WINTER SPORTS -- Here's today's grooming report for Fourth of July Pass cross-country skiing and snowshoeing trails from Geoff Harvey of the Panhandle Nordic Club:
The last warm system that passed through condensed the dryer snow from Sunday and Monday and dropped a little new wet snow. The result was 8 - 10 inches of wet snow on the established base of all runs. All trails that we groom were groomed with the exception of Tree Top View and Loose Moose. Double track was set on the Inner Core Trails with a skate lane between. The outer trails (Skywalker, Moonrunner, the Eagle Run, Skateaway and Elderberry) have a single track set at the side to accommodate a wide skate lane. Because the snow was so wet maneuvering the groomers was a challenge on some turns. As a result some widely taken corners resulted in one of the two lanes being damaged and some groves in places.
Wet snow is more of a challenge to groom. Since it is forecast to turn off cold, we did not pack Loose Moose. It is better to have broken snow on this steep run as compared to a packed surface that can freeze up and become exceedingly difficult to ski. Elderberry has a single track to near the benches and packed snow machine tracks on to Ian's hut. We were able to remove to trees from the cut across trail before chainsaw trouble spared for another day the "jackpot" of four trees. The trail is a work in progress, but in most places can be skied or walked.