There was no skiable snowin the late winter of 2001. The temperatures hinted no possibilityof snow anytime soon until the last weeks of the year. Bloomingtonhad a white powdering of snow on the morning of December 25th, but otherwiseno promise of snow soon.
Sunday January 6, 2002: Snow was predicted to begin on the afternoon of Saturday January 5th, butit did not come by midnight and the air temperature made it seem unlikelythat we would get even the 1" of snow predicted. The snow came. By sunrise the depth of the snow was 1" and a few hours later it reachedapproximately 2-1/2" to 3". This skier was doubtful that the snowwould be skiable due to the warm 33º F. temperature. Duty tothis web site got me to go to the IU Golf Course. Tracks showed thatfive or six other XC skiers had come and gone before my 1 P.M. arrival. I skied a large cycle covering about 1/2 of the golf course. I hadno trouble with snow sticking and the tracks left by others looked as thoughno one was having major problems of sticking. This snow was muchbetter than one had a right to expect on a 33º first snow of the season. the ski season has begun... finally! As always let me remind, weare lucky to have two Golf Courses that permit our use of their facilities. Please avoid the greens!
|Monday January 7: I checked out Karst park on this morning. Skiing at 9:30 am, thetemperature was well below freezing and the snow was deep enough for skiingalmost everywhere at the park. There were several cross country tracksput down by other bloomington cross country skiers. There was somegrass showing in sundays tracks, but the established tracks were fasterthan making new tracks in most cases. I did find very large gravelon the most northern path at the back of the nature trail, so avoid that. All of the other trails were gentle on one's skis.|
Tuesday/Wednesday January8 & 9: The temperature at 7:30 amwas 19º on Tuesday morning. This skier hoped to get out earlyagain on this day to enjoy the frozen snow but instead did a short skiouting at Cascades Golf Course at 12:15 PM. The snow was beginningto melt in the brightest sunlight and I had my first problem of snow stickingon the skis. There was lots of evidence of cross country skiing aswell as sledding over the weekend. Wednesday morning there was stilla good covering of snow that was frozen with the night temperatures, butby 12:30 PM brown spots were growing. By Thursday temperatures werein the 50º F. and there was no skiable snow anywhere near Bloomington.
Saturday January 19th: We have had plenty of cold enough temperatures, but not enough moisture. Friday night/ Saturday morning we were on the edge of a winter tract withmoisture coming up from the Gulf of Mexico. There was hope that wemight get up to 3", but only got 2" or possibly less, still as a responsibilityto this web site, I went to the IU Golf Course at 11 Am. There wasa fair amount of grass showing through the snow, but skiing was surprisinglyfun. Two other persons had been out earlier and while I was skiing,I saw a couple X-C skiing with their dog along for a run. No troublewith sticking and this dry snow was gliding pretty good considering themix of grass in the glide. You could ski anyplace on the golf course,but it was best in the paths where the cross country runners frequent. The grass everywhere was easy on the base of ones skis.
Sunday January 20th: Persons reading this on the 20th and looking around would say, "now I knowthis guy is lying about these days that he has skied". No way wouldI have tried again today, except again for this web report. On thepositive the sun never came out on this day so the temperature stayed low. There was a fair amount of snow lost on Saturday. I went to Karstpark. I didn't get out until 11 AM. There was enoughsnow to ski to the nature trail from the parking lot. The naturetrails were very fun. The snow was gliding fine, but today was aday to be glad that the new scratches on my old skis will not be noticedamong the history of less than perfect ski days of years past. Idid ski one of the soccer fields for a few minutes, but the glide was notas good as the walkways in the nature trail. I found that the otherwalkways with gravel were not useable, but the grass everywhere that waswhite had a reasonable glide. Only in one small area of about 6 feet didI have to cross and area of no glide. There was a group of about15 soccer players playing as I skied past their game. We both lookedlike we were out on the wrong day for our sports. If you are a bloomingtonskier, try out the Karst Park Nature trail some day, but as I mentionedearlier avoid the furthest from the back trail in the nature area, becausethe park has put big gravel there this year. Perhaps we can ask themnot to do this in the future. I avoided that trail today and willdo so until we have at least 4 inches of snow. As the sun was settingon this day, I had hope that Monday morning might leave enough snow foranother try on the way to work monday.
Tuesday February 26thwas the next snowfall in Bloomington. This winter had enough colddays but when it was cold, there was no moisture. There were so manywarm days that everyone was saying there was no winter this year. Sunday the 24th of February had been 60º F. But this Tuesdaymorning began an constant snow fall throughout the day, sometimes hard. There was enough snow to ski by 5pm on tuesday, but the ground under this2 or so inches of snow was still unfrozen. by 11pm skiing on thelight powdery snow looked so invitingly wonderful in the bright moonlight,but unable to find anyone to join me, I did not go out. A temperature19º and a light flurry of snow was continuing to fall at 11:30 pm.two weeks of late night winter Olympic viewing had left me ready for somelonger nights sleep. (see Wednesday- this day was not skiableand not counted in the total above.)
Wednesday February 27th, Conditions looked great five inches of very light fluffy snow 16ºF.and temperatures predicted to stay low until the weekend. Still,when I got out to Karst park at 11 AM and the IU Golf Course at 7pm, theground under the snow had not frozen. These two ski outings werethe least fun I have ever had with skis on my feet. These days lookedwonderful, but were not skiable. The loft of the snow had fallento about one inch not from the surface air temperature, but from the warmearth. It was now expected that the first skiable day of this snowfall would be Thursday morning. We could use some more snow, butwe are glad for this.
Thursday February 28th, Finally the ground was frozen. If one had skate skis, and didn'tmind putting the base at risk for scratches, today wouldhave been a goodday to practice some skate technique. I didn't have mine waxed, soI will go out on my old in track skis. Maybe I will see you at theIU Golf Course or Karst Park.