Over the weekend of March 20th and 21st the cross country trails at Alturas Lake were groomed twice as we slipped beyond equinox, kicking and gliding into the future. Classic tracks ranged from poor and sporadic to totally illusional. Skate lanes were enjoyable enough and crust cruising seemed to be happening. The snow is changing. Whether we have entered a a new zodiacal constellation, the Age of Aquarius, or are just approaching the end of another ski season is not yet clear.
On St. Patrick’s day, the Ski Club’s annual balloon overflight of the Sawtooth Valley was a big success. From their Shamrock Zeppelin, the ski club’s board of directors and their spouses could clearly see Chadeus Maximus far below them, grooming the Alturas lake skate lanes. The corduroy did look a bit soft in the afternoon sun and the classic tracks certainly appeared slushy in the open meadow stretches, but Chadeus was doing the best he could and the scattered skiers seemed happy enough. Perhaps more snow will fall by the weekend making better grooming possible, but in any case, one can’t help but think…
Spring has sprung
The grass has riz
I wonder where the birdie is
They say the bird is on the wing
But that’s absurd
The wing is on the bird
On Sunday, the 14th of March, all skate lanes at Alturas Lake were regroomed to kick up a bit of light corduroy. Classic tracks on Over the Hill, the Trail to the Lake, South Loop and Sheep Thrills were still pretty decent. Several skiers rated the overall experience as “awesome”.
If you need a little sugar in your bowl or a hot dog in your roll, why not head to Alturas Lake where all ski trails were groomed on Tuesday and all trails to the east of the creek were graded and groomed again on Thursday. More grooming is planned to scrape up a little corduroy for the weekend. So get out and enjoy the kick and glide, relish life as you live it, find joy in the journey and always remember the words of Dwight D. Eisenhower, “Some people wanted champagne and caviar when they should have had beer and hot dogs.”
Yes, sadly, there will be no Sawtooth Ski Festival this first weekend of March for the first time in 19 years! Can you handle that? Of course you can, because you can still ski at Park Creek and Alturas Lake… just don’t expect a chili feed, poker run, soup and cookies or a silent auction extravaganza. The skate lanes at Alturas were groomed on Friday for your cancel culture consolation. The temperature there on Saturday at 10 a.m. was 37 degrees.