Posted by: Bearskin | February 24, 2015

2.24.2015 Ample snow, now we need some warmer temps

We continue to add more snow almost daily to our winter accumulation. Bearskin did a bit of grooming today so that some groups of guests visiting from California would have fresh trails, but the grooming was short-lived. We are experiencing unusually high wind conditions, so snow blew back over the trails ridiculously soon.  We’ll get out to groom it all again when the wind calms down.  All afternoon we’ve been watching birds blow out of the trees  — it’s that kind of day here.

This February will not win any accolades for “mild” weather (January might have), but the upcoming weekend looks promising. We certainly have the snow!

Some recent measuring statistics from the Baumanns:

New Snow Last 24 hours: 2.25”
New Snow Last 7 days: 4.30”
Trail Base, Staked: 12.5” -13” average
Snow in Woods, Staked: Average 22” / High 24”
Groomed with classic tracks: 70 K
Groomed for skating: 53.4 K
Surface Conditions: Packed Powder
Last grooming day: 2-21-15
Snowshoe trails: Open
Total snowfall since Nov. 1: 69.88”

Comments: All ski trails continue to be in great shape with fresh snow falling every couple of days. We are expecting colder weather mid-week this week with highs around 0 degrees through Thursday evening, warming by Friday… the moderate weekend temperatures should make for a very enjoyable time on the trails. Today, we are experiencing a lot of blowing snow; expect freshly groomed trails tomorrow, February 25th.

Snow Totals

November Total 2014 – 14.25 inches

December
Dec 1 – Dec 7: 1.75 inches
Dec 8 – Dec 14: 8.75 inches
Dec 15 – Dec 21: 11.0 inches
Dec 22 – Dec 28: 3.5 inches
Dec 29 – Dec 31: 0 inches
December Total 2014 – 25.00 inches

January
Jan 1 – Jan 4: 7.0 inches
Jan 5 – Jan 11: 1.0 inches
Jan 12 – Jan 18: 2.55 inches
Jan 19 – Jan 25: 2.25 inches
Jan 26 – Jan 31: 4.5 inches
January Total 2015 – 17.30 inches

February
Feb 1 – Feb 8: 3.88 inches
Feb 9 – Feb 15: 4.90 inches
Feb 16 – Feb 22: 2.30 inches
Feb 24: 2.25 inches
February Total 2015 – 13.33 inches

Total Snowfall 2014-2015 – 69.88 inches

Posted by: Bearskin | February 11, 2015

2.11.2015 It just keeps snowing…

2.10.2015 Beaver Dam in snow Reynolds

Beaver Dam trail on 2/10/15. Photo by Karen Reynolds.

We’re in that standard mid-winter pattern now: snow, groom, snow some more, groom some more.  No rain, no ice, no warming temps,  no melting, just day-in and day-out of more snow.  The pine boughs have stayed coated in snow, so every day we are in a living Christmas card picture.

The following measurements from the Baumann family were taken yesterday, but of course it snowed again last night, as much as 6 inches in some spots.  The groomers are all out on the trails again today and it seems to be taking awhile this time — lots of fresh snow!

Central Gunflint Ski Trail Conditions on 2-10-15

New Snow Last 24 hours:  0”

New Snow Last 7 days:  3.88”

Trail Base, Staked:  10” – 12.5” average

Snow in Woods, Staked:  Low 19”   High 22”

Groomed with classic tracks:  70 K

Groomed for skating:  53.4 K

Surface Conditions:  Fresh Packed Powder

Last grooming day:  2-8-15

Snowshoe trails:  Open

Total snowfall since Nov. 1:  60.43”

Comments:  Ski trails are in excellent shape! Our trail base is now averaging between 10” and 12.5” thick; nice and solid too. We added nearly 4 inches of snow over the past weekend and more is forecasted for today. Winter is in full swing on the Gunflint!

Please contact Bearskin Lodge (1-800-338-4170) or Golden Eagle Lodge (1-800-346-2203) for specific conditions and grooming information on each trail or route. Central Gunflint Ski Pass required.

