It’s Thursday evening now and we are just getting back from Hodges. Actually most of them didn’t want to leave and stayed back for another couple hours. This group has been here before and know how different it can be just 10 km North. Still they were blown away by the difference…it’s like someone turned on the snow switch at about 1000ft up. Here at the chalets there is no fresh snow and we had to pick around exposed dirt here and there to get in. However, 20 minutes later we were carving 6 inches or fresh powder on a bottomless base of snow. As said on previous posts there are a few places where the wind took most of the snow off of the tops of hills but as you can see from the pictures it is still winter wonderland here. The same group is headed to the Gaff Topsails (White Hills area) tomorrow. If Hodges blew them away with the riding the Gaff surely will. Expect a testimonial later this evening on the blog from them about todays trip. We had a few stucks today climbing around the hills! Enjoy the pics!
Archive for the ‘Snow Condition Report’ Category
I had a group in around Hodges yesterday. I expected Peace Bog to be pretty bare but it was not. It was pretty good going! Not knowing what 9 Mile Bog was like we took Boyd’s Trail out to Hodges Pass. When we climbed the pass we were able to see 9 mile and it looked really good. We still opted to stay in the hills as we were having so much fun. I emailed some chalet clients who were on 9 Mile the day before after and he confirmed lots of snow on 9 Mile the New Bay road system. Once again, other than a few spots there on the roads where the warm wind took the snow down the riding is excellent. There is lots of solid ice in the lakes and no trouble finding spots to cross the brooks. I am going to upgrade the conditions to excellent again but keep in mind that on cold days or mornings after cold nights scratchers may be required. Also, I suspect soon we will have to trailer about three kilometers in Cornfield Road only because of trucks tearing up the road.
Matt, the owner of Lakeside at Thorburn showed up today. I was busy all day catching up on office work after so many days riding but it doesn’t take me much excuse for me to jump on the sled and go for a rip into Hodges so off we went. Here at the chalets most of the snow from the last two snowfalls had melted. Cornfield Road is getting pretty thin now for the first 2 km. In the hills though….a different story entirely! Six to eight inches of powder was still on the ground once you get above the roads. Matt and I had a ball climbing around. I even got a few places I haven’t been before. Matt was very impressed to say the least! Have a look at todays pics. Matt will no doubt be downloading the one of him in the air! Thanks for riding with me today Matt and tell all your buddies how good the riding is out here now. For anyone wondering we have a cancelation for this weekend for #4. If you want to get some good hill riding in come on out!
What a trip yesterday! Three of us took a trip to the Gaff yesterday and what a blast. It was still hard in places but about 6 inches of snow fell the night before and blew some huge drifts up. Some of them so big I just had to pass them up as the machine would just burrow in and stick (wish I had a longer track yesterday but the Freeride preformed very well I must say). That’s one pick of blasting up through a drift…if you look close you can see the machine coming up through! We spent about an hour ripping up this one! I know the pics are not that great but I am getting used to a digital SLR.
Now I am HAPPY! Woke up this morning to see the river full of ice again and at least 6 inches of snow on the ground. That’s all we needed and more to come! Heading to the Gaff again today…cant wait! I remember the same thing happened last year but we lost even more snow that this time. My last ride in 2012 was April 19th and it was awesome day on the sleds….lets hope for the same this year.
A couple of friends and I had an awesome day on the Gaff today in the White Hills/Barneys Brook area. Getting there had some bad spots in the road and not a lot of snow on a couple bogs we crossed but it was well worth it when we got up there. Most of the road was really good going though. Tons of snow up there…..we had a great time climbing around the hills. As you wind your way around there its so difficult to choose which hill time climb….its like riding in a giant snow covered egg carton! There are lines all around you from very extreme to very easy. With the Barneys Brook tributaries winding down in amongst the hills, the scenery is stunning. The rain washed out a lot of Barneys Brook but its still no trouble to finds spots to cross. With very cold temps coming this week I suspect and hope that winter will take another grip and put us through until late April like last year. I would be so happy! We also took a quick run out to Springdale Junction (or almost there) to check conditions and once again…loads of snow. As it sits right now, there is a lot of moisture in the snow so if it is cold and no powder its going to be hard and some might have cooling issues. But if it is above zero and the snow soften up, the riding will be excellent except for the odd bad spot I have been mentioning. Last night we had 4 inches of snow so the riding today around Hodges was excellent, as our customers are telling me.
