Ski Reports



2020 Apr 12, Sunday:  Put in at Easley at 10:45 and skated down to Cathedral Pines, back up to about the 16.5 km point and returned to the car. It was not a particularly good ski today. Most of the trail was very hard and icy with skater's ruts. The grooming web site said that the grooming was done last night, so it looks like the tracks were made before it refroze. At least Grace and I couldn't make skate tracks like that today when we started. But wait, that's not all! At several spots along the trail, the surface was already very mushy, enough that it was very lurchy on the downhill as you passed in and out of the shade. Conclusion: earlier would not have helped, later would not have helped. Just couldn't see how to make anything but a pig with lipstick out of this today. Not really worth the trip from Hailey to do this, so I'm not sure what we'll do from now on. If they groom in the morning, then we could probably get out a bit earlier and have skiable conditions. I doubt that they'll do that.

Also noted significant meltout in several spots, notably around the hot springs. Looked like we might be down to bare ground very soon.

2020 Apr 9, Thursday:  May be our last day on the lower Harriman. Put in again at Murphy Bridge pullout at 9:30 and skated 15 km total. There was a lot of snow loss overnight and several bad spots starting to show. Skiing was good and I got in a 5 km time trial as well. Thinking about not skiing again until Monday when it is supposed to cool down somewhat.
2020 Apr 8, Wednesday:  Another good skate day. Put in at Murphy Bridge parking at 9:30, an hour earlier than yesterday. Made all the difference. Trail was firm/icy with just the right amount of packed powder. Skied down to the bridge, up to Cathedral Pines parking area and back, about 14 km all together. Never really got sloppy while we were out.

A lot of people parked when we left but pretty uncrowded. Some people crust skiing.

2020 Apr 7, Tuesday:  I believe we are through the worst of the plague here in the county, so Grace and I ventured out to ski again. Put in at Easley around 10:30 to pretty soft conditions already. We skated up to the 18 km marker and back. The return trip was dominated by lurchy conditions as we skied in and out of trees. I forgot my knee brace and had to be really careful not to fall. Grace fell once on the way up, polling one ski while V2ing. She got up without having to take off her skis. A month ago she couldn't do that, so that shows how much she has improved in her struggle with the autoimmune disorder.

We need to get out about an hour earlier for better conditions.

Still seeing unnecessary groups of skiers. Boise has shut down all access to public athletic facilities because of abuse and Paris now prohibits all outdoor exercise. It wouldn't take much here for a pissed off motorist to report what looks like non-social-distancing and have the Forest Service shut us down. It already happened in Laramie and Grand Junction.

2020 Apr 2, Thursday:  Probably my last ski for the season was yesterday. This morning, I got ready to go north again for another ski. It is likely that it would have been spectacularly good. Then, I read two recent articles on Karen Bossick's Eye on Sun Valley website. There were pleas from a county commissioner and an ER doctor to stay home: Don't do any unnecessary travel.

We Nordic skiers think of ourselves as special people, elevated above the ordinary population. But, I cannot justify a 60 mile round trip north to ski as 'necessary travel.' It is not and it sets a bad example. It is just to please my own elitist ego. I can perfectly well exercise here at home without making these trips. And, yesterday, we saw several groups of two skiers, obviously not related, idly skiing together and talking as though there were nothing wrong. I no longer can understand why BCRD continues to encourage this. They shouldn't because people are abusing the priviledge, justifying it because THEY are certainly special. I am going to practice what I believe and hope I'm still alive for next ski season.

If the situation changes and, if there is still skiing, I'll head back out.

2020 Apr 1, Wednesday:  Again skated the Harriman, putting in at Easley around 10:45, then skiing down to Cathedral, up to the 17 km marker and back to the car. There were a few inches of new snow that compacted pretty well into the old snow. The skate platform was pretty firm. However, the new snow made the going a lot tougher today. Got 12 km in about 90 minutes.

Still pretty crowded out there but no problem finding a parking spot. This was my 99th day since Thanksgiving.

2020 Mar 31, Tuesday:  Home gym workout today.
2020 Mar 30, Monday:  Skated the lower Harriman again today. Put in at 10 at the Murphy Bridge parking pullout. Second car there. Skated south to the campground then north to Cathedral Pines Road and back to the parking area. About 85 minutes of pretty fast skiing. Noticed that the conditions changed a bit along the route but no problems. Only saw a few skiers and mutts. Got back to the car just as it started to snow and blow. Timed it just right.
2020 Mar 29, Sunday:  Day off today.
2020 Mar 28, Saturday:  Another good and fast skate along the usual route on the Harriman. Out about 90 min.

Still surprised at the apparently callous disregard for the plague we have here in Blaine Co. Why are unrelated people still skiing together? Even if it fits the letter of the law, it really is a bad model to follow. We have already lost one person and business owners that we personally know are struggling. Does your selfie for Facebook really need to be taken in this mess? The human race really deserves what is coming. Now I read that some Chinese patients that have gotten over the disease are again testing positive.

An up-to-date graph of the number of covid-19 cases is shown in the graph to the left. Click the image to see the full-sized image.

2020 Mar 27, Friday:  Another Harriman skate day. Put in at 10:45 at Easley, skied down to Cathedral then up to just past the Anderson Creek bridge and return the same route. About 100 min on pretty fast skate platform. Still saw quite a few skiers out but parking was no problem. Saw Shauna Thoreson who lives in the same complex as Bob & Betsy. She still seems OK.

Also passed Karl and Diana, Susan Thoreson, Nello and Jenny, Bob and Jacquie and assorted others.

2020 Mar 26, Thursday:  Harriman skate from Cathedral Pines to 20 km point and back. Nice 110 minute ski. Everything looked good. No problem parking. Lots of skiers out.

Today the coronavirus hit home. We saw Bob and Betsy where we turned around. They told us that their housing complex at Sun Valley had 6 confirmed cases of the virus with several more results pending. At least one of those was a VAMP that we know. Apparently most of it originated from a wedding of a well-known SVSEF skier. His mom was the first officially-reported case in the WRV and Betsy said she was hospitalized. We had met her and I know her daughter.

Later, the first Idaho deaths from the virus were reported. One of them was Lynn Bockemohle who was a regular BCRD Courtesy Patroller at Prairie Creek for years. We saw him on Wednesdays sitting in his vehicle, reading the newspaper, eager to help. My photo shows him volunteering at a Harriman Trail shovel day in 2014 when we had to haul snow for the Boulder Mountain Tour. Volunteering was what he did. It looks like he may have been one of the attendees at the wedding.

2020 Mar 25, Wednesday:  Home gym workout today.
2020 Mar 24, Tuesday:  Tried to ski up north today. Got to the SNRA and there was 2-3" of new snow on top of the groomed trail. Still snowing and blowing. Didn't look very interesting so we went home. Did a little walk out on Quigley road. We'll try again tomorrow if it is better weather.
2020 Mar 23, Monday:   Same ski as yesterday. Put in at Easley at 11 am, skied to the 18 km marker below the Anderson Creek hill, back down to the Cathedral Pines road crossing and then return to the car. Another 90 min ski. Trail conditions were really good. Everything had been groomed. No icy ruts anywhere. Fast conditions. Not as many skiers out today but the Murphy Bridge parking pullout was jam packed when we drove back to Hailey. We had no trouble finding a place to park.
2020 Mar 22, Sunday:  Skated the lower Harriman today. Put in at Easley, skied down to Cathedral Pines and then up to about the 16.5 km point (near Spruce Creek, below Anderson Creek). Generally good but very mixed conditions depending on where you were: Started out good and then really went to hell at Baker Creek. Looked like they hadn't groomed north of there. Lots of solid ice ruts from previous skiers. Below that it was just packed powder and skied well. No point in criticizing the BCRD because they really don't care whether or not what they post matches reality. Good ski for us. Out about 90 min.

