We don’t envy all of you who are still digging out from the big Minnesota/Wisconsin snowstorm yesterday. We only got a few inches of snow up here, just enough to make the trails even better. We do feel your pain as we had our 24-inch dump of snow earlier this season.
The challenge for us now is figuring out where to put all our snow. As you drive into Bearskin, you’ll see that our roads are increasingly narrowing and the roadside snowbanks are immense. According to Golden Eagle’s official measuring stick, we’ve had 84″ of snow so far this season — and we’re not done yet.
The ski trails are in excellent condition, just beautiful. Our upcoming forecast looks ideal. Lots of sun, just a little more snow to freshen up the trails, and moderate temperatures without being too warm. Perfect for a ski getaway.
Don’t forget to sign up for the Bearskin Nordic Ski Series. Quinn usually changes the race courses close to the beginning of each month, so there are only a few more days to ski the Oxcart and West Logging Camp race courses.
If you will be here during the weekend of March 4, Bearskin will be sponsoring a free ski clinic for Bearskin guests or anyone in the area. There will be two sessions of expert Nordic ski instruction from members of Team Birkie. The clinic is open to everyone, is free and will accommodate all experience levels. The schedule is as follows:
10:30-12:00 Classic Clinic (meet in the lodge) 12:00-12:45 Lunch Break (soup, chili, hot chocolate, wine and beer will be available in the lodge) 12:45-2:15 Skate Clinic (meet in the lodge)
Participants must have a Central Gunflint Ski Trail pass. Guests, of course, receive the passes free but otherwise you can purchase a ski pass at our front desk.
It rained last week. Rain in February, that’s not something that happens often on the Gunflint Trail. Temperatures rose to 40+ degrees. Typical mid-February temperatures can often be -10 or -20 degrees. We were worried. The trails looked terrible.
Luckily, we also ended the run of weird weather with a nice amount of fresh snow. That didn’t work out as well for some trail systems closer to the North Shore, so we are thankful for our higher altitude location. The groomers were out on the trails Friday and Saturday, and once again we have great skiing throughout the system.
We are back to two Pisten Bully grooming machines now, since Golden Eagle received their replacement “loaner” machine. They also purchased a new Tidd-Tech snowmobile groomer like ours so that they can groom the lake trails without using the Pisten Bully. (Their earlier underwater adventure is not one anybody would choose to repeat!) What this means for your ski experience is that we can continue to get out to groom both sides of the system quickly and responsively.
If you’re here for the weekend, don’t forget that we have soup, chili, cookies, hot chocolate, wine and beer in the Main Lodge every afternoon. Parking in our lot can get a little crazy on holiday weekend afternoons. If you drive into our lot and parking looks hopeless, consider going back out to the Gunflint Trail and driving north to the next road, Clearwater Road — then you can start at Golden Eagle. Their parking lot never gets quite as insane as ours does. You are still skiing on the same trail system, but starting at a different point. Ski over and join us for lunch.
The Bearskin Virtual Nordic Ski series is at the halfway point for the season. It’s not too late to sign up. https://bearskinnordicseries.com/ The February race courses are probably very familiar to our regular skiers, as they are favorite trails. If you have any questions about what you need to participate in the race series, email firstname.lastname@example.org. He will help you get set up.
It finally got chilly. Too chilly — a number of nights of -20 to -30. Skiers were still out there during the day because, of course, we also finally had clear, blue skies and sunny days. January featured mostly lovely temperatures up until the past week, nothing like the January weather we used to always get. After we survive a few more cold nights, we are returning to “balmy” winter temperatures for February.
Zach at Golden Eagle was out with his official measuring stick a few days ago and came up with these numbers:
New Snow Last 7 days: 4.25” Trail Base, Staked: Average 15” Snow in Woods, Staked: Average 23-26” Groomed with classic track: 70 km Groomed with skate lane: 63 km Surface Conditions: Fresh snow Last grooming day: 1-28-23 Total season snowfall: 71.25”
As usual, we are serving chili, soup, hot chocolate, beer, and wine in the Main Lodge every afternoon, and there are fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies for sale in the lodge. We’ll see you on the trails!