12.20.2022 So much snow, so much grooming

Lower Beaver Dam Trail

It’s snowed and snowed and snowed. The big snow last Wednesday and Thursday was a tough storm to recover from. It required several days of packing, grooming, and especially cutting out downed and bent trees, broken and contorted by the heavy snow. Our groomers had to jump out every few minutes (or seconds) and wade through waist deep, unpacked snow to cut out the branches. It was exhausting. You’ll still see rainbow-shaped trees, heavy with snow, along all the trails. Trees are continuing to break from the snow’s weight, but we will keep after them. We had a storm 7 years ago that we call the “Bend-Down” (as opposed to the famous “Blow-Down” of 1999) that resulted in thousands of bent trees. When you look into the woods now, you still see hundreds of those bent trees from that storm — they just kept growing that way. This storm will probably leave its mark also.

We’re grooming trails daily now to get them in perfect condition. We groom responsively to snow conditions, not on a set schedule. We have snow in the forecast every night, so ask at the front desks of both resorts to see what’s been groomed most recently.

There are a few trails that will be out of commission for a little longer yet, due to water problems. We’ve had a strange early winter, with lots of insulating snow and many warmish days. Nothing is as frozen as it should be by this date. Any trail crossing a lake is a mess now. We’re finding just a little ice with a foot or more of snow on top, and tons of slush. Very bad conditions. Just don’t try to go on the lake crossings at all until we have a longer run of cold weather.

Also, Oxcart and Poplar Creek have water problems. Poplar Creek is always late to open due to flowing water, so that’s no surprise. But this year Ox Cart has serious problems where it crosses the swamp. Bob was trying to pack it down a few days ago and went right through to his waist in cold water. Not fun. So we need that swamp to freeze more solidly before the rest of the trail can be accessed.

Season passes and daily ski tickets are available for sale at both Bearskin Lodge and Golden Eagle Lodge. Remember, this ski trail system gets no state aid so the Minnesota ski pass does not apply to these trails.

12.9.2022 We’re skiing on the Central Gunflint Ski Trail System!

Are you ready to ski? The beautifully groomed trails of the Central Gunflint Trail System are now groomed and open.

Grooming 12.4.2022. Photo by Ruth Wagner

Skiing on the Central Gunflint Trail System is off to a great start. We received 24 inches of snow in November, but since that time (as is typical in our location) we’ve been receiving more new snow almost continuously. Most trails have been Pisten Bully groomed, and so far everyone has been very happy with ski conditions for both classic and skate skiing.

Ski passes are now available at both Bearskin Lodge and Golden Eagle Lodge. This year’s ticket is purple. Of course, when you stay at either resort, your ski pass is included and you do not need to pay extra to ski. We know that’s what you came to do!

But if you’re staying elsewhere or if you are a local skier, then you will need a pass to ski on our trails. Bearskin and Golden Eagle do all the grooming and extensive maintenance on these trails ourselves and we do not take any state money, so the Minnesota ski pass is not valid here.

Here are the latest official snow measurements from Golden Eagle:

Central Gunflint Ski Trail Conditions on December 8, 2022

New Snow Last 24 hours:  Light Dusting
New Snow Last 7 days:  6.50”
Trail Base, Staked:  Average 5”
Snow in Woods, Staked:  Average 18”
Groomed with classic track:  45 km
Groomed with skate lane:   55 km
Surface Conditions:  Fresh snow
Last grooming day:  12-8-22
Total season snowfall:  30.50”

Comments: Ski season is well underway! We received around 24 inches of powdery, light snow in November, which has since been compacted into a nice firm trail base. Conditions are extremely good this year for early-season skiing!

Grooming frequently occurs between the release of new trail reports. For the most up-to-date grooming information, as well specific trail conditions, please contact Golden Eagle Lodge (218-388-2203) or Bearskin Lodge (218-388-2292). Central Gunflint Ski Pass Required.