We’ve had so many happy skiers over the past few days. Several Loppet winners are skiing here right now, as well as a middle school ski team, plus dozens of local skiers from Grand Marais. It’s beautiful on the trails and everyone is returning from the trails with wonderful winter pictures.
That’s the good news. The trails that are open are super.
But then there’s the bad news. We still have miles and miles of closed trails because of what we call the “bend-down” — somewhat like the 1999 blowdown, but caused by excessive snow.
Many of our trails look like this:
That’s Bear Cub. Nice, huh? We’re not amused. We spent all fall mowing, trimming, and clearing those trails. You wouldn’t know it now.
All along the Gunflint Trail this is how every ski and snowmobile trail looks. The Central Gunflint Trail System has really good people out cleaning the trails all day, and we’re making progress. We are the only area that has large sections of any type of trail already opened up. But it’s slow-going and realistically, it’s going to be many days before all 70K of our trails are clear again.
If you’re a local skier and would like to earn a complimentary season pass to ski the Central Gunflint Trail system, you can put in a full day’s work trimming trails to earn a pass. Be forewarned: it’s hard work. But it’s pretty darn interesting, too. Amazing what happened out there! Call Golden Eagle (218-388-2203) if you have a great desire to cut down hundreds of bent, broken little trees.
Ted and Barbara Young are also looking for help clearing the Banadad Trail. Call 218-388-4487.
We’ll keep working at it every day. Meanwhile, we have more snow in the forecast for mid-week. Hopefully it won’t be so heavy that this happens again.
Summer Home, Lit Loop, Campground, and Lower Beaver Dam are open and at this point offer the best skiing in the state. We’ll keep you posted as we open additional trails.