Straits Area Snowmobile Club Forums
 

Go Back   Straits Area Snowmobile Club Forums > News & Information > Trail Conditions
Register FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Trail Conditions Straight from the guys who groom them!

Closed Thread
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 02-26-2019, 10:34 PM   #1
Snow VP
Administrator
 
Snow VP's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: St. Ignace
Posts: 3,141
Default Trail Conditions 2-25-19 The Big Rescue

So quite a storm we had over Saturday and Sunday. It was possible to have 16-20in of snow, but what we did get was 1in of rain, followed by about 2in of snow. The exact center of this monster low came across the straits area as we saw winds from one direction drop to almost calm for a few hours as it passed by (the eye of the hurricane?) and then ramp way up into almost hurricane force winds. The blowing and drifting was tremendous with whiteout conditions persisting for hours and hours. The Bridge was closed due to a crash then to whiteout conditions.

The EMS was closing highways all over the state, from all of the gaylord area, the Mackinac Bridge, I-75 up by the Soo along with M129, M117 by Engadine, and of course as always M28 up by Marquette. Frequently they will close US2 out by our sand dunes west of town, which happened at 4pm as the plows could not keep up. I hear the side of the road is built up over 10ft tall, and I can't wait for pics out there. At 9:10 I received a call from Mackinac County 911 Central dispatch coordinator. I do not know how the situation began, but there was 3 cars stranded about 1 mile into the dunes area containing 4 adults and 3 small children. Officials were trying to get rescue to them, however they encounters large drifts on US2, and were trying to access via back roads, and were not confident they could reach the vehicles, with other vehicles. The stranded were in good shape, plenty of gas, but stuck and with zero visibility had no option to shelter in place. The small children precluded a rescue via snowmobile as there was a concern of exposure. 911 EMS requested the assistance of the straits Area Snowmobile Club utilizing their John Deere 8120T Groomer to break open a rescue trail. I personally was not able to leave family at that time, so I requested the assistance of Groomer Wayne, who was in his truck before I got off the phone with him. Meanwhile I started the groomer to warm up, and then received the stranded vehicle GPS location via text message. I mapped the location and determined mileages and travel times via various routes. Shortly thereafter groomer Wayne arrived at my office followed by Bryce from 911 with a police radio. We quickly finalized the plan, and groomer Wayne was headed out US-2! That's right, since the highways was officially closed, there theoretically should not be anyone out there, so he took the groomer right out the highway. Wayne checked in with me regularly, and had pretty good running for the first 1/2 of the trip - low visibility, but good going. Entering the Point Aux Chene river area he had the groomer running full throttle-full speed, when the limited visibility dropped to Zero, and he hit a gigantic snowdrift that literally stopped the 14+ Ton machine in its tracks. Wayne stated: "I had to back up, and re-evaluate life!" HaHa. He waited briefly, and was able to discern the side of the highway, and pressed on through what ended up being a 6-7ft tall, by over 100ft long snowdrift. From there on to Brevort Lake road was drift and whiteout after one another. He finally arrived 3 minutes ahead of my schedule, at what had become the emergency staging area, the corner of US-2 and Brevort Lake Road. There MDOT, Mackinac County, and the Sheriff had staged with the hope that the next several miles would be accessible. MDOT trucked their largest loader via back roads and Nick began the task of attempting to open up a path large enough to get the County Excursion through to rescue the stranded. THis was plan A, and the best plan. If that plan failed, Wayne was to disconnect the drag, and begin a roller-coaster snow road over the drifts to reach the cars. This was considered Plan B, as he then had to load the stranded into the cramped cab with him and return them 2 maybe 3 at a time, which would take as many as 4 trips into the heart of the nastiness. Thankfully, after over an hour of fighting, the loader reached the cars, and the excursion was able to extract the frightened passengers. 911 EMS cleared the groomer for the scene at 11:30pm with their eternal thanks, and groomer Wayne proceeded to the nearest trail - for you see he had all along planned to be grooming that night, just didn't think it would be US-2!

IMG_4053small.jpg

Wayne proceeded North and joined our trail at Round Lake Road, and headed towards Iggy to fix up the connection to St. Ig had been so destroyed over the previous days. Unfortunately, his sweetheart called not long into his trip and half of Moran township lost power and he had to return back to moran to tend to the homestead. This wasn't really a huge loss, as it was still too warm and not ideal grooming conditions. He would take the project back up the next morning.

Wayne called me around noon on Monday and I was assuming he was filling me in on his plan for that evening and the full story from the previous night. Nope! Wanted to let me know that most of the South of the system was already groomed, and wanted to send me a pic of one of the trees that he had to clear. Boy was working serious overtime and ended up logging 16 hours that day including the EMS run & grooming.

