Skiing at Saint John's
Skiing at Saint John's: What you should know.
Trail Conditions - Friday, March 7, 2014
EXTREME ICE - SKIING NOT RECOMMENDED BEFORE NOON SATURDAY!
If any of you have tried to drive or walk anywhere today, you know that ground conditions are very slippery after last night's coating of freezing rain. The ski trails are all very iced up and extremely dangerous. Randy will groom all trails beginning early Saturday morning and plans to be finished by noon with both skating and classic trails.
As we get toward the end of the skiing season, please be aware of snow conditions as we'll begin to see both slush and ice more often. We'll do our best to keep you informed and invite you to help us keep track of the conditions - send us a note anytime you want to tell us about your experiences on our ski trails.
Be safe and enjoy!
Trail Conditions - Tuesday, February 25, 2014
The ski trails are in great shape! Yesterday, Randy got his machine back and groomed all the trails (he had packed them all on Saturday). Classic trails are set and the skating lane is ready to go. If we are going to have an extended winter, you might as well get out and enjoy it.
Br. Lew Grobe gives the following report: "I've run into Randy out grooming the trails multiple times in the past week and his hard work shows in the great condition of the trails. If you are looking for a challenge, I had the chance to skate the Trinity Loop yesterday and found the trails to be firmly packed and wide going up the hills."
The CSB/SJU Nordic Ski Club had their last competition at the Birkebeiner over the weekend. Coach Ion Senchea feels the athletes and the program are really doing well and looks forward to next year. All of us skiers are grateful for the financial support provided by the SJU and CSB Athletic departments to keep the trails groomed for all of us.
Enjoy the land!
Trail Conditions - Friday, February 21, 2014
As you well know, we have at least 6 inches of new snow and plenty of wind to move it around.
With campus shut down, the ski club at the Birkebeiner, and the wind blowing drifts in all the open areas, we have decided to wait until Saturday morning to pack the new snow. Randy's regular machine is not available this weekend so he is trying out a new machine that does not have a cab nor the electric switches to run the track setter. All 18 km of trails will be rolled and packed by noon on Saturday. Randy will groom all the trails and set the classic track when he gets his machine back on Monday, Feb 24. But you can certainly ski this weekend on the packed snow.
Have a great weekend and stay warm.
Trail Conditions - Tuesday, February 18, 2014
We received about 5 inches of snow by Monday afternoon. Randy used the roller to pack the new snow on all the trails by yesterday evening. This morning he is grooming and setting tracks on all the trails and plans to be finished by late morning/early afternoon. The warm weather will likely affect how well the trails set up before many of you ski this afternoon and evening. But we wanted to get them groomed (and I doubt many of us are complaining about the temperature today!). Enjoy the trails and the heat wave.
The CSB/SJU Nordic Ski Club heads to the Birkebeiner this weekend. Good luck to them and coach Ion Senchea. And thanks to the CSB/SJU Athletic Departments for their generous support for the trail grooming.
Trail Conditions - Friday, February 14, 2014
Happy Valentine's Day! If you and your sweetie are headed onto the trails, they are in great condition. Randy groomed all 18K late Thursday and they set up very nice overnight. There might be a little drifting in a few open areas, but overall the trails are great.
We had over 100 people at the Ski with the Starsevent last night. It was a great mix of experienced and first time skiers. Yes, if you stopped skiing for very long it was quite cold due to the lingering wind, but the moonlight was perfect for a night ski. (There was even enough moonlight for a few daring Prep school student skiers to veer off the lighted trails to ski the Zicke-Zacke trails) Thanks to the CSB/SJU Nordic Ski Club for providing lessons and special thanks to Fitzharris Ski and Sport for providing the free rentals. And and extra shout out to our friends in the Central MN Youth Ski Club and Nordic Ski Clubs of Central MN. We loved having some of your members out with us last night!
Enjoy the land! ~Tom Kroll
P.S. Many thanks to the Abbey Arboretum for furnishing the land and the summer trail maintenance. Thanks to Saint John's University and the College of Saint Benedict for significant funding to groom the trails for the use of the Nordic Ski Club, the CSB/SJU students, and all the rest of us. Thanks to Saint John's Outdoor University and its donor members for assisting with the administration, grooming, and for providing programming.
Thursday, February 13
Illuminated night ski in the Abbey Arboretum.
Updated Ski Map & Trail Names
We have a newly updated ski trail map. Note that trails have been assigned a directional designation and most are now one-way to help make skiing safer for all. Other new things on the map:
- A new trail called Langlauf, meaning classic cross-country in German. It has a nice downhill for classic skiers.
- Renaming several trails - to get rid of boring names (i.e. Freeway extension is now Zicke-Zack), and to be less confusing when a ski trail uses more than one of our summer trails. Hence, the trail starting at the stone gate is now the Stone Gate Loop.
We are able to groom more trails this year since our logging operation will be working in a different part of the woods.
None at this time
Walkers on the ski trails...
While it is wonderful that people are out exercising in the woods of Saint John's we try to avoid having much foot traffic on the ski trail system.
- If you must walk on the groomed ski trails, please walk on the edge of the ski trail opposite the classical track.
- The Boardwalk Loop, Logging Loop, the Chapel Trail, and the SE side of the Old Entrance Road are not groomed for skiing and are perfect for walking. View a Trail Map.
- The woods and trails are plentiful for sharing. Thanks for your help keeping the ski trails great for skiing!
Support the ski trails...
The ski trails are part of Saint John's Abbey Arboretum. The land is owned by the monks of Saint John's Abbey and is generously made open for public use.
- The ski trails are groomed for the benefit of the ski team, faculty, staff, students, members of the CSB and SJU communities, and Outdoor University members. All of the grooming is performed by volunteer efforts of a few individuals plus the help of a student employee.
- We collect no trail fees, yet if you are not part of CSB/SJU/OSB I ask that you join the Saint John's Outdoor University at the $40 Family yearly membership level.
- By joining the Outdoor University you will receive all the information and benefits of every member (including a free introductory cross country ski lesson!) and can freely use the trails . You will also be supporting the ski trails and the grooming we do. On the application please indicate that you are a skier.