I had talked to Ted a couple of days ago and he said that, on Friday, his chief concern was finding a place to park when he went to Billy's Bridge. We didn't find that problem. Plenty of parking available at Murphy's Bridge parking, Cathedral, Easley and Baker. Pretty tight at the 16.5 km point.

Skier numbers were another matter. I can't remember seeing such streams of skiers, ever. It was jam-packed on lots of sections of the trail. Don't think anyone violated the 'social distancing' rule but lots of people nevertheless.

2020 Mar 21, Saturday:  Sheltering in place. First day of state-ordered isolation for the county. Can go out to exercise. Will try skiing again tomorrow.
2020 Mar 20, Friday:  Pretty scary day of skating today at Quigley. Major sections of the trail are now showing bare ground and/or rocks and gravel. In many places where it still was covered my poles were hitting ground right underneath. I almost bailed when I saw the conditions. In the end, we did spend about an hour skating with no mishaps but I'm too cautious now to chance it again. Otherwise, the snow was pretty fast and it was a good ski. So long Quigley until next season. This was my 78th day since Thanksgiving. Not as many as last year but we started earlier this season. Just didn't have the snow on the back end like last year.

We'll continue to ski up north as long as they can groom. Tomorrow is rest day.

2020 Mar 19, Thursday:  County now on total lockdown thanks to the coronavirus. We skated for 100 min today at Q. It was fast and great. What an experience! Just for fun I skied every last meter of groomed trail today. Except for the unavoidable out-and-back stretches I probably only re-skied about a half km of trail. I haven't been able to do this all season until today.

Don't know how much longer we can do this since the lockdown order may affect grooming. For now, we'll take it.

2020 Mar 18, Wednesday:  Very slow skate day at Quigley today in a few inches of new snow. Coverage was still good even near the parking lot; didn't go through anywhere although we are going to have to portage soon. We got in about 80 minutes of painful, hard work but it beats lifting dumbbells in my basement. Today was my 50th day at Q since the first of the year. Seventy six total days this season. I am still amazed at every day we get to ski out there at this point.
2020 Mar 17, Tuesday:  Squeezed out another good, fast skate day at Quigley. I'm astounded. Also still using the big machine. Setting classic tracks not doing much good. They could probably pack up The Leslie and get by with smaller equipment.
2020 Mar 16, Monday:  Skated today at Q. Very fast and EZ for first hour but slow when it softened up. Need to get out a bit earlier than 10:15. Surprisingly good but not possible to guess what tomorrow will be like. I felt pretty good but Grace was a little sluggish. With things shutting down fast here due to covid-19 it will be interesting to see how long we can ski.
2020 Mar 15, Sunday:  Day off.
2020 Mar 14, Saturday:  Day off. An inch or two of new snow, more in forecast.
2020 Mar 13, Friday:  Must be our lucky day! We skated today at Q and it was fantastic. No sign of yesterday's bad spots. The regroom really did the job. Probably WILL make it through the weekend after all. We lasted a bit over an hour on fast snow. Wish WY had been this good.
2020 Mar 12, Thursday:  Another classic day at Q. I was again on my skins and Grace on Zeros this time. Hers are soft flex and worked great. Lasted almost two hours. Very discouraging to watch the melt-out in real time: a large section of classic track disappeared in about an hour leaving bare ground. Not sure we will get through the weekend.
2020 Mar 11, Wednesday:  Another classic day at Quigley, my 45th since Jan 1. Trails still holding up for the most part but some major melt out at bridges. Rumors are that Q will not be open next week. We'll stick it out until the bitter end!

My skins were again working well. No kickout and even tried my first hill at the east side. Grace, on the other hand just couldn't manage. We extended her wax pocket, put on universal klister as a first layer and red klister over the top. She still slipped. Not a great ski day for her. After we got back, we broke out the Zeros to see if they would work any better. Another try tomorrow. If that doesn't work it's back to skating.

2020 Mar 10, Tuesday:  Classic ski day at Quigley. Don't know why the snow is holding up, but it is. I tried out a brand new pair of Madshus skin skis that I got from Free Heel and Wheel in West Yellowstone. That shop is really good. I wish we had a ski shop in the Valley that compared. Of course, it helps that Kelly is married to Jack Hart who is the Madshus rep. As a result, FH&W has a very extensive quiver of demo skis. I was able to try out something that worked for me and then buy a comparable ski. It also doesn't hurt that the skis and boots were 40% off this near the end of the season.

Anyhow, they worked great. Grace was using klister and wasn't having as much luck. My skis really worked well on the icy track. I don't think I kicked out once! Too bad Grace wasn't able to find a pair that worked for her. Her demos were good but there wasn't anything left on the sale rack that worked.

2020 Mar 9, Monday:  Return trip to Hailey.
2020 Mar 8, Sunday:  Trails groomed with a snowmobile and tracks set. We classic skied on skin skis to test them out. I liked mine and bought a pair. Grace couldn't find a pair that matched her although the demos worked fine. Had a GREAT ski for two hours, much of it with Jeff and Mo May who we haven't seen for 20 years.
2020 Mar 7, Saturday:  It was NOT!! Doug's PB broke its tiller bar last night. The renovator was in place and dredged up random big chunks of ice that were not pulverized. The trail was a mess to ski. Way above my pay grade. I skied to the 3rd aid station and bailed out. Recorded a 5 km time for my records. Just nasty hard. Grace was able to finish and destroyed her competition.

A bit disappointing for me but, hey, better than getting drunk on Cold Smoke. Oh, wait...

Joined a bunch of rowdy old CO friends at the bar later that night. Made the trip worth while!

2020 Mar 6, Friday:  Well groomed Rendezvous trails, very fast and great skiing. If it's this tomorrow, it will be an all-time fast ski!

Saw Shawn and Tyler Scholl at bib pick up. Haven't seen them in a dog's age. Tyler is huge. He's going to run for CU next year. This is his gap year.

2020 Mar 5, Thursday:  Skied Rendezvous trail system briefly. As usual, not groomed a few days before the race. I need to learn to come late Thursday and skip the ski.
2020 Mar 4, Wednesday:  Day off.
2020 Mar 3, Tuesday:  Last day to ski before heading out for West Yellowstone. Skated for about 75 min today at Quigley. Red wax and some structure was the call of the day. Easy skiing now. Hope for these conditions at WY.
2020 Mar 2, Monday:  R & R. A bit windy, no interest in skiing.
2020 Mar 1, Sunday:  Skated for 90 min at Quigley. Put in around 11:30 and surface was soft and very slightly mushy in some places. But it was rocket fast. I was back to my rock skis with Swix LF Pink and some structure. I could hardly stay on the horse! Felt pretty rested and managed a little time trial on the way back. Pace was about 3:40/km. Not the fastest this season but I couldn't squeeze out any more. Skis were faster than my ability.

Things still holding up pretty well. Not much sign of loss of trail. Some grass on the Back Canyon trail, a brown spot or two here and there but overall good. The classic tracks, on the other hand, are really shallow in most spots. I'm not inclined to try classic skiing again unless we get more white stuff.

2020 Feb 29, Saturday:  R & R.
2020 Feb 28, Friday:  Recovery skate day at Quigley. Really, really EZ skiing. Track was firm and fast. We both used mildly structured red wax skis. Kinda wish it had been this easy yesterday! Out for about 70 min. Starting to see some rocks and gravel come through in a FEW places. I ran aground in the arena on a buried rock. Put a little extra structure in one of my skis. I'm thinking it will be pretty bad out there when we get back from West Yellowstone, unless we get some help from above.
2020 Feb 27, Thursday:  Hard skate day at Quigley. Did a 12 km skate at what we hope is race pace for West Yellowstone. I was happy with the ski but had some drink logistic issues that reminded me of my solution for the BMT: a short sleeved bike jersey over my race jersey so I can get to the fluid bottles.

