Today we went for a ride with the expectations of poor conditions. For the most part we were right although we rode a fair few KMs where the going was decent. Cornfield is a mess with the vehicles using it so we took the short cut to the Ridge Road. Most of it was not ice but hard snow. The open areas on the higher elevations had a lot of bare spots we had to go around. Jay and I had some fun climbing a couple hills where the trees were close and the snow was still soft and deep enough….1.5 to 2 feet and dense. The Ridge road was decent going and Hodges trail was OK. These two pictures were taken up Hodges Trail. Other than than the dead end side roads though we ran out of options pretty quick and headed back around 3:00. If you are coming out specifically for skidooing, its no good. If you are coming out and would be satisfied to put 40-50km on and not mind a few obstacles, well, it is OK for that. You won’t find a full days riding here though without backtracking so take your kettle and maybe an ice auger and fishing line…you will have a good day. As for the Gaff I don’t know but I suspect much the same. More snow please!
Archive for the ‘Snow Condition Report’ Category
I couldn’t believe my eyes this morning when I saw the damage last nights wind caused! We weathered out this system so nicely until yesterday evening. We still had most of the snow that fell the night before and it was supposed to get cold so it seemed like everything was going to be great! However it did not cool down….in fact in got warmer. Usually the forecast is reasonably accurate here but not last night. The thing that worries me the most is that the brooks are running. They are still well frozen but a torrent running over the top of the ice! This means the snow is melting higher up which is not good. I am heading in at 10 o’clock with a group from the chalets for a ride. I will be emailing pictures and a description for this blog out to the office before noon.
UPDATE FROM THE TRAILS - 11:00am: “Conditions right now are poor. For the most part are well covered but there are spots you have to go around. If it gets cold and we get some snow things will improve a lot. Right now though….not good.”
Well I finally go to the Gaff today and what a ball we had. Although there is not a lot of snow on some open country areas and lots more on others you could still point you skis and go! Now if you know where the play areas are its no sweat to find endless drifts like the ones we ripped up today. I can’t wait to get the Backcountry back there this weekend but I had no hesitation making the Expedition 1200 beast fly today! We had so much fun we hardly stopped for pictures. We took the long route up there but came back the Trans-C-Rail which to my surprise, were not too bad. Time to get the groomer on the go NLSF!! Seems like everyone is due for a warmer day on Thursday. I suspect and hope that this will be below 0 and snow up on the Gaff. We saw one lone moose and then three together.
While things have improved significantly I am still going to leave the conditions as good… just to be safe. All the roads and trails are in really good shape. The ditch banging has been steadily improving as well. I took a bunch of young guys into Hodges in search of powder play and found plenty. We spent about two hours of our run hill climbing between the trees last Saturday and had a ball. I pasted one of their testimonials below. Almost lost them though….once again due to people in Grand Falls – Windsor assuming there is no snow in the backcountry. It’s a constant battle with that! Anyhow I convinced then to stay and were very pleased to say the least. I posted a picture of a truck which went off the road just in from the chalets about 500 meters. That’s what happens when you drive on snowmobile trails LOL! I went in and hauled them out with the back hoe all the same.
“We arrived in Grandfalls January 21st, 2013 with high expectations of lots of snow , we booked the riverfront chalets and a snowmobile tour for 2 days . The conditions along the highway and in Grandfalls were very discouraging , Also we stopped into town to pick up supply’s for our stay,and the local residents were encouraging us to go more west to find the snow as they thought the snowmobiling conditions in Grandfalls were horrible because of the amount of Snow in town , well let me tell you that DO NOT go by the conditions close to the highway or in the town of Grandfalls because Paul and the rest of the gang from riverfront chalets will bring you to the snow and let you have the time of your life , myself and my buddies were very thankful that we stuck it out and gave Riverftont Chalets a chance and never ventured on further to the west coast !”
Well there are many people waiting for this update so I will get to the point. I have downgraded the conditions to GOOD a few days ago because I was suspicious of how much damage Sunday and Monday’s weather had on the backcountry. It was warm island wide with about 5 degrees here in Central. We lost a lot of snow on the windswept areas like open bogs and highpoints on roads. However, I was still able to drive 60 km and hour across most of 9 mile bog today. As you can see from the picture there is lots of grass in view but still pretty level and very few rocks exposed. Although it is pretty hard in places it is not ice and it is no trouble to be breaking through enough to keep most machines cool, with powder in places. I saw 7 or 8 caribou today….they are here for the winter now. As for the roads and trails…..for the most part pretty good going although a bit of powder would make them perfect. The main trails are packed hard now but it easy to find powder on the sides to cool machines. With regard to powder play there are lots of places where you can get off the main trails and pick around the woods in powder 2 feet or more. On the Hodges Road there is still some pretty deep snow for ditch banging. I was sad to see all the snow had fallen from the trees in the higher country, which I expected to be covered in snow until the end of the winter. It rarely gets warm that high even when it gets warm down here. It won’t be long before it looks like winter wonderland again though I am sure. So if your are looking for endless deep powder, I would suggest head to the west coast. I am going to keep the condition rated as good for now but even 6 inches or snow will upgrade to excellent again…hopefully Tuesday by the look of it.
