Grooming March 8, 2018

March 8, 2018;  

Thank you Trail Builders: Today’s report is brought to you by Rich Cooley.  Rich sponsors the 13k mark on the Noque’ and is a Silver Sponsor as well.  Without the contribution from folks like the Rich we would not be able to enjoy the great skiing we have come to expect.  So, if you see Rich, please say thanks.

Forestville Real Grooming Report:  Another 2” to 3” of snow fell yesterday and last night. Bob and Jon are re-grooming and re-track setting on the Noque’ to 15.8K around Pines and back as well as Animoosh, Chiwaji and Mukwa.


Then the plan is to roll Bagwaji and Migizi along with the hills if possible. Trails will likely be soft again today.



SPECIAL NOTE TO SKIERS; Gookookoo, Papasay and the connector from Hemlock Junction to the point where Migizi and Bagwaji meet will be closed for the season effective today:  The majority of our trail system is on commercial forest land.  The land owners allow NTN to use them for ski trails but every 10 to 15 years they harvest some trees.  This year they are logging west of the trail head beginning at the power lines.  As the logging operation moves west, other trails will be effected.  The loggers are working with NTN to keep trails open as long as possible.


Now for some nitty gritty details for skiers like me that dearly love to ski Bagwagi and Chiwagi.  They are still open via Migizi!  So, you get an extra two hills in your ski! Go out the Noque 1k past the power lines. Take the first right onto Migizi after the hill at 11k. At the bottom of the hill turn left onto Bagwagi and enjoy for now.


Please give the loggers a wide berth.  They are doing difficult and dangerous work.  Your help will be appreciated by all.


We should all know, without commercial forest operations we would have no ski trails.  So, if you see a logger or forester, say “thanks”.


Saux Head: Tim is rolling the system today and will track set tomorrow.  Saux Head trails are groomed for classic and skate skiing. The trails are spectacular with great hills as well as rolling terrain.  The views are beautiful and overlook Superior and Saux Head.  Today and the weekend look to be great days for Saux Head.  If you have not skied them you don’t know what you are missing.  Please go today, tomorrow or Sunday. The trail head is located 15 miles west of Marquette just off Co Rd 550; follow the signs.

Fit Strip: The Fit Strip is groomed as time permits.

Big Bay Pathway: New snow will be groomed as time permits. Ridge Line is groomed and in excellent condition as well.

Meditation, Hidden Grin, Bear Mountain and Ridge Line are groomed and in excellent condition.



Way Too Long Grooming Report:    Contrary to my purest friends, randonnée is not French for “can’t telemark”. Yesterday was one of those special days that induces one to write home (or include in the grooming report anyway). There are people that actually know how many skis they have in the basement.  I can estimate the total but surely do know I have the right pair for yesterday (or, I guess any day for that matter).

By now you must suspect I was not at Forestville.  So, if you were, please let me tell us your thoughts so I can pass them on.  If I were fine tuning my conditioning for the Great Bear Chase perhaps I would have been on the soft trails striding for a while but yesterday was ideal for making turns in the powder before the lifts started. The powder was so fluffy it would sluff back in and by the time you climbed back up. There were what we call, “free re-fills”.  You could barely see your tracks on the way back up.  If you don’t have modern AT gear it is long past time to expand your horizons.   I remember my first skies in the ‘60s had two clips on each side wall to hold down the cable.  We were alpinists so the cables never saw the top side of the clips. My dad explained how some day we would go to Switzerland and put animal skins on the bottom of the skis.  We would unclip the cables and our free heels would allow us to walk up the mountain all day for one run down. It sounded magical.  Of course we weren’t the kind of people that went on trips so I never did that until decades later.

Before these cable clips were invented skiers would telemark down the glacier.  Of course, on an icy face with the bergschrund yawning below an Austrian skier named Schneider, said something like, “If Karl had some way to set his edge better he wouldn’t have died in that crevasse”.  Modern Alpine skiing was born.  For decades there was little crossover between Nordic and Alpine technique.  However, in the 70s, it became “cool” to telemark at the ski resorts.  I have to agree, there is nothing more exquisite than executing a flying telemark on a steep slope and feeling the two skis act as one as the turn is initiated.  Of course, if you miscalculate you end up like our friend Karl.  Anyway, there was a real divide.  In fact, there were (or should have been if there weren’t) bumper stickers and t-shirts that said, “No one cares that you can telemark”.

Fast forward 30 or 40 years and, much to the disappointment of its late inventor Sondre Norheim,  modern Alpine Touring equipment has put the telemark turn on life support.  I remember my first trip with AT gear.  We had just shredded a bowl when a heli group arrived to great disappointment.  Climbing skins allow you to go anywhere and you don’t need to pay a thousand Francs.  Now, no one will claim knee deep powder on Cliffs Ridge is like snorkel skiing on the Matterhorn.  However, I assure you, people would be doing laps on a 500’ drop with knee deep powder anywhere on the planet.  It was sublime.