Posted by: Bearskin | January 28, 2015

1.28.2015 No “livid” skiers here

Today’s StarTribune reports that skiers in Minnesota are “livid” about the lack of snow in the entire state.  That’s weird. We see skiers all day every day and none of them look very livid to us.  Mostly they seem quite happy. Thrilled even.  After all, when you’re skiing in ideal winter conditions, there’s not much to get livid over.

Our phone calls are going like this each day:

flash sale newsletter short JPG

 

Watching the melting snow drip off your roof day after day does get old. We might get livid too, if all we’d done this winter was wait for winter weather to appear.   But you can find winter on the Gunflint Trail  — it’s here, waiting for you.

We’ve put together some nice winter packages to entice you up north. Our musher, Erik Simula, has many openings for dog sled trips and Chef Scott Bergstrom has an awesome menu planned for dining every Saturday. More than 40 miles of beautifully groomed ski trails await you. We have a surprising number of openings this weekend, which is normally one of the toughest weekends all winter to find a spot here — it’s not too late to drop everything and make a plan to head up north.   Visit www.bearskin.com

The latest numbers, from the measuring man Zach Baumann, at Golden Eagle:

Central Gunflint Ski Trail Conditions on 1-28-15

  • New Snow Last 7 days:  3.95”
  • Trail Base, Staked:  9” – 12” average
  • Snow in Woods, Staked:  Low 14”   High 20”
  • Groomed with classic tracks:  70 K
  • Groomed for skating:  53.4 K
  • Surface Conditions:  Fresh Packed Powder
  • Last grooming day:  1-27-15
  • Snowshoe trails:  Open
  • Total snowfall since Nov. 1:  55.30”
  • Comments:  We’ve had beautiful weather these past few days with highs in the upper 20’s and now 3.25” of fresh snowfall again on January 26th. All trails have been freshly groomed and are in excellent shape; ski conditions are fantastic! More snow is predicted to fall before the weekend which means no rest for the groomers. We don’t mind, though; the snow-covered wilderness is absolutely gorgeous now!

Please contact Golden Eagle Lodge (1-800-346-2203) or Bearskin Lodge (1-800-338-4170) for specific conditions and grooming information on each trail or route. Central Gunflint Ski Pass Required.

 

1.27.2015 ski trail

Poplar creek

What a beautiful winter this is turning out to be!   A guest who has been coming up to ski since 1989 summed it up perfectly today:  “The best snow conditions and best temperatures we’ve had for years.”   Last year we did have amazing snow, but it was coupled with brutal subzero temperatures and frequent high winds.  It was difficult to actually have fun. We feel like any guest who skied here last year and still opted to come back this winter must be very brave! Luckily, it’s payback time for those people.  This year they are skiing in outstanding winter conditions.

We’ve been living in a snow globe lately.  Every day it seems to snow those big soft, shiny flakes that are reminiscent of the fake snow that comes down on a movie set. Granular-looking snow, so when you look at the snowbanks it’s as if you can see every distinct particle that accumulated to make the snow mound. It means that we’ve had to groom often to keep everything in great shape.  Both resorts have been out on the trails repeatedly all week, freshening the tracks.

Zach Baumann at Golden Eagle has been out on the trails with their measuring stick. Here is their latest report:

Central Gunflint Ski Trail Conditions on 1-21-15

New Snow Last 24 hours:  0.8”

New Snow Last 7 days:  4.1”

Trail Base, Staked:  10” average

Snow in Woods, Staked:  Low 13”   High 20”

Groomed with classic tracks:  70 K

Groomed for skating: 53.4 K

Surface Conditions:  Fresh Packed Powder

Last grooming day:  1-21-15

Snowshoe trails:  Open

Total snowfall since Nov. 1:  51.35”

Comments:  It’s been a busy week for both groomers with new, fresh snow coming down each day since the 17th. Trail conditions are excellent and the scenery is gorgeous!