IMG_4066small.jpg

After all of that, here are the trail conditions:
Things are freezing in much harder than before the storm, I think it finally put some moisture into the trail. That is good and bad. It is taking 3-4 hard runs to smooth that crappy trail back into shape. We know there are areas that have serious frozen mougles out there. The guys are working things hard, and are determined to get things back to what you are used to in our area. Just to give you an idea of the work they are doing out there, the groomer is being forced to run around half of our normal grooming speed. This of course doubles the grooming driver time, and also is seriously increasing our diesel consumption. Just take a look at this cutter on the small drag that was brand new at the beginning of the season. These usually last 3 years, and it is almost as worn as the one that it replaced just a couple of months ago.

IMG_4067small.jpg

So, I will leave you with this: When you ride that groomed tail, think a little. Think about the time guys put into the brushing and signing. The Grading projects. The equipment maintenance and repairs. The mountains of paperwork. The actual grooming operation. And occasionally, the random 911 call. (This was not the first run we were called upon to do.)
__________________
-- Neil
VP Straits Area Snowmobile Club
Snow VP is offline  
Old 02-27-2019, 07:20 AM   #2
ToddMeister
the Bay City Roller
 
ToddMeister's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Bay City, MI
Posts: 1,485
Exclamation Re: Trail Conditions 2-25-19 The Big Rescue

Wow what a story!!!! I guess I lucked out heading back south Saturday morning before the storm got going.

Also check out the falling ice off the Big Mac bridge thread in the Michigan section of Hard Core Sledder

https://www.hardcoresledder.com/foru...ac-got-us.html
__________________
2016 Yamaha SR Viper LTX LE Turbo
2012 Yamaha RS Vector LTX
Member of:
Straits Area Snowmobile Club
Presque Isle Sno-Trails
MISORVA
ToddMeister is offline  
Old 02-27-2019, 07:44 AM   #3
no1 pro
Trail Master
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Kent City Mi / Paradise Mi
Posts: 72
Default Re: Trail Conditions 2-25-19 The Big Rescue

Wow Neil good read. All of you involved with the straits club are good people for sure The wife and I will be up tonight and ride all the Iggy trails and up to Paradise and back and maybe over to Drummond Island over 3 days of riding. Just want say thanks again to you and your Groomers for all your hard work and time you put in making the Straits trails some of the very best in the state.
no1 pro is offline  
Old 02-27-2019, 08:14 AM   #4
Wink
Trail Master
 
Wink's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Celina, OH
Posts: 1,483
Default Re: Trail Conditions 2-25-19 The Big Rescue

Congratulations to all on a job well done and thank you. We left early Sunday morning, apparently just in time to miss all the carnage.

Will be back up this weekend with my son and grandson. Three generations out on the trail for one day
__________________
Never ride faster than your guardian angel can fly!

Member:
Straits Area Snowmobile Club
MSA



Wink is offline  
Old 02-27-2019, 08:20 AM   #5
PolarisRider
Trail Master
 
PolarisRider's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Bay City, MI
Posts: 100
Default Re: Trail Conditions 2-25-19 The Big Rescue

Chores kept us home last weekend - would have liked to play after this one. Would not have made it out Sunday or Monday. Neighbor across street from camp sent attached pic. He got stuck ON THE ROAD within a 1/4 mile with both his sleds. Our 144's would have ate it up - ha!

Plow finally hit our road about 7:30 Monday evening. Our property starts at tree line on left side of road. (SW of Rudyard)
Attached Images
File Type: jpg ChubCr Road after 2-25-19 blizzard-sm.jpg (38.8 KB, 181 views)
__________________
Polaris Spoken Here ...with a couple Cats for backup
- 17 600 Switchback SP 144
- 05 600 Switchback (12,500 miles and still strong)
- 05 600 Sabercat LX
- 06 600 Crossfire SnoPro
Member:
- M.S.A. - Straits Area Snowmobile Club
- Chippewa Snow Chasers - Soo Snowmobile Club - TASA
PolarisRider is offline  
Old 02-27-2019, 09:21 AM   #6
Go Fast or Go Home
Trail Master
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: White Pigeon, Mi 49099
Posts: 188
Default Re: Trail Conditions 2-25-19 The Big Rescue

Straits Area Club----T O P-- N O T C H.

Great job guys and gals.

