Posted by: Bearskin | December 26, 2013

12.26.13 Sunny skies, great trails

Poplar Creek Ski Trail

Poplar Creek Ski Trail

Conditions are beautiful on the Central Gunflint Ski Trail System this week.  In between holiday celebrations, our groomers were out on the trails whipping the most recent snow into shape for a busy skiing week.  There are still places on the trails where a bit more snow would help cover  giant boulders, or stubbly spots; but overall, snow conditions are much better than usual for late December.

Make it your mission to find the immense rock that a bear pushed into the middle of a trail late during the fall–the rock froze in position, so it couldn’t be moved.  You’ll know when you see it, that’s all we’re going to say.  Consider it one of the marvels of the world that a bear could move that. :)

When you’re ready to warm up from skiing, stop into the lodge for a cup of hot chocolate or a steaming bowl of chili or soup.  Sit by the fireplace and enjoy a glass of wine or a cold beer. Watch our musher go by taking guests on dogsled adventures–or maybe make an appointment to have that experience yourself.  There are still trips available this week.

Come out an enjoy winter at its very best.

Posted by: Bearskin | December 21, 2013

12.21.13 It just keeps snowing!

Deer Mouse Trail on 12/18. Photo by Zach Baumann.

Deer Mouse Trail on 12/18. Photo by Zach Baumann.

The Central Gunflint Trail System continues to get snow almost every day.  We love heading into the Christmas vacation rush week with such a good start on ski conditions.  Because of daily snowfalls, the groomers have been going out almost every day on various trails to keep improving them.  Ask at the Lodges for the latest grooming info on each trail because it’s been changing constantly as the snow comes down.  The general trend is very consistent: trails are just getting better and better.

Golden Eagle did some snow measuring on 12/18 and filed this report.  We’ve had a fair amount of snow since 12/18, so there will probably be a new measurement soon — but meanwhile, here’s the good news:

New Snow Last 24 hours: 1.0”

New Snow Last 7 days: 6.25”

Trail Base: Staked: 6.25” – 8”

Snow in Woods: Staked: Low 13″, High 16″

Groomed with classic tracks: 54.1K

Groomed for skating: 68.9 K

Surface Conditions: fresh packed powder

Total snowfall since Nov. 1: 28.65”

Bearskin and Golden Eagle have been out grooming daily this week Both the Tidd Tech and Snowcat have put on quite a few kilometers in the past few days. Although it’s still early in the season, conditions are great on most trails. All ski trails have been groomed and tracked with the exception of the North-South Link, and  the portion of Logging Camp through the BWCA. These trail segments have been snowmobile packed only.

We’ve been receiving snow pretty much every day this week so conditions are changing regularly. For specific information and trail reports on individual trails or routes, please contact Golden Eagle Lodge or Bearskin Lodge.

Posted by: Bearskin | December 16, 2013

Let’s ski! Central Gunflint Trail System news

The trees are beautifully coated with snow.

The trees are beautifully coated with snow.

The 2013-2014 winter cross-country ski season is off to an excellent start.  We’ve had steady snow for all of December, gradually building a nice base.

We didn’t get the 40 inch dump of snow that everyone talks about, like  Two Harbors, MN received.  We love getting lots of fresh snow for our trails, but that was more than any of us were ready to deal with!  We received a good start on our snow base during that storm and it has continued to consistently snow a few more inches here almost daily.  That’s a much nicer way to build a base. The snow is falling again now, big floppy soft snow-globe flakes that make everything look like a scene from a Christmas card.

Our groomers have been out regularly packing the trails since early December.  Many trails have been tracked, and more are being added to the list daily.  Summer Home and Campground are in excellent shape, ready for both classic and skate skiing.  Ridge Run and Upper Beaver Dam were groomed yesterday and today; Oxcart was groomed before that.  Poplar Creek, Bear Cub, Lower Ridge Run, and trails on the Flour Lake side of the system have all been rolled, packed, and tracked. More tracks are being set on trails each day; call for the most current updates, as this is changing so fast that we won’t be updating this report with every grooming improvement this week.

This trail report site is now up for the season, so you can expect regular grooming updates here until the snow finally melts next spring.  But remember, you can always call either Bearskin Lodge or Golden Eagle Lodge to get up-to-the-minute reports on trail conditions. Both resorts are family businesses, run by a small number of  hard-working employees who not only groom ski trails, but run our front desks, clean our cabins, shovel our paths, plow our roads, and deal with our delightful guests. If you don’t see a current ski report and you think conditions may have changed, we’re probably too busy to be fooling around on the internet.  Just call us!

Season passes as well as daily ski tickets for the 2013-2014 ski season are available at both Bearskin Lodge and Golden Eagle Lodge.  We share the proceeds equally between both lodges, so it doesn’t matter where you purchase your pass.  The funds from your ski pass go to pay a portion of the maintenance and grooming on the ski trails; passes don’t even begin to cover all of our grooming costs, but the ticket fees help support the grooming efforts. In addition, the US Forest Service/Superior National Forest takes a portion of the fees, as does the Minnesota DNR, to pay for the use of their land for many of the trails.