We just had the largest group this winter! Everyone in all the chalets wanted to ride on tour today….18 in all. Normally we cut it off at 8 machines but considering the conditions ect we made an exception. The day went well but there seemed to be several mechanical issues which, tell tell you the truth almost never happens. We discovered a bent clutch shaft on a “new used” machine and we had to ditch one machine on Twin Pond at 1700 feet elevation. We have to get that one by tow in the morning. As for the conditions we saw lots of great riding with lots of snow and we saw lots of poor conditions that we had to go around. Most of the deteriorated areas were in Peace Valley. It is almost gone to the point that I wouldn’t bother taking another tour there again. Other than that, the Hodges trail has some holes in it in the first 500 meters or so but to an experienced rider no big deal. Once you get past these 4 or 5 holes the trail is perfect with lots of snow. I don’t know if I would go all the way to the tower but I am pretty sure you can….if you don’t mind a few rocks near the top. After a meal at the Monica camp we used Boyd’s trail to get out of Peace Valley. The trails is in good shape except for the bogs are close to bare so you have to pick your way for a bit. Ridge Road, with a few exceptions was really good going all the way back to Cornfield Road. All in all a great day with the exception of the mechanical issues. I think some of the clan learned a lot about places they thought they could never go or do! Next time they have a brook or water to cross they will know it is easier than it looks!
Did the Hodges loop today. Still lots of snow in the woods but the warm wind is cutting the snow down pretty quickly on some exposed areas of the roads and open country. Mostly out here closer to the chalets though. There are a few places here and there where you will have to go around some bare spots in the backcountry. My only concern at this point is losing too much snow on the open country like 9 mile bog. It was no sweat to go across 9 Mile today but it is getting to the point where you are picking a bit to avoid bare spots. If we lose much more we will have to stick to the roads and trails and avoid the bogs. The areas we ride up to the Gaff have so much snow there is nothing to worry about for a while yet. I am heading back there Sunday on a personal trip with some friends…can’t wait! Anyone coming out this way for sledding might want to consider scratchers if the nights are cold depending on if your machine tends to overheat. Looks like this Saturday is going to be getting cold again. At this point we are still leaving from the chalets on sleds although it looks like not much snow….but that changes very quickly as you head in Cornfield Road and start gaining elevation. This pic taken today was typical of what you will see on a ride around Hodges.
Yes. The title is correct! At the end of our ride we ran into a friend who lives on Dawes Pond. Yesterday, a meteorite landed in front his cabin in Dawes Pond. He didn’t see it but people heard it. The hole is about 10 feet wide and maybe 100 feet long so it was small and came down at a low angle from the North East. It is an amazing site! You can see where the hole was made in the picture as well as where the water splashed out and froze. For something that apparently was traveling at 1000s of mile an hour is is a neat hole…almost like a lazer had cut it. Amazing to see! I would expect international coverage within a couple days. Now to the riding conditions on the Gaff. Today was a personal ride and I must say, one of the best ride of my life. The Northwest end of the Gaff is absolutely buried and the riding is amazing as you can see from the pictures! The first pic is taken not far from the highway on Dawes Pond Road…obviously lots of snow! Hills, bowls and ravines to challenge just about anyone. I can’t wait to go back! That’s me straightening out my handlebar after I crested a hill (not the one in the picture….much larger and steeper!) and lost my line. I had to stop but the brakes did nothing as I was not far off 45 degrees and it was not powder but I couldn’t bury it. I had two choices….bail and let her go back or try to go forward in which case the machine and me would have likely dropped over a 30 foot cliff just to my right before a long tumble. Of course I bailed and down she went. A long slide backwards over a near vertical climb, 6 rolls, back on her feet and then rolled on her own for another hundred feet. I slid behind it the whole way. Main thing is we got the carnage on video…well worth the cost of the handlebars! Tough machine though (Freeride) with the only damage being bent handlebars on one side. If that had been my Expedition she would have been in pieces!
If anyone want to go see where the meteorite landed and do a Gaff run while are at it I would be happy to take you. Might as well capitalize on it LOL!
An awesome day had by all yesterday around Hodges. I think we had more sleds at the chalets this weekend than we ever had! As for the snow conditions there is still lots, especially in the higher elevations. Its like April riding here now though. If it is a cold day, conditions are hard but not ice. I didn’t need scratchers yesterday with a 2.5 inch paddle on my sled. On sled out of the 6 we had on tour did have overheating issues. I just happened to have a new spare set of scratchers in the garage so we installed them and he was fine for the day. It was a cool day so the snow didn’t soften much until a bit later but we all had a great ride. You could go anywhere…that’s the trade-off! We have a few days coming up with the temps rising above zero so it will be really good riding then! Once again….lots of caribou on 9 Mile Bog. About 50 we figured and they are so used to us they don’t even bother to stand up or stop eating anymore. Here are a few pics! We are wide open at the chalets for some reason for until Wednesday. I guess people think we lost all our snow like most of the island but as you can see we did not. Give me a call and come on out to do some riding. We have discounted the chalets for the weekdays this week to fill em up! Don’t listen to the rumors of no snow and don’t mind the lack of it around the chalets….there is lots of snow just 20 minutes skidoo ride fro the chalets…..guaranteed!