Today was day 40 at Q for the current year out of 47.

2020 Feb 26, Wednesday:  Another EZ skate at Q. I was much better today. Grace a bit more sore. Did about 15 km today. Very empty parking lot. Surprising since conditions are still really good.
2020 Feb 25, Tuesday:  EZ skate day at Q for me. Still feeling pretty worn out. Grace seemed fully recovered and did some hills. It is still in pretty good shape out there. The trails are hard-packed powder but not particularly icy, even in the worst spots. Tracks are getting harder to set and are shallower than they have been. We definitely need new snow. Saw Ed C today and he said that the snowpack in the Wood River Valley is now down to 50% of normal. Does not bode well for spring and summer as it stands. We should make it at Q through the Rendezvous but I'm not optimistic about March.
2020 Feb 24, Monday:  R & R.
2020 Feb 23, Sunday:  EZ 100 min skate today at Q. Conditions were, once again, really fast. Tracks looked much shallower today. The parking lot was not crowded today but there were way more skiers at the far east end than we have ever seen. More skiers than dogs today!
2020 Feb 22, Saturday:  Recovery classic ski today at Q. Out late enough that we used our klister skis. Nice kick, good glide, well-defined tracks. Nice to be back where the skiing is good! Overall, a short, easy day. Out about 75 min.
2020 Feb 21, Friday:  Put in at Easley parking around 10:30. Snow temps were really cold and the snow was slow and grindy. We skied up to the Billy Goat overlook marker just short of the 24 km marker and back. That was a slow, painful ski. There just were not any gifts on the trip either way, including the downhills. The 24 km ski took us 3 hours to complete and we were really struggling to make it back to the car. If this is how WY skis, we are going to switch to the 10 km!

Once again, acutely aware of how much faster and better the skiing is at Quigley. The Harriman tracks aren't very deep and the skate platform is too slow. Still a LOT of debris just south of the Anderson Creek bridge.

2020 Feb 20, Thursday:  Another low intensity classic ski at Q. Same hard wax as yesterday for me, Grace was using Swix Violet. Great tracks, great ski. Tomorrow skate up north.
2020 Feb 19, Wednesday:  Nice little classic ski today at Q using hard waxes again. I was on Toko Yellow and Grace was using Swix Blue Extra over some Oslo Blue. I didn't do any hills of note. Grace did one little one at the east end. Not a very big crowd today. Saw Roger & Francette prepping for the WY classic race. Saw Ralph who is leaving for the Birkie tomorrow. He says he is ready.

Out about 2 hours.

2020 Feb 18, Tuesday:  R & R. Expect to classic the next couple of days.
2020 Feb 17, Monday:  Another skate day at Q. I was on my old blue-waxed unstructured Fischers and Grace on similar. Today was V2 practice starting from the arena and going all the way out to the east end, including all the uphills, downhills and straightaways. About 12 km total; probably the longest I have ever done at one time. Tried not to use any pole stroke unless it was V2. Otherwise free skate or ride the classic tracks. Feeling pretty confident about V2 now.

Ran into Anne who is skiing better than ever. She is really getting something from her coaching.

Met a woman who was skiing with two dogs, not on leashes. When she saw us coming she stopped and had her dogs sit still beside her until we passed. One was only 4 months old, so it can be done even with puppies. When I stopped to thank her and told her some of my recent experiences she said that these kinds of owners have no business bringing their dogs out in public and probably shouldn't have dogs at all. She said it really makes her furious to see the uncontrolled behavior. Too bad thoughtless people ruin it for others.

2020 Feb 16, Sunday:  A really, really good skate day today at Quigley. I was using my structured red/blue waxed SpeedMax skis and Grace was on blue unstructured skis. We did a lot more than I had originally planned to do because conditions were so good. We did the hills at the east end of the trail system and the South Canyon trail as well as a little time trial on the return. Out about two hours again today.

Very few dogs today and practically none in the arena.

Dog Incident No 2:  At the end of today's ski I wanted to talk to Blake Turner a bit but there were loose dogs everywhere. It may have been the worst day I have seen at Quigley. Two pretty large dogs were playing and managed to run into my bad leg. They were completely unaware of anything else around them. A woman who was the owner of one of the dogs told me that it would not run into me. Clearly she had not been paying attention or she would have seen that it already did. She didn't seem to care that I had a bad knee and didn't want to be hit by her dog.
2020 Feb 15, Saturday:  Great day classic skiing at Q today. Again using Swix Universal Klister. Both of us had good kick. Out for two hours.

As an aside, the pickup truck that was stuck on Quigley Canyon road the last several days was finally towed away. According to Eric Rector, the bozo who got it stuck managed to burn out his clutch trying to get back on the road. Apparently, he found another bozo to help him get it out.

2020 Feb 14, Friday:  Skate day at Quigley. Using Toko Blue skis with no structure. Put in at around 10:45am; snow temp at start was 16.5F. Probably should have been on classic skis; tracks were spectacular. May try tomorrow. Out for 90 min and did a 2 km up-tempo ski on the way home. Otherwise, nothing to report. Day 25 at Q since start of 2020.
2020 Feb 13, Thursday:  Skated the HairyMan today from the 16.5 km put-in (below Anderson Creek) up to the 25.5 km point, plus out to the PC parking area and back. A grand total of 20 km! Second one this week. We were on Toko Blue, structureless skis and had pretty fast glide most of the way. Saw way more skiers up there than we normally do at Quigley. Too many to name.

Lots of evidence of a high wind event recently. I counted about 8-10 downed trees between the 18 km marker and the PC junction. All had been cleared off the trail but plenty of deebree still on the trail. It kind of ruined the return trip for me since I really like to work the downhill from the Anderson Creek bridge back to the car. Just too much junk to take a chance. Also noticed several major changes of air temperature along the way. Peculiar stratification in the atmosphere at the moment, I guess.

2020 Feb 12, Wednesday:  Another day off.
2020 Feb 11, Tuesday:  Skated today at Q on unstructured skis with Toko LF Blue. Perfect match between the skis and the snow. Stayed flat for 90 min but ticked off some good distance.

The ice pond near the South Canyon Trail has completely disappeared.

2020 Feb 10, Monday:  Another great classic ski day at Quigley, again on Swix Universal Klister. We were joined by Ed Cannady today and spent about 1hr45min skiing. Temp when we put in at 10:45 was 10F. We did our usual loop plus once around the hill at the east side. Had a look at the remains of the animal pelt pictured previously and, after consultation with Eric Rector who skied by, decided it was part of the hide of a mule deer. Probably would NOT have been killed by a bobcat, so the tracks may just have been a casual investigation by the cat. Or, who knows?

Back to skating tomorrow to get back into the groove for Yellowstone.

Ice pond starting to retreat today.

2020 Feb 9, Sunday:  Arrived about 10 am at Q to classic ski. Because of the freeze-thaw cycle, we put on Swix Universal Klister out of a can (just sponge in on and ski). That nailed the wax. The tracks are very hard and shallow but the kick was great. Turned out to be 100 min of full recovery skiing to unkink from yesterday. With the forecast temps for the next few days, we will probably keep it up.

Ice pond still prominent where it was yesterday.

2020 Feb 8, Saturday:  Good night's sleep. Morning pulse back to normal (42). It's gonna be a great day. We put in at Q around 10:30. Didn't check the snow temp but was pretty worried about the freeze-thaw cycle. I put some additional structure in my Fischer Speed Max. Didn't need to worry. Everything worked today. We put in our first 20 km ski of the year at Q and only the second for the season. Skating was fast today. Did the hills at the east end twice for good measure and the near one (not the Winter Park trail, which wasn't groomed) once. I'm convinced that we can do the 25 km skate at Yellowstone, if conditions don't turn bad. We can make a final decision at the bib pickup on Friday. Cold Smoke Scotch Ale and the Slippery Otter here we come! About 2hr15min total ski time.

