The snow has been piling up and settling so you can go pretty well anywhere you want now. The very top of Hodges would be difficult as the snow has been blowing off so there would be some picking around to get there. Had a group of somewhat novice riders out yesterday with two rentals. It was an easy day for me and always a pleasure to introduce people to the pleasure of riding. Needless to say they had a ball. As usual saw a few caribou but this time right at the base of Hodges. Not the first time I saw boos here but rare. I am sure the cold is driving them down from 9 mile bog. Also in yesterdays news was the river backed up farther than I have ever seen it before. Look out Badger if this cold weather keeps up! I took a couple snaps to post. The picture taken showing the ice upon the deck way leading to the fireplace was taken at ground level. If I had been standing you would see that the ice is nearly as high as the top of the light pole along shore. I would estimate that the ice is 30 feet thick at least! Not far off usual but higher for sure. Like I said in November…..looks like a good old fashioned winter so get your sleds out!
Archive for the ‘Snow Condition Report’ Category
Beautiful Day today. Conditions are not bad. The roads a good going. Rough ground like cutovers can use some rain then more snow though. I had fun ripping around the ditches and through the woods ect but you have to be careful for rocks. Its shaping up to be an awesome winter! Saw a few caribou on 9 mile which included several calves which is great to see.
We need some warm weather! Unfortunately, the last storm was not near as severe as our November treat. It’s been a long time since I saw the same amount of snow fall both around town and into Hodges but that’s what happened last week. I was too busy to run in after the storm but went in last night to check conditions hoping for better. There is a fair bit of snow but it is so light we were just cutting right though it and clipping the road a little more than I would have liked. That didn’t stop us from puttin on about 40km though and it was a nice ride except for that it was night and the snow was constantly flying over the bonnet and covering the lights. Once a few more machines beat the roads down or we get a mild and then cold again the roads will be good going but ditch banging is not possible yet. On the plus side the ice is at least 6 inches (three days ago so likely much more now with near minus 30 last night). Also there seems to be lots of good snow forecast on the way. Looks like we are in for a good old fashioned winter! For those of you who might head west I am hearing lots of snow but you had better have a mountain sled and a strong back. I might head over for a rip soon.
The rain did a lot more damage than I thought it would. Just took a dart on quad up the ridge access road. There was some bare and snow covered sections. Although the snow covered sections were improving as I drove in it is not worth the ride. I spoke to a friend on the way out who had done the loop the day before. He said much the same. He did say there from just above cornfield to about half way around Ridge Road there was tons but once again getting there is not worth the hassle. Perfect conditions for a 12 Elan! Speaking of which I am looking for a 12 Elan for my kids if anyone out there knows for one LOL. Stay tuned for updates.
As you all know we had a lot of rain the other day…24 hours of pouring rain with little slack. Bad news is we lost a lot of snow. Good news is I passed I was in Cornfield Road yesterday and the access road at the sign is still snow covered with maybe 4 inches. If this is covered I suspect there must be snow covered enough to get into Ridge Road. I think once you get in there there is still some good riding but I cant say for sure. I f I had some time on my hands I would definitely try a ride but I have been so busy building my basement before the cold arrives I haven’t had time to go in. If anybody does head in please email so pictures and comments so I can post them on the blog. Some more good news is there is more snow on the way early this week. Some borderline rain but it will likely be all snow into Hodges.
Only 4 days riding so far this year and all the old aches and pains are back! I just cant ride along….I have to be rippin along looking for trouble. That’s what its all about for me LOL. Anyways, another awesome day on the snow. Chris Tuck and I headed in well before lunch “lookin for trouble”. I think I was more the instigator there…sorry Chris, but I hope you had fun anyways LOL. Conditions are the same. Although the snow is settling more each day, when you get closer to Hodges it is still dry deep powder and snowing fairly regularly. We took our time going up today and ripped up some side roads and found some nice tight treed hill climbing…..lots of fun and no trouble to find many routes up the hills. Met up with the Caine’s Gang…..(that’s what I am going to call them for now on) about half way out. From what I can see on Tom Caine’s Facebook, they had a great day. We decided to head on out….I have to learn to pace myself as I ride like this most everyday and lots of winter left….especially this year. Exiting early start!
Had a beautiful day riding here in Central. Still no power here at the chalets….no better way to pass the time waiting! We went around the other side of Hodges this time to check conditions. 9 Mile bog is good to go however the larger ponds are not frozen and the smaller ones are likely not safe. Its hard to tell what’s deep and what’s not with these smaller holes so best to avoid or rip. Still some grass and shrubs showing in windswept areas but plenty snow to move quickly in any direction. As usual around the edges there is plenty snow for carving and jumping. The road on the way in has a few spots where there is not much snow and others that has several feet depending on exposure to wind. Down at the chalets it was hovering around zero but up on 9 Mile and Ridge Road there was plenty of snow blowing around reducing visibility but making some nice powder. Group of riders coming from Gander and maybe a couple from the West coming out tomorrow….not a tour….just going for a rip. Should get some good pics to share. The picture of the fellow (my brother) standing on the stones was taken last week on a quad trip to the Gaff Quarry…very neat place. From what I understand the Gaff Topsails are buried so I hope to get there sometime this week.
