Well so far my prayers were answered! We got about the same amount of snow yesterday evening that we lost with the bit of rain we had this morning and the fhe forecast is steadily improving. I suspect Hodges might have had more snow than here at the chalets. We had a nice ride yesterday. Still excellent going inside and I think we will pull through this mild spell. I will keep you posted!
Archive for the ‘Snow Condition Report’ Category
Yesterday, we had 13 sleds out on Friday for what I think I will make an annual event. Considering the awesome riding conditions here we did not have a big weekend booked. This is due to the constant battle of convincing the rest of the island (including people from Central) that the riding conditions are as good as they are even though there is practically no snow in the valley. I am sure when people from central read this post they will be surprised these pictures were taken yesterday. We decided to invite some regular customers out at a discounted rate and offer free guiding for the day. It was not a tour, just a ride with friends. This allowed me to have some extra fun as I relieved myself of the responsibilities of a paid tour. I spent a good part of the day looking for jumps, climbs and water skipping opportunities, of which I found plenty! We all had a ball! We had a family call last minute looking for a place to sleep while on the way to the West coast to ride. I mentioned on the phone that we had plenty snow here so they should come with us on Friday. It took some convincing as they thought I was out to lunch when they arrived to see the lack of snow around the chalets. Boy were they glad they stayed! They had a fantastic day and were blown away by the amount of snow, the country. Once again we converted another group that they do not have to drive an extra 3 hours to ride mountains and experience late season riding. They will be back. Nothing against the West Coast…its stunning over there and I ride there myself a couple times a year, but it is not the only place on the island with such landscape and winter conditions. Riders need to explore other options. One thing I love about the North East coast is the lack of people. Its easy to find untouched climbs and unbeaten trails. On out trips we don’t see many other riders.
We traveled 150km yesterday covering back country roads, trails, open country and hills. It snowed for a good part of the trip, sometimes heavily and not a flake fell at the chalets. It was a warm comfortable day…I expect today we will be riding in only our shirts. Although we had barrels of fun I was, and still am, a bit sad knowing the winter is coming to an end. The forecast for this week is warm but I think we will pull through it. Its going to be an early spring though as I am used to riding until very late April into Hodges and early May on the Gaff. Those of you who know me are aware of how much I love riding. Although the there is still lots of snow I already can’t wait until next season. So far I have racked up over 7000km since early January and that’s considering we lost over a week when we lost good riding conditions early this winter. This is a lot considering so much of our our riding here in central is backcountry trails. Still I look forward to meeting the group of the day and visiting the same places day after day. I never get sick of it and it is always a pleasure. We don’t have a large number of kids coming to the chalet, especially riding their own sleds but this year there has been the exception. They have no trouble keeping up either! These two, Andrew and Mark did very well indeed. There was another young fellow, Tyler who fit right in as well and they all had a great time!
I would like to use this post to thank all of you who came out to ride with me this season. I know you will all be back next year…many of you multiple times. I would also like to express my appreciation for all of you who voted for us in the recent Sleddy Awards. We won both “Guide of the Year” and “Accommodation of the Year”. This is a a great honor for us and very much appreciated. Well as many of you have heard me say, I have to go “burn some gas”. My barrel for this week is not empty yet!
I have to add another piece to this post. Many of you know my little buddy Jack who is 6 years old. He has an Arctic Cat 120 and has been riding for two seasons now. Last year he hardly rode at all though as he found the machine too slow….and it was. It had a top speed of about 10 km per hour. I can’t blame him for being bored! As soon as the warranty ran out I removed the speed controller and now 25km per hour is no problem! He is having a ball now. He loves to “ditch bang” all the way in to our backcountry cabin which is over 25km from here. He rarely sits and always wears his snow-cross helmet, goggles and chest protector. He learned a lesson of limitation the other day when he tried to climb a hill from the ditch which was about 8 feet high. It was too steep to climb straight on so he attempted it on a 45 degree angle. Of course he rolled his machine right over himself and back down into the ditch. He damaged his ego and broke his marker flag off the machine. I wasn’t there but caught up on the scene and everyone was cracking laughing. It was a proud moment for me as a father of a boy who is going to be an awesome rider. He is constantly looking for jumps too…where did he pick that up I wonder LOL? We were out yesterday (Sunday) building jumps for Jack which worked out well. The more confident he got the higher I built the ramp and before long he was clearing two feet high and 6 feet in distance. He is already begging this morning to get back at it. That’s my boy!
My brother came in for his annual late winter snowmobile trip and I took advantage of the time to explore some routes in my own backyard and boy did I find some gems this past few days. What I set out to do is map another quick access to Kippen’s Ridge, an area I have been riding frequently this winter. I did find a route via Mary Ann Lake -South Twin Lake-Gull Lake and on to Seal Bay Bog. What I found on the way was even more exiting. Hills and lots of them all fairly open with spaced trees, bowl-like gulches and lots of snow. I spent the last two days in there and intend on returning soon…this weekend at the latest. We have a good forecast this week with 10-15 cm of snow on the way. We were having so much fun in the hills I neglected my camera duties but I did get a couple shots attached to this post. Its still winter wonderland back there!