Did notice that parts of the trail are starting to deteriorate: the Outer Loop at the far end (south facing aspect) is beginning to show some meltout and the main loop next to the hill near the start of the South Canyon Loop is showing some ice ponds.

2020 Feb 7, Friday:  Tired! Morning pulse waaay high (48). Ted said we should take the day off, so we did.
2020 Feb 6, Thursday:  Put in at Q at 10:30. Saw Marilyn & Tullio & Roger M when we started. Tullio measured 16.5F for snow temperature. We were skating on mildly structured skis with Toko Red/Blue mix. Things were slick in places but pretty grabby later when the air warmed up more. I'm going to add some structure to my skis for tomorrow. We worked the hills and tried for some distance. Got about 2 hours of skiing in. We were both pretty tired from a big week of skiing. Maybe try for a shorter day tomorrow.
2020 Feb 5, Wednesday:   Arrived at Q around 10:45 again. Snow temp today 12.5F. Another classic day with no hills for me a few for Grace. I was kicking with Toko Yellow and she was on Swix Violet. Tracks were great everywhere with no blown-in snow today. We stayed out for nearly two hours and I really tried to keep the pace down to recover from yesterday. Ran into a few SVSEF skiers at the east end who were doing intervals.

Saw the critter pelt again today but no sign of the bobcat tracks. Check the photo at left to see if you can identify the owner.

2020 Feb 4, Tuesday:  Feeling fully recovered from the BMT: muscle soreness mostly gone, good night's sleep, anxious to ski.

No wind at Quigley at 10:45 when we put in. Snow temp at start was 4.5F, the coldest I have recorded since I started keeping score. Grooming good, tracks set everywhere, snow blown in many places. We planned a looong classic ski today to begin prep for longer races at West Yellowstone. We were kicking on Toko Blue. I had no slippage at all today. Grace had a bit more trouble. Out for 2hr35min, the longest ski so far this season. We did the hills at the back of the canyon.

Four legged predators were clearly in evidence. We stopped and talked to Rick Sanders east of the pond and he alerted us to a critter pelt up the trail. He thought it might be the remains of a beaver. He also saw tracks for 3 coyotes and what he thought was a wild cat of some sort. He mentioned seeing a small herd of deer up in the hills to the north of the road. We saw the deer, maybe 6-10. Also spotted the tracks and the animal pelt. No idea what the critter used to be but it did have pretty long hair. The tracks appeared to me to be a bobcat. They were clear and distinct around the pelt. Too bad I didn't have my camera along today to make a record. Also saw the coyote tracks in the mix.

2020 Feb 3, Monday:  R & R: tired and too windy.
2020 Feb 2, Sunday:  Quite a bit of DOMS from yesterday's race. Didn't have a great night sleep last night. Did Demo Day at Sun Valley Nordic in light snow. Around an inch of new over the groomed surface. Tested out a few pairs of Rossignol R Skin skis. Liked the way they slid on the flats (double polling easy) and downhills. A little too stiff for me on the uphills. Now looking for an R Skin Premium in a bit softer flex. I'd really, really like to do the West Yellowstone classic race one more time and not have to rewax in the middle. Also, I need to get rid of the fishy scales. The light snow and some fresh in the tracks was a perfect test for me. These are traditionally hard for me.
2020 Feb 1, Saturday:  BMT day. Great race for both of us. Right skis, right wax and great weather! What's not to like?
2020 Jan 31, Friday:  BMT tomorrow. Picked up bibs and did last bit of work on skis. Finally decided on red JetStream with light structure. Otherwise, just R & R.
2020 Jan 30, Thursday:  Last day on skis before the BMT. Really feeling good today. This is the first time I have tapered for a ski race when it has replicated the feelings of a swim taper: feel bad the first few days and then like superman the last few.

Put in at Quigley today at 10:45 am. Snow temperature at start was 15F. Temperature two hours later, when we left was 18F. Similar to Frostbite Flats yesterday. Tried both pairs of skis and got a clear indication that the Atomic Betas (20-years old) were the better pair. They were the ones that were waxed Toko blue before and were consistently better than the newer Fisher Speedmax skis. That nails the choice of skis. The red/blue wax seemed to be a good decision. So, the only remaining choice is the topcoat. If there is wind (as forecast) the blue is the better choice since there will be windblown snow in the tracks. That stuff is very sharp and draggy. Ergo, a cold, hard wax is right. If there is no wind then 400 skiers in front of us will have worn off all the sharp edges and the red topcoat will be right. I'll have to decide tomorrow afternoon when I look at the updated forecast. Otherwise, alles gut!

2020 Jan 29, Wednesday:  Put in at Frostbite Flats (Murphy Bridge) parking area at about 10:45 am. Snow temperature was 14F, the coldest I have measured this week, but probably because of location. Tested both blue and red wax skis and the call was pretty even. Didn't get a qualitative feel that one was performing better than the other. The time tests were similar: the red wax skis had a better average time/km than the blue ones but the blue ones had a very slightly better maximum speed. Conclusion? I am going to wax both pairs red:blue and test again tomorrow at Quigley where the snow temperatures are a bit higher. I'll just pick the ones that feel the best. Out for about an hour today. Snow temperature was still 14F when we left even though the air temperature was coming up fast.

Starting to feel good today after feeling sore and shitty the last few.

Met up with Ted briefly and Cindy H at the signpost. We discussed the BIG problem with uncontrolled dogs on the trail system, particularly at Quigley.

2020 Jan 28, Tuesday:  Another snowy day. Ran some errands and put in at Q around 11:45 am for a little more skating. Snow temp at the start was 24.5F. About an inch of new snow on top of the groomed surface and light snow still falling. Tried both blue and red skis again today. Qualitatively, the blue skis felt somewhat faster and the red skis just a tad grabby. I could easily V2 in the blue pair and only awkardly in the red pair. My GPS sort of confirms that: Fastest times with the blue skis was 4:21/km and with the red skis 4:28/km. This is not a super quantitative test but I tried to keep a pretty even ski pace (without thrashing or even trying race pace) on the section next to the hill on the way back to the car. Score another one for the blue wax skis.

Lasted about 45 min plus time to change skis. Planning to try Frostbite Flats tomorrow late morning.

Dog Incident:  While we were speed testing our skis in the arena Grace and I were charged by an aggressive, barking, large dog who seemed to be stimulated by our speed. I have been bitten twice in the last 9 months and am wearing a knee brace as a result of a ski accident last February. Both make me very nervous when I am charged by a large, out-of-control dog. I don't know the breed but it probably weighed more than 60 pounds. The owner was just practicing his skiing in the arena and let the dog run loose. He apologized to Grace for the dog's behavior. However, when I approached him and told him about my situation, he pretty much dismissed my concerns. His comments were: that I should be able to see that his dog wouldn't bite; that he could not control his dog; and that he wouldn't put her in the car because she loved to run around so much. Since I made no headway talking to him, I reported the incident to John Forsyth who was working the Quigley Courtesy Patrol at the time. John talked to the dog owner who subsequently put the dog in his car. The incident was seen by Ted and the dog's behavior was noticed by another skier in the area who commented to me that I could not know for sure that the dog wouldn't bite because it was so aggressive.
2020 Jan 27, Monday:  Met up with Ted for some skating at Q. My goal was mainly to test two different sets of skis: little/no structure, one with Toko Red the other with Toko Blue. Temperature at 10:30 was 18F. I did a few slides down the hill closest to the yurt and got not very convincing results. The hill course was about 0.15 km and steep enough to get a good start on release.

