FYI - due to the wind storm trees have fallen across the trails. Greg Lewis and I were able to get started on clearing today, but I am afraid that there may be many more to clear before the inner loop, as well as the other trails, are free of windfalls. We made it from the parking lot to just beyond the loose moose junction. We had to cut out ~ 15 trees. So if you head up that way in the next couple of days, beware that you may run into a few obstacles.
If all goes well there is a plan to get the entire grooming crew together by Tuesday to get around as much of the trail system as possible. Hopefully by next weekend we will have all the trails cleared again.
On a good note, a new layer of snow (~1/4 inch) had covered the packed trail. Skiing on it was pretty nice. The section of packed trail we cleared today appeared to still be in good shape, Hopefully it will stay that way for a while, and we get some more snow!
The area received little or no snow from the promised storm yesterday that did not materialize. The groomers were out early this morning, leveling runs, smoothing and setting track. Unfortunately the relatively warm temperatures, caused snow machine overheating curtailing the runs the groomers could reach and treat. The Inner Core Trails (Havin Fun. The Swoop, High Road and Skateaway were all leveled, groomed and track was set. Loose Moose is only packed. Skywalker between the lower trailhead and Skateaway were leveled, groomed and tracked. The remaining trails typically groomed, the rest of Skywalker, Moonrunner, Eagle Run and Elderberry are packed but leveling, grooming and track set are still needed.
The rainstorm on Wednesday was snow at Fourth of July at least in part. An inch of wet snow came down. The crew “groomed” on Thursday, January 7th. All the trails we groom have been packed throughout the area. The Inner core trails except for Loose Moose have been groomed except where other runs of necessity damaged the groom. Grooming also extends down Skywalker from the Skateaway Junction to the Lower Twisted Klister Junction. The sign system has been installed on the Twisted Klister System with a few exceptions. We did find the stovepipe in the Snowshoe Hut damaged and in need of repair.
We plan to groom Saturday January 9th, morning over the entire system.
The snow pack held up remarkably well to the series of rainstorms that started the new year. There are a few thin spots on Havin-Fun, typically under tree canopy, but the pack deepens with elevation. Some additional set up work today required a groomer be towed over the Inner Core and Skateway Trails. The pack held up well to grooming and track setting. In addition the Skaywalker-Moonrunner Trail system was packed and the pack widened. Thus Havin Fun, The Swoop, High Road and Skateway are groomed and track is set over most of the trail. Skywalker-Moonrunner are packed but still uneven due to pre-road closure rutting by wheeled vehicles. Eagle Run and Elderberry are yet to be packed and groomed.
If the rainstorm expected tomorrow turns off cold and gives us some snow, we plan to pack and groom again on Thursday
Happy New Year! Hope everyone is still in good health.
Currently it would seem that the winter weather is not being very friendly to 4rth of July this year. Although, the brief snow storm that occurred last week left enough snow at the lower elevation to allow the groomer crew to get some work done. If you hadn’t already seen it in Geoff’s grooming report, the inner loop was packed and groomed on New Year’s Eve. Also, the stretch of Road 614 (Skywalker) from the Skateaway intersection to the barrier near the freeway was completed and Moonrunner was packed all the way out to Rose Saddle.
Then the warm temps and rain arrived “again”. It was reported over the weekend that the grooming at the lower elevations was getting mushy, but hadn’t melted away. Hopefully it’s still intact and the packing that was done will allow it to hold until more snow arrives and the grooming can be performed again.
The Board is currently working up a group skiing or snowshoeing events. The draft ideas are based on single day local events due to Covid concerns. Being outside, there should be adequate opportunities to maintain safe distance separation while still allowing participants to socialize a little. Two events will be scheduled for every other Saturday, or possibly Sunday, in January; February and March. As soon as all the board members have responded to the drafts with their input the dates will be posted on the WEB site and announced through and e-mails. So stay tuned for more information, and join in if you can.
If you know anyone who:
1. May be interest in joining PNC this year please let them know it is very important that they fill out and submit the membership form electronically. By doing so it makes it much more efficient and simpler for creating the annual membership list. So please pass on the word if you have the opportunity.
