Great Skiing Still Available
Monday March 16, 2020
The PistenBully and our grooming snowmobile are both fully operational. We have a good snow base and our groomers have some ideas on how to extend your ski season. Patrick Dumais, our head groomer and Mark Williams are scheduled to continue grooming until the end of March.
The warm days and cool nights will likely create a melt-freeze cycle for the rest of the month. Check out the link A bit more data on the home page weather box to see the temperature swings for the last week. During melt-freeze cycles, the mornings will typically have hard, crusty conditions but the warmth of the day will soften the track. The ideal time to ski might be 10 or 11 in the morning. Late afternoon might be OK or it could be too soft. Picking your times can make a big difference this time of year. Even if you picked right and have great conditions, be on the lookout for icy sections, especially in the shadows.
For your information:
The groomers will be considering many factors to decide when to groom and whether to use the PistenBully or the Ginzu. The goal during melt-freeze cycles is to have the best skiing for the longest time. For example, grooming in the morning won't last long, is hard on the machine and can set up as a deep crust that takes extra time to soften. Grooming in the evening means that early morning skiers will have a smooth but hard track. But the crust should be thin enough to soften for some great mid-day skiing.
Sometimes, leaving the snow ungroomed might be the best decision. For example, before the Loppet, all the trails were nicely groomed with plans to use the PistenBully to perfect the Loppet course just before the March 14 race. On the 13th, there were some snow squalls that put a cm or two of powder on the trails. The Ginzu was used to touch up some of skate surfaces but there was not enough fresh snow to improve the classic tracks. After the Loppet was cancelled, longer term skiing was the objective so it wasn't worth beating up the snow with the PistenBully's tiller and ending up with a deep crust and no snow in the forecast. Also, leaving the bit of fresh snow on the trails was expected to protect the surface from the coming warm sun and would be useful to improve grooming after days of no snow. Unfortunately for those who skied the Loppet course on the 14th, high winds packed much of that fresh snow into the classic tracks and made skiing a slog. Grooming is always subject to the whims of nature. After the tracks had been skied a bit, others had awesome conditions later in the day.
Our groomers recently met to discuss tracksetting strategies. Our tracksetting has always been pretty good but we recognize the need to adjust for climate change, especially in early and late season conditions. Sean Fraser of Hyland Backcountry Services was at the meeting and helped us understand some of the snow science relevant to grooming. The information and cumulative experience in the room resulted in some good ideas about our machines and tracksetting techniques. The next Nordic Centre Notes should give more details on what has been happening with machines, sheds and people and our plans for next year.
If you have questions or comments about our ski trails, send them to email@example.com