Fresh snow frosts peninsula ski trails

Posted: Friday, January 12, 2007

Freshly fallen snow has softened some trails, but trail groomers say trail conditions remain good for people looking to burn some energy on cross-country skis after a cold snap that had some huddling indoors for several days.

In Nikiski, the 3 kilometers worth of trails behind the pool and 5 kilometers of trails at the middle-high school should all be groomed for the weekend. The trails’ groomer, Dale Bakk, said, time permitting, he also will lay classic ski tracks, but if it continues to snow, the tracks might fill in. Bakk said conditions are soft but good on the trails.

In Kenai, there are 5 kilometers of groomed trail open to skiers on the Kenai Golf Course, which, like many other ski trails, also may be a little soft due to recent snow.

Due to a Kenai Central High School race that will be held on the golf course early on Saturday, skiers wanting to use the golf course trails on the same day may want to wait until late in the afternoon, said Bob Frates, director of Kenai’s Parks and Recreation Department.

On the hill overlooking Soldotna, behind Skview High School, the 16 kilometers of Tsalteshi Trails also are receiving a blanket of fresh snow. But because the trails have a good firm base, the fresh snow has not softened them, said Bill Holt, a Tsalteshi Trails Association board member.

“There’s just a soft powder layer on the well-groomed trails,” he said.

And the trails will be groomed again today, he said. For those who want to ski after dark, the Tsalteshi Trails’ green and blue loops are lit from dusk to 9:25 p.m.

On Thursday, Michelle Ostrowski, a park ranger with the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, said refuge trails had not yet been groomed this week, but may be groomed today or over the weekend.

Patrice Kohl can be reached at

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