2. Would like some cross country ski instructions Nancy Lewis has volunteered to assist them. She is willing to meet them up at 4th of July to give pointers. They simply need to give her a call and work out a time when they can meet her there. (If you need to know how to contact her, see membership list). contact info is also on our website in the PNC Board tab.
The club was recently contacted by: Mickael Stevens, the recreation supervisor with the City of Rathdrum, Parks & Recreation. They were offering and snowshoe for beginners get together, but unfortunately the person that was going to lead it had to back out. So he was inquiring about finding someone to fill the role. He also offered a small instructors fee. If interested, please respond to me @ firstname.lastname@example.org. I will assist you with getting in touch with Mr. Stevens.
The recent snowstorm laid over a foot of snow on the Fourth of July Ski & Snowshoe Area. Even while it rained in the valley today, it snowed all day at Fourth of July. The inner core trails with the exception of Loose Moose were packed and groomed, but a track was not set in most locations. In addition Skywalker and Moonrunner were both packed and groomed, but again no track set. All the gates were opened. The kiosk and signs were placed at the Havin Fun and Skywalker trailheads. Only Loose Moose, Elderberry and the Eagle Run remain to be packed and groomed. Weather permitting we hope to groom again on Saturday the second of January.
Grooming Update: Sunday, December27, 2020
Certainly wish we could tell you we are grooming at the Fourth of July Park Ski & Snowshoe Area, but alas the most recent storm left us several inches too little snow. We are putting in place all the equipment to make a fast start when we get enough snow, hopefully midway through next week. There is but three or four inches of snow on the runs near the parking area, with even less to none beneath trees with big canopies. However, the upper runs over on the Twisted Klister side have 8-10 inches of snow. Snow depth increase rapidly as one climbs up Twisted Klister. Today we closed the lower gate on Skywalker (FSR 614) so snowshoers or skiers going that way should not meet any traffic. The snowshoe hut has been up for weeks now.
As soon as we have more to report on grooming the main area ski runs, it will be posted here.
Thanks to Skips efforts, with help from a few volunteers, preparations for grooming are well under way. The trails were cleared and the snowmobile and groomer shelters have been setup. He also installed six new trail signs and nine trail maps.
Come the 15th of December, and enough snow, the gates on the main road (i.e. Road 614) will be closed and the gates on Twisted Klister, the inner loop and Eagle Run will be opened and the grooming will begin. So keep your hopes up for a big storm in the next few weeks.
In November’s letter it was mentioned that the snowshoe warming hut was not going to be put up this season due to COVID-19 concerns. The board revisited the decision and decided that as long as it is signed with the same warnings it wouldn’t be any different than the Panhandle Hut. So in the near future the snowshoe hut will be going up.
Several members have come forward and volunteered to join the crews that groom and patrol the trails. Two will be joining the groomer crew and one will be helping Nancy and others patrol the trails to provide user information this season. So you will be seeing some new faces on the snowmobiles or wearing the trail patrol vests this year. So cheer them on for the efforts they are putting in to make 4th of July a pleasant experience.
Last month, a call was put out for ideas to create a winter activities schedule. Up to now there have been no ideas offered. So once again, if you have any ski or snowshoe activities in mind that you wouldn’t mind others sharing the day with you on let Karen, Randy or I know. If you wish, one or all of us can help you get the word out to the membership.
The Club recently received a donation of two pairs of cross country skis that are in very good condition. The donation consists of two sets, complete with poles and boots - one set for a man and another for a woman. These are available for free to the first person(s) that claims them. You can take either pair or both but cannot break a package (i.e. Just take the skis or boots separately). Specifics are:
Ski brand: Fisher; length: approximately 78 inches (same for either pair)
Binding brand: men’s pair: Salomon, women’s pair: Rottafella
Shoe brand/size: men’s: Salomon, size 44 (Euro); women’s: Alpina, size 40 (Euro).
Both pair of skis are the waxable kind and the packages include various waxes and an iron for wax smoothing.
