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Trail Conditions Straight from the guys who groom them!

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Old 01-23-2014, 10:32 AM   #1
Snow VP
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Default Trail Conditions 1-23-14

Hard flat fast and in excellent condition. Low traffic during this week has let the guys get things completely fixed up and work in some blown out corners. All of our trails are in excellent condition as of right now. We got about 2" of cold snow last night and the forecast for the coming days is about perfect snowmobile weather. We are supposed to get another 2-3" on Friday and the temps will remain in the single digits after Friday for the coming week.

Ice Bridge to Mackinac Island is being used. Check conditions locally, have a plan, let someone know about your plan, and stick to your plan. The ice is no place to be during a storm or at night. Please proceed with caution.

Logging is being done in the core of our system and then have a few miles of trail plowed. It is icy, use caution and watch for trucks. The cedarville connector also has some logging on it. Both operations should be finished up around the end of the month I hear.

Pond hockey rinks are being plowed on the bay. If you are heading up that weekend, reservations will be tough to get, but riding in will be a breeze. Over 30 rinks and close to 200 teams this year.

#5 engine update, I will post up when I get more info, Dealer was talking about a Friday delivery, but that is if everything went perfect. Kinda planning on Monday or Tuesday. If we are down to 1 tractor this weekend you may find some bumps on the outer trail connectors. We will try to get the core of the system done every day.

Since it has been quite a while since I posted up some trail candy, check it out below!
Daylight pics are from the Cedarville trail and RR grade near TL a couple of days ago. Night pics are from last nights town groom.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 20140118_155015.jpg (35.4 KB, 230 views)
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File Type: jpg 20140122_184623.jpg (17.5 KB, 221 views)
File Type: jpg 20140122_184630.jpg (22.7 KB, 222 views)
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Old 01-24-2014, 11:28 AM   #2
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Default Re: Trail Conditions 1-23-14

Quick update:

Weather is changing and they are calling for min 3, up to 8" of snow in our area over the next 24 hours. 1/2 mile visibility here right now, and bob sent a pic of his yard where they have whiteout right now, and it is supposed to get worse later today.

Local morning weather is saying avoid US-2 today, so please heed that warning, (might as well stop in Iggy!)

On a different note, we have over 60 people actually log into the board yesterday, which is the highest of the year! Great to see some new faces (screen-names) around here - don't be afraid to say HI, we are pretty friendly and will answer any questions you have, just post up! The website passed 3/4 of a million page views this month, we must be doing something right!

I'm attaching a pic of Epoufette at Bobs house, and a screen grab of the bridge webcam. Remember you can check out that page at Bridge Cam
Attached Images
File Type: jpg bobs.jpg (12.3 KB, 193 views)
File Type: jpg bridge.jpg (7.9 KB, 191 views)
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Last edited by Snow VP : 01-24-2014 at 02:29 PM.
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Old 01-24-2014, 12:55 PM   #3
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Thumbs up Re: Trail Conditions 1-23-14

I am one of the people who logged in yesterday. We ALWAYS stop in St Ignace. Of course a couple years ago we were having to go to Newberry because of lack of snow. I usually just pop in for the report but don't log in. I'm sure you know the reason so many people logged in yesterday....We wanted to see those pic's .
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Old 01-24-2014, 02:41 PM   #4
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Default Re: Trail Conditions 1-23-14

We already have 4" and the storm is approx 1/2 over. This is decent snow but there is a lot of wind which is drifting things over. Ideally I would wait till the storm is over before sending the groomers out, however we only have 1 groomer, so I sent Randy out this morning to pack down the entire South 1/2 of the system. He should be done around 6, when Dave will do the entire North 1/2 of the system. That means that we will have every inch of our trail groomed up today. However, some if it will be done before the end of the storm, so while riding tomorrow watch out for some drifting out there, especially on the South 1/2.

Saturday evening we will be doing about 2/3 o the system, or the main trails again. Sunday about 1/2 of the system is scheduled to get done, then we will be into next week.

The trails are already in fantastic condition, and the great news off-trail will now be in prime shape again. Enjoy it out there, have a great time!
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Old 01-24-2014, 03:27 PM   #5
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Default Re: Trail Conditions 1-23-14

Apparently some have made it across the bridge this morning and are taking advantage. The trail head lot is 1/2 full of trailers. Randy called in to report that he has passed 60-70 sleds already on his run, and oh ya, the snow is boiling over top of the front of the tracks on the groomer.

Borland road intersection (trail stop) at 2pm today.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg randy1.jpg (42.2 KB, 180 views)
File Type: jpg randy 2.jpg (17.2 KB, 181 views)
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Old 01-25-2014, 09:06 AM   #6
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Default Re: Trail Conditions 1-23-14

This winter continues to surprise. 8-14 of new powder out there to play in today. Gonna take a good part of the day tho dig out here.

