Grooming Report 1.11.13

Forestville: We have closed the Trailhead and will reopen for Ski Cats on Sunday.  No Grooming last night due to warm temps and rain.  Yesterday was the last time temps were below freezing. We did a light groom on animoosh, chiwaji and the Noque to 14k. Zhing, boozhoo and the sprint loop were groomed and tracked as well.

Skiing Etiquette in Marginal Conditions

As warm weather and possible rain appear in the forecast, skiers need to think about what damage they might be doing to the trail and what the trail might look like after they go through. Will the groomers be able to repair the damage they might cause?

When the trail is soft and the temperatures are below freezing there probably isn’t much damage a skier can do. The groomers will erase your tracks on their next pass. That being said, skiing immediately after the grooming of a heavy new snowfall isn’t a good idea (or very fun). The trails need time to set up after grooming.

If the trail is soft and it’s above freezing or raining and you’re putting deep ruts in the trail then there can be problems. If the warm-up/rain is short-term with an expected freeze up to follow, hard frozen ruts can form, making the trail very difficult for the groomers to repair.  The most damage is done when it’s really warm and maybe raining. The snow turns to mush and you sink right down to the base. If it freezes and the ruts stay there, you won’t be skiing the next day.  It could be days or weeks before the trail system is skiable again.  So when you find yourself in those warm/wet conditions, its best to get off the trails.

If the trail is soft and it’s Springtime where it gets warm every day and freezes up at night, then just enjoy yourself. That’s what Spring skiing is all about — trying to hit the temperatures just right, between the hard crust and the softening melt.

The bottom line: Think before you ski in marginal conditions. We all need to be good “Trail Stewards”.

Steve Thatcher
Ride and Glide Bike and Ski Club

From Skinny Ski, Thank you Skinny Ski

Give your Christmas tree a new purpose. NTN is trying to create a natural looking wind barrier up near the power lines where drifting and low snow can be a problem. Drive up the Forestville Road (past the NTN parking lot) and drop it off. We’ll “plant” it in the snow bank for you.

  • South Trails Snow Bike Route: Can you update SBR conditions to “Soft wet conditions, please lower tire pressure if you are breaking through the trails deck” we will groom ASAP!”
  • Saux Head: Overall, the trail is in good skiing condition. Note: The base condition at the East Trailhead parking area of the Peep-O-Day is on the thin side compared to the rest of the trail.
  • Valley Spur: Trails are holding well through this weather event. We will be dressing the skate lanes on Wednesday. At this time Little G is closed due to a hazardous downhill. http://trailconditions.valleyspur.org/
  • Al Quaal: Detailed report and news follow this link. http://ishpemingcity.org/departments/parks-and-recreation/al-quaal-recreation-area/
  • Fit Strip: Groomed and tracked 12/22. Rock skis recommended.
  • Blueberry Ridge: The DNR has elected to groom Blueberry Ridge this year. More info on the website.  http://www.michigandnr.com/parksandtrails/Details.aspx?id=88&type=SFPW