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Skiing still good despite warm weather

Posted: January 24, 2013 - 4:39pm

For cross-country skiing on the Kenai Peninsula, the Tsalteshi Trails, North Peninsula Recreation Area and Kenai National Wildlife Refuge trails are holding up well, despite the fluctuations in weather.

The best trails at Tsalteshi are the Wolverine, Squirrel, Owl and Rabbit, said Bill Holt, trail maintenance manager.

“The Wolverine’s been holding up real well just because it hasn’t gotten real icy underneath,” he said.

In fact, Holt said, all the trails are in good condition. He planned to groom them Thursday night, and they all have classic tracks set.

With the warm weather he expects the snow to pack down and rut up as the trails are skied.

Holt said he plans to begin grooming Headquarters Lake by the weekend for additional skiing options.

Updates on Tsalteshi trail conditions can be found at its Facebook page or www.tsalteshi.org.

The North Peninsula Recreation Area’s trails are in great shape for skate skiing, trail groomer Dale Bakk said. He groomed the 5 kilometers of pool-side trails Wednesday night.

“That trail is in great shape,” he said. “The snow softened up really well and we survived the warmth at the beginning of the week.”

Bakk also set 2 kilometers of classic track on the Community Trails at Nikiski Middle-High School for the middle school relay race today at 2 p.m.

While the Refuge has good coverage, skate skiing options are limited because the trails have not been groomed since the rain last week, Supervisory Park Ranger Janet Schmidt said.

Classic skiing, however, is good, and all the trails are open, she said.

The Kenai Nordic Trails on the Kenai Golf Course have about two inches of snow above ice, but have not been groomed since Sunday, said Bob Frates, Kenai Parks and Recreation Director.

The Sunday grooming removed the snow drifts, Frates said. Currently they are trying to merge the snow and ice layers. “But with the warm weather it’s probably going to turn icy when we can get out there,” he said.

There is no classic track set, he said.

The Ryan’s Creek trails were last groomed Jan. 17 and they are “skiable,” Frates said.

With the fast, old snow, Beemun’s Bike and Ski Loft Manager Brad Carver said skiers should wax more often. He said the snow is more abrasive, removing wax more quickly.

He suggests Swix CH6 and CH7 wax.

“That’s kind of been the typical wax,” he said. “But if you’re on the edge of temperature, it’s most often better to go with a colder wax.”

Dan Schwartz can be reached at daniel.schwartz@peninsulaclarion.com.

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