Last night #6 is showing a bit of an issue. Hope to have it figured out today.

Planning on running 3/4 of the system this evening.
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Old 01-25-2014, 09:23 PM   #7
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Default Re: Trail Conditions 1-23-14

On my way up tomorrow morning! Can't wait to ride the awesome Straits trails Going to try for Cut River.
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Old 01-25-2014, 10:53 PM   #8
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Default Re: Trail Conditions 1-23-14

So it is Saturday the 25th, but I am going to add on to the previous thread.

Storm hammered us with between 6 and 14" of snow in different areas. Huge wind made some crazy drifts. Randy did the South loop Fri morning, and Dave did the North loop last night. Dave said he could not tell where Randy run just a few hours before. He had had to push some drifts off the trail back up just to make progress - it was a long run.

Today, I went out to try to diagnose some issues that we are now having with #6. She was loosing some oil (likely just a loose line) and now she is running a bit rough. Heavy diesel smell and blue smoke in the exhust is new to this tractor, so I had to take a look. Seems like a bad injector from what we can tell. The dealer is going to check her over when they drop off #5 on Tuesday, in the meantime they said run it, so that is what we are doing.

After I messed with the tractor, I want to make sure that it was going to run OK for this evenings run. I went out on the RR Grade in Moran, and started busting huge drifts. Just North of M-123, there were several 4 and a 5 foot tall drifts. Surprisingly the snow packed in pretty good, the drifts were actually heavy. Since I wanted to work the tractor, and save Chris some time onthe evening run I personally ran to Iggy, and doubled back. Drifts and heavy snow made just that chunk 6 hours. Chris and later Bob will have their work cut out for them tonight!!

Here is some storm candy:
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 20140125_172553.jpg (156.4 KB, 155 views)
File Type: jpg 20140125_170959.jpg (165.2 KB, 153 views)
File Type: jpg 20140125_170611.jpg (129.3 KB, 156 views)
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File Type: jpg 20140125_154512.jpg (146.5 KB, 153 views)
File Type: jpg 20140125_141849.jpg (194.1 KB, 152 views)
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Old 01-25-2014, 11:09 PM   #9
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Default Re: Trail Conditions 1-23-14

OK so I told you about the huge drifts in the Moran area. Chris is riding w/me, and I had just worked a 2x 4' drifts, had to back up 3 times to get it fairly smooth. So we come up on a rally bad, thick 5' high monster. I downshifted, hammer down full throttle, set the front blade, and bury the drag for a drift ram! I powered through it OK, but the drift was right side heavy, and as the drag dug in, it pulled me severely to the right, and I was headed for the ditch. I knew it was there, but you can't tell anything with all the snow in the area. By the time I stopped, I knew we were right on the edge of the hard-pack. Sure enough as I tried to back up the side of the trail gave away and down she went. With the drift behind me the only place to go is forward, dropped the whole side of the tractor off trail.

Chris got all worried, made fun of me, hoped out to get a pic for facebook (which he had posted by the next road) It was all OK, as I rocked a few times, and drove her out. Looked worse then it was, but here are some pics of the area:
Attached Images
File Type: jpg stuck.jpg (28.4 KB, 153 views)
File Type: jpg 20140125_144835.jpg (153.9 KB, 151 views)
File Type: jpg 20140125_144910.jpg (132.4 KB, 149 views)
File Type: jpg 20140125_135504.jpg (128.0 KB, 152 views)
File Type: jpg 20140125_135147.jpg (109.9 KB, 150 views)
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Old 01-26-2014, 08:20 AM   #10
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Default Re: Trail Conditions 1-23-14

Thanks again for all the hard work Neil. Be sure and pass that on to the groomer operators also. I'm talking about the ones that know how to drive the tractor! LOL!!
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Old 01-26-2014, 10:51 AM   #11
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Default Re: Trail Conditions 1-23-14

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wink View Post
Thanks again for all the hard work Neil. Be sure and pass that on to the groomer operators also. I'm talking about the ones that know how to drive the tractor! LOL!!

^^^^^ Now thats funny!
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Old 01-26-2014, 12:13 PM   #12
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Default Re: Trail Conditions 1-23-14

I'll be sure to write this stuff down in my "Tips and Tricks" book
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Old 01-26-2014, 02:29 PM   #13
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Default Re: Trail Conditions 1-23-14

You guys crack me up.
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Old 01-26-2014, 09:02 PM   #14
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Default Re: Trail Conditions 1-23-14

o boy do I miss riding. cant wait 2 go this year. how much are trail stickers?
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Old 01-27-2014, 09:04 AM   #15
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Default Re: Trail Conditions 1-23-14

Trail permits are $45 per season.

