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Sunday, November 30, 2008

Snowy Windy Foggy Fun

Al Fournier, taking a break from grooming on Sunday, talking with Greg Peterson at Skyway.
- Lee Gelatt

Grooming Report, 30 Nov 2008

Sunday 30Nov08
4 inches new snow on a 1-2 foot base.  Scales, Dog Trail and Dog Loop trails at Skyway and County Line were groomed today and there will be some drifting tonight. Next grooming, based on the current forecast, is scheduled for Wednesday afternoon after the next snow storm, but that may change as the forecast changes.
Jerry Evans

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Grooming report Saturday Nov 29

Saturday 29Nov08
Scales Lake Road, Dog Trail, and Dog Loop were re-groomed this morning for skate and classic to repair sections with drifted snow. Grooming will be done as necessary tomorrow (Sunday) morning as the forecast calls for snow and blowing snow tonight.

Jerry Evans

Winter Wonderland

Come on up, the skiing is great! The snow is still falling, but previous grooming on Scales Lake produced a nice firm base, so it's not too punchy.


GMNC Weekend Weather Forecast

This weekend's storm (29-30Nov) will pound the mountains to our north and east. Snowfall for the Grand Mesa still looks like it will be limited. The National Weather Service is forecasting only 1-2 inches both Saturday night and Sunday. We may get more though, as mountains just to our northeast are getting a foot or more of snow, so we are close to the 'big snow' edge. Stronger confidence on the wind though: gusty northwest winds will produce areas of blowing and drifting snow, and you will want to be dressed for winter to fully enjoy your ski outing.
After a break on Monday into Tuesday morning, more snow will fall late Tuesday into Wednesday, and then again next weekend. The majority of this snowfall will again fall over the northern Colorado mountains, but we will get some accumulation on our trails. Keep checking the latest conditions, Warnings, and forecasts here    Enjoy!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Grooming Report: Skyway / County Line Nov 28, 2008

Friday, 28Nov08
Snow depth approximately 1 foot with 8 inches new snow by this afternoon. Scales Lake Road, Dog Trail, and Dog Loop groomed for skate and classic today. Skiing good on Scales Lake Road; some plants and a few rocks on Dog Trail and Dog Loop.
Grooming as necessary is planned for Saturday morning.
Jerry Evans

Thanksgiving Ski

We were so fortunate to host six Tibetan monks from Gaden Shartse
Monastery for an afternoon of skiing at Skyway! Lots of tumbles,
laughter, a little kicking and gliding, and a rousing snowball fight.
This was the first-time ever ski for these monks, who are touring North
America giving teachings, creating sand mandalas, and sharing their
goodwill and fine humor wherever they go. You can see more of them at It was wonderful to be able to share our Colorado
mountain winter with these holy men from the high mountains of Tibet
(now in exile in India). Thank you GMNC!
Jane McGarry and Chuck Behrensmeyer

Thursday, November 27, 2008

GMNC Thanksgiving Weather Forecast Update

A noon Thanksgiving report from the Mesa top is 3 new inches of wet snow with more falling. Looking at the forecast models for Thursday night into Friday, the National Weather Service will be issuing a Snow Advisory for another 4-8 inches of snowfall by Friday early evening.  Snowfall is possible Friday night thru Sunday, but accumulations will be light; a trace to 2 inches is the best forecast for now.  Stay tuned. 
Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

GMNC Thanksgiving Weekend Weather Forecast

The Pacific storm approaching western Colorado this Wednesday afternoon will favor the San Juan mountains with snowfall. Still the GMNC trails will get some snowfall starting Thanksgiving. We are expecting 1-4 inches on Thanksgiving and another 2-4 Thursday night. Some light accumulations will continue on Friday. Winds will not be especially strong, but some drifting will occur. Not much snowfall is expected beyond Friday. With snow temperatures in the 20s on Thursday, then ranging from 15-25F for Friday onward, conditions should be fun and glidely (if you are glide waxed cold as you should be for our trails). Blue kick wax should work well.
Thank you for becoming members and helping this grassroots organization produce the best nordic skiing in the region.
Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Nov 25 Still skiing!

Conditions are holding up very well. It's a tad scrappy that first kilometer or so, but once you get to the trees the trail is in excellent shape, and the classic tracks are near perfect.

The Aspen Valley team was skiing today, having some fun skating around on the frozen lakes by the junction of Scales Lake and the County Line trails. It's fun, fast skiing--akin to spring crust cruising.

It sounds as if we have the best conditions in Colorado at the moment, and more snow is coming soon.

See you on the trails!


Sunday, November 23, 2008

November 23--the skiing is still great!

It's been sunny and warm down at my house, but the Grand Mesa's snow is holding up quite well, thanks in part to the hard work of our grooming crew.

The classic tracks are a tad sloppy close to the trailhead, but the skating lane is in perfect shape everywhere and once you pass the snowmobile trail, the classic tracks are in excellent condition as well.

No need for rock skis, there's not a single rock on the skate lane. The track is hard and fast.

We may have some more snow on the way this week.



Monday, November 17, 2008

Skiing on Scales Lake Road

It was like Spring skiing this weekend on the grand mesa. Delicious!

