Update from Tony:
Lost Horse was groomed today.
Still the same conditions, thin and icy at the bottom, starts to get better above N. Fork, ton’s of snow above the cabin.
It was really lumpy from the weekends traffic, long slow trip up first lap, needed 4 passes and still had bumps.
Many sleds up there today, during and after the grooming, with the soft snow up higher it is probably pretty lumped back up already.
Like every other low elevation trail in the Valley the snow is pretty rough below 4500ft.
Need to do a snow dance!!!
Como grooming update from our head groomer Tony:
It’s been a slow start to the Como ski season this year.
The bottom of the ski trails are at 4300ft., the good snow starts at around 4500ft which is about a mile up 550 from the parking area.. There is an ice layer 3-4″ thick on the ground with snow over it, below 4500ft. its a thin layer of new snow over ice.
The volunteer crew rough packed 550, upper, middle and Shannon/Wolf track today with rollers. Flattened out fairly well.
We took the leveler/compaction drags from the bottom to Shannon ridge to get a firmer base built up and scuff up the lower icy areas more. We hit and brought up quite a few rocks, we were able to stop and throw most of them off but be aware and keep an eye out for them ( and toss them please!). Best to walk up and down the first mile of 550 from the parking area, it’s thin with hidden rocks.
I would call it adventure skiing conditions, not something I’d bring beginners or beginner/intermediate skiers on! Steel edged skis would be bonus on the lower trails, not sure if it’s compacted enough yet on Upper and Middle roads for skating, it was setting up nice but it’s only been packed once so far.
550A rd. is rough groomed to the base of Wolftrack, thin and icy but we rolled along the edge to make it less. Will need more snow to finish grooming 550A out to the end.
Wolf track is a great way to ski up, need to be an expert skier to come back down in these conditions!
New layer of snow on the Kearns trail, should start to cover the ice better. Best route for bikes to access the Shannon Ridge trail, especially if the groomed ski trails are too soft that day.
Bikes on 550 to Shannon ridge, best to stay to the right climbing 550, when you reach the gate on the upper road FS.13201 use the left edge till you reach the Shannon trail, that is the firmest part of both trails.
Middle (FS13200) and upper (FS13201) are going to be too soft for bikes until we can get them more compacted, same with Wolf. Once we can get a few laps with the compaction drags and Ginzu they’ll hold up to bike traffic without rut issues.
The main thing we ask is not to leave ruts deeper than 1/2″, if you can’t ride in a straight line and are swerving back and forth while sinking in please turn around. We do all of the grooming with volunteers on snowmobiles once a week and our equipment does not get them (ruts) out like a Snowcat does. Deep ruts tend to stick around till the next major snow fall and trip up skiers trying to ski over them.
Parking depends on your car and tires, the parking area is at the intersection of 550 and 550A. This year the road up to it from the Boat ramp is pretty bad, drive at own risk. You can also park down at the Boat Ramp parking area and walk up to the South side trail (hang a left and go up at the blue diamond) to the start of the Ski trails, takes just 5 minutes more (not skiable).
My other half (Annie) just got back from skiing it, she say’s to definitely walk up (and down) the first mile (found a rock. ouch!)! All of the upper skiing is really good and it’s well packed all the way to Tin Cup Overlook on the upper road and Tin Cup ridge on the Middle road, just the bottom is crappy, 6″ more would make it wonderful but that’s not in the forecast for awhile still.
No maps yet but I’ll try to put an old one up on the Billboard next time we’re up there.
Just follow the Corduroy!!!
We had almost 20 volunteers show up this weekend to clear trails after last weeks wind storms! Big thank you to everyone who helps keep our ski area in top-notch shape!
We will be having another work day in 2 weeks, on saturday January 30.
All ski trails at Chief Joe were groomed this morning, and multi use trails will be groomed during the day. We are having a work party today, so there will be people with saws moving around on the trails.