Don~
Go Fast or Go Home is offline  
Old 02-27-2019, 09:30 AM   #7
stovepipe
Fan Cooled
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Chesterfield,Mich
Posts: 13
Thumbs up Re: Trail Conditions 2-25-19 The Big Rescue

Great story !!! Great job Wayne!!! Thanks to all the Straights Groomer operators I appreciate all your efforts in maintaining your trail system.
stovepipe is offline  
Old 02-27-2019, 09:41 AM   #8
yamirider
Fan Cooled
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Macomb
Posts: 14
Default Re: Trail Conditions 2-25-19 The Big Rescue

Best club and trails in the state. Thanks everyone for all you do.
yamirider is offline  
Old 02-27-2019, 01:06 PM   #9
906UP
Liquid Cooled
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Rexton
Posts: 35
Default Re: Trail Conditions 2-25-19 The Big Rescue

This needs to be forwarded to the MSA along with a Groomer of the Year nomination for Wayne. Good job guys!!!
906UP is offline  
Old 02-27-2019, 06:41 PM   #10
polaris4me
Trail Master
 
polaris4me's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Pigeon, MI.
Posts: 971
Default Re: Trail Conditions 2-25-19 The Big Rescue

Quote:
Originally Posted by 906UP View Post
This needs to be forwarded to the MSA along with a Groomer of the Year nomination for Wayne. Good job guys!!!
For sure.
__________________
Kevin
Straits Area Snowmobile Club

M.S.A.
Support the people that support this sport !
polaris4me is offline  
Old 02-28-2019, 11:50 AM   #11
lowersnowgoer
Liquid Cooled
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Birch Run ,MI
Posts: 45
Default Re: Trail Conditions 2-25-19 The Big Rescue

Very cool story..As I said in previous post we went to island before the big storm last weekend all of my family except my 1 son at college he is coming up this weekend and wants to go over just to say he's been..I wont ask if its safe seeing that answer 10's of times but rather are there still a lot of people crossing? Thanks in advance..And again THANKS TO ALL STAITS GROOMING PROGRAM!!
lowersnowgoer is offline  
Old 02-28-2019, 03:11 PM   #12
Bill
Trail Master
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Dayton
Posts: 101
Default Re: Trail Conditions 2-25-19 The Big Rescue

Straits Club, “best of the best”. For sure MSA needs notified of this and Wayne absolutely groomer of the year!!
Bill is offline  
Old 03-02-2019, 11:59 AM   #13
conniver04
Trail Master
 
conniver04's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Newport Mi
Posts: 1,701
Default Re: Trail Conditions 2-25-19 The Big Rescue

Great job Wayne and the rest of the Straits club. Proud to say I'm a member of this club!
__________________
Kenny
Ride hard and be safe.

16 MXZX 1200
17 Renegade X 1200
Proud member of Straits area snowmobile club
M.S.A.
conniver04 is offline  
Old 03-04-2019, 10:27 AM   #14
Wink
Trail Master
 
Wink's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Celina, OH
Posts: 1,483
Default Re: Trail Conditions 2-25-19 The Big Rescue

Any idea if the club will be allowed to groom after the end of the month?
__________________
Never ride faster than your guardian angel can fly!

Member:
Straits Area Snowmobile Club
MSA



Wink is offline  
Old 03-04-2019, 10:41 AM   #15
ski-doo
Liquid Cooled
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Richmond
Posts: 24
Default Re: Trail Conditions 2-25-19 The Big Rescue

Trails out of brevort were groomed to perfection Sat and Sun mornings, great job!!
ski-doo is offline  
Old 03-04-2019, 04:18 PM   #16
Snow VP
Administrator
 
Snow VP's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: St. Ignace
Posts: 3,141
Default Re: Trail Conditions 2-25-19 The Big Rescue

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wink View Post
Any idea if the club will be allowed to groom after the end of the month?
Yes. I know for absolute certainty. The DNR issued a memo prior to the start of the season. There will be no grooming extensions to any club in the state. New statewide DNR policy. Not saying they could change it, but that is the policy that is in place right now. AND with all of the damage to groomers everywhere this winter I am guessing that they will be in money conservation mode by March 31st.

Now, I am not saying that we will not be allowed to groom on our own dime after March 31st, however I will guarantee that I will not do it if we still have these crappy snow conditions. It costs over $500 / groom for us with volunteer labor. With this snow a groom would last 24 hours, and it isn't worth it. Now if snow conditions would mean it would last for a week, then maybe we can talk.
Then again, most of the guys have been run ragged over the last month, we will be lucky if they last until the end of March.
__________________
-- Neil
VP Straits Area Snowmobile Club
Snow VP is offline  
Old 03-04-2019, 05:20 PM   #17
Wink
Trail Master
 
Wink's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Celina, OH
Posts: 1,483
Default Re: Trail Conditions 2-25-19 The Big Rescue

Quote:
Originally Posted by Snow VP View Post
Yes. I know for absolute certainty. The DNR issued a memo prior to the start of the season. There will be no grooming extensions to any club in the state. New statewide DNR policy. Not saying they could change it, but that is the policy that is in place right now. AND with all of the damage to groomers everywhere this winter I am guessing that they will be in money conservation mode by March 31st.