We have now passed a benchmark for total snowfall on the year at over 50 inches since November 1st. With total snowfall now at 51.35 inches, we are slightly ahead of where we were last year on this date, which totaled 50.40 inches. At this rate, we are looking at another 120 inch season! Keep it coming!

Please contact Bearskin Lodge (1-800-338-4170) or Golden Eagle Lodge (1-800-346-2203) for specific conditions and grooming information on each trail or route. Central Gunflint Ski Pass Required.

Snow Totals

November Total 2014 – 14.25 inches

December
Dec 1 – Dec 7:  1.75 inches
Dec 8 – Dec 14:  8.75 inches
Dec 15 – Dec 21:  11.0 inches
Dec 22 – Dec 28:  3.5 inches

Dec 29 – Dec 31:  0 inches

December Total 2014 – 25.00 inches

January
Jan 1 – Jan 4:  7.0 inches

Jan 5 – Jan 11:  1.0 inches

Jan 14:  .375 inches

Jan 17:  1.0 inches

Jan 18:  1.175 inches

Jan 19:  0.75 inches

Jan 20:  0.8 inches

January Total 2015 – 12.10 inches                           

Total Snowfall 2014-2015 – 51.35 inches

Posted by: Bearskin | January 16, 2015

1.16.15 Winter wonderland on the Central Gunflint Trail

Welcome to our winter wonderland.  Conditions on our ski trails continue to be excellent.  As we’ve posted previously, don’t let the low snow conditions along the North Shore concern you as you drive up here. Once you go up the hill to the Gunflint Trail, it becomes a deep snow winter.

We’re in that usual winter stage where we seem to get a little more snow each day. That’s one of the reasons we’re a great ski destination: it always seems to be snowing.   Groomers have been out regularly freshening up the trails, but otherwise nothing significant has changed — no major snowfalls, no rain or melting, just regular little additions of more snow.

Please be carefully watching for moose as you come up the trail now.  There have been a huge number of moose standing out in the road lately, seemingly challenging drivers to hit them.  That’s not a fight you will win.  Watch for their dark shadows ahead on the road if you drive up here after dark!

Moose in the road. Photo by Nace Hagemann.

Moose in the road. Photo by Nace Hagemann.

A good reminder

Here are the latest snow statistics from Golden Eagle, as measured on 1/14:

New Snow Last 24 hours:  3/8”

New Snow Last 7 days:  1-3/8”

Trail Base, Staked:  7” – 8.5” average

Snow in Woods, Staked:  Low 14”   High 17”

Groomed with classic tracks:  70 K

Groomed for skating:  53.4 K

Surface Conditions:  Fresh Snow

Snowshoe trails:  Open

Total snowfall since Nov. 1:  47.63”

Comments:  Skiing is still the best it’s been all season! All trails are open, conditions are excellent, the snow is plentiful, and the wilderness is inviting, peaceful, and waiting for adventurists. Come on up and have some fun cross-country skiing; it is full-blown winter on the Gunflint Trail!

Please contact Bearskin Lodge (1-800-338-4170) or Golden Eagle Lodge (1-800-346-2203) for specific conditions and grooming information on each trail or route. Central Gunflint Ski Pass required.

Posted by: Bearskin | January 1, 2015

1.1.2014 Conditions great

Fresh snow overnight  and slightly warmer temperatures meant that the entire Central Gunflint Trail ski system could be groomed again this morning.  The system was definitely ready for fresh tracks and new corduroy, after fairly hard use and subzero temperature during the past few days.  We are expecting a great deal of snow again on Saturday.

A note to day skiers in the area or coming from other resorts without snow:

Due to a Saturday afternoon wedding that is now being held indoors, our Main Lodge at Bearskin will be closed to day skiers on Saturday, January 3, from 1:30-5 PM.  If you are planning to ski on the Central Gunflint Trail ski system on Saturday afternoon, please go just a little farther up the Gunflint Trail and go to Golden Eagle Lodge.  Same trails, different lodge.  We will be selling ski trail passes all day, but there will be no option to hang out in the lodge on Saturday afternoon. This is a one time occurrence that will not affect skiers on Friday or Sunday, just Saturday afternoon.

