Grooming (sort of) Report April 11, 2015

Grooming Report April 11, 2015

Having been described as a weirdo most of my life, it is understandable if I am the only one feeling pangs of guilt over the “stand down” orders to the grooming fleet.  None the less, it is a fait accompli. The poll results were mixed with a number of disappointed readers (my sympathies go out to their friends and family).  Most comments were sympathetic with our decision and the process in general.   With tomorrow’s sun, wind and mid 60s, ski season will be but a memory in days.  One of the true harbingers of spring is when the fat man is seen shoveling off the outside shoulder on Co Rd 553 just past the ski hill.  I expect the observant early riser will see that yet this weekend.


So, although I expect pockets of snow will be found for weeks to come, skiers will be out to win a bet or on a dare.  I do hope to hear from some other truly disturbed among you if skiing is your bent.  As in years past, we have taken up a collection and fabulous prizes are offered to the skier(s) that report the last verifiable outing of the season.  For those of you that attended the annual volunteer appreciation day will know what I mean.  Regardless that, if you do go out, snap a photo and send it in.  The winner will not receive the prizes mentioned above, but your photo will be featured on the final report and on Skinny Skis website.  This will not only be great publicity for the NTN but may be a launching pad for a modeling carrier for the lucky photo subject.  I should add, following last year’s nasty jury dispute, I recommend including the current day’s newspaper in the photo just like the kidnapers in the movies.


Anyway, if you had not gathered it we are not grooming today.   (I put that in bold as a courtesy to all but the two of us that would actually read to the end.)



ATTENTION SKIERS! PLEASE AVOID ACTIVE LOGGING OPERATION.  Logging operations are dangerous.  We have signed, flagged and blocked trails in an effort to keep skiers from this danger.  Some skiers have chosen to ignore these warnings and it is very disruptive to the operation and dangerous to the skiers. Every time a skier approaches the operation the operation must stop and the logger must assure himself it is again safe to work.   The land owners provide us the courtesy of letting us groom a ski trail on their property.  In return we should offer the courtesy of avoiding the active operation.  PLEASE DON’T JEPORDIZE A GOOD THING. 


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.  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:  Again, no grooming



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):

Did I mention, there is logging?  Also, I should mention, please avoid the operations.


As for the prolonged spring skiing; I am reminded of Long John Silver’s lament to young Jim Hawkins.  Just as we jumped into ski season with a major snow event on November 11 of last year, I would prefer to jump into bike season with a dramatic thaw.  I feel like a one legged man twisting from a rope.



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: Good cover but no grooming



Valley Spur; See web site for details


Al Quaal: Detailed report and news follow this link.


Fit Strip: Good cover but no grooming


Big Bay Pathway Now Open!: Good cover but no grooming


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.