2019 April 12, Grooming Report & et cetera ;

2019 April 12, Grooming Report & et cetera ;  

Heavy overnight snow and then freezing rain has Andy and his team gearing up for the first opportunity to get this snow in skiable shape.  The forecast is challenging so decisions will be “game time” events.  Cold nights are forecast so the current plan is to groom late today and weekend skiing will be spectacular.

Too Long To Read Grooming Report:

Do you ever hear something and pretend it is not so?  I am reminded of moving into a new renal house in a new town.  It was our first night after a long day of moving boxes, mattresses, couches and all sorts of stuff that well capitalized people leave to moving companies.  Anyway, it was about midnight when our 4 year old son bleats out from the next room.  “Dad…?” he says in that cautious tone used when delivering bad news.  “There’s a bat in my room.”  I said what any dad would say in the same situation, “Go back to sleep.  It is just a moth.”  After several iterations I had to go and shoo a bat out of the house.  You ever shoo a bat out of the house in the middle of the night?  Well, after an hour we were all back to sleep but where do you go to get that hour back?  Now, I expect you both are thinking, what a terrible person.  No, I am not terrible; I do terrible things.  It is different.  No one, not even the grooming report critic will ever really know if I was sure it was really a bat.  Anyway, that is how I felt listening to the weather change last night.  The raging blizzard suddenly sounded quite different.  My mariner father’s genes cause me to wake up when the wind shifts even in light air.  I listened intently as the sound of the snow became more like snow pellets on the window.  That is a wonderful snow and I imagined skipping the salt mine for knee deep powder skiing.  As sheets of this new sound passed I had to get up to check it out.  Was I going to lay out my alpine gear? I dearly hoped so.  Looking out the back door I could hear the precipitation hitting all manner of hard objects but could see nothing.  Bummer.  Then, just as Thomas, I had to feel it with my own hand to be sure; rain.  So, you will find  a crust on top of 3”-4” of new snow.  Skiing of any kind will be less than ideal until groomed.  Andy is getting out at the first chance and we will let you know asap.  Rest assured, if it can be good it will be good.  I expect tomorrow to be spectacular cross country skiing.

Shoulder season continues to pose challenges to area sports men & women.  The traditional end to Fall surfing is the first day of cross country ski grooming and that came before Deer Season this year.  Of course, many do surf during ski season and I must admit to having surfed Superior in every month of the year save June and July as they have never produced rideable surf in my lifetime (but hope springs eternal).

Now, I must admit, April surfing has a misery factor when the sum of water and air temperature (f) is less than 60. Of course I can come up with all sorts of excuses for not getting in the water today ( but they all sound like “bla-bla-bla-bla” when one hits the play back button so I won’t even try out the good ones).    Check out the surf shots from yesterday.  A big east swell makes the Zoo clean and off shore wind.  I won’t go picture taking without my board and suit again.


See map below for trail closures due to logging.



Over 99% of the trails we ski, bike, run and walk are owned by private land owners.  Most of the trails are on commercial forest land.  These land owners wish to see their land used by skiers, bikers, runners and walkers for 99+% of the time.  All they ask is that we understand they need to use the land for a few months per decade.

I really want both of you to understand how important our commercial forests are to life in the U.P.  In much of the country where commercial forestry has fallen behind other uses as the highest and best use, trails like the entire NTN are not possible.  Land in such areas is owned in small private blocks and the public is locked out.

Effective March 25th, parts of our trail system were closed for logging.  One of the keys to the NTN’s success is the fact our users understand this symbiosis.  Our part in this process is to stay out of the way of the loggers and thank them for their support.  Logging is a dangerous and capital intensive operation.  We need to help them be safe and look out for their equipment.  Trails will be marked as closed and we trust you will stay away from the logging operations.

The land owners always wait until late in the year to allow as long a ski season as possible.  In addition, they attempt to keep as much of the trail open as possible.  Beginning next Monday, several sections of trail near the power lines will be blocked and logging trucks will be driving on them.

The NTN is committed to providing top quality skiing if at all possible.  You have come to expect nothing less and we are used to providing nothing but.  We will continue to groom trails between Co Rd 510 and the logging areas.  Most skiers (especially the spring time skiers) know the best skiing is near Co Rd 510 anyway.