We are coming to the end of the ski season. While we are probably still going to have huge snow piles until next May, day after day of sunny, very warm temps has taken a toll on the quality of our snow. We have tons of snow, but it’s not the same snow we had two weeks ago. We’re doing what we can to keep trails alive, but grooming in warm weather just creates very beautiful, treacherously iced trails. The end is near.
Skiers have reported having great experiences while crust skiing on the lake surface. This is best done in the morning. Ask Bob or Quinn for more info on this option.
The trails groomed up quite nicely this weekend. Our new Pisten Bully has a built-in tiller, plus we had a bit of fresh snow, so Quinn was quite pleased with how good a track he was able to set in spite of the icy snow left behind by the rain a few days ago. He and Kate skied many of the trails and reported fast but good conditions.
The week ahead is forecast to be warm and sunny. Expect spring ski conditions. Skiing will be best in the morning, the earlier the better. Wax for warmer temperatures.
Those of you who live in the Twin Cities saw your snow disappear rapidly over the last few days. We have far, far more snow than most of Minnesota had, but next week’s weather will definitely change the quality of our snow. It will be hard on our side roads also, so if you’re coming up you may be happiest if you are driving a 4-wheel drive vehicle.
Here’s the latest report from our trail partner, Golden Eagle:
New Snow Last 7 days: 6.00”
Trail Base, Staked: Average 11” – 13”
Snow in Woods, Staked: Average 24 – 30”
Surface Conditions: Tilled snow
Total season snowfall: 96.28”
Comments: We are still skiing! All trails are re-groomed again today. All ski trails are now being tilled as we will be experiencing your typical March spring skiing conditions for the remainder of the year. Expect very fast trails this weekend. Base is still firm yet the surface is soft enough to get good bite with your skis. Plan to bring extra kick wax with you on the trails if you classic ski as this kind of snow wears off the wax faster than other conditions.
Bearskin has had snow since the first week of November, and not one flake of it ever melted until this past week! In the past few days we’ve had some rain and warmer temperatures, resulting in noticeable melting for the first time all winter. It was nothing like the rain in the Twin Cities, but there was enough to make a dent in our enormous snow piles. The rain turned to snow last night and as we write this on Friday morning, it is still snowing and blowing.
We lost a little snow that we can notice, but not that you’ll be able to see. The snow on our deck right now is above knee-high, as opposed to thigh-high a few days ago. Trail bases are well-packed and were not significantly diminished by the weather.
We’re waiting to head out in the Pisten Bully until it quits snowing. We want to accumulate as much fresh snow on top of the icier stuff as possible. Our new Pisten Bully has an amazing tiller and the groomers think that the trail surface will clean up well.
The bigger concern if you are driving up to ski is that the roads took a big hit during the rain and melting. If you own a 4-wheel drive vehicle, this is a good time to use it. Also, many surfaces are covered with ice today. The new snow on top gives the ice a less polished surface with better grip, but the ice is still there. Reports are that parking lots in Grand Marais are treacherous and people are falling in the first second after they step out of their car. (You’ve been forewarned!) We’re getting control of our ice at Bearskin, but if you own Yak-Trax or some version of ice grippers, you might be happy to have them if you are in our area in the near future. It’s that time of year.
We’ll report back after the groomers have made their rounds, but we anticipate that the trails will groom up nicely.
Skis on corduroy. Photo from Jim Williams.
At this point in the winter of 2019, we have received well over 90 inches of snow this season, with no sign of winter ever ending. Like most of Minnesota, we expect more snow this weekend, but we sure don’t need it. The cycle of regular grooming continues as usual. We have a large group of Twin Cities skiers here now who are associated with one of our favorite ski stores, Gear West, and they are loving the conditions.
We’ve been seeing more moose action out on the ski trails this past week. Let us know if you spot one!
A Central Gunflint Trail ski pass is required to use our trails; passes are for sale at Bearskin Lodge and Golden Eagle, just a little farther up the Gunflint Trail. You can access the ski trail from either resort, you just start in different sections of the system. Parking in the day skier lot can become challenging on Friday and Saturday after about 11:30 AM, so we encourage you to come early and make a full day of it. We’ll have chili and soup available all weekend for lunch, or enjoy an espresso, hot chocolate, or a glass of wine or beer in front of the lodge fireplace.