In the words of Emily Dickinson, “I’ll tell you how the sun rose, a ribbon at a time.” This morning a brilliant lavender, yellow and burnt orange sunrise over Galena Pass cut through the cold morning sky, warming ski trails at Alturas Lake. At 8 a.m., the temperature there was approximately 5 degrees. On a wet sleety Sunday at the ski area, all trails except for North Cabin were rolled for skating. With colder temperatures on Monday, an attempt will be made to add classic tracks.
On January 16th, the day on which prohibition took effect in 1919, and the same day upon which Hitler descended into his Berlin bunker in 1945, short time hermit and supposedly retired ski trail groomer Davinius decided to take the opposite tack and emerged from his snow cave bunker to have a stiff drink. Once outside his frigid hermitage, Davinius heard the plaintive cries of his grooming acolyte Timmy, who a short way down the trail had just pulled off the spectacular double whammy of running out of gas while burrowing the snowmobile groomer all the way through the snowpack until it hit pay dirt on a steep uphill incline. While squirrels and a nutcracker looked on, with a bit of effort, two shovels and a can of gas, the dynamic duo were able to free the snowmobile and resume the day’s grooming chores, and by the time the sun was setting over Alturas Lake all trails except for North Cabin had been groomed for skating and classic tracks were laid down on the Trail to the Lake as far as Bridge Junction, Over the Hill and South Loop. Timmy’s plan was to return on Saturday for more grooming adventure.
On the 15th day of the year 2015 in the Gregorian calendar, skiing conditions are reported to be excellent at the Alturas Lake ski area. On Wednesday, the 14th, Timmy, grooming acolyte to old grooming master Davinius, laid down some excellent corduroy and classic tracks on South Loop, the Trail to the Lake and Over the Hill trails. Sheep Thrills and Wapiti were groomed for skating and flat tracking on Monday and still looked great. With Timmy doing so well with his grooming chores, Davinius is contemplating retirement to a more eremitic life on this the feast day of St. Paul the first Christian Hermit. Paul lived in a cave in the desert . Eating only dates from a lone palm tree near the cave and half a loaf of bread delivered daily by a raven, he wore a robe of woven palm leaves and lived to the ripe old age of 109. When he died he was buried by Saint Anthony, with the help of two lions who dug his grave. We can only wish Davinius the best of luck in his new endeavors.
On Sunday, the 11th of January, morning temperatures were in the 20’s at the Alturas Lake ski area. Light snow fell from a low grey sky and any view of mountains was obscured by a low hanging mist. On Saturday, North Cabin Creek Trail was upgraded with a ginzu skate lane and Sheep Thrills was groomed for skate and classic. All other trails were still in good shape.
On Friday morning, at the Alturas Lake ski area, a frosty cold morning temperature of 2 degrees transmogrified the rising mist and coated the pine trees as well as the long white beard of Davinius with a heavy rime. The ginzu groomers were rendered almost useless in the cold, their delicate mechanisms frozen solid. Timmy was able to nurse them Over the Hill, along the creek and up and down Wapiti before retreating to Stanley. Rather than further fighting the resolute cold, wily Davinius returned later that afternoon with the pretty girl from the village and together they groomed to the lake, smoothing out the kick scarred trail and laying down some respectable classic tracks. While North Cabin and Sheep Thrills looked a bit rough, skiing should be excellent on the other trails this Saturday.