Sunday, 29 March 2020

March 29 - signs down

Over the past few days, I've been taking down the ski trail signs. I believe I've got them all down now: total of 355. I usually find one or two more that I've missed, later on.
While walking the trails, I also look at things I want to do to improve conditions for next year. Things I've noted so far include: additional snow fence in one location; earth grading to level trail sections with a cross-slope; potential small reroutes on the Harmony and Tamarack trails.

Wednesday, 25 March 2020

March 25

Well, I think our ski season is finished for this year. The snow is gone, maple syrup season is done, and we've moved into the season of mud.
However, the work of maintaining our ski trails does not end. I've been taking advantage of social distancing to do some improvements that will hopefully benefit us all next winter. On the Black Cherry trail #23, today I did some pruning, limbing, and removal of trees to facilitate my own form of "flattening the curve". Specifically, by removing some branches and some entire trees, I will be able to straighten out some of the sharpest curves on the trail, so it will be easier to groom, and easier to ski with a smoother flowing diagonal stride.
This work also constitutes a form of forest management, as I select the appropriate treatment for various types of trees. Any ash tree that is growing close to the edge of the trail is removed, since it will likely die from the effects of the Emerald Ash Borer within the next 5 years. Wild apple trees near the trail are also being removed, as I have an over-abundance of them. The Black Cherry trees, after which the trail is named, are being retained but pruned to remove low, spreading branches that grow out into the trail. Multiple trunks on the cherries are also being removed, in order to concentrate all the energy into a single strong trunk. The apple and cherry twigs, which were up in the air, are now lying on the ground where they will feed the rabbits.

Tuesday, 10 March 2020

March 10 - No skiing

This might be the end of our skiing for this year. We've lost a lot of snow over the past 2 days. It's currently +7 and raining outside. There are numerous bare spots on our trails. Definitely no skiing today.
Whether there may be a resumption of skiing after a period of time remains to be seen. Occasionally, we will get a good sized snowstorm in late March or even early April, and this would enable us to ski again for another few days. We'll have to wait and see if that happens this year.
Ski trails are closed today, and until further notice. I will not be posting conditions again, unless there is some good news to report.

Monday, 9 March 2020

March 9 - beginning of the end

I skied a little bit this morning, but conditions are poor. Yesterday's warmth and sunshine took its toll on our trails. The melting continued overnight, as the low temperature was +6. We have lost a lot of snow; what remains is either slush, or ice.
Please don't ski here today.

Sunday, 8 March 2020

March 8

Today is Day 74 of skiing this season.
The skiing is still tolerable on our trails this morning. I was surprised on my early-morning ski that, in spite of yesterday's warmth and sunshine, some of the snow is still quite soft and powdery. But there are also some icy sections too. With a predicted high of +8 and sunshine, the snow will definitely get soft and wet this afternoon.

Saturday, 7 March 2020

March 7 - Hurry!

Today is Day 73 of skiing this season.
 Yesterday's snow flurry started about 9 a.m. and continued until about 6 p.m. As a result, we have 3 to 4 cm of soft powder on our trails, over a very firm base. The skiing is not bad. According to the forecast, the temperature will remain below freezing until about noon. If you can get here this morning, you could have a fairly nice ski, under sunny, blue skies. After lunch, I think the snow conditions will become more challenging.

Friday, 6 March 2020

March 6

Not a ski day.
Conditions are essentially the same today as yesterday: very icy this morning, possibly softening up this afternoon if the temperature gets high enough. The snowfall that was predicted for last night has not happened.