This past winter the UNM Ski Team started development on a groomed ski loop in the Sandias for ski team training. The loop is intended for the exclusive use of cross country skiers. It is accessible from either the Ellis or 10K Trailhead parking areas. Chris Norton, with the UNM nordic team, has groomed some trails adjacent to the Ellis trailhead for years for use of team members as well as others. Kerry Wood, the Sandia wilderness trails guy has asked us to develop and offered some assistance in developing groomed trails near the 10K Trailhead to enable(still not official) designating these trails for the exclusive use of skiers.
If NEPA studies allow it , we hope to do some earth moving and remove trees to give us a 10-12' wide level groomed trail system in a year or two. There is a National Guard unit that has offered to do bulldozing for the trails. Ellis TH is at the upper right corner of this satellite photo, while 10K TH is about 2/3 of the way down the right side.
Four of us have paid for a Conex building you may have seen just below the service road for storage of the UNM snowmobile and assorted grooming tools. UNM encourages and welcomes donations to the Lobo Club,with such donations designated for use by the ski team. There are many uses for $$, including gas and maintenance of grooming equipment, travel for the team to races and training sites. The UNM Ski Team has been a force in the cross country ski world for many year. If you are interested in helping the effort with a donation, you can contact UNM coach Fredrik Landstedt at the Ski Team site.
Conditions of the groomed loop are available on the SW Nordic Ski Blogspot. You can also contact Chris directly with questions about the project. You can compare the trail now with the original cut, which is shown in the earlier article on the UNM Loop.
You can express support for this project by contacting the following USFS representatives:
Kerry Wood, the Cibola NF Trails person
Elaine Kohrman, the Cibola NF District Ranger
Crystal Powell, the Sandia District Supervisor
Express your interest in the project and support for it.