Wednesday, March, 03, 2010 Report – The 9th full report for the 09/10 year.
Caution: I’ve cut down on the extra links in this report. Most ski links are at my “General” XC Ski Page. However there may be a few that were only in the “weekly report”. You can access them in last year’s First Report through the Last report. See instructions on finding any report from 01 to 13.. ALSO previously I’d display the full hyperlink for many web pages. Now, most folks are aware that any blue underlined text is a hyperlink that they can click on to navigate to that page. The downside is that if someone printed out the report they’d not see the actual hyperlink. However I don’t think many folks well be printing out these reports.
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 *.
Minor Update: Thursday, March 11, 2010, 06:35 PM
I’ve added this as a minor update to my “weekly” Ski report.
William’s Cr. snow conditions are still excellent on the flatter trails in the shade. We got a few inches of snow last week and the snow yesterday (Wed. 03/10/10) on the Wapiti Loop & Upper Meadow Trail was super. We elected NOT to ski the William’s Cr. Trail or the Lower Meadow Trail (to Cougar Point) due to the sun crust. Otherwise conditions are about the same as in my last report, just more crusty in some places.
We’ve created a by-pass on the Meadow Trail – William’s Cr Road “Cutoff” which will allow strong beginners to ski the Meadow Trail to the Lower Aspen Loop Trailhead (TH). See my on-line ski report for links to my trailhead location table. You’d want to leave a shuttle vehicle at the Lower Aspen Loop (TH) on the right and then check the road that comes in on the left about 0.1 mile past the TH. Make sure there has not been recent snowmobile traffic and that the snow is still soft. Otherwise leave this route to the experts. The lower Meadow Trail (below the rail fence) is fairly fast but strong beginners should be able to control their speed by dragging their poles, etc. At the Cougar Point Junction, look directly to the left and see our tracks that by-pass the very steep section ahead. We’ll tie some flagging there this weekend. Reach the existing trail in about 100 yards and follow the trail to the point where it bends left and starts down another hill. This is a little steep but if the snow is soft one can ski diagonally back and forth to control their speed. If you forgot to check and find this section too icy, just take off your skis and walk the short distance to the road. Turn right at the road and walk the 0.1 mile to the TH.
2. Saturday, 03/13/10 Meet at the FS/BLM parking lot at 10:00 AM or the Shoup Bridge Campground at 10:10 for a trip to the William’s Cr area. Unless we get new snow or conditions change markedly, I plan to ski the Wapiti Loop and the Meadow Trail to the Lower Aspen Loop TH using the new by-pass. True beginners can come too by skipping the steeper section below the rail fence. If snow conditions permit I might also show the “Cabin By-Pass” ski routes. The snow is firm enough for most dogs to easily negotiate.
To see the latest Chief Joseph report click on http://missoulanordic.org/cgi-bin/snow_grooming/discus.cgi and scroll down to the Chief Joseph section. I usually update this late Friday night (earlier if they don’t groom).
Currently I’m following the Iditarod sled dog race. If you want to check out some of the best of many internet sites that cover the race go to my home page and select the Iditarod Link or go to: http://home.custertel.net/~ckeene41/iditarodlinks.html
Those that don’t have time to follow the race in its entirety might want to take a “virtual tour” after the fact. I’ve started on on-line virtual Iditarod tour at: http://home.custertel.net/~ckeene41/Archive10.htm I hope to get it updated by the weekend.
My XC Ski Report (this page) is also on the web at: http://home.custertel.net/~ckeene41/xcskirpt.htm check back for updates.
Note: Blue or red underlined text is a web link. When clicking on the following links or any link it’s sometimes necessary to do it twice by hitting the refresh button or F5:
Wednesday, March 3, 2010, 03:15 PM
Cross Country Skiers,
You are currently on my Salmon XC Ski Mailing list. Let me know if you want off
the list. If some of the links don’t work or to see minor updates please go
to the web version at: http://home.custertel.net/~ckeene41/xcskirpt.htm
To see previous reports add a 1001, 1002, etc through 1008 to the “xcskirpt” wording. For example the last “report” that actually covered Feb 05, 12, & 19 is at http://home.custertel.net/~ckeene41/xcskirpt1008.htm
1. Saturday, 03/06/10 Meet at the Stagecoach Inn at 10:00 AM for a trip to the Chief Joseph Pass area. Folks from the Bitterroot should plan to meet us at CJ at 11:00 AM. We plan to ski south on the Anderson Mtn. Road to the “meadow”. This will be suitable for well behaved dogs. The Anderson Mtn Road and the Ander-Rich Trails are both suitable for semi experienced beginners. So why not join us? Some will want to ski back on the Ander-Rich Trail and some will probably want to ski down Richardson Ridge. If you have a FRS Radio you might bring it.
2. Saturday, 03/13/10 Meet at the FS/BLM parking lot at 10:00 AM or the Shoup Bridge Campground at 10:10 for a trip to the William’s Cr area. If snow conditions permit I might show you my new “Cabin By-Pass” ski route. Currently the lower Meadow Trail (below the “rail fence”) is NOT suitable for beginners except in the best snow conditions. With a little work I hope it can be suitable for semi experienced beginners except in the worst conditions.
