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

January 11th, 2012

Dear BREIA,

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,

Scott

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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.
BREIA

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