Grooming April 1, 2015

Grooming Report April 1, 2015


Short Version:

Please note: some trails are affected by logging operation.

Skiers are reminded that most of the U.P. is a commercial forest.  This is a great thing because it allows us to play in the woods.  The land owners practice the highest form of sustainable forestry and selectively harvest the high quality northern hardwood.  If you see them in the woods, thank them for their stewardship.

Some trails are marked “CLOSED”.  Please DO NOT ski around these marks.  We are able to groom these ski trails because the land owners recognize the value of skiing in the community.  We need to reciprocate and make their job as easy as possible.  Winter logging is the best for the forest in that the ground is not disturbed.  The effects of the logging will be minimal and we will enjoy skiing here again next year and for years to come.
Some additional trail closures have occurred last week.  The only access to trails beyond 14k are can only be accessed by Bagwagi, Please don’t cross the downed tree and flags on the Noque’ near 13k.  So, you can still ski to 18k you just have to take the last cutover and ski the last 1/2k of Bagwagi.  It is a beautiful trail if you have not skied it.

Grooming Comments:  Warm overnight temperatures combined with today’s forecast kept the groomers parked.  I expect skiing will still be very good however.  Comments from skiers this week will be helpful in out planning.

I would like to add a caution to skiers going out on Bagwagi.  Now that we must use a normally “one way” trail to go both ways, you must use caution.  There are several blind corners on this section of Bagwagi.  You can go slow or, as I am wont to do, “sing out”.  I tend to holler “Heads Up!” when coming to a blind two way section.

I would also like to add a few comments on trail etiquette.  We have noticed some foot traffic down the middle of the trail on hilly sections.  If uncomfortable with steep descents or assents and feel a need to remove your skis, please walk on the edge of the trail.  Similarly, if the weather is so warm so as to leave deep skate ruts it is best to select a different sport so the trail is not frozen with an un-skiable surface when temperatures fall.

Please see The Way Too Long Version below for even more important comments on spring skiing issues.

A note on dogs: Due to the closure of parts of Animoosh, we have opened up a path to the pine plantation via the Chiwagi hill bypass.  Dog skiers and non dog skiers are encouraged to use caution and all will be fine.

For skiers that wish to know exactly when each trail was groomed last please follow this link to our interactive map page.    We have added a grid and the groomers will update when an individual trail was groomed last.  I should add, if you have not used the interactive map you must do so.  You “hover” over a trail section and click and a video of skiing that section will launch.  It is like magic.

The Way Too Long Version (TWTLV):

I never joke about important things so don’t look for any April Fools frivolity here.  We have important issues at hand.  I would like to talk about springtime grooming frequency.  With more frequent 24 hour thaws we can not groom many nights or we would end up with a mess.  I should add, grooming this time of year is especially hard on the equipment due to overheating.  In addition, some nights conditions are such that grooming is of no good.  We are very weather dependent.  Still, with good snow cover we have great skiing and look to optimize it when we can.

Budget is of course an issue any time but especially in the spring.  I am reminded of the great Daffy Duck performance in Benjamin tabarts’s classic Jack and the Beanstalk.  Things are tough on the farm and Dad (Daffy), in an attempt to stretch the food budget, is shaving beans and bread so thin you can see through them.  Then, as they are eating the see through sandwiches they have an epiphany; sell the cow and we can all eat.  Well, we sold the cow, our beans failed in the last hard freeze and you know the rest of the story.

So, rest assured, we are doing what we can to optimize our spring skiing.  Our recent inventory of beans and bread, combined with several days of above freezing temperatures indicate we will next groom Friday night.  I trust you appreciate the anguishing decisions and won’t judge us too harshly if we make the wrong call.

Road Conditions:  The Forestville road is now muddy with pot holes.  I expect once the full thaw takes hold there will be standing water.  Still, all passenger vehicles should be fine, albeit a wash may be in order at the end of the day.

 Snow Bike Route, South TrailsSee the snow bike facebook link for current conditions.

 Saux Head: Trails were fully groomed Saturday. I expect Sunday’s wet snow is frozen and will make for difficult skiing until it fully consolidates as grooming is likely done for the season at Saux Head.

Valley Spur; See web site for details

 Al Quaal: Detailed report and news follow this link.

 Fit Strip: The Fit Strip is groomed and track set as needed.  The lights are on for the season. Enjoy. The Fit Strip is groomed weekly as needed. Skiers are reminded that the Fit Strip trails see a great deal of foot traffic despite encouragement to the contrary. As such, skiers will tend to find less than ideal condition on most days. The Fit Strip trails can be found on West Ridge street and is in the woods next to the Park Cemetery.  The 2.5k series of loops are lit from 5 P.M. to 11 P.M.     

 Big Bay Pathway Now Open!: Big Bay trails are groomed as needed. Big Bay trails are for classic skiing.  Please come out for an enjoyable rustic experience.

NTN Trail head staffing and after hours rental: If you need rental equipment during the times when there is no staffing, or there is no trail host when you arrive at the facility, please call the NTN office at 906-235-6861. Downwind Sports in Marquette also  provides rental equipment. See the NTN website for more details including directions to all of the trails systems above.

Trail host volunteers needed.  This is a great way to get involved, help out and stay warm.  You can sign up for an hour or two before or after skiing.  You can get to know lots of skiers and help the NTN remain financially viable. If interested, please call or email Nikki at 906 235 6861 or email us at

Grooming Equipment Decoder Ring:  located at this link:

Trail Decoder Ring:  located at this link:

Grooming Priority: Given unlimited money and man power we would groom all trails every night.  We have more than doubled our grooming budget this year and skiers should notice it. Our current plan calls for more regular Bombi grooming and daily grooming of more kilometers on a regular basis. Given limited resources we  typically need to make grooming decisions.  We will always plan on keeping the Noque to 17k and Animoosh groomed every day.  Then, time permitting we will work on the Wagis. Given our addition grooming budget skiers will find the Wagis groomed with more regularity.   Following the Wagi loop we will run to Co Rd 510. Once the pond ice is sound we can begin grooming into Marquette to the tourist park trail head. Grooming all of the above listed trails takes close to 11 hours.