Sunday, December 9, 2018

If you haven't had a chance to meet our new Chief Groomer, here is Colin Pekkala setting tracks in Churning Rapids earlier today. Stop and tell him hello if you see him on the trails. His father John Pekkala is also grooming Maasto and Churning Rapids this winter.

Here are some other shots from Maasto and Churning Rapids today. The trail is still a little rugged and will be until we get enough snow to level it out with the drag. But there were no big water holes and the kick and glide were excellent.

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Grooming Report #2 Mostly Good!

Early this morning all trails were rolled. Tracks were set everywhere except for Mud lake, New River trail, and most of Churning Rapids. We will try to set tracks on all Churning Rapids trails tomorrow, excluding the Spring Creek reroute. Conditions are improving and we're seeing mostly good conditions everywhere. The Quincy trail, Mud Lake, New River trail and the River trail in the gorge still remain pretty rough. The River trail still has a couple wet spots as you will see in the picture below.

The worst section of the River trail is pictured here. This is next to the Railroad Ravine

Between intersections 4 and 5 on the Pine Loop

Double tracks were set on St. Urho's loop

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Grooming Report #1 Fair to Good

All trails were rolled today, and tracks were set on the city-side trails. There isn't enough base yet for us to drag trails, so expect many bumps and uneven trails. There are still a few open water spots, but most are freezing up. Trails are pretty soft since we are not adding any weight to our implements. Adding weight on our implements in low snow conditions will potentially damage the comb. Current conditions vary from fair to good.

On the Quincy trail between intersections 7 and 8. This section is in great shape since the trail is so smooth

The New River trail is one of our roughest trails. It will take much more snow to get this trail level

Right by the Tomasi trail head. Tracks were not looking to bad

Seen again on the Quincy trail. This was the only trail that was double tracked today

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Intersection 3 Fixed!

Today we took our John Deere tractor out to fix one last spot before grooming begins. Intersection 3 is right at the start of the Pine Loop off of Tomasi Rd. Large holes were dug on the sides of both trails to keep trucks from driving through. We refer to these as "tank traps". Next year we hope to install a double gate here to simplify the fall to winter transition.

There was around 6' of clearance between the tank trap and the tree. Our roller is about 10' wide

We would be able to get through this spot, but the pile of dirt on the right would be a problem all winter

The 6' of clearance before is now over 12'

The piles of dirt were cut back and moved into the tank trap. There's plenty of room to get our roller through now!

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Trail closed signage and more rolling!

Today we put up closed trail signs at intersections; 9, 16, and 18 on the River trail along the river gorge. We are only able to open the middle section of the River trail due to flood damage. We also put up closed trail signs at the south end of the Outback trail and intersection 28. We did not have enough time this fall to fix the washout near the cemetery. The last two closed trail signs were put on the old spring creek trail in Churning Rapids. We relocated this trail further back from the creek, so we will be able to groom through there this season. These closed trail sections are shown on the new map.

Seen at intersection 9 off St. Urho's loop

At intersection 18 by the pedestrian bridge

Our new Can-Am Outlander was taken out for the first time with the new tracks installed

Most of the city-side trails were rolled while putting up signage. We also rolled the Mud Lake Bypass, Spring Creek, and Diagonal trail in Churning Rapids. There are still too many wet spots and exposed stumps and rocks to do any grooming until we get more snow. We will need around 1' of new snow to continue grooming.

There are many wet spots like this that remain

Friday, November 23, 2018

Culverts Installed!

Today we installed culverts in the ditch on Tomasi Rd trail, and in Hodges ditch crossing over the power line. We fell through the ice in Hodge's ditch in early spring, so it would most likely happen again if we didn't add a culvert here. These culverts will be temporary, but we plan to permanently fix these water crossings next year.

We recently dug this ditch with our tractor. We did some final digging by hand to fit the culvert

The culvert is in! It's around 16' long, so we don't have to worry about falling off the edge of the trail


This is Hodge's ditch where we fell through in the spring. There was about 6" of water under the ice here

Packing snow around the culvert


Wednesday, November 21, 2018

 It remains a good season to explore by back country skiing and snowshoeing the Maasto Hiihto and Churning Rapids trails. Trail repairs have been made and we wait for freeze ups of wet spots and a little more snow to cover hazards to grooming equipment before we begin rolling and setting tracks. We hope that might be able to take place around Dec. 1 but we are at the mercy of the weather gods as to when grooming operations can truly begin.

Once the groomed trails appear be aware that there will be ungroomed trail closures along Swedetown Creek this year due to unresolved damages from the Father's Day Flood. The middle third of the gorge will still be accessible via Dam Hill and Sidewinder from the Vista Trail (trail #7). Vista will be extended to Junction 20 on Tomasi Road via the old Meadow Trail. Due to other flood damage Spring Creek in Churning Rapids has been rerouted with a new section of trail offset from the former creek-side trail.