Trail Conditions

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These updates are written by TOC member Ross Thomas. To be added to the trail updates email list, email tantramaroutdoorclub@gmail.com.

Daily Trail Report

4:18 am Monday February 19, 2024
Ross

Monday’s Meander

Expect more of the same. Last nights flurry may produce a bit of slowing on open areas but not under the conifers where that snow flake remains lodged above., so glide of 2.5-3/4. There has been some discussion generated around trhe fire lately on the etiquette of skiers passing each other on out single track trails. Here are some of my ponderings. Generally when skiers are approaching each other the uphill skier should yield to the descendant, but it is still a great idea for the latter to loudly inform the former, who invariably has their head down and are suffering a lack of oxygen supply to the brain, of the impending undesireable congress. In the case of a faster skier coming up behind a more leisurely compatriot, I would suggest a few things for discussion: Firstly, passing should only be entertained when it is safe to *BOTH* parties. This should entail a verbal announcement by the faster, a proposed plan of passing(such as “passing on your left”), and a slowing by the faster skier to a speed where they could stop suddenly if needed. On level or uphill, the standard is to call “track” and expect the slower skier to get out of the track. On descents I think this is unreasonable and hence it is up to the faster skier to get out of the track and pass slowly enough that a brief salutations can be exchanged, and as noted to give lots of warning so toilet paper is not required. And although some folks think it is funny to sneak up on the leisurely and give them a little push with your pole handle, this really is not good either and equally alarming for the victim(my apologies for past transgressions-Wade and others, but not Peter H)
Ross.

3:55 am Sunday February 18, 2024
Ross

Sabbath Skiing

Not much new today- same good conditions. Glide close to 3/4 but pole track in good shape for snow plowing. Violet Special was gripping nicely at it’s advertised -1 to -3 range, as were skins and the waxless folk were happy with the slowing provided. Bucky’s track down from the cable to Quarry Road is fast so you may prefer to walk this- the Quarry road has been sanded so good traction, or you could break a trail in the opposite ditch’s soft snow. There were tractors into Smith Camp yesterday, and although not much usually happens there on the Sabbath, the descent to Smith Camp is quite chewed up, especially coming from the bench and is likely best walked. If you go the long way at Doncaster Pond through the Camp, the hill down to the junction with Doncaster Bypass has been tractored so is gnarly at the bottom. If you head out to the View you’ll note Bucky has actually groomed down into Carter’s Quarry, where it is easier to turn around(You have to get off and pull the front of the ski Doo around if you try to turn at the top). You can ski down this but it is a little fast once you come into the quarry, where there are bare spots on the left loop and if you keep going to the cable the track is not great toward the bottom where it also speeds up. Barring these easy to avoid inconveniences, Joy awaits.
Ross.

4:54 am Saturday February 17, 2024
Ross

Splendid Saturday

Looks like another scorcher out there today! The trails were in great shape yesterday. Glide was 2.5/4 and will be much the same this morning, maybe up to 3 as temps rise this aftrenoon. Wax was working well and one brief application lasted my whole ski, a testament to Bucky being able to drag enough soft new snow into his magic blend to minimize it wearing off, but more importantly to keep glide reasonable. The trails were pretty empty again yesterday, until I exited at Reservoir Gate at 6 p.m. when the parking lot was jammed with the headlamped after work crowd. Poor Tammy and Wade must feel crowded out. Bucky was also able to fix up a track up to the cable from Quarry Road. Too bad Ian sold his leafblower(he offered to bring it out to blow leaves off the trails, a practice to minimize wet season slipperiness on Mountain bike trails, but I scoffed at this idea as too labour intensive and unneccesary and he sold it)- but now it would be great to blow snow onto crusty or sandy parts of the track. Bet they wished they had some of those blowers in Fredericton where they are shovelling snow onto the trails for the upcoming Loppet!- www.wostawea.ca/killarney-conditions . I would be pretty sure there will be no parking lot work on the weekend so usual access exists there, but there is a lot of shredded tree mateerial on the adjacent trail for 100 meters which will slow you quite abruptly if you are coming down the wee hill clockwise. And least, but by no means least, I feel I must include the Past President’s rebuttal to yesterday’s jibe about historic ski gear “In an endeavour to utilize sports equipment to full utility and viability, I proudly use skis that I dare say function better than many fur-bearing hybrids. The pain of an elected official disparaging equipment due to age is beyond reason. Such pain is compounded when I see said board member in highly flammable synthetic (and I dare say garish) winter wear. I will hold on to the things that work as designed, and not bow to the consumerist tendencies of others. I pledge allegiance to wax!” PM Happy Trails,
Ross.

