2019 February 10, Grooming Report;

2019 February 10, Grooming Report;  

Today’s report is featuring the awesome snow bike trail builders and groomers.  See below in the TLTR section for must read information about how Marquette County is the epicenter of the world when it comes to snow biking.  We detail some of the many grooming implements that have been invented by the wizards of NTN.


New pictures from anyone will be appreciated.  I really mean this.  I agonize missing some Trail Builders.

If you have not done so, please renew your membership. ALSO, there are K markers available. Your name and favorite picture can be here too.

Forestville Real Grooming Report: Karl and Brian are cleaning the skate lanes on all of yesterday’s Bombi groomed sections.  Skiing will be spectacular again today.  Of course the optics following a major snow event are eye popping.


TRAIL – First Priority
Noque to Pines
Lower Animoosh
Bombi Groomed and track set 2/9/19 Skate lane cleaned 2/10/19
Bombi Groomed and track set 2/9/19  Skate lane cleaned 2/10/19
Upper Animoosh Bombi Groomed and track set 2/9/19 Skate lane cleaned 2/10/19
Boozoo Deep snow on trail
Zhing Deep snow on trail
Papasay Deep snow on trail
Gookookoo Bombi Groomed and track set 2/9/19 Skate lane cleaned 2/10/19
Bagwagi Bombi Groomed and track set 2/9/19 Skate lane cleaned 2/10/19
Chiwagi by pass Bombi Groomed and track set 2/9/19 Skate lane cleaned 2/10/19
Chiwagi Hills Deep snow on trail
Migizi Bombi Groomed and track set 2/9/19 Skate lane cleaned 2/10/19
Waaban Bombi Groomed and track set 2/9/19 Skate lane cleaned 2/10/19
Mukwa Deep snow on trail
Connectors Bombi Groomed and track set 2/9/19 Skate lane cleaned 2/10/19
TRAIL 2nd Priority  
Noque from 17k  to 510 Deep snow on trail

TRAIL – Third Priority

Deep snow on trail



As always, your feedback is appreciated via reply to this email or to FB.    Send in pictures and you too can get your K marker moved to the front of the line.  See the Nordic skiing FB page https://www.facebook.com/NTNNordic/


Saux Head: All trails were groomed and track set yesterday.  Expect fabulous skiing at Saux Head today.


Fit Strip: Trails groomed and lights working. According to  Jenna it was excellent Friday.


Big Bay Pathway:  Congratulation to all involved in this year’s Honey Bear Classic.  Trails will be in excellent shape again today.


Snow Bike Trails:


South Trails: At midnight last night Mike reported North Trails Collinsville- Silver Lead-Blue Heron, Penstock-The Pines loop had been groomed again Saturday (third pass since the storm). Rambling Man and Wild Cat were also double pass-groomed thanks to Lyle Vanderschaaf. For riders recommend tire pressure 3-4 psi. Sinking tires please lower pressure.


Please note on the picture what proper tire pressure does to the soft snow.  Please help others understand the importance of proper tire pressure; especially is these spectacular post storm days.  Very low pressure decreases the artifact left by the rider (and that is a good thing).  See details about the sport in general and the equipment in particular in the TLTR section below.

Caution…..wear goggles or some sort of eye protection as there are still low hanging branches.





North Trails: By Friday all North Trails except Wild Cat were groomed with two passes. Blue Heron and Collinsville by the power lines remain a little soft due to wind drifts. Recommend low tire pressure (3-4 psi) or snowshoes. Wild Cat is not groomed yet but was snowshoe packed.



Of course you can also post your own information on the FB page and you are encouraged to do so. Here is the link:



Too Long To Read Report:

Of course I need another capital intensive, weather dependent sport like a whole in the head (my editor tells me these things).  However, I drone on about how everyone living in the area needs to Nordic ski and Mountain bike because they are as good as it gets anywhere in the world.  In fact, it can be argued, both of the above are better than most places in the world.  We have the proper sized hills for both sports.

I have ridden in the mountain west, north west and coastal ranges in Canada.  All are spectacular but in some ways the hill sizes are too big for ideal riding although I expect some riders in the Cascades would beg to differ.  We can solve that over an adult beverage some night after a ride.

As for Nordic skiing, we have a long season and ideal snow.  Again, the hills are the proper size.  The only thing preventing Marquette County from being at the top of the world in the sport is our lack of FIS World Cup homologated trails. All of our trails are great and MTU does have an Homologated system and it is quite nice.  We could use more in the U.P. in my estimation.  Marquette County should be producing world champions on a regular basis. The Homologation Manual is on the FIS site so take a look at your own back 40 for proper hill size and shape if you want to have the world come to your door.

However, I am really focused on our Snow Bike phenomenon.  A small group of far sighted individuals have been pushing this envelope for two decades and are now recognized around the world.  Mike gets random emails for riders on the other side of the planet on a regular basis.  One is rarely seen as a profit in one’s own land and I mean to change that.  People in the grocery check out and old men in barber shops should be talking about Marquette’s role in the snow bike explosion.

So, now we have a sport where we are not just as good as anywhere; it is the best! Imagine being able to navigate the rugged terrain of the lower Carp River canyon on a bicycle in the dead of winter with 4’ of powder all around!  It can’t be done; but it is! I am always stunned when in spectacular alpine venues when a resident says, “no, I don’t ski”.  What! You are literally in the shadow of the Matterhorn and you don’t ski?  “What is wrong with you?”, I would (want to) say. Now, I like in a place where people the world over talk about as the place and I already have 4 other winter sports.  Well, I have room for an 8th bike in the basement (I don’t actually have an accurate count; it is kind of like skis, these are just estimates.  I didn’t know there were going to be any math questions.).


See the list of equipment and photos below.  More information in the days ahead.





We use 3 different plows to open the trails instantly. Imagine a giant v-plow on the front of a train…only shrunk down to 27” wide. We use them 80% of the time.




We have one “drag” thats a cross between a snowmobile drag and an xc ski drag. Its designed to cut and smooth the trail.


-Tire drags


We use old tires (sometimes 3 in a row) with chains laced underneath to rough up the trails and re-smooth. They have become our work horses.




We made what we call “rakes” which are simply used to lay down corduroy to smooth out the snowmobile track when we need to go cut a downed tree out etc.


-Power Groomer


We wanted to take it to the next level and use a bombi style tiller to speed up the molecular bonding of snow. It is an amazing beast of a machine and if conditions are correct we can use the trail with only one pass and a bit of “set-up” time.




Like other trail networks, we have enlisted the use of the two wheel drive Rokon motorbike to pack, churn, and smooth out the ultra narrow singletrack.


-Track Sleds


We have two track sleds that are basically a powered snowmobile track thats controlled from the back. By standing on the “pan” it smooths and packs the trail.




Sometimes nothing beats 30 people on snowshoes to pack the tread.