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Produced & Maintained by Idaho Mountain Express, Box 1013, Ketchum, ID 83340-1013 
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For the week of March 27 - April 2, 2002


Continuation of trail grooming extends the Nordic ski season

Express Staff Writer

The 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.

The decision to extend the season followed complaints from some skiers that the April 7 date was too early.

Trails 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.

Warm weather could still halt the grooming before April 15. A trails hotline at 726-6662 provides up-to-date details.

In previous 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.

District 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.

The district staff projects budget expenditures this season of about $4,000 less than projected revenue, she stated, which makes extending the season financially possible.

Farther 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.

The 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.


The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.