail development. The Lost Trail Coalition was formed in January 2005 to benefit all bicyclists in the region.
Pray for snow,
Cliff Keene, Salmon, Idaho
Initial Word Count 4,542 See email
section for partial update Date & Time.
Revised Count: 4,484 after minor edit on 03/24/07 added Email only..
Previous Full Update: 02/15/2007 14:20 PM
Latest Full Update: 02/22/2007 21:25 PM
Minor Edit (see **): N/A.