Saturday, December 29, 2018

Grooming Report #6 Very good!

Today we rolled all Maasto trails and drug all Churning Rapids trails. Tracks have been set everywhere except on sections of Mud Lake and the New River trail. All trails in Churning Rapids are quite firm from dragging this morning, so expect slightly better conditions than Maasto. Very good conditions almost everywhere.

All Churning Rapids trails saw much improvement from the drag

One of the better sections on Mud Lake

Friday, December 28, 2018

Grooming Report #5 Good to very good!

Today all trails were rolled and tracked. With the snow we received we were able to set tracks on the New River trail, Mud Lake, and our new Spring Creek reroute trail. These trails still remain a bit rough, but are getting better. Tracks set today will not last long with the high winds, and some tracks will be completely covered in more open areas. Overall we have seen good to very good conditions today. We hope to start dragging some trails tomorrow morning.

Very good conditions around St. Urho's loop

Setting tracks up Sunset trail

There were a few small trees and branches on the trail from the wind

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Candle Luminary Ski December 26,2018

Night skiing is always a very special adventure and especially so right after Christmas for the Candle Luminary Ski. There is no other night like the luminary ski in the Copper Country. But all those luminaries don't appear on the 2 km St. Urho's loop by magic though it may seem that way skiing the trail at night. 

Besides the background organization and publicity, it takes about 26 positions to complete the necessary tasks to bring the event to life. That includes making a few ice luminaries, getting the St. Urho's Loop groomed for skiing and snow biking, folding luminary bags, filling them with sand, placing candles in the bags, distributing filled bags on the trail by ice fishing sleds and carefully spacing them, lighting 160 luminary candles, lighting the fire pit, picking up luminaries and cleaning up when it is over. Not to mention staffing the Chalet with a host. 

This is what the Candle Luminary Ski looks like from start to finish.
Julie Meyers and Norma Veurink taking out luminary bags and spacing them on the trail

Keweenaw Nordic Ski Club President Jay Green lighting a votive candle with a propane torch

Dusk begins to highlight the lit luminaries

It is almost 6 pm as night falls and skiers get ready to hit the trail from Hancock's Four Season Chalet

It is fully dark and magic comes to the St. Urho's trail 

A lot of families with children enjoy the wonder of the night
People had a chance to warm up, socialize with friends and enjoy refreshments in the Chalet

Yes, that is a real ice globe

Thanks to the many volunteers who made this wonderful night in Hancock happen and the 325 or so participants who shared it with their friends and family. Bon Hiver!

Monday, December 24, 2018

Grooming Report #4 New snow! Mostly good everywhere!

The 6" of new snow was rolled early this morning, and tracks have been set everywhere except the New River trail and the middle section of Spring Creek between Ruby Marsh and Diagonal. There are still a few rough sections on the Quincy trail, New River trail, Mud Lake, and the River trail in the gorge. Expect to see mostly good conditions everywhere. Trails remain a little soft until we have enough base to drag, but it looks like we may be dragging by the end of the week or early next week.

John P pulling the big roller with our new Can-Am Outlander

On the Tower Loop

Double tracks were set on St. Urho's

On the Meadow trail. This trail was opened this year to allow access to the gorge

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Grooming Report #3 Re-Tracked Fair to Good

Today all trails besides Mud Lake, Spring Creek, and the New River Trail were re-tracked. It has been over a week since any grooming was done due to no snow conditions. The 2" of new snow was enough to improve some areas, but most areas saw very little improvement. City-side and gorge trails are still rough and have many areas of exposed ground. Tracks set up quite well in Churning Rapids. With snow in the forecast we plan to roll and reset tracks tomorrow.

Seen on the Outback trail. Exposed areas like this are common throughout the city trails and gorge