Blue wax skis: 25.6±0.6 sec   Red wax skis: 26.3±0.2 sec That's not even a 1-sigma difference. Statistically insignificant. Probably will just pick the ones that feel good.

Blue wax skis felt a bit better just skiing around. The red ones were pretty fast in the sun but draggy where the sun don't shine.

Spent about 75 minutes today. Not many km.

2020 Jan 26, Sunday:  ANOTHER rest and recovery day. Snowed most of the day and not very appealing to go out to ski. About 0.2 inches of precipitation recorded from Hailey up to Galena. I measured 3 inches of snow in our driveway mid-morning. Grace and I planning to get together tomorrow with Ted at Quigley to test out some skis, structure and wax. Time to start getting serious!
2020 Jan 25, Saturday:  An EZ recovery skate today at Q. Snow temperature at 10:30 was 22.5F. We were still on Toko HF Blue with Jetstream (left over from the Loppet a week ago). Toko's web site says that we should be using red or yellow. Nonsense! Skis were running fine. Skiers have known for a long time that these cold waxes run way out of range on the warm side.

A little up tempo on the way back yielded about 4 min/km with ease. I think I can keep up that level of effort for the half BMT. For me, that would be a great race time. Snow a bit fast for my skill level today.

2020 Jan 24, Friday:  Rest and recovery today. Getting ready for the BMT. Last hard workout yesterday. Spent a lot of today fixing the results file from the BG Loppet. All the published men's race times have a one minute error (i.e., the reported times are too long by one minute). The corrected version is posted on this web site in the 'Local Race Results' page.
2020 Jan 23, Thursday:  Skated at Quigley nearly 2 hrs today with Grace and Ted. Same general workout as earlier: technical work on the hills. This time we did some steeper longer ones trying to keep the technique under control and maintain an even pace to the top. Pretty tiring and rewarding. I tried a little longer TT (2.5 km) on the way back and was running at 2:25/km. The skate platform was faster and less stable for me today. It was faster than my skill level. As a side note, I fell today while I was warming up. No particular reason, my left knee just gave out when I stepped out onto the ski. No pain and no lasting aftereffect. However, this is the first time since my fall in the BMT last year that this has occurred. I'm going to wear my knee brace until after the race.

Saw Anne & Sally; and Andy. About 25 cars in the lot at 1 pm when we left.

2020 Jan 22, Wednesday:  Classic skied nearly 2 hrs today at Quigley. Tracks are getting harder to set, even with The Leslie, and were shallow in many places. Still skiable. I used two layers of Toko Yellow over one layer of Swix XF60. My skis were good in the beginning but got a little slippy after about an hour. I kind of wanted to do some of the hills on the east side but didn't because the kick wasn't great and I didn't want a big arm workout. Grace was on two layers of Swix Violet and had pretty consistent kick until the end. Not a big turnout at Q today. Saw Ralph at the far east end.
2020 Jan 21, Tuesday:  Went out to Quigley for some technical skate work today. Tried to keep the effort somewhat lower to continue recovery. Met up with Ted Angle and spent about 90 min working on short hills to get the climbing technique under control. After each hill climb we stopped and described how we felt and commented on each other's technique. Very profitable session! In between was relaxed EZ skiing, mostly working on V2 and V2 Alternate to get more glide and time on one ski. Finished up with a short, high-speed burst back toward the parking area, about 1 km. My pace was 3:20/km, the fastest since year before last. The skate platform was muy rapido. A lot of fun.

We also saw a bunch of people we knew today: met Tullio leaving as we got there; Leslie Howa (she said it was her first time there ever); John Forsyth looking ready for the BMT; and June who skied the whole thing several times I think.

2020 Jan 20, Monday:  Skated about 90 min at Q today on Toko HF Blue/no structure. Still recovering from Saturday but managed about a 3 1/2 km TT on the way back. Skate lane was pretty fast; we were running at 3:40/km. That's almost 90sec/km faster than the BG Loppet at SV on Saturday.

Saw Marilyn & Tullio; and Karen Bossick looking really happy, but pretty uncrowded in general.

2020 Jan 19, Sunday:  Pretty good recovery day of classic skiing today at Quigley. Kicking on Blue Extra was just a little slippy but that may have been tired muscles from yesterday. Definitely had not replenished the glycogen stores yet. Skied for 95 min.

Parking lot was packed, as usual, when we left at noon.

2020 Jan 18, Saturday:  There is no question that there is a God and that she is female. A reasonable god would just rain fire and brimstone down on me for my sins and be done with it. But no, that's too good for me. Instead, She creeps into my head in the middle of the night and convinces me to enter ski races. That's waaaay more suitable punishment for my behavior.

So, the BG Loppet has come and gone and I'll probably do it again next year if it exists. However, it was a complete miserable experience from start to finish with cold temps, slow snow and not enough juice in the tanks. My pace was about the same as last year but I only did the short race this year.

The turnout was better than last year: Jenny said 79 (I think) today - about 50% more than 2019. Thanks to her and Ted for putting on the race.

2020 Jan 17, Friday:  What a glorious day at Q today. Skated for about an hour with Susan G. testing our wax for tomorrow's BG Loppet. We were using Toko HF Blue. It was great. An effortless 3 km ski at the end at 4:17/km. Using The Leslie makes a Yuuge difference. As Jim Santa told us today: the skate platform is so wide that I don't know where to ski!

Looking forward to tomorrow GLWATCDR.

2020 Jan 16, Thursday:  Rest and recovery today. Getting ready for the BG Loppet.
2020 Jan 15, Wednesday:  Well, bless my soul Brothers and Sisters! They brought out The Leslie for the first time this season. That pig really can groom the trails. Skate lanes uber perfect, classic tracks uber, uber perfect. What a day. We really have achieved privileged white folks status at last.

We classic skied for 2 1/2 hours today on Toko Blue. Sweet kick and great glide. Did a little scrape down of the kick zone and then applied one layer on each of our skis. We even skied the Winter Trail Park today for the first time. The thermometer said 'colder than the underbelly of the arctic ice cap' but we put in at 11:30 anyhow. It was not really that cold feeling and we turned out to be overdressed. A really, really fine day of skiing.

Ran into CRank on skates; John Forsyth training for the BMT; and June & Ralph. CRank looked faster and more aggressive today than she has in years. She must be feeling pretty swell.

About 25 cars in the lot when we left. Ben says he may be able to get back onto skis shortly.

2020 Jan 14, Tuesday:  I heard my inner self today and classic skied. On Blue Extra. Everything was groomed and the grooming guy was out on the snow mobile for about an hour after he finished with the Pisten Bully, just packing the classic only trail. He finished off by setting track in same. This guy is good and careful. He's the one who spent all the time Christmas Eve in falling snow. Soft today but should be good tomorrow in the polar temps predicted. There was about 5 inches of new snow at Sweetwater this morning. That's 18 inches in the last three snowfalls.

We skied for 1:45 today, mostly with Marilyn & Tullio. Didn't see many others out there. A good day of skiing.

2020 Jan 13, Monday:  A lot of new snow at the south end of the Valley: we had 10" at Sweetwater and the Quigley groomer reported 11" there. Precipitation at other stations were 0.6" at Hailey Ranger Station, 0.5" at Ketchum Ranger Station, 0.3" at North Fork, 0.4" at Chocolate Gulch, 0.4" at Galena and 0.3" at Galena Summit. Clearly more precipitation in the south from this storm. It will be interesting to see whether BCRD brings out The Leslie for this. More than a foot in Hailey from the last two snows.

No Leslie and The Muffy looked like it had a problem (at least the cab was up and Ross was poking around inside). Not all the trail system had been groomed. It was soft and cold but we tried to skate anyhow. Stupid mistake: only got 4.5 km today with a lot of work to show for it. Should have listened to my inner self who said CLASSIC.