Now, I am not saying that we will not be allowed to groom on our own dime after March 31st, however I will guarantee that I will not do it if we still have these crappy snow conditions. It costs over $500 / groom for us with volunteer labor. With this snow a groom would last 24 hours, and it isn't worth it. Now if snow conditions would mean it would last for a week, then maybe we can talk.
Then again, most of the guys have been run ragged over the last month, we will be lucky if they last until the end of March.
Thanks Neil. I kind of figured with all the groomer miles you put in this year it would be a no go. I seem to remember grooming being done after April 1 sometime in the past. But I believe that was in a year when we didn’t have much snow mid season, and we didn’t have many “miles groomed”.
__________________
Never ride faster than your guardian angel can fly!

Member:
Straits Area Snowmobile Club
MSA



Wink is offline  
Old 03-04-2019, 06:03 PM   #18
snopro7c
Trail Master
 
snopro7c's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Van Wert, OH
Posts: 75
Default Re: Trail Conditions 2-25-19 The Big Rescue

Quote:
Originally Posted by Snow VP View Post
Yes. I know for absolute certainty. The DNR issued a memo prior to the start of the season. There will be no grooming extensions to any club in the state. New statewide DNR policy. Not saying they could change it, but that is the policy that is in place right now. AND with all of the damage to groomers everywhere this winter I am guessing that they will be in money conservation mode by March 31st.

Now, I am not saying that we will not be allowed to groom on our own dime after March 31st, however I will guarantee that I will not do it if we still have these crappy snow conditions. It costs over $500 / groom for us with volunteer labor. With this snow a groom would last 24 hours, and it isn't worth it. Now if snow conditions would mean it would last for a week, then maybe we can talk.
Then again, most of the guys have been run ragged over the last month, we will be lucky if they last until the end of March.

Conditions arnt very good?
__________________
if you were to cut me I would bleed green

E-A-G-L-E-S EAGLES!!!!!!!!
snopro7c is offline  
Old 03-04-2019, 07:33 PM   #19
906UP
Liquid Cooled
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Rexton
Posts: 35
Default Re: Trail Conditions 2-25-19 The Big Rescue

Quote:
Originally Posted by Snow VP View Post
Yes. I know for absolute certainty. The DNR issued a memo prior to the start of the season. There will be no grooming extensions to any club in the state. New statewide DNR policy. Not saying they could change it, but that is the policy that is in place right now. AND with all of the damage to groomers everywhere this winter I am guessing that they will be in money conservation mode by March 31st.

Now, I am not saying that we will not be allowed to groom on our own dime after March 31st, however I will guarantee that I will not do it if we still have these crappy snow conditions. It costs over $500 / groom for us with volunteer labor. With this snow a groom would last 24 hours, and it isn't worth it. Now if snow conditions would mean it would last for a week, then maybe we can talk.
Then again, most of the guys have been run ragged over the last month, we will be lucky if they last until the end of March.
I was at the Lumberjack on Sat talking to Rex (Chip Snow Pres) and he was telling me the same thing. Says they can only groom with 100% club owned equipment after 4/1 with no reimbursement.
906UP is offline  
Old 03-04-2019, 07:34 PM   #20
906UP
Liquid Cooled
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Rexton
Posts: 35
Default Re: Trail Conditions 2-25-19 The Big Rescue

Quote:
Originally Posted by snopro7c View Post
Conditions arnt very good?
There's a lot of snow but it doesn't pack well, trails get tore up very quickly.
906UP is offline  
Old 03-04-2019, 07:45 PM   #21
Snow VP
Administrator
 
Snow VP's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: St. Ignace
Posts: 3,141
Default Re: Trail Conditions 2-25-19 The Big Rescue

Quote:
Originally Posted by 906UP View Post
There's a lot of snow but it doesn't pack well, trails get tore up very quickly.
Precisely. We are used to a groom lasting for several days. With this snow, a groom is only holding for 24hrs, if that. To top it off, grooms are taking average 75-100% longer this season. A 5-6 hr groom is taking 9-10 hours. There isn't enough time in the day. I feel that if a groom is only going to last 24 hrs, I am not going to do any extra grooms. This will be a fantastic opportunity for the people who ##### about grooming and the costs to see what happens to a trail when it isn't groomed. There is a good chance that these trails will hold up for 3-4 weeks after the season - all ungroomed - all mogul city!

Wayne and I were recently discussing the unthinkable - actually plowing 18in of snow OFF the RR Grade! We could get it back later, but get rid of it now as it is causing nothing but problems.

I do have a sweet update for you folks. Lots of trail candy will be coming tomorrow.
__________________
-- Neil
VP Straits Area Snowmobile Club

Last edited by Snow VP : 03-04-2019 at 07:48 PM.
Snow VP is offline  
Closed Thread


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 06:34 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ? 2016 - Straits Area Snowmobile Club