12.19.2015 Official snow measurements

Here are the official snow measurements from our snowstorm, taken by the Baumann family at Golden Eagle.

 

  • New Snow Last 24 hours:  13.5”
  • New Snow Last 7 days:  19.03”
  • Trail Base, Staked:  Average 4 – 5 inches
  • Snow in Woods, Staked:  Average 12 – 14 inches
  • Groomed with classic tracks:  ~10 k
  • Surface Conditions:  Fresh packed snow
  • Total snowfall since Nov. 1:  26.83”

 

Comments:  We’ve got snow and skiing! Since the morning of the 16th, we’ve received ­­­­­13.5 inches of fresh snowfall! Being a very dense snow, we are quickly establishing a nice and firm trail base. With heavy snow, however, comes some additional work. There are many thin aspen and birch trees and small bushes of willow and alder now leaning out over many of the trails from the weight of the snow; both Golden Eagle and Bearskin are working fast and hard on clearing them out of the way for grooming, though this is a time consuming process that will take a few days. Each day, we expect more trails to be opened and ready for grooming.

Currently, Summer Home Road, Campground Loop, and lower Beaver Dam are groomed, tracked, and in very good shape! The remaining trails are packed only at this point. Additional trails will be groomed and tracked daily as they are cleared.

If you have any questions regarding specific trail conditions, please contact Bearskin Lodge (1-800-338-4170) or Golden Eagle Lodge (1-800-346-2203) for the most up-to-date grooming information. Central Gunflint Ski Pass required.

12.18.2015 Trimming trees, packing trails, and grooming

Our snow conditions went from worrisome to amazing in one day. We now have ample snow to go into a great ski season.

Don’t start to worry if you drive up and see minimal snow cover all the way up the North Shore and in Grand Marais.  As is often the case, you’re in for a pleasant surprise once you start to drive up the first big hill of the Gunflint Trail.

This heavy snow has created what we always refer to as bend-downs, thousands of small trees laden so heavily with snow that they arch into the ski trails, often breaking into pieces on the trail.  Quinn groomed Thursday morning just after the first big snowfall and reported that it was “groom 100 feet, then stop and cut down trees, groom another 100 feet, stop and cut down trees again.” Both Golden Eagle and Bearskin Lodge are working on clearing all the trees, but it may take some time.

Summer Home, Campground and the Lit Loop will be groomed again Saturday morning. They have been cleared and should continue to be good. To be updated on the status of all the other trails, call Golden Eagle or Bearskin directly to find out.  Both resorts will have every available staff person out for the next few days clearing, packing the snow, and grooming.  We’re optimistic that all of our trails will be available very soon.

Ski passes are now available at both lodges.  Consider investing in a season pass if you will ski often–it’s a cheaper route to go if you come up regularly.

Pictures and the Bearskin Blog, with more snow information, can be found here.

 

12.16.2015 Bearskin Lodge grooming plans

Good news, bad news/ski trail edition: The good news is that we received 10-12 inches of new heavy snow on top of the snow we already had. We did not get the rain that demolished much of the snow on the North Shore. If you have early season Bearskin Lodge reservations you can quit fretting about whether there will be enough snow to ski. We are in good shape now.

The bad news is that if you are local and wanted to come skiing in the next 2 days, you’re not going to see much grooming happening on the Bearskin side of the trail system until Saturday morning. Everyone who can run the groomer will be gone for a family event. Quinn plans to groom a little in the morning, but then he’s gotta go. So the real grooming won’t start until this weekend.

Plan accordingly.

All we see in the weather forecasts now are more pictures of snowflakes for our area.  The winter fun has just begun.

12.10.2015 Something new on the Central Gunflint Trail System

Look what arrived at Bearskin yesterday!

pisten bully lessonsBob with quinn and Dave looking

It’s a brand new Pisten Bully 100 trail groomer, to replace Bearskin’s stalwart 1987 model.

More info and pictures here.

The new PB 100 will groom wider trails, and will leave a smoother ski surface.  It also can groom with less snow. Up here on the Gunflint Trail we don’t usually have the low snow issues that often plague the rest of Minnesota, but it will still be nice to get out to groom as soon as possible.

This is also a much faster machine.  The Central Gunflint Trail ski system is huge, so even with a groomer on each side of the system and the back-up G2 snowmobile groomer, it will usually take all day to groom the entire system after a big snowfall. With the new PB 100 we should be able to finish many trails faster.

We’ve got the machine, now all we need is more snow. You can see in our pictures that in spite of the statewide warm temps, Bearskin’s snow remains. There’s more snow coming in the near forecast. We’ll take some grooming pictures as soon as we can.

12.03.2015 First snow on the ski trails

 

Here’s the beginning of the Poplar Creek Trail this morning.  We received quite a bit of nice, wet snow over the past days, the kind of snow that coats the trees and creates a wonderland.  Unlike Grand Marais, where the initial snow apparently turned into rain and left unattractive brown snow blobs lining all the roads, our precipitation was the beautiful white stuff, thanks to our higher elevation.

Like everywhere in the state, we have a warm streak ahead in the forecast, so this snow may not last long.  But both Bearskin and Golden Eagle Lodges have been out rolling and packing this snow in hopes of keeping as much as we can to begin building base.

So don’t come up skiing yet, but we’re working on it.

Poplar Creek ski trail 12.3.2015

Poplar Creek Ski Trail 12.3.2015

11.28.2015 Central Gunflint Trail Ski Season 2015-2016

Ski trail 11.28.2015

A ski trail on 11.28.2015

We’re all eagerly awaiting the first big snowfall that always announces the ski season has begun at Bearskin Lodge.  We have a little snow, so it looks like a lovely winter world, but nothing skiable yet.

We do have exciting grooming news to announce soon.  Watch this site.  We’re going to make great skiing on the Central Gunflint Trail System even better.

This trail report site is now up for the season, so you can expect regular grooming updates as soon as the first groomers are out on the trail.  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 family members and 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 2015-2016 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 passes 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. 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.

Ticket prices for 2015-2016 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

Of course, 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 these trails do not receive any funds from the state.  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!

 

 

3.21.2015 We’re still skiing!

Central Gunflint Ski Trail Conditions on 3-21-15

New Snow Last 24 hours:  0”

New Snow Last 7 days:  0”

Trail Base, Staked:  3”-10” varying by area.

Snow in Woods, Staked:  Average 12”

Groomed with classic tracks:  70 K

Groomed for skating:  53.4 K

Surface Conditions:  Tilled snow

Last grooming day:  3-21-15

Snowshoe trails:  Open

Total snowfall since Nov. 1:  75.00”

 

Comments:  Don’t put away those skis yet; we’re still grooming and skiing on the Central Gunflint Ski system! Definitely expect spring skiing conditions though the freshly groomed skate and classic lanes are still holding up very well and are, condition wise, great after a recent grooming! Continuing with our plans from last week, we are still grooming select trails at this time, depending on each individual trail’s condition. Currently, 42.5 kilometers of trails have been/will be groomed between today and yesterday.