4:11 am Friday February 16, 2024
Ross

The Friday Forcast

Yesterday was a stupendous day of sedate skiing with it’s silken snow and dazzling sunshine. The trails were nearly empty. Even this usually insatiable Blaney Bomber was put off by my tales of access misery! There was actually enough snow for Peter Manchester to ski up to the cable from the Walker Road on his 50 year hand me down wax skis. The Quarry-Go-Round was sublime, or you could head left up to the View through Carter’s Quarry. I think most of the Beale and Inch work in the Lower Quarry area is either done or will be done today and they don’t anticipate being back until late March. Bucky is going to head out to groom this morning and depending on how much old snow gets mixed in with the new will determine the glide, likely to be 2.5-3.0/4 but hard to predict until he is done. See you on the trails.
Ross.

4:14 am Thursday February 15, 2024
Ross

Today’s Cautions

As previously inferred, the Town Public Works crew are clearing trees from the Crooked Tree Trail entrance for a future parking lot this week. The trail in this area is barricaded off so if accessing the Crooked Tree Trail you may have to sneak through the forest on the left, and if doing the loop you will have to finish it via the kids playground area by the groomer shed. The Quarry Road as noted yesterday was plowed and is icey or bare gravel so will be either vary between very slippy and very grippy. Andrew Wheaton form B&I kindly flattened the plowbank on the right hand side with the track of his excavator, but I suspect the new snow will have blown off and it will remain rather icey for skiing, but Bucky may be able to fix things up next time he grooms. Assuming it flurried up the hill, skiing will be far more sedate today with glide likely closer to 2/4. If the sun peaks out there could be some sticking this afternoon. No imminent plans to groom- will lkiely wait for the two snow layers to get acquainted abit first.
Ross.

3:50 am Wednesday February 14, 2024
Ross

A Speedy Valentine’s Ski?

Things were pretty zippy on the trails under the headlamp last evening. Although great fun, not all will find the 3-3.5/4 glide to their liking. Bucky worked hard to scratch out a fair track in most places and there is some loose snow in the pole track if one is interested in snow plowing. Snow coverage on the trails remains good. Unfortunately, the Quarry Road, including the Hill of Glory, has again been plowed down to dirt and ice, apparently in preparation for some testing of Beale and Inch’s refurbished Bush Whacker. if you venture in that way you should wear spikes on your ski boots to walk up the Quarry Road to Quarry-Go-Round or LeRond. A few cm of snow this evening will ameliorate the speed, but it will take more than that to mend the Quarry Road. And a Very Happy Valentine’s Day to TOC’s favourite valentine, Cy Bernard, who is celebrating a significant birthday to day(lots of circles).
Ross.

4:32 am Tuesday February 13, 2024
Ross

Wostawea Loppet

My apologies for getting you all excited with yesterday’s title without including the link, knowing how difficult it is to use that Google device. Well this family friendly, fun event is happening again this Sunday in Killarney Lake Park east of Fredericton. Many of the Jackrabbit families will be heading up. Details can be found here: www.wostawea.ca/2024-loppet-february-18
Ross.

3:59 am Tuesday February 13, 2024
Ross

February Sun- Ahhhhh!!

And what goes better with a dose of sunshine than skiing in the Acadian Forest. To Enhance your February experience, Bucky is planning to head out after 0930 to scuff up the trails. There is a lot more snow in the forest, (that is not all black and yellow), than in Town. I anticipate he will be able to make a pretty nice ski track and a loose pole track for those that like to snow plow. Glide will be “excellent” at 3+/4 so the hill averse will want to enjoy the flatter terrain- if you want more detail on these options and other great tips, see the TOC website blurb tantramaroutdoorclub.org/about-us/ski-advice-tips/ All skis should grip with Special Violet likely being the wax of the Day unless you run into Jack and can beg a few rubs of his magical Vauhti Carrot Day. Should be a good one.
Ross.

6:40 am Monday February 12, 2024
Ross

Update from the woods

Glide is 2.5-3/4 thanks to aforesaid grabbiness in some spots, conifer debris and some still unfrozen snow. No grooming today. Short waxless skis would provide a fairly sedentary pace.
Ross.

3:35 am Monday February 12, 2024
Ross

Zippy, Crusty/Wostawea Loppet

It dipped to around zero last night so expect a glazed track and lots of glide-3-3.5/4. Although the track seemed to be holding up well despite yesterday’s melt down, it may be grabby and uneven in places, and there won’t be any loose snow to snow plow with so don’t expect much help stopping once you head down hills. Bucky will likely try grooming Crooked Tree Trail but if the remaining snow remains waterlogged I suspect that will be as far as he goes today. He should be able to spruce things up nicely tomorrow as long as temps drop as predicted tonight. I will try to post an update from the trail on the website mid morning.
Ross.

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