Thanks for helping to make Allison and Bobby’s wedding a calmer, quieter experience.  Nobody wants a bunch of strangers in lycra and ski boots gawking at their wedding vows  :)

Posted by: Bearskin | December 26, 2014

12.26.14 Great ski conditions

ski trail with logo

Yes, we have snow!  Ski conditions are quite good, but as you drive up to our area you are probably going to wonder whether that’s a true story.  Grand Marais and most of the North Shore had rain instead of snow.  Sadly, right now it looks a bit like April there. Don’t worry!  You’ll see the snow as you start to gain altitude going up the Gunflint Trail. You’re going to love the skiing here.

Now for a little advice. In 2012 we experienced exactly these ski conditions during the week after Christmas, which is the busiest week of the year, so we know that hundreds of people staying at other snowless resorts will be driving up the trail to ski here. A few suggestions will make this a better experience for you:

  • Come to ski early, especially if you plan to rent skis.  We found in 2012 that the majority of people decided to walk through the door at 1:00. Not everyone was all that pleased about the line at our front desk to buy ski passes and rent equipment. Come in the morning.  There will be fewer people on the trails, conditions will be better, and we’re more likely to still have the equipment you need!
  • Remember that when you ski on the Central Gunflint Trail System, you may start your skiing at either Bearskin Lodge or Golden Eagle Lodge.  You will see the Bearskin sign first, but you can drive just a little farther up the trail and get your ski pass at Golden Eagle also. We do not have a huge parking lot and we aren’t set up for dozens of additional cars. Spreading out between the two resorts will improve the parking situation.
  • Be courteous on the trails, especially if you are skiing in a group. If you are thinking about bringing a high school ski team, it is essential that you contact one of the resorts before you arrive. This is a private system of ski trails, not a public park, and we could choose not to sell ski passes to a large group if it is busy. That isn’t likely to happen, but call us first to arrange your group’s trip. There are guidelines you need to follow if the trails are busy, so we very much want to talk to you before you arrive.

Both resorts sell excellent hot chocolate to warm you up before or after skiing, as well as many other beverages in the lodges. Bearskin has a soup and chili lunch until 3:30 PM each day.  Bearskin also offers outstanding reservation dining, with a few openings still available on December 30.

Dreaming of a dog sled ride?  Our musher Erik Simula has many openings left for this week.  Every morning at 9:30 AM he offers a “Meet the Musher and the Team” session for everyone who is interested.  It’s fun and it’s free! Plan your ski trip so you can spend some time learning about dog sledding from one of Minnesota’s most knowledgeable mushers.

Here are the ski conditions by the numbers, as measured by the Baumanns at Golden Eagle:

Central Gunflint Ski Trail Conditions on 12-26-14

  • New Snow Last 24 hours:  0”
  • New Snow Last 7 days:  3.5”
  • Trail Base, Staked:  Varies
  • Snow in Woods, Staked:  Low: 12”  /  High: 17”
  • Groomed with classic tracks:  68.5 K
  • Groomed for skating: 51.8 K
  • Packed Only:  1.5 K
  • Surface Conditions:  Fresh packed powder
  • Last grooming day:  12-25-14
  • Snowshoe trails :  Open
  • Total snowfall since Nov. 1:  39.25”
  • Comments:  There is snow on the Gunflint Trail! All our ski trails have been freshly groomed as of December 24th and 25th. Conditions are very good to excellent on the majority of the trail system. Trails are groomed for skate and classic skiing. Please contact Golden Eagle Lodge (1-800-346-2203) or Bearskin Lodge (1-800-338-4170) for specific conditions and grooming information on each trail or route. Central Gunflint Ski Pass Required.
Posted by: Bearskin | December 19, 2014

12.19.14 Central Gunflint Trail is ready for your ski vacation

We just came back from a trip to the Twin Cities.  Right before we left, the metro area received a little more snow again.  The grass is almost covered.

