Grooming April 6, 2015

Grooming Report April 6, 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 ON APRIL 1.  New trail closures came into effect on April 1.  Now Bagwagi is blocked about ½ k before it hits the Noque at 14k.  In addition, Chiwagi is blocked at the top of the Talladega down hill.  There are still about 8k of trails not blocked but some are now dead ends.   On days where the overnight temperatures fall into the mid 20s skiers may find an easy ½ k through the woods to the Noque’s 14k mark. Logging is a dangerous business.  Be sure to stay away from the active logging operation.

 A note on two way traffic and Dogs: With the numerous closures we are now skiing in two directions on what is left and dogs are everywhere.  One should sing out “Heads Up!” when approaching blind corners.  And, as one skier has commented, dogs don’t always know what that means.  Dog owners (or handlers) will have to translate in order to keep dogs from blocking blind corners in these last few days of the season.

Grooming Comments:  With cold nights and not very warm days, skiing looks to be with us for some time yet.  Grooming, unfortunately is very difficult in these conditions.  The hard base creates a great deal of drag so the snowmobile engines must work quite hard.  Then, with no loose snow to blow on the engine they tend to overheat almost immediately.  Next time I see a Bombardier engineer I will give him/her a piece of my mind.  With luck (well, actually, with money), we will have equipment better suited for such conditions in the future.  Wealthy benefactors would not be turned away.

If conditions change I would not rule out additional grooming but looking at this week’s forecast I think nature will be our only grooming device for the rest of the year.  For my part, skiing the un-groomed trails Saturday was excellent.  We will continue to post a report in case anyone likes to know is there even skiing or enjoys keeping up on the philosophy of ski condition reporting.  Given that I will be in a salt pit much of the week, any first hand comments on the trail conditions will be greatly appreciated and will be passed on to both of our readers.

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 fear I offended both the Friends of Schrödinger Society and opponents of vivisection   everywhere.  Giving Heisenberg all the ink was a mistake in hindsight. As many of you must know, Werner wasn’t the only small particle physicist with a literary aspect to his resume. I won’t go into all the details but  Schrödinger’s first job was grooming report writing.  However, following a nasty episode with his cat and a report that was both right and wrong he got out of the business and into high energy physics of all things.

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: Tim went out Saturday to groom.  He removed the big aspen that had fallen across the trail on the north side.  Then went ahead and did a light grooming scrape on the entire 5K trail loop. He reports there was nice fast skating surface throughout that loop with only a small bare spot near the scenic view area and a the extreme northeast end of the Peep-O-Day section.  He did not checkout the Wilson Creek section but is sure there are large bare spots on the downhills on the west end for they were starting to form last weekend.

Valley Spur; See web site for details

 Al Quaal: Detailed report and news follow this link.

 Fit Strip: I expect the trails are now un-skiable due to thin snow. Let me know if otherwise.

 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.