Future Trips: I’ll probably plan a few more Mid-week trips often on a Tuesday. Call me at 756-2085 if interested. I may plan some trips on March 20 or 21 and do plan a trip on Sunday March 28, most likely to the William’s Cr. Trails.
Snow Conditions William’s Cr: Use the following links for William’s Cr. Trail Descriptions Trailhead Locations Trail Map and Trail Segment table. Also check out the NOAA William’s Cr Summit point forecast and the Lemhi Ridge Snotel. (The Snotel has been receiving somewhat more snowfall and about 6” more depth than William’s Cr. Summit this year. It’s also been reporting somewhat cooler temperatures, but it’s still a good gauge of conditions.)
Snow Conditions – The Lemhi Ridge total snow depth only fluctuated an inch or so with no total change since January 25. We’ve received some snow because the total snowpack density has increase from about 21% to about 26%.
On Tuesday, March 2, 2010, we skied the Meadow Trail to Cougar Point. The snow was excellent on the flats but quite fast in the steep tracks. The untracked snow was ok in the shade near the trailhead but crusty as we skied down.
It’s hard to give an accurate report because the snow varies so much depending on the day (was there an inch of new snow or is it very hot and sunny etc.) Generally the flat track trails are good to excellent, but be careful on the steeper stretches, one can quickly gain speed and sometimes stepping out of the track won’t help slow you down. With the warmer weather telemark turns with touring skis on the steeper meadows will be difficult unless we get new snow.
Trail conditions: Ridge Road: Conditions depend on snowmobile
use and grooming. It may be quite fast on the steeper sections. Wapiti Loop
and Upper Meadow Trails (to “Rail Fence Clearcut) are generally good to
excellent. Just note the caution (above) on the few steeper pitches.
The trail from the “Rail Fence” down to the “William’s Cr. Road Cutoff” at “Cougar Point Junction” and out on the Cutoff to the road and Lower Aspen Loop TH should be ok for intermediate skiers but unless we get new snow it may be a little too fast for beginners. Intermediate skiers should enjoy the trail down to Cougar Point but use extra caution on the steep pitches. Most folks won’t want to try and make turns on the steeper logged area due to crusty snow and the prevalence of stumps and logs. Make long traverses and kick turns to control your speed.
Buckhorn: Good - excellent up to “Big Meadow”.
William’s Cr. Trail: Conditions will be similar to the Lower Meadow trail unless we get more new snow. I would not recommend skiing below the Lower Aspen loop because the creek crossing below this point will probably not have any snow in several spots. It you do ski this lower section beware of the downed tree and rocks just before the trail crosses the creek. It’s best to side steep this section. There is also a steep stretch with rocks, where the trail follows an old road. Look for and take our tracks to the right to by-pass this steep section.
Upper Aspen Loop: Should be Good - excellent. The Lower Aspen Loop is now at least good and is the recommended terminus for the William’s Cr. Trail until we get more snow.
One can do an out and back ski on the North Moccasin Trail and can ski a little over ½ mile before the trail starts dropping steeply. One MIGHT be able to ski down to the big meadow and take the “North Moccasin Cutoff” to the left. The “normal” route down through the Meadow is not recommended due to a lack of snow. Sticks, stumps, and rocks were well exposed at the bottom. I don’t think the Phelan Cr. Road 098 has not been plowed for awhile. Although there isn’t much room to park, one could park where the Deep Creek Road bears left. The “Cutoff” trail comes out on the right on road 098 (“Mine road”) in about ¼ mile.
The Upper Shoshoni Trail is primarily a telemark trail for advanced skiers. Conditions can be good right after a fresh snow, but right now I expect it’s quite crusty due to the sun and warm temperatures. The Lower Shoshoni Trail is excellent and makes a good short up and back trail. Only the Lower Shoshoni Trail is shown on the current map. Advanced skiers might consider the unmarked & un-mapped “Horse-Log Trails. Call me for info.
The Deep Cr Ridge / Mukluk Trail is now skiable. I recommend that most folks plan to ski this trail with a group of at least four people to share the trail breaking and to help in case someone is injured. This is not for beginners. It’s now quite well marked with blue diamonds, but I still think it’s not a trail to take unless at least one person has skied it before. The lower Mukluk faces north so is often not as affected by the sun, but it’s been so warm that I don’t think it will be very good. If one wants to try this trail, I’d suggest parking at the lower trailhead and skinning up if conditions are good. The trail and trailhead (TH) are not on the current ski map. The TH is about 1.5 miles past William’s Cr. Summit on the left. Advanced beginners could ski up from the Lower Mukluk TH (see my Trailhead table) and make some loops on the unmarked roads and trails in this area. One can ski a half mile or so up this trail before it gets steep.
Snow Conditions Chief Joseph Pass: (CLICK
HERE for my description of these trails.) See additional links above and
HERE for a map of the groomed trails.