Not very many people today.

2020 Jan 12, Sunday:  About 3 new inches of snow. Classic skied at Q today using Blue Extra; worked great for both of us. Started out sunny but clouded over later. Flat light at the end.

Saw Jim; Ted; Anne & Sally; Brenda & Mimi; and a bunch of skaters from up north. More than 55 cars in the parking area when we left. I have never seen so many skiers at Quigley. Part of it was the ski free day for BCRD. Good thing they are using the Pisten Bully now.

2020 Jan 11, Saturday:  Rest and recovery today. Waiting for new snow.
2020 Jan 10, Friday:  Second great classic day at Quigley. Most of the system groomed for the third straight day with The Muffy. Classic tracks are getting harder to set and are shallower now. Should get better with more snow.

We skied for 90 minutes using yesterdays kick wax. Both of our skis worked perfectly.

Ran into Andy and Katharine; Marilyn and Tullio; and Ryan. Everybody smiling.

2020 Jan 9, Thursday:  What can I say? The grooming was perfect today at Quigley. The best all year by a big margin. The ran The Muffy over the entire trail system with TWO guys in the cab. That surely means one instructor and one newbie. Anyhow it was GREAT. The only thing is that the BCRD Mis- information Dept reported that the classic only track was reset. That ain't so, folks. They did some repair work at the far end where the ATV drove and moved some snow onto the far bridge.

We classic skied for a nickel more than 2 hours and covered most of the trail system without overlap. I was kicking on Toko Yellow (first time ever) and it was dynamite. It's warmer than the temps indicate, but I need a warmer wax with these stiff skis. Slipped maybe once or twice. Grace was on Swix Violet and was a bit more slippy.

The usual 20 cars in the parking lot at 12:30 when we left. Didn't see a patroller.

2020 Jan 8, Wednesday:  Skated at Quigley on groomed trail. The grooming? They ran The Muffy on the mutt loop and the connector to the Back Canyon Trail, then back on Shady Lane and up and around the South Canyon Loop. The rest was done with the Bobcat. The result: beautiful groomed trail for skate and classic on the mutt loop with TWO separate sets of classic tracks but unrepaired classic track + barely scratched up skate lane on the rest of the system. We were out for 1:45 and had a nice workout.

Ben reported some excitement in the parking lot. Some young female driver pulled in, then immediately pulled back out and smacked an incoming car. Then, she fled the scene. But, no matter, the Fuzz nabbed her pretty quick and justice was served.

I posted the Snowmaker Classic race results just now. What a shadow of it's former self this has become: 37 skiers this year; 120 each of the first two years we were here (2010-11).

2020 Jan 7, Tuesday:  Nice, easy nearly 2 hr classic ski at Quigley today. Good recovery from yesterday's death march up the Harriman. The grooming? The grooming report? No correlation between the two. Also the guy who doesn't know what classic tracks are for was out today 'touching up the skate lanes.' Result: driving over the classic lanes with the drag really DOES destroy the tracks. John Forsyth noticed it today and said he would report to Cindy. I doubt it helps much but good for John and thanks to him.

If he hadn't re-set the classic only track it would have been a shitty classic day. Skating looked fine.

About 15 cars in the lot when we left.

2020 Jan 6, Monday:  Put in at the 16.5 km parking pullout below the Anderson Creek bridge and skated to the PC junction, out to the road, and back down. Most of the way was pretty slow going. The lower section was newly groomed and fast. Above the Bully exchange, just north of the bridge, it had snowed 1-2 inches on top of the grooming. THAT was pretty hard going. Originally, we wanted to do the PC loop but it was just too much. Saw one patroller (Susan G) and one skier (Nello B) during the entire 2 hour trip. On the way back, I looked at my speed south of the bridge and I was hitting 2:20/km, so it would have been pretty nice if there had not been any new snow.

We were the only short-term parked vehicle at the 16.5 km pullout. Saw a FEW cars at PC. Only one at Murphy's etc, etc. Guess the party-goers went back home.

The round trip from my house is 64 miles. So, C-footprint wise, that's one trip to the parking area today or 16 trips to Quigley. If you love Exxon, BP, smog, oil spills and burning gas go for it. If you want a small footprint, better go to Q!

2020 Jan 5, Sunday:  Rest and recovery today. Going to skate from the 16.5 km put-in up to Prairie Creek on Monday.
2020 Jan 4, Saturday:  Nice little 2 hr classic ski today at the big Q. I used two layers of Swix Violet over one layer of XF60 (silver). Grace was on one layer of Blue Extra over one layer of Violet. A little slippy but great glide. About 25 vehicles parked when we left at around 1 pm.

The little Bobcat was back in the corral today. Looks like it was used to groom.

2020 Jan 3, Friday:  Maybe the Infinite Monkey Theorem doesn't really work at Quigley. As of 3 pm, the Ministry of Silly Reports stated that all trails had been groomed for skate and classic except the classic only trail. What we found at noon was that the classic only trails had been groomed today and everything except the South Canyon Trail was newly groomed. The skiing was good and it looks like The Muffy had again been used. The little Bobcat is now about 1/2 km closer to the corral than it has been for the past week. Keep at it little kitty, we'll have you home in no time.

We skated on cold wax and unstructured skis. The ski was pretty fast: we both recorded maximum pace times around 2 1/2 min/km. We skied out to the far east end and saw the section of trail where some bozo had driven an ATV on the trail system. I did a little time trial on the way back and was running around 3:40/km. That's the fastest this year and betters any from January last season.

Saw Frank and Miss Sue as we were leaving. He said that he was at Prairie Creek yesterday and recorded over 100 skiers there, most from out of town. He also said that moose had been seen at the far end of the loop by the bridge. Probably going to try a classic ski tomorrow at Q if it doesn't snow too much.

2020 Jan 2, Thursday:   The Ministry of Silly Reports was at it again today: all trails at Quigley groomed for skate & classic except the classic only, as reported on the web site. In fact, about half of the trail system was groomed and the other half left lying as it was after the snow yesterday. The good news: they used The Muffy to groom what they did do. The pic at the right shows the groomer returning to the corral around 10:30 when we started out. One thing he did NOT do was the dog/bike loop.

Got a two-hour classic ski done at a nice, recovery pace to make up for yesterday and the day before. Waxing wasn't quite right which really surprised me. Grace and I were both kicking with blue extra which should have been perfect: new snow, newly set track, cold snow temperatures. In fact, we were both slipping a bit. Could probably have used a component of violet in the mix. Still, not really an arms only workout.

Saw Jim, Susan and Sally; Tullio; Ted; Don and Lisa; and Karl and Diana along the way. Otherwise peaceful and quiet. Dead cat still lying out in the field. Looked like Ross headed out to help when we quit.

2020 Jan 1, Wednesday:  Put in at Quigley at 10:45 in falling snow. About 3 inches of new on the trail. SnoTel data looked like 5-6 inches north of Lake Creek. It was completely blind skiing for us for about 50 min. Didn't make many km on our fishy scales. Passed Ivana and youngest on our way back but not many other skiers. Sledders abounded. The ski today was on a par with tooth extractions I have had. Only this one didn't have the usual anesthetic.

Ben amended his skier count from a week ago to 135. He sold all the day passes that Cindy gave him.

2020

2019 Dec 31, Tuesday:  Skated from Baker Creek to the SNRA with Grace & Ted; then Grace and I did another 6 km from Baker north to end up with 20 km total. That's our longest ski of the season. Grace really had a good ski today. It's the best day of exercise for her since the onset of whatever plague she got in Laramie. Off meds, no pain killers and a great ski. She and I are registered for the 1/2 BMT and she's ready!

The skate platform was damned fast today. Had not been groomed since yesterday, no matter what they said on the web site. As a result it was pretty unstable for us. We just aren't used to skiing in such fast snow. It was a good test. We were running about 4 min/km most of the way. Hope to do that well in the race.

