2.25.2018 Snowy week on the Central Gunflint Trail System

2-25-2018-newly-groomed-ski-trail.jpg

 

A little over a week ago, we were wishing we had more snow.  It wasn’t that we lacked snow depth; we groomed for the first time on November 4, and we’ve had skiable snow ever since. But it was getting to be old snow. The snow had survived a few warmish days, had been tilled up and packed down numerous times, and it didn’t have that sparkly look and feel that a new fresh snow has.

As they say, be careful what you wish for.

New snow is not a problem anymore. We received  over 8 inches of snow over 48 hours early in the week, followed by 3 1/2 more inches on Friday, and a good 10 inches on Saturday night.

Groomers were out right way Sunday morning and the trails are in excellent shape.

2.21.2018 More snow, more grooming, more to come

2-20-2018-groomer-on-ski-trail-back-21.jpg

It snowed again, we groomed the system again, and now we’re expecting more snow. We’ve had about 10 inches of snow in the last week. The tree boughs are nicely coated in snow again, so everything is quite picturesque. The snow has that sparkly, fluffy look again.

All trails are in excellent shape. Ted Young reports that the Banadad system has also been freshly groomed.

We have a couple cabin openings left for the weekend. It’s not too late to plan a ski getaway. Call us or email stay@bearskin.com

2.19.2018 Fresh snow, newly groomed trails

2.19.2018 ski trail grooming

Yes, it snowed! We received about 8 inches of fluffy, sparkly new snow. Quinn was out early this morning with the Pisten Bully and at this point, mid-afternoon, he is just finishing up grooming all the trails on the Bearskin side. Golden Eagle is also out on the north side of the system with their groomer.

This really freshened up the trails. Now we’re ready for the next snowfall, which is supposed to start tonight.  We’re not expecting a huge amount of new snow. We’re good with that. 🙂

Here’s the forecast for the week ahead:

weather 2.19.2018

2.15.2018 Weekend ski update for Bearskin Lodge

Popcorn clouds at sunset February 14 at Bearskin Lodge. Photo by Karen Reynolds.

The 3-day weekend is coming up and the forecast for winter fun at Bearskin looks great. We’ve had an unusually cold winter, like most of the state, and it’s taken a little of the fun out of being in a winter wonderland. But it looks like we’re finally crawling out of the deep-freeze, with ideal winter activity temperatures forecast for President’s weekend.

Trails are all newly groomed and in good shape.  We had a small snowfall on Tuesday, followed by a very warm day on Wednesday.  Quinn groomed this morning and thought the tiller successfully removed all iciness.

Our expanded snowshoe trail system (go farther, get lost less often!) and our fat bike trail system are exceptionally nice now. We do not allow fat bikes on our ski trails, of course. As skiers, we understand that fat bikes and well-groomed ski trails are incompatible. But we’ve created a system that allows you to explore far away on East Bearskin Lake, including parts of the south and north arms, almost all the way to the BWCA. It’s OK to walk or snowshoe this trail system, also, but fat biking to the end of the lake is a perfect way to explore an area most visitors never see in the winter. Stop along the way to hike over to Crocodile Falls, watch for the otters and their slides, and be alert for moose and wolf tracks along the way.

Are you a day skier, just visiting to ski? Parking probably will not be possible at Bearskin by about noon on Saturday and Sunday this weekend. We strongly encourage you to come early and make a day of it, before the parking becomes chaos. Stay for a soup or chili lunch, enjoy hot chocolate, espresso (yes, the real thing — we even have our own barista!), or have a glass of wine or beer. If you are a half-day skier after lunch, consider driving a little farther up the Gunflint Trail to start at Golden Eagle Lodge. Same beautiful trails, different way to enter the system, but fewer parking issues in the afternoon. Trail tickets are available at the front desk of both resorts.

Icing on the cake for President’s holiday:  there’s a good chance of northern lights this weekend.  The clouds need to clear off, but it could happen.  Watch the skies! Info about aurora watching at Bearskin and on the Gunflint Trail can be found here.

 

2.12.2018 Same old story, skiing continues to be very good

 

Skiing is excellent. We haven’t had any significant changes — small amounts of new snow, but no big dumps; no melting; frequent regular grooming to keep everything spiffed up, but no major overhauls. Just routine winter here.This hasn’t been a record-setting winter for snowfall, and at this point we’d like more snow because fresh snow is prettier and more fun to groom. But at some point more snow is just excess — we are in good shape.

We’ve had some crazy cold weather this year, as has most of the state.These have not been typical winter temperatures, so we’ve been very impressed by how unperturbed our skiers are by the cold. It has helped that many of our super-cold days were sunny, with minimal wind. We’re hoping that the worst of the cold is behind us now and that we’ll start to see a warm-up. The weekend forecast looks promising.

We also have a good forecast for possible Northern Lights this weekend. We’re in a cycle of fewer geo-magnetic storms now, which means the aurora will appear less often. There hasn’t been a fantastic light show for quite a while, but this weekend has some potential for a show, if it stays clear.

Some measurements from Golden Eagle on 2/9/2018:
Trail Base, Staked:  Average 8-10”
Snow in Woods, Staked:  Average 15-18”
Groomed with classic track:  70 km
Groomed with skate lane:  64 km
Surface Conditions:  Groomed snow
Total season snowfall:  50.25”

2.3.2018 More of the same–excellent conditions

Not much new to report on the Bearskin ski trails.  If you’ve heard there was terrible melting on the North Shore and the trails are in bad shape, well, that’s not us. We’ve had a number of phone calls from people telling us that our snow must have all melted, but actually, we received a considerable amount of snow on Tuesday and have been receiving additional little snowfalls all week. Our altitude and distance from Lake Superior creates a different weather pattern up here, so we’re in our own winter weather world at Bearskin Lodge.

Come up and enjoy great skiing.  Soup, chili, wine, beer, hot chocolate, cookies, and espresso are available in the Main Lodge all weekend.

Some parking thoughts:  Parking may be a problem on the weekend.  If you can’t see a place to park, please walk up to the Main Lodge and talk about parking options.  We have alternatives.  Last week day skiers left a truck parked in our cabin road, and then (of course!) we had a medical emergency from someone blocked in by the truck. Not cool.  Park sensibly, and if you think you’ll need to leave a vehicle in an awkward spot, we’ll help you find a better place to put it.  Another option:  drive a little farther and park at Golden Eagle Lodge.  Same trails, different access, fewer parking issues!

1.27.2018 Still lots of snow, super skiing

We’re in that January cycle of snow, groom, snow, groom, with no significant changes in the trail status.  The intense melting that took place along the North Shore over the past few days was not a big thing on the Gunflint Trail. We had some slightly warmer temps, but we also received more snow, so we’d call it a wash.

We haven’t had excessive snow this year (we’re okay with that!), but we have the right amount for great skiing conditions.  We’ve had about 44 inches of snow so far this season. Trail bases average 7 – 9 inches, with 12 – 16 inches or more of snow in the woods.  We have more snow and cooler temperatures in the forecast for the coming week.

Quinn and Bob were both out skiing late Saturday afternoon, and reported trail conditions to be excellent. Quinn will be out in the morning to groom the system again after today’s fresh snowfall.