Busy groomers make for happy trails

Trail Report

Posted: Friday, January 11, 2008

Local trail groomers have been hard at work making the most of the several inches of fluffy stuff that came down midweek.

"The trails are groomed in, with a good base finally and tracks are set," said Tom Seggerman in regard to the Tsalteshi Trails.

Seggerman said groomers stayed busy while the white stuff was coming down, which made all the difference.

"They were grooming at night to keep up and just kept grooming. They didn't wait for it to stop snowing, so we ended up with a good, firm base. We've got at least 12 inches of packed snow, so we're in really good shape," he said.

Local skiers will have to wait until Saturday afternoon to hit the trail, due to high school races in the morning.

"We've got the Kenai Klassic on Saturday, so the upper trails and the ski hill will be closed until 2 p.m., but the Wolverine (Trail) will still be open," he said.

The Wolverine Trail can be access from the trailhead off of Kalifornsky Beach Road, across from the Soldotna Sports Center.

There are also trails put in at the Kenai Golf Course now that enough snow has fallen to protect the fairways beneath.

"We finally got enough snow and got the 5-K groomed in, but it's just rolled out and soft. It still needs time to set up. No tracks are set," said Bob Frates, Kenai Parks and Recreation Director.

Frates said moose have also started to become frequent in the area, "so skiers should be mindful of that."

At the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, Jetta Fonkert said the trails will be groomed in today.

"We'll groom the trails next to headquarters, and down to the lake," she said.

The refuge also announced that snowmachiners can now utilize the traditional snowmachining areas. The areas that are closed to snowmachine use include: the refuge headquarters area, Skilak Loop Management Area, the Swanson River System, the Swan Lake Canoe System, the Wolf Lake Pipeline Corridor and areas above timberline, with the exception of the Caribou Hills.

Refuge manager Robin West said in a press release that much of the areas opened have adequate snowcover for safe snowmachine travel. However, some areas still have less than 12 inches of snow which makes rocks and stumps potentially dangerous. West also cautioned that some refuge water bodies may not be safe to cross with snowmachines.

Snowmachiners are encouraged to visit the refuge headquarters to pick up a map of the Caribou Hills areas that are open for snowmachine use.

The Caribou Hills Cabin Hoppers have also be diligently grooming in trail. Clam Gulch Trail and Grand Prix Trail were groomed in on Monday, but all other trails with the exception of Centennial Trail were groomed in on Tuesday and Wednesday.

For the most up to date information the Caribou Hills, visit the Cabin Hoppers Web site at www.akchch.org.

Joseph Robertia can be reached at joseph.robertia@peninsulaclarion.com.



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