|Alberta Lake Loop|
Well it ended up snowing a quarter inch that evening which is sorta why I made the trip. Only light snow cover in town but a heavy cloud hung up on the Pass (a.k.a the Vortex). Grabbed coffee at Pagosa Bakery Company (this place is legit) across the street from Kip's and headed up the pass to check out more of the nordic trails and then hit the slopes with Sutt. The guy works patrol at the Creek so he was up there early setting charges and clearing some of the steeper slopes of potential slides. Good work Sutt.
|Miles of fresh snow and more falling from the heavens|
On this morning the snow was freaking awesome. When I first started there was 6" of fresh snowfall but it continued snowing the entire day. I was lucky to be following another group's tracks at first or I wouldn't know where the hell I was going. Ordinarily this trail is groomed for nordic but it was early and the Creek staff were working the ridge and other higher traffic areas (charges were booming from the ridgeline as I shushed along - word-up Sutt). Anyway, a badass trail with badass snow conditions. I think I was smiling the whole way, just couldn't believe my luck that the snow would be this nice. Watching the un-tracked snow breaking off my ski tips on the downhills was fairly hypnotic, so I spent some time focusing on it and nothing else. [Updated: Skied these trails the weekend of 11/12/11 (An Early Start to the Ski Season). They were groomed and in excellent condition. Might be my favorite nordic trails in the area.]
|Miles and miles and miles...|
|The mighty Rossis in their element|
|Lots of snow up on that pass, also snow men ski spectators|
I finally caught the group ahead of me, they said they were from Texas and they were happy that I came along to relieve their work breaking trail. I kind of had experience with this earlier in the winter so it was a piece of cake. One of the ladies said she was a marathoner so the marathoner-to-other-skier ratio was pretty high that morning. When we finished the loop I saw a Cat set to groom the loop and lay down some classic ski tracks. I thought of skiing another loop with the new groomed track but I'd told Sutt that I'd ski some runs with him.
|Patrolman Sutt in action|
|Every run was a giant powder chute. My face got sore from smiling.|
|The Zia was kicking-ass in the storm - that's what I'm talking about|
|Scenic East Fork Trail|
|East Fork looking west|
To sum up: Pagosa's nordic trail system is bad-as-hell. I especially enjoyed Alberta Lake Loop up at Wolf Creek. And secondly, weather conditions in Pagosa should not be confused with Wolf Creek 20mi away. Never doubt the snowfall at the Creek because it is un-holy.
Part I of Nordic Skiing Pagosa
- Nordic Skiing in Chama - Edward Sargent WFA
- Enchanted Forest Nordic - Red River, NM
- Nordic Skiing - Santa Fe, NM
View Alberta Lake Nordic Trails - Pagosa Springs, CO in a larger map
View West Fork Nordic Trails - Pagosa Springs, CO in a larger map