Well it was a great time having the Sledworthy crew out for an awesome weekend of riding! I officially accepted my Sledworthy award up on Hodges. The boys were tempted to drive on to the West Coast when they saw how little snow was around the chalets. Lets just say they were glad they stayed and they will be back! We spent two days ripping up the backcountry. There were some places we couldn’t get because we need another few feet of snow to get there but the roads trails are in awesome shape and the ditch bangin is coming along too….lots of deep powder along the higher roads. We all opened up across 9 mile bog with plenty jumps along the way. The West end of Barrens Pond is starting to drift in…not like it will be a bit later but we all had fun ripping that up for an couple hours. There were some nice jumps too as you can see from the pics. The climb to the ice castle was good to go too! I still haven’t been to the Gaff but the boys in chalet #3 were and said there was lots of powder and huge drifts. I hope to get there over the couple days. I have been on many of the larger lakes now and there is plenty ice and plenty of snow on them so that’s all good to go. It’s shaping up to be a great winter of riding here in Central!
Hello all. What better way to ring in the new year than an awesome midnight run on sled! To ring in the new year a friend of mine and I took a midnight run into Hodges and out 10 Mile road. The roads and trails are in excellent shape. Today, we made it to the top of Hodges no sweat. We didn’t go right to the Ice Castle due to lack of time but it looked good thanks to the last storm which fell down straight and heavy. I haven’t been to the Gaff yet but I imagine it is excellent going with lots of snow. As for ice, I am unsure of the bigger inside lakes but we have been on the ice now since early December. I will be checking that soon though. There doesn’t seem to be as much snow on the North side of Hodges but plenty on the South side as you can see from the pictures. As for ditch-banging, well you have to be careful until we get more but you don’t have to stick to the roads only. So if you want to blow the dust out of your sled and treat yourself to a stay at a luxurious accommodation, load her up and come on out! Happy New year to you all! I gotta go burn some more gas!
Just got back from an awesome ride with Darrell Jenkins of Botwood. He and his wife threw the snow machines aboard not really expecting to get out….except for the fact that I assured him there was snow. The two pictures, both taken this morning show how different it is just North of the Chalets. As the crow flies, only about 10 km away! With between 4 and 6 inches of heavy powder last night the roads and ice were excellent going. It turned cold last night so the brooks dropped and created some challenges in the back country. I think Darrell learned a few things today about skipping water even though he has experience at it. He now has some new skills which will open new doors for him. All he needed was for someone else to show him what was possible. It was just last weekend he and his group turned around and back tracked out because of an “impossible crossing”. We had an awesome day! Jay…..keep your finger to yourself LOL! Unless we get really extreme weather this week I am sure we will still have good riding conditions next weekend and beyond.
I just got back from a ride into the backcountry chalet and was happy to see the amount of snow left and the condition of the roads and ice. It has been a very warm week here in the valley. It was 15 degrees out today and the kids had their dirt bikes out and riding in shirts. The driveways are even starting to dry up. I trailered my machine in Cornfield about 100 feet so I wouldn’t have to drive on dirt at all. I didn’t have to far in the road before there were no dirt patches from trucks driving in the road and once I took my first right and started climbing, conditions improved as I drove. I took a side road detour and found myself sinking in about 2 1/2 feet of snow. If it was to turn cold again you could go anywhere but at these temperatures its best to stick to the road and beaten paths. The roads were awesome! I got to the cabin in 45 minutes..put it that way! The brooks are out but the ice in the lakes and ponds are still solid. As you can see from the picture ice is only starting to degrade. There are areas where there are a few rocks showing through the road on the way in to the higher country but easily avoidable. For the most part though the roads have at least 1 foot of hard packed snow. If you are booked in for this weekend be prepared to either stick to the roads and trails or if you are comfortable skipping the brooks and washouts to get to the backcountry you can go most anywhere, including both Hodges climbs. The bogs and open country are still good when the temperature is down but as the day warms up it is patchy and rough. Its best to stay on the roads, trails and ice.
A very warm day here in Central. I haven’t been riding today but I intend to head into the backcountry chalet and check the out conditions tomorrow afternoon. I expect we will be good to go for the weekend but I won’t know for sure until I get in there. For those of you booked in for a ride this weekend make sure you check the post tomorrow. Let hope we didn’t lose too much. As you can tell from Fridays pictures we had a lot as of this past weekend.