Just got back from an awesome night ride into Hodges. November 22 and I would have to say its one of the best times I ever had carving! The snow here at the chalets is 8 inches at the deepest. Just a short ways in it is 3 feet and in much deeper in places. Being a night ride and first ride of the season we stuck to the road first but it wasn’t long before we started swing down into the ditches. We were not well prepared as we thought it would be an easy road ride just to say we did it. No shovel, rope or bungee. But all three would have come in handy tonight! I lost count of how many times we got stuck. Mostly hopping out of the deep snow to carve in the opposite direction and landing on too sharp of an angle and going down on our side. What a riot! Keith Peyton was with me as well as my little guy Jack. Pretty hard carving with a 7 year old on the front but he is used to it and cheered me on for full action! I have a few pics posted here I took with my camera but the best pics are still on Keith’s iPhone. I will post his tomorrow when I get them. We do have two chalets left tomorrow night but we haven’t got power back yet so availability is not for sure. Supposed to have power by 5:30. However, if you ware willing to do the drive load em up and come on out for a rip! You will be amazed at the amount of snow! If you haven’t seen the November issue of Sledworthy with the Jan 5th cover shot taken on Hodges check it out but there is much more snow here now than then.
We will be regularly monitoring the local snow conditions on the Gaff Topsails and Hodges Hill area. You can view these snow reports on our website and our highway sign. Once the snow arrives, Paul will also be making regular blog posts providing all the details.
The snow, or lack thereof, on the highway is an inaccurate way to determine the conditions on the trails and backcountry, and the weather forecast in Grand Falls-Windsor is just as misleading.
The rating system is as follows:
• It’s a winter wonderland! Excellent conditions for winter activities!
• Consistent snow base. Good conditions for all winter activities.
• Some snow, not ideal conditions but winter activities are possible.
Based on the previous four seasons, you can book with confidence that we will have good or excellent snow conditions from the beginning of February right through to Easter. Weekends are quickly selling out already, so please book your vacation soon so you are not disappointed. You should consider traveling on a weekday; our weekday chalet and snowmobile tour packages start at just $105/person!
Hope to see you this winter!
It’s a sad day for me. I drove to the snow line today but barely made it through the mud on a 4×4 quad to get there. I am sure there is still awesome riding in the hills but I am not willing to drive through so much mud to get there. Although I am looking forward to getting out on the river again I am sad to be putting my sled away. Some friends and I have plans for Taylors Brook next weekend but by the look at what’s going on there weather wise it is doubtful….maybe Lewis Hills. The same thing happens every year….we plan to go to the West Coast when the season is done here by that always ends up being the same weekend. The season is always the same with the exception of an earlier start over West for some areas. This year at Hodges the season really started with decent riding on the day before New Years. Although we were riding since the 22cnd of December. Its always been a difficult task convincing people not only how much snow is so close to the chalets even when there is nothing on the highway but equally as difficult convincing people of the quality of technical riding here. The truth is I look for the same kind of terrain on the West Coast and as soon as I find it I see no need to go any further in. For those of you who never rode with me I like steep hill climbing between trees, jumps and drops (although not too high LOL). Fortunately this April , I managed to convince some diehard West coast riders to allow me to show them around. They loved it and have been returning and spreading the word ever since. I also had some Sledworthy crew here for the first weekend in January. The evening of the 4th a few of them arrived early and questioned the fact that there was only a few inches here at the chalets. Later that weekend they admitted to having discussed leaving and heading further West…thinking there was no snow here. The next day were were able to pick our way to the other side of the highway on machine. Within 4 km, one of them got stuck in powder on the side of the road! We were not even to the snow yet! Needless to say they will never doubt my blog again. For those of you who continue to drive by assuming we don’t have snow on the side of the highway you are missing out! In only 41/2 hours from the Avalon you can getting ready to ride the fun stuff. You can dart into the powder from the chalets in 20 minutes! It so close you can come out to the chalets for lunch! Not knocking the West coast as I love to ride there too. The riding is awesome there and I always have a great time if conditions are good. The number of trailers full of sleds passing by the chalets all winter is astounding! Now we are already busy from the last two weeks of January until late March already. But we have some of our best riding, particularly weather wise during late March and April….always! Thanks so much to all of you who came out this winter and we will see you next year. By the way, I expect there will be at least one riding course based at the chalets next year. If you would like to increase the fun factor in sledding, I strongly suggest you take one. Thanks to Sledworthy and Rugged Edge, you no longer have to leave to get professional riding lessons. My sled is not yet winterized and I already long for next winter!