Today was my 110th day skiing since Jan 1 and my 16th year in a row to make 500 or more training hours. That was in spite of two moves and one busted knee.

2019 Dec 30, Monday:  Rest and recovery today. Going to skate from Baker to the SNRA tomorrow to prep for the 1/2 Boulder.

An Ode to Quigley

2019 Dec 29, Sunday:  Skated today at Q. Probably my last ski here for the calendar year. Using start green on structureless skis. Generally a pretty low-key session but found enough energy to do a 3 km time trial on the way back to the car. The grooming today was good. Skate and classic lanes where we skied were all re-done. Skating was much faster than a few days ago. Ran into Jim, Susan, Anne and Sally. Jim and Susan mentioned seeing tracks at the far east end of the main loop that they thought were cougar tracks. Grace and I saw them but can't confirm the ID. They weren't distinct enough for me to get a good pic. Anyhow, just to be on the safe side, we kept looking over our shoulders on the way back.

The light was flat again today but not really bad. There was a pretty good crowd again with more dogs than people on the doggie section. No wonder the big cats are starting to hang out at Q.

2019 Dec 28, Saturday:   Well, as you can see from the pic at left, Ross was NOT able to fix the problem. So, no Bobcat grooming and a not very encouraging report on the Dept of Mis-information web site or phone report. Our experience yesterday wasn't particularly good with the classic tracks. However, it was so cold that we decided to classic anyhow. Got to the Q parking lot at about 11:30 and ran into a couple of competent classic skiers. After we described what we had found yesterday they said the tracks were fine. So off we went. The older the snow gets the harder it is to get the wax. I had 2 layers of Blue Extra over one layer of XF60. Grace had one layer of Blue Extra. Blue Extra was what the skiers we talked to had used. Mostly, it worked pretty well. I slipped a few times but not bad. And, LO AND BEHOLD, today's groomer HAD repaired some of the damage from yesterday's groom. Not everywhere but east of the pond the tracks were really really good. All in all, a very good day of skiing. Got in about 2 hours at recovery pace. Just what we needed!

Talked to both the proctors and everyone was in good spirits. Pretty crowded today but don't have a count. Looked like 40 cars in the parking lot when we left at 1:30.

2019 Dec 27, Friday:  We are back to being second-class citizens again today at Q. You know, we are the ones who don't live in the protected communities up north. We wouldn't know good grooming if it snuck up behind us and barked. Anyhow, The Muffy had disappeared and no one seemed to know where it went. Our grooming was done by the Bobcat which, by the way, broke down on the trail so that the grooming job couldn't be completed. Saw Ross Coleman take a snow mobile out with a bag of spare parts to try to do a repair job. Should have called Fish and Game to shoot it.

The other thing is this: not all groomers are created equal. Whoever drove today just didn't pay any attention to where their drag was going. As a result it destroyed a bunch of classic track, at least on one side. So, what could have been been preserved to avoid resetting has been trashed on a lot of the trail. No matter, folks who live at this end of the Valley don't really amount to much. Who cares? Not BCRD, for sure.

Pretty good classic ski today in spite of the trashed tracks. I used Blue Extra and Grace used Toko blue. Just stayed flat and used it as a recovery day. A little over 90 min.

2019 Dec 26, Thursday:  OMG Boys & Girls, Moms & Pops, how can this be? BCRD brought out The Muffy today. That's the smaller of the two Pisten Bullys on site. The bigger one is The Leslie. They packed for skating and set track on most of the trail system. The exception was the Winter Trail Park, even though the web site says it was groomed. We skated about 2 hours today and did almost everything. Start green worked well for me; Grace was on Toko blue. Still a little soft. A couple more days of settling and grooming should make it perfect. Today was my 85th day at Quigley this calendar year. Since I resigned from the Exxon Mobil Board of Directors, I no longer feel the need to burn a tank of gas a day. Looking forward to a really, really good day of classic skiing tomorrow.

Ran into Anne and Sally; and Tullio today. Skied a bit with Ted, who was on classic skis.

2019 Dec 25, Wednesday:  Happy National Christian Commercial Holiday! A great Xmas ski at the big Q. Everything groomed, more than reported on the Department of Mis-communication web site. Don't know why they won't use the Bully but the grooming was almost perfect. The guy can make two passes with the ATV and not leave a trace of the overlap. We classic skied today for 2 1/4 hrs on Blue Extra kick. Put in at 10:45 and Ben said that it was 10F a short while ago. Kick was mostly good. The main problem I had was ankle stability: the bottom of the tracks was not as hard as it would have been if they had used Leslie the Pisten Bully. That resulted in more wear and tear on the legs than it could have been

Started off on the mutt trail and got to the tracks before the crowds. Nice! Did most of the trail system except for the bigger hills. Ran into a lot of skiers we knew: Ryan from St Lukes on skates; Tullio, Marilyn and Roger on skates; CMonte, Jim & Susan on skates AND Ted A on skates. By the time we finished at around 1, Ben said he had counted 84 skiers. His biggest day for the season. As we were driving out we saw at least 6 more skiers headed for the parking area. This doesn't include the hordes of sledders.

Speaking of which, the parking at Q finally has been improved to handle the crowds. What an upgrade!

2019 Dec 24, Tuesday:  Ah, the magical thinking of the BCRD mis-communications department. Last phone report for Quigley this morning as of 8 was for Sunday 12/22. Nothing on the web site then or as of 2 this afternoon. Grace and I went out expecting to do about a half hour in deep snow. But, much to our wondering eyes, they had groomed and were still out. When we left by 1 pm the guy was heading out for more. May his stocking be filled with good beer and roast beef!

The skiing still wasn't very good. Total whiteout. I went off the trail a number of times. But we spent about an hour anyway. I'd rate the ski just below a poke in the eye in terms of enjoyment. As a result, I did not have to take a zero in my workout log. It was a skate day.

The storm delivered a fair amount of snow locally. Up and down the Valley I got 3" at the Hailey Ranger Station, 4" at the Ketchup Ranger Station, 4" at Chocolate Gulch, 2" at Galena and 4" at Galena Summit. This is for the 24-hour period ending at noon today. Anecdotally, it looked more like 5" in the Quigley parking lot. Again, very few skiers. We only met one on the trail and only saw a couple of others.

If they reset classic tracks tomorrow it should be great skiing. Supposed to get colder.

2019 Dec 23, Monday:  Well, the creek did rise but we did our time trial anyway. Put in at Murph's parking pullout at about 10:50. We were the first car but another guy showed up a few minutes later. It was overcast and snowing lightly. There was about 1/2 inch of fresh snow on top of the groomed surface. We skated north to Cathedral Pines and time-trialed south toward the bridge. It was flat out hard work. A little secret we learned from the SVSEF Gold Team a couple of years ago is that any new snow, no matter what the temperature, has very sharp crystals resulting from its fall through the atmosphere. Just use cold, hard wax and no structure. We did. The sharp little buggers really were out today! But, hey, got it done. Probably will assist in getting to heaven in the afterlife. Probably won't.

Again, a paucity of skiers out. We ran into Ted skating on our way up. Had to do a double take. Saw another skier with a dog and that was it. When we finished our ski down and were leaving around 12:15 there were six cars in the pullout. Some of them must have been driven by dogs. Does everyone have 12 dogs?