Skiing through the deep woods on the Central Gunflint Trail System is a memorable experience that is only possible because of the extensive work that Bearskin Lodge and Golden Eagle Lodge do year ’round to build and maintain these beautiful trails through the woods. You are supporting a unique experience skiing on the Central Gunflint Trail System when you buy your pass. Thank you!

Posted by: Bearskin | March 30, 2013

3.30.13 Wrapping up the ski season

A few 45 degree days, numerous  brilliantly sunny afternoons, and now a little rain — looks to us like the ski season is wrapping up for the year. 

March has been great this year. We probably had some of the most beautiful skiing ever during this month.  If the temperatures cool off a bit, and especially if we get some additional snow, we may continue to have good spring skiing for a few more weeks.   However, at this point we probably won’t groom trails again this season. Trails are still available to spring skiers, but expect typical very late season snow conditions.  We’ve started to let guests use snowshoes on some of the trails, which is a great way to explore the forest even when you aren’t a skier.

We look forward to the arrival of the hiking/biking season!

Posted by: Bearskin | March 21, 2013

3.21.13 Our great late winter ski season continues

Skiers on the Central Gunflint Trail System, near Flour Lake.  Photo from Ingrid Remak, City of Lakes.

Skiers on the Central Gunflint Trail System, near Flour Lake. Photo from Ingrid Remak, City of Lakes.

All it ever does on the Gunflint Trail  these days is snow.  Groomers have been out most days this week.  Conditions are great.

For the best idea of current snow conditions, this blog by Ingrid Remak from the City of Lakes Foundation presents a good overview of their ski experience last weekend.  We’ve had about 7 more inches of snow since their visit.

Bearskin has a bit of availability left for this weekend, and a fair number of cabin choices for mid-week.  If you’re off school or on vacation for the coming week, you can still plan a memorable winter vacation at Bearskin.

Here’s a  summary of conditions from Zach at Golden Eagle Lodge after the grooming was completed Wednesday:

Central Gunflint Ski Trail Conditions on 3-20-13 

New Snow Last 24 hours: 2 inches

New Snow Last 7 days: 7 inches

Trail Base: Average 12.5 inches

Snow in Woods: 25.5 inches

Groomed with classic tracks: 70K

Groomed for skating: 58K

Surface Conditions: Packed Powder

Snowshoe trails: Open

Total snowfall since November 1: 67.59 inches

Conditions: Excellent

Comments: The snow continues to fall on the Gunflint Trail! The pine trees are again caked with snow while the wilderness offers photogenic panoramas to any visitor that seeks an outdoor adventure. We received another 2 inches of snow overnight and a total of 7 inches in the last 48 hours! The ski trails have been freshly groomed and continue to offer fantastic skiing, even on the 20th day of March. Ski trail passes for the Central Gunflint Ski Trail System can be purchased at Bearskin Lodge or Golden Eagle Lodge. Don’t forget we offer half-day, full-day, 3-day, and season passes! Even if it is just for an afternoon, come on up and have some fun; enjoy the outdoors! Please check with Golden Eagle Lodge or Bearskin Lodge for specific conditions and grooming information on each trail.

 

Posted by: Bearskin | March 12, 2013

3.12.13 Nice March conditions

We’re in a wintry cycle now. It snows a few inches, we groom, it nows again, we groom.  Pity the guy who has been futilely shoveling and reshoveling our ice rink almost every day. (Thanks, Dave!)  This looks like a winter that will be around for a while.

Bearskin is full for this coming weekend, March 16 & 17.  However, there are still quite a few available cabins for the weekend that follows, March 23-24.  The weather would have to change rather abruptly to suddenly have spring by those dates.  It looks like this year we will have an extended winter more like the historical norm for our area, which is endless winter until May.   Come up and enjoy a great late season skiing experience.

We’re getting many calls about mushing.  Erik’s last day of mushing was scheduled to be Thursday, March 14.  Conditions are holding, however, so he’s added 3 more days next week, March 19-21.  He will not be available on the weekend.

Posted by: Bearskin | March 7, 2013

3.7.13 March skiing at its best

More of the same.  That’s good. 

We didn’t get the big dump of snow that closed down schools and roads in the Twin Cities.  We received enough snow to freshen the trails, but not an overwhelming amount.  The weekend forecast looks pleasant; we do have an 80% chance of more snow on Saturday.  We like that just fine.

The stronger sun at this time of March means skiing can be changeable during the day. Ski conditions are usually the best in the morning, especially if it is a very sunny day.

We do have a little availability this weekend still if you’d like to make  a spur-of-the-moment trip up north.  “Mush for a Cure” is going on nearby this weekend, and on Monday night the John Beargrease Dogsled Marathon racers come through this area.  Lots of good reasons to enjoy winter here.