If you are interested call Mike Zagar at 208/610-3894.
FYI - If you are interested in getting new equipment this year, the board was informed that the Ski Shack in Hayden may not be offering X-country ski equipment this season. But it was also reported that Fitness Fanatics may be a good place to shop as they have a good supply of new and used.
If you have a snow dance that will get us some snow, feel
free to start doing it. For at least the 3,000 ft. elevation and above!
Panhandle Nordic Club
Monthly Newsletter/Presidents Message
November 1, 2020
Hopefully this finds you all still in good health and ready for the coming ski and snowshoe season! The pandemic had definitely put a strain on what had been planed for the summer activities, but hopefully everyone will be able to get outside and enjoy the winter. Given the current circumstances, surely everyone will understand that the board has had to make some changes in how the club will function this season.
To begin with, to avoid gatherings in enclosed areas it will not be possible to hold monthly indoor meetings. Instead, the board agreed that a monthly newsletter will be prepared and posted to the Club WEB site by the first Tuesday of each month. An email will also be sent out to the membership prior to the first Tuesday as a reminder that the newsletter is available.
As we have always done at the first meeting of the season, we again want to create a list of winter activities for the club member participation. If you have ideas in mind, you are encouraged to let Karen, Randy or I know so that a list can be prepared. Please include who will lead the activity and which weekend/day it could be scheduled for. Also refer to the Club WEB site information regarding what the activity leaders’ role entails. The info is on the club members page
To address COVID issues, proposed activities should be: 1) limited to day trips only, 2) shall be outside activities, and 3) unless you are comfortable with traveling in vehicles with others, everyone may want to be prepared to drive themselves to activity locations.
Unfortunately, again due to COVID the board has decided that in the best interest of the clubs members the Poker Run and Rock Soup will not be put on this year. You might be able to guess that since they both have involved large gatherings in the warming hut, the risk was too great to take a chance of someone contracting the virus.
One other change the board decided to make is the setup of the snowshoe warming hut. For the same reasoning as discussed above for the Panhandle Hut, it will not be set up for use this year.
Preparations for the grooming of 4th of July are well under way thanks to Glenn Truscott (Skip) and handful of volunteers’. The inner core trails, Loose Moose and Elderberry have all been cleared of windfalls and mowing of encroaching vegetation will be started this coming week.
Skip will be scheduling a day in the near future to set up of the groomer shelters, and shortly after the snowmobiles and grooming equipment will be moved in.
If anyone is interested, the grooming crew could use more help. Unfortunately, John Lee will probably not be available this season and Goeff Harvey may only be able to provide limited participation on the ground. So for now we have five folks to rotate through as the winter progresses. If the crew could be up to six or eight it would really help to spread the work load out if it is a big snow year.
For your information, the club was notified that the Forest Service (FS) is initiating scoping for a future vegetation management project (i.e. Rosie Cedar Project) in and around the cross-country skiing/snowshoe area. Scoping is the stage of planning process where the FS attempts to gather up information that can assist in developing a plan forest management projects. Skip, Goeff and I see this project as an opportunity to potentially expand and/or accomplish improvements to the area at a minimal cost to the club. We have responded to their request for input with a letter of proposed needs of the area that could be accomplished in conjunction with vegetation management activities. Some examples of our proposals include: 1) Widening narrow sections of the roads (trails) they may need to use for access to their treatment areas. This would improve our ability to groom in the future, 2) Removing dead and dying trees near to the roads. This would reduce the number of windfalls we now have to clear during the summer and winter, 3) Removing trees with boughs that overhang the roads, preventing sufficient snow from reaching the surface making sections of the trails prone to faster melting. Over the course of the winter boughs also creates tree wells (shallow snow and holes in the groomed surface), 4) Allowing the club to create new loop trails using over grown roads that will be reopened for access to treatment areas, 5) Restricting vegetation management operations so that the ski/snowshoe trails are still available to the public during the winter months.
Typical of the FS Planning process, it may be several years before this project is implemented. So we’re not foreseeing any changes happening in the near future to the ski/snowshoe area.