As we drove back up north, we saw more snow, but it wasn’t until we were well up the Gunflint Trail that it was truly winter.

We are getting lots of phone calls  that go like this:  ” (Big sigh) Well, I suppose you don’t have any snow either, right?”  The picture below, from Jonathan Baumann of Golden Eagle Lodge, should clearly answer that question.  Snow in the Twin Cities melted in the rain and then a little dusting of snow fell.  But up here, we lost a small amount of our good snow on that rainy day, and then we were pummeled with 10+  inches of fresh flakes.  This is Minnesota’s premier winter cross-country skiing destination for good reasons — we get the snow and then we keep our snow.  That gets tiresome in April, but it’s wonderful in December.

The skiing is good.  There’s enough snow that the big grooming machines have been able to get out on both sides of the system and they will continue to improve the trails each day.  Don’t be fooled by that wimpy little snow in your metro area front yard or by the so-so snow along the North Shore  — the Central Gunflint Trail is ready for your ski vacation.

Jonathan Baumann photo of Central Gunflint Ski Trail

Posted by: Bearskin | December 9, 2014

12.9.2014 The new ski season

2.16.15 lower beaver dam trail

Summer Home Road Trail, 12.9.2014

Everyone is eager for the 2014-2015 ski season to start.  Many trails have been packed and rolled, but the fresh snow on Monday gave us a good base to start genuinely grooming a few trails.  Summer Home Road and Campground Loop groomed up quite nicely on Tuesday morning. Very good early season skiing.  We will continue to pack and roll other trails this week and may have enough snow to start grooming another area.  To be determined as the week goes on.  Call Bearskin Lodge or Golden Eagle Lodge for current updates on the status of grooming.

Season tickets and daily trail tickets for the Central Gunflint Trail Ski System are for sale now at both Bearskin Lodge and Golden Eagle Lodge.  We share the proceeds of trail tickets equally, so it doesn’t really matter which place you purchase your tickets.  Ticket prices for 2014-2015 will be:

  • Day pass $18
  • Child day pass (ages 7-13) $8
  • Late day pass (after 1 PM) $12
  • Child late day pass  $6
  • 3-day pass  $36
  • 3-day child pass  $18
  • Season pass $100
  • Child season pass $40
  • Cook County High School ski team members ski free, but please check in at a lodge
  • Gunflint Volunteer Fire Department members season pass  $50

All registered guests at Bearskin Lodge and Golden Eagle Lodge receive trail tickets included in the cost of their stay, so they need not buy tickets.

We don’t accept Minnesota Ski Passes for this trail system, as this these trails do not receive any funds from the state.  The Central Gunflint Trail System is privately operated and maintained by Bearskin Lodge and Golden Eagle Lodge.  Because of its large size and hilly terrain through the deep woods, this is a very expensive system to groom and maintain; 100% of your trail ticket fees go towards trail costs. The memorable experience of skiing in this beautiful woods would not be possible without our extensive trail work, so the cost of your ski pass is well worth it.

We’re looking forward to a great ski season.  See you on the ski trail!

Posted by: Bearskin | April 16, 2014

4.16.14 Ski season ends — see you next winter!

Thanks for another great ski season.  Yes, the winter temperatures could have been a little warmer this year, but the excellent snow conditions made up for the cold days.

We do, alas, still have lots of snow, but we groomed for the last time on April 5.  We’re in “waiting for spring” mode,  as the snow gradually melts and makes a watery, icy mess of our world.  Road access is erratic at the moment, so if you plan to visit us in April, call first.  The downside of having great snow is that it is very slow to disappear.

Use this web site to plan for next year’s ski season.  Our trails stay the same each year.  We can never predict when we will first start to groom, but many years we start grooming in November.  See you next winter!

 

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