Sled registration stickers are about $30 for three years.

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Originally Posted by zr900efi View Post
o boy do I miss riding. cant wait 2 go this year. how much are trail stickers?
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Old 01-27-2014, 11:19 AM   #16
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Default Re: Trail Conditions 1-23-14

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wink View Post
I'm talking about the ones that know how to drive the tractor! LOL!!
You forget who trained alot of our drivers! EVERY groomer driver has off trail experiences, sometimes they can't be helped - as in this case. Always look at the result - no damage, drove it right out is less then 5 minutes, and the drifts got destroyed. Everybody's happy.

Chris groomed to Iggy last night and said the trails were absolutely fantastic. Things packed down perfect, and that are staying flat. We had virtually no traffic over the weekend from what we should have had.
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Old 01-28-2014, 01:49 AM   #17
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Default Re: Trail Conditions 1-23-14

Quote:
Originally Posted by Snow VP View Post
Chris groomed to Iggy last night and said the trails were absolutely fantastic. Things packed down perfect, and that are staying flat.
Couldn't have said it better! Just got home from a day trip to Iggy Sunday/Monday. Straits trails were fast and smooth.
Tried to ride under the Cut River Bridge to the lake. Gave it a team effort but the drifts won Should I put a request into the groomers
Saw the big green tractor roll down the ice rink trail Sunday night. Still am amazed how you keep so many miles of trails in shape. Thanks guys!!!
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Old 01-28-2014, 10:41 AM   #18
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Default Re: Trail Conditions 1-23-14

Neil, have you heard if TASA is grooming down to Cut River on a regular basis? We're going to be staying in Newberry with another couple the weekend of Feb 7th and would like to come down and ride the Straights trail system. Need to show them what riding some of best maintained trails is like.
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Old 01-28-2014, 11:43 AM   #19
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Default Re: Trail Conditions 1-23-14

Bob remarked that it was hit-miss in the early season, but I think they had a groomer down for awhile. It has been pretty good recently, Kenny told me they were the best he has ever seen a few weeks ago. Don't know why that would change now.
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Old 01-28-2014, 02:43 PM   #20
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Default Re: Trail Conditions 1-23-14

Need to clarify! Talking about the Cut River bridge scenic parking lot along US-2 'walking' trail. Just joking about grooming that narrow switch-back. (Gives me an idea. Need to photoshop the big groomer down there! Ha!) All the regular marked trails surrounding the area are in awesome shape - 470, 471, 473, ect. Still am amazed how all the clubs keep up on trails!!! ++
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Old 01-28-2014, 02:47 PM   #21
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Default Re: Trail Conditions 1-23-14

Also, for those that didn't know, we did brush the trail down to the scenic overlook park. That trail will become official next season, but the frost set in too quick on us this year, so it did not get signed. Bob does groom that trail about once a week (when we have 2 groomers)
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Old 01-28-2014, 03:05 PM   #22
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Default Re: Trail Conditions 1-23-14

Oh, and I didn't post up this morning, but most schools in the North are closed today. Temps were in the -teens last night, and the highs today are not even getting to Zero. Wind Chill is in the -30+ range (even as we have light winds.)

Supposed to moderate a bit tomorrow, then say in the teens through the weekend.

This is kinda dangerous cold, so don't be outside if you can help it.
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Old 01-28-2014, 08:59 PM   #23
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Default Re: Trail Conditions 1-23-14

Quote:
Originally Posted by jdkzoo View Post
Need to clarify! Talking about the Cut River bridge scenic parking lot along US-2 'walking' trail. Just joking about grooming that narrow switch-back. (Gives me an idea. Need to photoshop the big groomer down there! Ha!) All the regular marked trails surrounding the area are in awesome shape - 470, 471, 473, ect. Still am amazed how all the clubs keep up on trails!!! ++
I was referring to the trail that TASA grooms from Newberry down to Cut River, not the walking trail.
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Old 01-28-2014, 09:04 PM   #24
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Quote:
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Bob remarked that it was hit-miss in the early season, but I think they had a groomer down for awhile. It has been pretty good recently, Kenny told me they were the best he has ever seen a few weeks ago. Don't know why that would change now.
Thanks Neil
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Old 01-29-2014, 09:26 AM   #25
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Default Re: Trail Conditions 1-23-14

Mark, As Neil said I have rode it everytime I have been UP this year and its been the best they have done in years. There is some logging for about 3 miles that sucks but overall its good.
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