Ever washed your car only to have it rain that very afternoon and return your car to the disheveled state it was in once the day started?
Then you know how ski groomers felt this week on the Kenai Peninsula.
Due to some high winds and fresh snow, groomers have had their work cut out for them nearly every day this week.
As of Thursday, nearly all the trails were looking good for the weekend. But, as fresh snow fell on the peninsula Thursday, groomers also were cautioning that could change in a matter of hours.
Probably the most harried at this point is Dale Bakk, who grooms the trails in Nikiski. Not only does Bakk have to take care of organizing the Region III ski meet Friday and Saturday, but he also has to groom the trails.
The region meet will be held at the Nikiski Community Trails at Nikiski Middle-Senior High School. It should keep the trails busy for most of the day Friday and Saturday, but Bakk said people could go for a ski there if they are aware of what's going on around them.
Bakk's troubles started Tuesday and Wednesday, when a demanding wind whipped through the peninsula.
"We had a lot of debris, and even more drifting," Bakk said. "Tuesday, the wind came out of the south, which is unusual out here. We did a lot of shoveling and raking, then the next day the wind came from the opposite direction and we had to shovel and rake again."
The community trails should have about 5.5 kilometers groomed for moderate to difficult skiing for the weekend.
As for the trails behind the Nikiski pool, Bakk said he hasn't had time to do any work there this week. He said a couple of regular skiers have broken a 3-kilometer classic path at the trails, though.
At Tsalteshi Trails, the Tuesday and Wednesday winds brought down a couple of trees on the trail and caused some drifting. Groomers had the problems cleared up by Wednesday afternoon, though.
For the weekend, Tsalteshi, located behind Skyview High School, should have 11 kilometers of classical and skate skiing. The trails are for all skill levels.
Tsalteshi will host a middle school race Saturday from noon to 4 p.m., but recreational skiers will still be able to ski the outer loops.
Across the Sterling Highway at the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, ranger Dave Kenagy reports the Nordic Lake Trails are groomed and in good condition. These trails are 6 miles long and have some hills that may challenge beginning and intermediate skiers.
The Overlook Routes, with a total distance of 2 miles, also are packed and should make for good snowshoeing. These trails have some hills that are very difficult to ski.
The Kenai Nordic Trails, located at the Kenai Golf Course, also were in good shape Wednesday.
"The wind and new snow has been getting at it, though," said groomer Dave Feeken, who doubles as the high school ski coach. "I don't know if it will be groomed if it continues to snow due to the races in Nikiski."
The golf course has 6.5 kilometers of trail. The trail is mostly flat, but has some hills that may challenge beginners.
Feeken also reminded skiers of the ski clinics coming up at the golf course Feb. 25, 26 and 27. The clinics will run from 4 to 5:30 p.m. and will work for beginning classical and skate skiers. For more information or to register, call the Kenai Recreation Center at 283-3855.
In Homer, groomers were dealing with the foot of snow Homer received between Sunday and Wednesday.
Dave Brann, the vice president of the Kachemak Nordic Ski Club, said there should be some skiing at the Baycrest Ski Trails for the weekend. Baycrest can be accessed from either the Department of Transportation station just before Homer, or at the trail head on Roger's Loop.
"We've got 15 kilometers packed at Baycrest right now, but I wouldn't say it's groomed," Brann said. "We'll have skiing this weekend, but, depending on how much it snows, it could be 10, 15 or 30 kilometers."
Brann also said snowfall would dictate whether there are classical tracks. Baycrest has skiing for all levels.
Groomers also were working furiously to keep up with snowfall at the McNeil Canyon Ski Trails, located 12 miles out East End Road at McNeil Canyon Elemen-tary School.
McNeil offers 7.5 kilometers of skiing. The inner loops are easy, while the outer loops are for moderate to advanced skiers.
In Seward, the Mile 12 Ski Trails were groomed Wednesday, but regular snowfall was quickly making them ungroomed again. Rich Houghton, the coach at the high school, said the trails probably wouldn't be groomed again before the weekend. Mile 12 has 3.5 kilometers of intermediate-level skiing available.
Houghton also said snowmachines have packed down Exit Glacier Road, located at Mile 5 of the Seward Highway. There, skiers can go as far as 8 miles up the road.
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