trail grooming extends the
Nordic ski season
Express Staff Writer
grooming season on the cross-country ski trails north of Ketchum will be
extended to April 15, the Blaine County Recreation District announced.
Previously, the district had planned to stop grooming April 7.
decision to extend the season followed complaints from some skiers that
the April 7 date was too early.
tentatively identified for more grooming include North Fork, Horse Creek,
Gladiator, Psycho and Emma’s Gulch, totaling about 16 kilometers.
Grooming would occur on Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday in the second week
of April, if snow conditions allow.
weather could still halt the grooming before April 15. A trails hotline at
726-6662 provides up-to-date details.
years, grooming began in late November and ended in early April. But this
winter has been exceptionally good for snow, which is one reason the
Galena Advisory Committee and the Rec District Board of Directors decided
during a meeting Thursday to approve the extension.
director Mary Austin Crofts said cost was another factor the district
considers in deciding what date to end the season. Each additional eight
hours of grooming costs $1,040 dollars per machine, she said. In spring,
one machine can groom about 16 kilometers in a shift.
district staff projects budget expenditures this season of about $4,000
less than projected revenue, she stated, which makes extending the season
south, crews were scheduled to begin plowing snow off the bike path
Tuesday from Bellevue to Ohio Gulch, Crofts said. Clearing of the path to
Ketchum will depend on weather conditions.
district also announced Thursday that it owes the U.S. Forest Service
$6,000 in user fees because an exemption from the fees expired in 1999.
The fees equal 1.5 percent of the gross revenue from the sale of trail
passes. Crofts said the Forest Service did not make clear the fees were
due until recently.