Next weekend is very close to full, but mid-week has some nice spots. Come on up!

New trail update from Golden Eagle:

New Snow Last 24 hours:  1.25 inches

New Snow Last 7 days: 1.125 inches

Trail Base: Average 12.5 inches

Snow in Woods: 18 – 20 inches

Groomed with classic tracks: 70K

Groomed for skating:  58K

Surface Conditions:  Old snow – Fresh snow on top

Snowshoe trails:  Open

Total snowfall since November 1:  55.59 inches

Comments:  Skiers are enjoying the results of the recent light snowfall; it has helped freshen up the trails quite nicely. The base is still very solid and forecasts show another upcoming week of nice weather holding in the mid to upper 20’s with more chances of new snow. Spring is near so keep in mind that conditions can change daily. Please check with Golden Eagle Lodge or Bearskin Lodge for specific conditions, updates, and grooming information on each trail.

Posted by: Bearskin | February 26, 2013

2.26.13 Mid-week update on ski trails

We had some gorgeous days of skiing recently, with picturesque frosted trees and bright blue skies. Our guests were ecstatic about conditions.

We have a run of 3 warm days in the forecast. The Central Gunflint Ski Trail System has a lot of snow.  We can lose some snow and it won’t matter.  By the end of the week we’ll be back in more typical winter temperatures.

Vols ski 400Bearskin Lodge is participating in this year’s Volks Ski 400 resort challenge, an event to see which resort in Cook County can log the most kilometers on Cook County ski trails in February. 

Bearskin guests have totally risen to the challenge.  Every night guests come into the lodge with their pencils, calculators, and trail maps to gleefully add up their daily totals.  It’s great fun to ski on our trails, so people can accumulate a surprising number of K in a day. We’re on our 7th page in a spiral notebook of daily totals, with a few more days to go.

As of today, Bearskin guests have logged 5032 K of distance on our trails.  The next runner-up has 674 K. This seems to be where you come if you really want to ski.

 

Posted by: Bearskin | February 22, 2013

2.22.13 Snowmobiles and XC ski trails don’t mix

no snowmobilesWe are blessed to live in a beautiful area, with ample opportunities for many kinds of recreational activities.  There are trails for XC skiers and snowshoers, as well as for snowmobiles all over our beautiful area. Lucky us.

The Gunflint Trail offers trail systems specifically for each of these winter sports.  The trails are separate for really obvious safety reasons: a fast-moving snowmobile poses a great danger to a slow-moving skier, and vice-versa.  The Central Gunflint Ski Trail system, operated on a permit from the US government by Bearskin and Golden Eagle Lodges, rarely has any problems with people who do not comprehend the difference between a ski trail and a snowmobile trail.  This area has so many great trails available for both types of users that most folks are happy to use the trails designated for their favorite activity. 

When we do have snowmobilers accessing XC ski trails, the Central Gunflint Ski Trail System needs to take trespassing by snowmobilers very seriously.  We report these activities to the Cook County Sheriff and the US Forest Service, and we do our utmost to find the people involved.  We have to do this, for the safety of our skiers.

We had very blatant destruction of some of our ski trails by snowmobilers today, something that has not happened in quite some time.  It was no mistake, and based on skier reports, the snowmobilers were very near to skiers.  Hey, you, the lady with the stalling, loud snowmobile and black jacket with pink sleeve stripes — this is no small thing. You and your friends could hurt somebody that way.  You also create a lot of additional work for the resort owners and employees, who have to go back and clean up your mess. 

Both resorts make an effort to find and report the people who endanger our guests, and this group will be no exception.  The incident was reported to the sheriff; skiers can provide descriptions of the group.

We’ve found that most snowmobilers in this area are very responsible about ski trails — they have so many good options of their own, there’s no reason to risk ending up on the Cook County sheriff’s report for making a foolish choice. Trails for each activity are well-marked.  If you can read, you can figure out which trail is for you.  With the large number of wonderful, well-maintained snowmobile trails up here, there is no good reason to put yourself  and your snowmobile in the wrong place this weekend.

Posted by: Bearskin | February 22, 2013

2.22.13 Great skiing conditions

 

trail suzanne hirschberg

It’s been pretty much “more of the same” since our last ski trail blog.  It snows, we groom, it snows again, we groom again, an endless recurring cycle of snowy sameness.  That’s a perfect winter pattern that we love to be in.  Lake trails have been mostly slush free.  So far we’ve had no signs of the usual late February thawing or sleet.  This winter was slow to get started, but it’s humming along nicely now.  Skiers have been very, very pleased with conditions.

According to Dan at Golden Eagle, who is a methodical record keeper, we’ve received more than 17 inches of new snow this month.  We’ve received 52.8 inches of snow since November, quite a bit more than we had at this point in 2012.  This bodes well for March skiing.

We’re running a “3 nights for the price of 2″ special for some of March. See our specials page on the Bearskin website at www.bearkin.com. You should be here skiing!

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