Skiing Nov 16

Sure, we need a little more snow to get all the trails groomed, but the 5km track from Skyway to the towers on Scales Lake road is in great shape.

The classic tracks are bit sloppy in places, but the skating track is fabulous--no rocks.

Get yourself up there to enjoy some early season fun.


more gloomy weather in store for this week

I hate being the bearer of bad news but sunny and seasonably warm weather will continue into the weekend of the 22-23 November at least, as High pressure dominates the intermountain West. There is a broad (read weak) trough of Low pressure forming over the weekend, but for now it doesn't look like a snow producer for the Mesa. In fact the meager snowpack will suffer some melting this week as afternoon temperatures climb into the 40s on our ski trails.
Beyond the 7 day forecast, forecasters look to the state of the oceans for clues to future storm track and intensity. For the West, the Pacific holds some clues for this winter. By comparing two different oscillations: the El Nino Southern Oscillation (neutral this winter) and the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (cold this winter), I compared previous winters that were neutral ENSO/cool PDO for 5 sites in the Colorado mountains: Steamboat Springs, Winter Park, Crested Butte, Telluride, Silverton. Those years back to 1950 were:
2001-2002 (top 10 driest years for Colorado mtns) (followed by the summer of the Haymen, Coal Seam, and Missionary Ridge fires amongst many others) 
1978-1979 (top 10 snowiest years for CO mtns)
1953-1954 (top 10 driest years for CO mtns)
1951-1952 (top 10 snowiest years for CO mtns)

Initially you might think, as I did, that this is just noise or chaos to have two top 10 driest and two top 10 snowiest years occurring in this pattern. But this also indicates there is a tendency towards extreme winters under this Pacific pattern. Also by comparing these 10 years to the 30 year average (1971-2000), there is a tendency (just a tendency, not a guarantee by any means!) for a dry November, 
then a snowy December-January, followed by a dry February. So far that pattern is working out, so lets hope for the snowy Dec-Jan part to work out too! I will keep you posted when we get an inkling of Mesa snow. 
As gloomy as this weather is, we might as well try to enjoy the sunny and mild afternoons.  :~}

Thursday, November 13, 2008

13 November Skiing

Fantastic, fast skating up Scales Lake Road today. The trail is in nice
shape, except for the divots from two golden labs and their
snowshoeing master, who protested that he "usually never brings his dogs
to Skyway." Oh well. Let it snow!
Jane McGarry and Chuck Behrensmeyer

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Sunday 11-7 skiing

We skied today! It felt great to get on snow again. Chuck and I skied from the Skyway parking lot to the Microwave Tower via Scales Lake Road on the groomed track. There was adequate coverage to avoid rocks and obstacles the whole way although some dodging was needed between Skyway and the snowmobile corridor. From there on out coverage was good. The classic track was melted out in a number of places throughout but those spots were easily avoided by moving onto the solid skating lane which was generally in good shape. The snow was fast which was good because I was weak. Guess I should have been doing some upper body workouts prior. Rode Super Blue worked well for kick. If we get a few more inches on top of this good base, we'll be sailing!

Full moon is Thursday so any clear night 'til then will be an irresistable opportunity for more skiing. First race is Dec. 6. No excuses for those that wait until then to get on snow!


Saturday, November 8, 2008

Snow Forecast Update for the Week of 9-15 November

Hi GMNCers,
Northwest Pacific storms are still headed our way for this upcoming week, but it is looking like the northern Colorado mountains will be favored over the Grand Mesa. GMNC trail snowfall amounts for this week are expected to be around 3-6 inches.
The first Low pressure system is digging to the Four-Corners late Sunday, further south than earlier forecast. If you are planning on skiing Sunday, expect breezy SW winds with highs in the mid 30s, so waxless skis or a purple or red kick wax will probably work best. Light snowfall will start in the late afternoon and continue off and on into Tuesday. High Pressure tries to build in from the Southwest by mid-week pushing the snowfall further north. Only light accumulations are expected from Wednesday into the weekend.
I will be gone through the new week, but keeping checking this evolving forecast at

Thursday, November 6, 2008

The Grand Mesa Snowpack has Begun

Hi Skiers,
Tuesday Night-Wednesday's storm started the snowpack for our upcoming ski season. Reports from County Line on Thursday are of 6-7 inches of new snowfall with 5 inches at Mesa Lakes resort. This snow will hang around through the cold season though it may suffer just a little melt on Saturday afternoon.
The next pacific storm brings snowfall on Sunday into Monday. First estimate is another 4-7 inches by Monday night. This might give us just enough snowfall for skiing Scales Lake Road without gouging our ski bases.
Though it is a long way out, another little storm will bring snowfall later in the week, right now it looks next Wednesday and Thursday. This too looks like another 6 inch-ish producer. The bottom line is we may be skiing soon.
I plan to update the weather on this blog regularly though the ski season with the latest conditions and forecast. Don't forget the Meteorologist Recommended site on our webpage at   As we head into winter, I may have some exciting (exciting in a weather geeky kinda way) way to access current conditions.
So stay tuned.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


No word yet on how much has fallen on our trails, but check here for updates.

In the meantime, check out the Grand Mesa Cam: