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Trail Conditions Straight from the guys who groom them!

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Old 03-12-2015, 01:10 PM   #1
Snow VP
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Default Trail Conditions 3-12-15

OK, sorry for the delay, but reports are coming in a bit later then I hoped.

What it appears to me is that 4 days of warm weather are going to ruin a few more weeks of good riding out of St. Ignace. Almost exactly what I thought would happen did, except that we lost the RR Grade much faster then I had anticipated. Let me explain everything that I know so far:
20150311_194722.jpg

So riding out of Iggy is possible but not recommended. Your issue is a 200 yard section just North of Cheeseman Road. I would move to the far North end of the Ice rink, and then you only have to deal with a couple of dirt spots, before you get to the one bad section that is out in the open. If you are adventurous you can go off trail here to get around it. Here is a pic of the bad spot:

Now, just as I thought, we lost some snow, but the woods trail faired just fine. You can ride from Castle Rock to get out into the trail system - in fact we are going to groom Castle Rock all the way to I-75 area on Friday night. This is a typical jumping off point for low snow years, and it will bypass the area in the pic. Riding from there you will also have to deal with the side of Brevort Lake road, which is about 3/4 mile long. Again areas to get off of the shoulder but you will have some short sections of grinding to get there.

Your alternative would be to launch from the Moran area. We have pretty much lost the RR Grade from Castle Rock Road to Moran, so don't go that way, but as of this morning, just a little North of Moran the RR Grade has a 6-8" base that is hard as a rock, smooth and in good shape. I expect that you will find a few small dirt spots here and there, but it should be good all the way to Trout Lake.

Everywhere else you have smooth sailing. There is still quite a bit of Base out on the Burma Grade, and Forest trails to the North and West. There is a few thin spot, on the hill tops, and in the corners on the way to Cut River, but all perfectly ridable and great for March riding.

Another great place to Launch from would be Brevort. You could rind all over the rest of our trails from there. I have not gotten a final report from Trout Lake yet, and will update that later today when I get the report I am looking for.

Heading Northwest to Newberry, I am not sure of yet. Last weekend I talked to a couple of sledders that said TASA has quite a bit of snirt mixed into that trail. That may melt that down quick, so once you get past Rexton I am not sure what kind of conditions you will see. Their trail report online is still saying that trail is in good condition as of yesterday, so go with that report until you hear anything different.

Here is an example of the RR Grade which is in decent shape. The forest trails are in much better condition then this. The trails were so hard this morning that a sled didn't even leave a mark, and the carbides barely scratched in.
20150311_195101.jpg
20150311_194618.jpg

WEATHER
Ok, so they missed the forcast by about 10d this week. We had 40d temps for 4 days streight and didn't get cold enough to freeze uo at night until just last night. That too quite abit of snow from us. The forecast is now saying that we are mid 30s with freezing at night, collimating with a high 40 on Monday before it cools down. Kicker is that cool down is supposed to last for 3 solid weeks, with the possibility of a decent winter storm towards the end of the month. As far as precip goes, I am not worried about the small amount of possible rain on Friday night, and there is supposed to be some flurries on Saturday - non of it will amount to much. Some sort of precip again on Monday, but we will deal with that then.

What I am saying is that if we could have gotten through 4-5 days we should have been good until the end of the month. All is not lost just yet, but you would have to deal with some obstacles to do riding around here. We will be running the groomers on Friday night, and after that I think the St. Ignace machine will be done unless we get more snow. The Brevort groomer will have loops of full-snow so we will take care of those people riding from Epoufette to Trout Lake and Rexton as long as we can with a limited schedule. Things could really be better, but they really could be worse too. We have anther warmer day to deal with on Friday, and then Monday - otherwise we will make the best of the situation.

I will update more with text and pics as they come in over the next 24 hours.
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Old 03-12-2015, 01:21 PM   #2
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Default Re: Trail Conditions 3-12-15

Now the next big question will be the ice bridge. Yes it has melted down, and most of the snow on the ice is gone, and has re-frozen in very slick hard ice. How much thickness got lost? No idea, as I have no idea and will not report how thick it is/was to begin with. What I do know is people as still crossing and I have heard no bad things about it as of yet.

If you are considering crossing, be aware that a few of the roads have melted down on the island, so your on-island experience isn't going to be fantastic.

isl 2.jpg
ils 1.jpg

Also, the town of St. Ignace is tough to ride a sled through. You can can from our trail head down to the Shell, but you are going to have some pavement grinding. If you are trailering in to ride, the parking lot at the Mackinac Grill is overloaded as it is. I would suggest going to the North end of town, and parking at the Starline dock across from the Driftwood. Unload ride across Kiwanis Beach, and onto the ice. Go straight towards the lighthouse and you will pick up the treeline there.

The ice bridge as it looks now:
20150311_150642.jpg
20150311_150625.jpg
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Old 03-12-2015, 02:16 PM   #3
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Default Re: Trail Conditions 3-12-15

And wanted to point out that Yoopermike posted up some great pics of the areas West of here http://www.sledmi.com/forums/index.p.../page__st__105
Things don't look that bad from the roads.

Some time with a truck and trailer and you will find good snow for the next couple weeks yet.
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Old 03-12-2015, 03:27 PM   #4
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Default Re: Trail Conditions 3-12-15

OK, Groomer Bobby just came through with his pics. Trails are so good flat and surprisingly hard he drove his truck from Epoufette to M-123 on the trails without leaving a dent. He encountered ZERO problems, and said the trail doesn't even need to be groomed it is in such good shape. Both guys checking Moran to Epoufette said we have a minimum of 6"-8" base on the grade, and upwards of a foot in the woods.

Hard to believe? Check it out:
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Last edited by Snow VP : 03-12-2015 at 03:58 PM.
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Old 03-12-2015, 06:11 PM   #5
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Default Re: Trail Conditions 3-12-15

SWEET!!! headed up late tonite for one last ride!
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Old 03-12-2015, 07:17 PM   #6
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Default Re: Trail Conditions 3-12-15

Well that's a ton better than what I expected. We're on the road now. Why don't we plan a dinner and drinks Sat night at Fred's? Who's in? Say around 7:30 8 ish.
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Old 03-12-2015, 07:46 PM   #7
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Default Re: Trail Conditions 3-12-15

Sorry Kenny, put that in Mondays post, this one was so long, forgot to add it in.

So, Kenny & Crew, and the Wife and I will be at Fred's Pub, (the bowling alley) for dinner on Saturday night. Everyone is invited to hop on up just for the hell of it. We will have dinner, maybe and tell some war stories. If you are reading this, and you are in town, pleas stop by and say hi, just ask someone for Neil, they will point me out.
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Old 03-12-2015, 08:24 PM   #8
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Thumbs up Re: Trail Conditions 3-12-15

Me, Allseason, and his GF Beck fa-fa will be UP tomorrow nite. Hope we can meet up with da gang at Fred's sat nite. We are trailering north on Saturday, not sure where just yet.
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Old 03-12-2015, 09:07 PM   #9
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Default Re: Trail Conditions 3-12-15

Quote:
Originally Posted by Snow VP View Post
Sorry Kenny, put that in Mondays post, this one was so long, forgot to add it in.

So, Kenny & Crew, and the Wife and I will be at Fred's Pub, (the bowling alley) for dinner on Saturday night. Everyone is invited to hop on up just for the hell of it. We will have dinner, maybe and tell some war stories. If you are reading this, and you are in town, pleas stop by and say hi, just ask someone for Neil, they will point me out.
I think I'm safe in saying if someone shows up at the bowling alley on Sat and don't know us I can't see any reason they will have to ask who Neil is. it will be pretty obvious.
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Old 03-13-2015, 10:06 AM   #10
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Default Re: Trail Conditions 3-12-15

Final deceision is we will be running teh groomers tonight, and plan on hitting most everything except the RR Grade from Moran to Castle Rock Rd. We will be grooming Castle Rock road all the way out to Lant Rd, or I-75. If you want to use that as a Southern Trail head, go over I-75 overpass at the Castle Rock Exit, and head South along the service road (Lant Rd) for about 500 feet. Castle Rock Rd is on your Right, and you can unload and park along the side of Lant Rd. No there is not a ton of space, but nobody will bother you for day parking. Do not overnight there.

Now with the groomers not running until 6pm tonight, I am going to have them call in final conditions when they get in between 12am and 3am. I will post up the results in a post tomorrow morning before 9am for those who want to know what the groomers found out.

The darn guessers have pushed Mondays high temps down, but raised the rest of the week to right at or just above freezing. We are teetering close to the end here, so make your last trip (or 2 or 3) count!
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Old 03-13-2015, 07:09 PM   #11
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Default Re: Trail Conditions 3-12-15

We have ridden the straits system today and all is very passable and pretty good for March riding. Not bad at all.
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Old 03-13-2015, 09:11 PM   #12
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Default Re: Trail Conditions 3-12-15

Just got some info.

RR Grade from Iggy to Moran is toast. Don't try that way.

Some disturbing news from Epoufette, new loggers that I knew nothing about plowed the trail. Will see what the groomer can do through there tonight.

Again, I will report everything that I know in the morning - by 9am
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