Grooming December 11, 2014

Greetings NTN Members and others; December 11, 2014

River Valley Bank is having an essay contest during the month of December, and the NTN is one of the fourteen non-profit organization in the running! In order to compete, organizations had to have 501(c)3 status and submit a short statement as to why they are deserving of the grand prize–$5,000.00! Visit the link to read our essay and head to River Valley Bank on Third Street to vote now until December 31st!  http://www.rivervalleybank.com/index.cfm?pid=210&pageTitle=Marquette-Essay-Contest-Page

Forestville:   Short Version:  Last night groomers were out on Animoosh, Noque’ to pine plantation and Chiwagi via the hill by pass.

The Way Too Long Version:   I have not gotten my boots on the ground since the weekend so I am a little unsure of conditions. I know the trails mentioned in the short version will be quite nice today but I am anxious to hear some first hand comments on the Wagis and pine plantation to 510 sections. We can’t get all trails every day but always have some fresh grooming and dearly like to get the rest every other or every third day. I expect the Wagis and up to Co Rd 510 are still quite nice even though not groomed last night. However, each skier’s sensibilities are different. Sometimes I feel as though I am the princess in Hans Christian Andersen’s classic and the day old skate marks are the pea. Of course, on other days I feel as Pollyanna in Eleanor Porter’s classic when I’m the only one that says skiing is great. Your input is greatly valued and has an impact. Very few people comment so your vote will have a disproportionate impact on events. So, please hit reply and tell us what you think. Of course, every day is different. However, on an average day, is day old grooming like day old bread or sourer milk? Thanks.

If interested in understanding grooming equipment, techniques, priorities  and trail names, please see the “Decoder Ring” links below.

Road Conditions:  The Forestville road is plowed and sanded after all residential areas so expect winter driving every day. The NTN plows after the paved road beyond the rail road crossing.  We have pledged to have our plowing/sanding crews out whenever needed. If you find it unplowed or icy please call or email the office.  We will get the trucks out asap.  In general  I expect most passenger cars will be fine but Bald tires, rear wheel drive and low clearance vehicles may still have some difficulty.   We will post comments on the road going forward.

Snow Bike Route, South Trails: All 12 miles groomed as needed.  See the snow bike link http://www.noquetrails.org/winter-home/snow-bike-route .

Saux Head: Trails were groomed last weekend. Temperatures have remained below freezing and we have had several light dustings so skiing may still be quite good. Comments also appreciated.

Valley Spur; See web site for details www.valleyspur.org

Al Quaal: Detailed report and news follow this link. http://ishpemingcity.org/departments/parks-and-recreation/al-quaal-recreation-area/

Fit Strip: The fit strip is groomed and track set weekly.  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: The Big Bay Pathway is not yet groomed.     

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 www.noquetrails.org for more details including directions to all of the trails systems above.

Trail host and grooming 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. Groomers also are always needed.  If interested, please call or email Nikki at 906 235 6861 or email us at noquenetwork@gmail.com

Grooming Equipment Decoder Ring located at this link:  http://www.noquetrails.org/volunteer/grooming-equipment-decoder-ring

Trail Decoder Ring located at this link: http://www.noquetrails.org/trails/noquemanon

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.  So, there are plenty of volunteer opportunities if you would like to join the exciting world of trail grooming.