ROAD, SNOTEL & WEATHER LINKS & REPORT:
Here are the links to the Lost Trail Pass Web Cam. Here’s the Montana link: http://rwis.mdt.mt.gov/scanweb/losttrail.shtml and here’s the Idaho Link to the same cameras. Select camera 1 (south-bound) or camera 2 (northbound) at the top of the page. (The links are to the same camera, but sometimes one link will work when the other doesn’t.) Here’s another useful link: CLICK HERE for a list of Idaho Transportation Data for Lost Trail Pass. About 3 days worth of data taken every 15 minutes is displayed, including: Temperature, Wind Speed, and 24 hour total precipitation, and more.
Check out the latest Lost Trail Ski Area Weather/Snow Report.
The Saddle Mtn Snotel 3 Hour Readings are the most current snow and temperature values for the area near the top of the chair lifts. The times are listed as Pacific STANDARD Time. In addition, CLICK HERE for the daily readings (taken at 01:00 AM mountain time) which may be less confusing for a weekly view.
The best weather & snow forecast for the area is The NOAA Lost Trail “Table Point Forecast”
I often check the: Snow-Forecast.Com’s 6-Day Forecast for Lost Trail. If you click on this link be sure the “Imper” button is selected, i.e. inches rather than cm. I often disagree with their snow depth predictions but it’s sometimes helpful.
CLICK HERE for the weekly Friday Avalanche Forecast. CLICK HERE for the backcountry weather forecast. This forecast usually shows more snow than the above NOAA forecast.
CHIEF JOSEPH PASS AREA UNGROOMED TRAIL LINKS:
CLICK HERE for the map of the “Un-Groomed XC Ski Trails” in the Chief Joseph Pass area. “Zoom-In” for more detail. This map takes awhile to download, so it’s best to save it on your computer if you expect to use it again. This map and a table of the trails is available on the NEW Beaverhead NF Winter Recreation Web site. This is an excellent map, but it does have a minor error in the location of the Ander-Rich and Richardson Ridge Trail junction. CLICK HERE for a corrected location for these trails. Sometimes when trip planning it’s helpful to have intermediate (segment) mileages. CLICK HERE for my “Trail Segment Table”.
Although it’s not been a good snow year, conditions at Chief Joseph and Lost Trail have been consistently better than other areas. When temperatures have been below freezing and especially after an inch or so of new snow conditions have been excellent.
To see the latest report click on http://missoulanordic.org/cgi-bin/snow_grooming/discus.cgi and scroll down to the Chief Joseph section. Click on the Chief Joseph link. I normally update this report late Friday evening. So check Saturday morning for the most current report. Skate skiers might consider going up to CJ early on Friday’s. The groomers pack the trail in the morning and then set the classic ski tracks in the afternoon. Thus until they set the tracks these trails are usually good for skate skiing.
The roads in the Lake Como area are not skiable until we get more snow. With more snow this would be the closest area groomed for skate skiing. The Lake Como access road is about 3 miles past Darby. Turn left and drive a-ways up toward the dam. Click on the Missoula Nordic link above and scroll to the “Como Trails” link and see the latest report. Also see the two other links including the Ravalli Republic article.
Other Notices & Info:
“Anita Andrus at 756-4658 has XC Ski Equipment for sale. CLICK HERE for details”.
I recently updated my list of local wintertime cabins and yurts and instructions as to how to rent them. Generally these instructions will be helpful for those wanting to rent summertime government cabins and campgrounds too. The normal limit for reserving these cabins (and I think campsites also) is 6 months. For popular sites it’s necessary to plan to reserve then as soon as they become available.
Also go to the on-line version of this report (link below) and scroll down to the “Other Web Links” section. There I have links to the “outdoor section” of four newspapers.
Check out the following Extreme Cross Country Skiing Link
My XC Ski Report (this page) is also on the web at: http://home.custertel.net/~ckeene41/xcskirpt.htm check back for updates.
Word Count 1,976
End of the Email
OF CONTENTS: (Click
on the following to jump down to that section. Hit the Back Button to return
1. PLANNED TRIPS: (See above)
2. PREVIOUS TRIPS:
3. Ski Trail Condition Reports: WILLIAM'S CR. TRAILS: , CHIEF JOSEPH - ANDERSON MT. ROAD AREA:
6. OTHER WEB LINKS:
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.
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 about 80 on the list.
For a short description of each ski trip to date for the 2008-2009 season go to: http://home.custertel.net/~ckeene41/skitriprpt.htm Scroll down, or click on the links for the latest and subsequent months for the season. NOTE also that there are links to the reports for previous years back to 2004.
CHIEF JOSEPH - ANDERSON MT. ROAD AREA
Click Here for the Missoula Nordic Grooming Info page. Scroll down for my latest Chief Joseph Pass report. Also see the link to the Lake Como Trails. Go to my home page at: http://home.custertel.net/~ckeene41/ and follow the links to more XC Ski info.
Lost Trail Ski Area
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.
CLICK HERE for the Outdoors Section of the Ravalli Republic. Here are two examples of some of their reporting. One is about Chief Joseph Pass another about the Lost Trail Ski Area and some recent changes. There was an earlier 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
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.