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.


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.

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!

2.11.2013 Lots of new snow to groom

 2.11.13 grooming 3  

Wow, did it ever snow!  We decided to head to Trail Center around 6 PM last night for a family dinner.  We knew that it was snowing, but we’re hardy Minnesotans–it’s no big deal to travel 3 miles in the snow, right?  Coming home was quite a challenge.  We couldn’t see 3 feet in front of us.  It’s been quite awhile since we’ve seen it snow so hard up here.

2.11.13 boots in snowDepending on where you measure, we have 8-10 inches of brand new fluffy snow, on top of the nice base we already had.  Where the snow drifted on trails, it’s much deeper.  Groomers are out this morning on both sides of the trail system. This is a great deal of snow to move around.  Some of the trails needed to be rolled and packed first.  Everything is grooming up very nicely.  It’s beautiful out there.

Bit by bit every trail is getting groomed.  If you want to ski today, check with Bearskin or Golden Eagle to find out which trails are finished.  Quite a few were done by midday Monday; the rest will gradually be completed during the day.

We hear there are terrible winds in some places in the state, but we’re sure not seeing that here.  It’s an absolutely lovely day to be skiing on tour trails.

2.11.13 view from back of pisten bully


Not much new to report.  It’s been a cold week, but lots of people are out skiing.  They come into the lodge after a day of skiing with rosy cheeks and an intense desire to immerse themselves in the heat of the sauna or hot tub.  

We’ve had a little dusting of snow here and there, nothing significant since the last major grooming.  Some snow is in the forecast;  most predictions have been for additional snowfalls of less than 1 inch.   Trails are in good shape, so what we’d like most of all now is a bit of a temperature warm up.