2019 Dec 22, Sunday:  Rest day today, no skiing. Just prepped some skis for the coming week. Tomorrow, good lord's willing and the creek don't rise, we'll do a little time trial south from Cathedral Pines to about Murph's Bridge. Skating of course.
2019 Dec 21, Saturday:  Back to visually-impaired skiing at Q. Did a 90+ min recovery skate today on unstructured skis with Toko LF blue. I had a shiny new set of Salomon Pilot bindings I found at Sturtos and they worked great. Skied most of the trail system that we could see. Ran into Ted A on the classic only track and Tullio and Roger skating. Otherwise not very many skiers. More mutts than people it seemed. I guess skiers were out hunting down lumps of coal for their stockings.
2019 Dec 20, Friday:  First day to ski visually unimpaired at Q for a loooong time. Nice to see the trails, finally. In some cases, we were surprised at the trail location. Anyhow, skated for 90 min on scratched up skate lanes. Really good skiing and hardly used. I guess the fancy folks are going north again. Did some more intervals today and one time trial on slightly downhill terrain (you know, it matches the lower Harriman for the BMT). Unstructured skis with Toko LF blue were working well.
2019 Dec 19, Thursday:  Classic skied today in flat light at Q. Used best skis with one layer of Swix V50 (violet) over one layer of XF60. Pretty good kick when I paid attention, even though new tracks haven't been set for several days. Skied about 90 minutes. Gordon reported low 20s skier count at noon when we left. Maybe 15 cars in the parking lot at that time.

Today was my 80th day this calendar year at Q and 100th overall. Grace is a few days ahead of me.

2019 Dec 18, Wednesday:  Skated today in flat light at Q. As Andy Andrews said "this is braile skiing at it's best." Skate lanes had been scratched up everywhere and were pretty good. We were on race skis, no structure, waxed with Toko LF blue. Really couldn't let it out because of the poor visibility. Still, we managed to to a set of 4 X 2 minutes interval skiing on modest uphills, just to get the tempo and heart rate up. I topped out at 158, about 90% of my max.

The first bridge east of the pond was repaired today. Everything good again. Not much of a crowd. Ben said we were the 3rd and 4th skiers when we arrived at 11. When we left at noon thirty, he said that the count was 17.

2019 Dec 17, Tuesday:  Unbelievably good ski day at Quigley! Classic skied for about 2 hours. We used our best skis. I had blue extra over V50 over blue extra. Great kick even though track was three days old. By the way, for the first time this season the grooming reports agreed with what had been done: no grooming reported, no grooming done. This agreement is a corollary of the Infinite Monkey Theorem. Given enough random grooming reports once in a while the report and reality will agree.

Noted that the first bridge to the east of the pond was trashed. The groomer said that his equipment caused it to cave in. Also noted a rather large skull on the bridge from some animal war games. The groomer said his equipment picked it up somewhere on the dog trail and dropped it at the bridge.

Stopped to talk to Ed Cannady for a few minutes. He really seems to have found his groove since retirement. Also spotted Jacqui Howard. Don't think she has ever been to Q. Getting along OK with her new knee.

Not too crowded today. When we arrived John Forsyth told us that he had counted 5 skiers. We were 6 and 7. Only saw a few people on the trail. Maybe 10-15 cars parked when we left at 2 pm.

2019 Dec 16, Monday:  Too tired to ski! Rest day.
2019 Dec 15, Sunday:  Maybe the best day of skiing so far this season. Classic skied for 100 min today at Quigley. Most of the trail system was newly tracked. For once, what was there pretty well agreed with phone and web site reports. It looked like they used an ATV to groom today. It just showed up a few days ago. We (and some others) noted that it left TWO tracks on the groomed trail instead of the one from the snomo. It also didn't produce the best set of tracks at the far east end of the trail system: the track setter seemed to be interacting with one of the treads and one track would come and go. Apart from that, the new track was dynamite!

We used our best available classic skis today, waxed with blue extra as the final coat and LF red on tip and tail. My skis today are quite a bit stiffer and shorter than my previous rockies. They are faster, ride better in the track and aren't as squirrely out of the track. Today was supposed to be recovery from yesterday but, hey, when the conditions dictate it, let it out! We are supposed to rest tomorrow but the conditions are just too good. If we feel OK in the morning, we'll ski again tomorrow.

2019 Dec 14, Saturday:  Skated today at Quigley on unstructured skis with Toko LF blue. Most of trails groomed; still doesn't agree with phone or web site reports. We started around 11 and quit about noon thirty. Crowded in parking lot - more than 25 cars when we left. Did our first intervals in hills at back of trail system. Got my pulse max to 166. Pretty hard effort. Skied for 95 minutes. Good day. Skis ran well. No need for rockies anymore.
2019 Dec 13, Friday:  Classic skied today at Quigley. No new snow and some of the trail system groomed. Once again, the grooming did not match either the BCRD phone or web site report. Again, no obvious reason why the whole system wasn't groomed. There are more snow vehicles there than cars at Goode Motors. Ah, the inscrutable collective mind of the BCRD grooming section. I have noticed in the past that Friday can be a minimalist grooming day. Used the same skis as 10/10 with no change in kick wax. The track was noticably faster today and skied pretty well. We were out about 90 min going around the classic only trail, which was all that had new tracks. Too bad more wasn't groomed, it was a better day than our first trip up north.

A couple of other folks complained to us about not having the whole system groomed and that the Bureau of Collective Recreational Disinformation was active again. Maybe it's related to Friday the 13th.

My 75th day at Quigley this calendar year and 95th day of skiing.

2019 Dec 12, Thursday:  Skated today at Quigley. About 3-4 inches of new snow and about half of trail system groomed with snow mobile for skate and classic. As usual, the grooming did not match either the phone report or the BCRD web site. No obvious reason why the whole system wasn't groomed. The coverage is really good now and the new snow helped a bunch. Hopefully, one of the snow cats will be used soon. I skied with structured skis waxed with Toko LF red. Pretty slow going, not particularly soft, but skis not gliding well. Out for about an hour.
2019 Dec 11, Wednesday:  Skated today at Quigley. No new snow and only skate lanes were groomed with the snow mobile. The bad dog paw prints I saw from two days ago had been pretty well cleaned up. The surface was in good shape: level and not particularly rutty. I was using un-structured skis waxed with Toko LF blue and they were probably the fastest I have had so far this season.
2019 Dec 10, Tuesday:  Classic skied today on the lower Harriman. Put in at the Murphy Bridge parking pull-out and skied south to the bridge. Tracks were really well set in and the skate platform looked great. What a difference the Pisten Bully makes! At the bridge, we turned around and skied north to about the 10 km marker. The track was pretty slow for us. We were waxed with one layer of Swix Violet covered by two layers of Extra Blue. Probably too cold for the warm under layer. We had to be careful not to grab and pitch. However, north of the parking pull-out, the tracks were slicker. I've noticed this before and it may have something to do with the proximity of the river. Also noted the re-route of the Harriman between the parking area and the bridge. Maybe this will help with the flooding during the spring. Anyhow, nice ski. Our first trip away from Quigley this season.
2019 Dec 9, Monday:  Skated today at Quigley. No new snow and only skate lanes were groomed with the snow mobile. There were bad dog paw prints all over the dog trail; pretty unpleasant skiing on this part. The rest of the trail system had been scratched up enough that the skating was OK. Not the best ski but probably better than a poke in the eye with a ski pole. I was using un-structured skis waxed with Toko LF blue.
2019 Dec 8, Sunday:  Skated today at Quigley. New snow from yesterday mixed with rain. Produced an interesting surface. The trail system had been groomed. We skated and linked up with Jim & Susan. Using structured skis with LF red wax. Pretty good ski overall.
2019 Dec 7, Saturday:  Rain and snow today. Stayed home and took a rest day.
2019 Nov 29, Friday:  Day off from skiing to wait out the snowstorm. Should be good from here on. Looks like the South Valley is doing better than Galena. Local reports of 18 inches were common.
2019 Nov 28, Thursday:  Thanksgiving! First day of skiing. Skated at Quigley in lots of new snow. Grooming was pretty much one pass with the snow mobile. Lane was soft and narrow.

2019