It’s March 23rd and we have more snow than ever for the season! Temp’s are not too warm and a little freshen up grooming has kept the trails in really good shape. There should be skiing until the end of March for sure and probably into April. That’s been a rarity the past few years. But you never know; these warmups come unexpectely and this year there will be tons of flooding and ice flows on our Pincushion trails. That’s a given considering the early season plague of ice and water all over the trails. But for now skiing is great! Have fun!
Spring is just around the corner as the sun continues to shine and the winter weather is rather mild – upper 20′s and low 30′s for us here in Grand Marais, Minnesota. The trails are in great shape. Maybe a little icy in some spots but still hard wax conditions for classic skiing. The skating lanes are firm packed powder snow and fast! Another snowstorm would be appreciated about now but we’re happy with what we have on our trails. Races are still happening around the area – our Sawtooth race was two weeks ago, with temp’s starting off in the minus’ and climbing into teens. The Birkebeiner was last weekend with perfect temps. And the Sleeping Giant Loppet in Thunder Bay is tomorrow with their start being postponed an hour since temp’s will below zero too and then climb into the 20′s. Not too shabby overall if I do say…
Last Sunday winter in all of its full glory blasted down on us here in good ‘ol Grand Marais. 10 inches of blizzardly snow in about 3 hours or so. It was great. Snowblowing out the driveway during it was nearly impossable – I couldn’t see anything. Since more snow was forecast I saved the cleanup for Monday morning (and gas too). Another inch or so fell but that was the end of the storm. Now our ski trails are fully covered in the white stuff – no ice flows showing now out on Pincushion. The skiing is fantastic too, maybe a little soft for skating but I’m not complaining! The new snow will harden up soon anyway and it’s such a pleasure to be buried in snow again after a meager nearly snowless winter. Negotiating ice flows is part of cross-country skiing but two months worth was enough. Ski on it, while you got it!
Eleven inches of snow last weekend before the temp’s took a nose dive. All that snow has now been packed and groomed into a very nice skiing base.. and there are classical tracks too. A warmup is forecast for this weekend and some snow too for Thursday night and Friday morning – 1 to 3 inches. Once re-groomed again we’ll have an excellent skiing surface.
Aproximately 8-10″ since Wednesday this week. The first b atch of 3″ of windblown snow covered part of the icy trails; then this batch of 6″ plus (still snowing lightly) added the final kicker to cover up the icy trails (and ice flows) too. A little more is forecast for tonight and tomorow. With additional grooming and the snow allowing to “set up” we are back into descent packed powder skiing conditions! It’s not really a lot of snow, but at least it’s a good rebound from last weekends deluge of rain. With another 4-6″ for later next week; which will only solidify our snow base and allow us to set some fairly good tracks for classical skiing. Even with this slow start we still should be able to enjoy the efforts of our $6000 in trail improvements the NSSRC completed this past summer. LET IT SNOW!
Our skiing base here on the Pincushion Trails is only 1 to 3 inches. But with the warmup forecast for this week, hopefully that will bring some snow with a change in the jet stream pattern across the good ‘ol USA. Even if the temperatures hit the low 30′s our base should survive. Even with a little snow, additional grooming would even out the trails and improve the skiing conditions. They are still fair to good but that’s still on the low side of the rating scale. It is all “white” in the woods and on the trails and I know other places some years would be more than thankful for this small amount of snow. Still, there’s a whole lot of excitement that comes with snowstorm after snowstorm. That is still bound to happen this winter and then we’ll be hoping for a little less frequency in the snowstorm action after having to constantly groom the ski trails and snowblow/shovel our way out of are driveways!
That pretty much says it. All that moisture last weekend and not a flake of snow to show for it. Then this last mega-storm missed us completely except for a little blowing and drifting snow. Now it’s just windy and cold. The trails ’round hear are icy but skiable. As long as you get out of the stadium and over the first rise on the trail you’ll be fine. There’s slush and ice in many places but otherwise they are fine. Let’s hope for a few inches of lake effect snow again and we’ll be able to set things right with the grooming.
That’s the forecast for here. 6-12″ of the white stuff. Hopefully! Then we’ll be busy snowblowing the driveway and working on grooming the trails… BUT then there will be good packed powder skiing!!! Right now there is a frozen ganular base covering our trails here at Pincushion. That’s all folks…
We were in full on snowstorm the day after Thanksgiving. I rode my road bike to the end of the Gunflint Trail and back, 107 miles, arriving back home in the dark and beating the rain/snow that was blowing in from the west. By Friday night I was on the snowmobile rolling the trails – West Overlook and the Snowman’s. The fallen trees did me in however and was beat up after 3 hours of that. Further help arrived and I was satisfied to rest up and take it easy the next few days.
Since I had tickets to see The Who playing in Minneapolis I didn’t want to overdo it before the concert! And those 67 year old rockers didn’t disppoint; the concert was so load my ears didn’t even ring! Propbably semi- permanent hearing loss…
Skiing was still good Sunday evening and I pretty much just classical skied on the surface. At least all of that dry snow melted down and gave more protection to the rocks and other debris poking through. As long as it doesn’t rain today or tonight too hard our base should survive and we’ll be set for some more snow towards the end of this week.
The past few weekends have kept me busy on the Pincushion Trails cutting up fallen trees and removing brush from the ditches alongside the trail. We’ve fixed all of the wash outs from this summer’s rainstorms, and about a dozen other culverts damaged by the many rain storms and runoff over the past few years. The rest of the excavator work involved trail widening on some of the most narrow sections of the Pincushion loop and North Advanced two-way trail.
Since it’s opening deer season this weekend, I needed a break so I’m going to beat myself up a little more and compete in Traverse City’s Iceman Cometh Mountain Bike race. A 29 mile point to point race; conditions look balmy in the lower 40′s so it shouldn’t be too epic. At least that’s the forecast right now, but if the wind pick’s up from the northwest it could be a long day on the trail. I’ll be looking forward to the free beer after the race and some cherry pie too!