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Archive for January, 2012

Ski Rentals?

Monday, January 30th, 2012

On 1/30/2012 11:03 AM, Jamie Butts wrote:

Can you tell me if/where you rent xc skis?
Is the trail head near the Burger King? Many years ago I remember renting skis somewhere back in there….


BREIA does not rent XC ski equipment. What you are referring to is the Boonville Search & Rescue Squad, located at the Canal Trail trailhead, next to the Headwater Shopping Center in Boonville. They are open Saturdays and Sundays 10am – 4pm.

They have ski equipment available for free loan (donation appreciated), but you will need to leave them $5 + your driver’s license as a deposit on the equipment. When you return the equipment, they return both to you and you can either take the $5 or donate it…your choice.
Hope this helps.

Sunfield closed?

Sunday, January 22nd, 2012

On 1/22/2012 9:01 AM, Matt Kuligowski wrote:

Sunfield on Jackson Hill is not packed/rolled as of 1/21/12. This was a disappointment, as this is one of my favorite trails and one BREIA advertises for the view! Split tree down on connecting trail from “Into the Woods” to Sunfield probably blocking equipment from accessing Sunfield. Chainsaw anyone?
Otherwise all else seems like early season conditions – in the middle of January! – on Jackson Hill.
Matt K.

BREIA response:

Thanks, Matt, for reporting the downed limb.

The Sunfield is not closed to skiing, it just hadn’t been groomed by yesterday. Skiing is permitted any time you can get there and that there is enough snow.

The BREIA system had a huge amount of blow-down throughout our 38 miles of trails last weekend during the windstorm. That, the sudden flash-freeze and our first real snowfall that could be rolled and then groomed, created a great amount of work for our crew. The Sunfield and and spur trail from Into The Woods was one of the last trails on the list, and one we couldn’t get to Saturday.
We will try to get to this tree and begin grooming the Sunfield in the next day or two. Depending on Monday’s thaw and rain, we hope to be in 100% good shape this week.


A Delightful Weekend of Skiing

Wednesday, January 18th, 2012

Weather forecasts for the weekend of 1/14-1/15 looked doubtful — but several inches of snow on Friday gave enough coverage for fine skiing ! A dozen of us (mostly from the Philadelphia area) made the long drive and were rewarded with fresh powder, dazzling clear skies, and a very welcoming warming hut (with temperatures hovering near zero).

Trails were not groomed, but things went smoothly after the first couple of skiers broke trail. We stayed on the Jackson Hill system (more elevation and, presumably, deeper snow), where we encountered a couple of downed trees. A reminder of how much work the BREIA staff puts in to keep the trails in good condition. The Search & Rescue people had opened their ski rental office (very handy for us out-of-towners) — people were helpful and welcoming as usual.

Thank you for running such a wonderful facility and making it freely available.



Tuesday, January 17th, 2012
Hey BREIA,  Heard that some party spotted a moose on the Egypt Road Trails recently.  Great news,  any details?  Joey
We heard about a moose along Rt. 12 in the Alder Creek area about a week ago. It may still be around...
Anyone else seen it?


Where’s the snow?

Thursday, January 12th, 2012

We need to tell you folks from out of town that we have next to no snow today. Rain overnight took what little cover we had yesterday. Snow is forecast for tonight and maybe Friday, so keep your fingers crossed for the weekend.

We will update the website trail conditions as soon as grooming can begin.

(posted Wed, Jan 11, 7:20am) – BREIA Plans this Weekend?

Wednesday, January 11th, 2012


Happy January. Thank you for the wonderful ski area that you maintain so well.

I’m Scott Higgs, key organizer of a group of cross country ski enthusiasts in Philadelphia — headed to BREIA this weekend for our annual outing — the 6th year in a row !

I know that this snow season has been skimpy. To organize our group, we had to coordinate plans months ahead — our lodging is booked, and we will be driving up regardless of conditions. We’re preparing ourselves for possible — but continue to be optimistic there will be enough snow.

Would you please help us understand what to expect ?
You cannot predict the weather, but you can tell us:

If there is some snow, but not enough for grooming:
1) Is it still OK to ski on the trails ?
2) Will you still rent equipment (living in Philadelphia, many of our members don’t have their own) ?
3) If snow is OK to ski, but not enough for grooming, will you please consider opening the warming hut(s) ? This may mean extra effort for your staff — but you could skip the work of starting and monitoring fires. Even if snow is light, there will be lots of people anxious to try skiing — you would provide a wonderful service by simply giving skiers (especially our novices) a sheltered place to sit for a few minutes, eat lunch, and rest !

Thanks for taking a minute to consider these questions and letting me know.

(and a final bonus question, if you’re feeling creative: in case snow is simply not enough to ski, can you suggest other outdoor activities that would be most likely to interest disappointed skiers — good places to hike or interesting natural areas to explore ?)

Thank you very much — I hope to see you Saturday with a dozen eager skiers and lots of fresh snow !
(If any of this is easier to discuss by phone, feel free to call me at 610-xxx-xxxx.)

Take care,



BREIA Response:

Hi Scott…
Believe me, we are very disappointed in our situation here thus far this winter. it’s the first time we can recall ever getting close to mid-January without being able to groom. There is a light snow cover on the Jackson Hill trails…enough to ski, but not enough to groom. The Egypt Road trails, at a lower elevation, currently have an inch or two, but under the hemlocks, snow is sparse.
We do have a forecast for snow and sleet Thursday, so things could improve, but we won’t know until it happens.

We will post an answer on the warming huts being open later today.

We hate to divert you elsewhere, but after you try our trails, if they are not satisfactory, you might try the Carpenter Road trails above Snow Ridge ski area in Turin. Last weekend they had a little more snow than us…but not much. Unfortunately, nowhere around here has much snow as of today.

Please note that BREIA does not rent skis. Skis equipment is available, if conditions permit, from Boonville Search & Rescue in Boonville at the Canal Trail trail-head. A donation is appreciated. You will need to check with them as to whether they will be open this weekend, since conditions are not great at present.

All this said, you are certainly welcome to use the BREIA trails as best you can. If conditions permit, they will be groomed for this weekend.

Have a great weekend, whatever the conditions! Thanks for coming to visit us each each year.

Canal Trail Skiing up to Pixley Falls

Thursday, January 5th, 2012
Hey Guys –
Went down (well technically up) the canal trail today from the Trails End to Pixley Falls. The snow depth was just at the limit to be passable – and in some areas it felt like I was skiing more on twigs then snow. It was also a bit icy under all the snow and in some areas mother nature sort of reaches out and grabs your skis! If anyone goes out there you can probably tell from the weird looking snow angel where “mother nature” was able to get a good hold – it wasn’t bad, only a little blood 🙂
Feel free to call my crazy but I just couldn’t wait any more to get out!

Ryan… you are the first skier to report on your experience this season. Glad you tried it; sorry it wasn’t better. THINK SNOW!!

Grooming this weekend?

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012


I was wondering whether you might begin grooming this upcoming weekend due to the new snowfall?

Cornell University
Ithaca, NY

On Tue, Jan 3, 2012 at 8:25 AM, BREIA wrote:

Hi Alex….
We did not get the dump of lake snow as promised yesterday. Nothing significant is forecast for today or tomorrow. As soon as there is reasonable cover, we will begin grooming, but it’s not there yet. We will update the trail conditions as soon as we can groom, so please keep watching that page.
Trails are open if you want to try them; they just aren’t groomed. The warming huts are closed until grooming begins.

We are as disappointed as you are!