From the journals of ski history, on January 20th, 1156, Lalli, a good skier with a bad temper, and the fourteenth most famous Finn of all time, strapped on his skis and chased Bishop Henry across frozen Lake Köyliönjärvi where cut off his head with an ax. Excitable boy they all said. Then he took Henry’s hat and put it on his head… excitable boy they all said. Oh yeah, and he cut off Henry’s finger and put on his ring… just an excitable boy! 861 years later, on January 20th, all of the ski trails at Alturas Lake, except for North Cabin were rolled… we hope to add classic tracks on Saturday. At Park Creek, Lupine, Shooting Star and Camus were groomed and in good shape, Sego and Larkspur are very rough but some intrepid ski tourists have enjoyed the rustic backcountry.
Attention… warming trend detected! At 11 a.m. on Tuesday, January 17th, the temperature at the Stanley Ranger station was already at minus 1 degree fahrenheit and the Smiley Creek Airport reported a positive number 9. Number nine. Other BREAKING NEWS… At the Park Creek Ski Area at least 9 large limb laden lodgepoles totally block Skyrocket trail. Best trails are Shooting Star and Camus…. Sego and Larkspur are rough. At Alturas Lake, South Loop, Over the Hill and the Trail to the Lake as far as the bridge were Ginzu groomed for skate and classic. Wapiti and the trail from the bridge to the lake are improving but rough. North Cabin and Sheep Thrills are still buried from the last storm. Amazing winter storm Iris was the ninth of this season… Iris, the rainbow goddess, messenger of the gods and conciliator who restores peace in nature. Grooming scheduled Tuesday afternoon, more snow Wednesday.
Very cold temperatures and heavy snow load have combined to snap or topple many trees bordering the ski trails at Park Creek and Alturas Lake. At Park Creek, the sled hill, Lupine loop and Shooting Star have been rolled. The trail half way out Camas was rolled but fallen trees have blocked the connection over to Shooting Star. Sunday groom and cut efforts may break the impasse. At Alturas Lake, the Trail to the Lake, South Loop, Over the Hill, the Connector and the East end of Wapiti have been rolled. Trails are narrow and soft in spots and very cold but the winter scenery is fabulous.
On Thursday, January 12th, the Trail to Alturas Lake as far as the bridge junction, Over the Hill and South Loop were compacted and rolled through 16 to 24 inches of deep new snow. A dozen broken and bent trees had fallen across those trails under the weight of heavy snow and had to be cut and removed. More grooming is scheduled for the next few days but expect limited soft trails most suitable for flat track touring. No classic tracks yet.
On Sunday, January 8th, Davinius read the last few pages of The Woman in White, closed the book’s cover, and left his snow cave alongside Alturas lake hoping to do a bit of trail grooming. Oddly enough, that very day was the 193rd anniversary of the birth of the author, Wilkie Collins. Published in 1859, The Woman in White is considered to be one of the first mystery novels and Davinius thought it a good one to boot. Sensational! Between reading the mesmerizing chapters of Collins’ book, he had done a lot of grooming these last couple of weeks and the trails had just started to look really good. He had felt so encouraged and positive. Now things appeared to be headed in the other direction. As the snow and wind started to pick up and the trails began to disappear under shifting drifts, he realized what a pickle he was in. This was the dreaded pineapple express! and on top of that he had nothing to read but an old copy of Sun Valley Property News. How would he survive it? “It’s another damn snowmageddon”, he thought, as he cut an armload of dead branches from the overhanging trees and stuck them into the snow along North Cabin Creek trail. Maybe they’d help him find the trail again after this white onslaught. Maybe.