Another awesome day into Hodges. We had a group from Gander today who have been to Mount Peyton many times. They were very impressed with Hodges and the conditions. We had a ball at the landing drift and a few of us got some pretty good air. The conditions here on the roads and trails are perfect. There is some icy road for the first km or so into Cornfield but after that they are flat and lots of snow. We have openings all this week so whether you stay at the chalets or not you should take advantage of the great riding around here.
Had a great tour today and all hands considered the conditions to be excellent. I am going to leave it at good on the site for now because the open country is still not what I consider to be excellent. The roads and trails were excellent riding however and so are the lakes and ponds. The forecast for this area is 0 or colder (much colder with the wind) and some snow pretty well everyday for the next week….so that looks very good for a normal length season as we have always reached the end of April. It snowed all day into Hodges but not at the chalets. We got about 5 inches here but about 10 – 12 inches into Hodges. For now my main goal is to burn gas and get what I can out of the rest of the season!
Due to another dump of 5 inches last night and more on the way I have to upgrade to very good or even excellent as the trails (at least where we ride) are nice and flat and now have this powder on top of the hard pack. Just heading out on tour now and will update again this evening.
Not over yet! Just had a great weekend on the sleds with an awesome group. Although the roads and trails were hard dues to the temperature we had about an inch of snow fall on Saturday which kept the machines cool. Lots of snow in Hodges. The open country through Peace Valley is still nearly void of snow in places but there is enough to pick your way though. We could have avoided it and kept to the trails but the view, as always, is too much to pass up. A few stucks in around Hodges Pass but a great time had by all! We decided to truck to Dawes Pond Road on Saturdays Gaff tour as we had some people two up. I also knew that conditions in the Mary March Brook area were excellent and wanted to spend the bulk of our day there. We had 4 new guys join our group today and two of them had overheating issue so it was a good thing we started at Dawes Pond or it would have been a very long day. Interestingly, they were both on Yamahas with 4 cylinders. There were two other Yamahas there with 3 cylinders and didn’t have a hitch. They were all very similar machines. The temperature stayed very cold all day which kept the trails hard until we got to the Mary March Brook area where there was loads of soft snow to play in. With 15 machines we ripped up the brook from one end to the other…a great time and certainly no overheating! For those of you booked in next week we are supposed to get snow on Monday and Tuesday….30 to 40 cm! We are in for an awesome week of snowmobiling! For those of you thinking about coming out you should tell the boss you are sick and come out to ride Sheila’s Brush"!
Its been a while since I posted on the snow conditions, mainly because there hasn’t been much change. In was up to the Gaff Topsails for a ride today though where we had an awesome ride. We left Rocky Brook Camps and took the Powderhorn Lake Dawes Pond route to Goodyear’s Cove Road. There were a couple sections of road that between Powderhorn and Dawes Pond that were near bare and we had to run the ditch. Other than that its was easily passable. Once we got to Dawes Pond the roads were excellent going with loads of snow. Goodyear’s Cove road was also awesome going with lots of snow both in the woods and on the road. I’d say there is at least three feet of snow in the woods. Once we got on the Gaff the road was almost void of snow for a couple windswept sections but easy to get around. The open country was not too bad until we approached the Mary March Brook area where it suddenly turned into a winter wonderland. Loads of snow, lots of ice and best of all lots of jumps and play areas. We went all the way up the brook well past the Quarry. Even though it was around zero degrees the snow was still fairly soft most areas. If it was warmer it would have been even better. I could have ripped this place up all day! But we did have to leave eventually. The picture was taken on a drift on Mary March Brook. Not the usual endless 15 footers in this area but still lots of them around 8 feet or so which will be fun on a warmer day. We took the tracks back to Millertown Junction. Most of the run was in really good shape but would have been much better on a warm day. We took the “groomed trail” from Skull pond back to the truck. 90% of the trail was excellent going but a few windswept areas made for annoying bare spots so I think I am done with that road for this year. For the most part it was an awesome run today with a few places to avoid.
I was away on the west coast for two days of riding so I haven’t been into Hodges since Sundays Tour but I am sure the past post on that area stand the same…good to go except for the bogs which can be navigated o around the edges. I might as well give an update on the two areas on the west coast I just rode. We wen tot the Gregories on the first day, Monday from the Jackladder. The going was good with lots of snow all the way in and will remain that way for a while I am sure. Like here though its icy when it cools down and darting becomes a little annoying. The best of the tow days was Tuesday when we went up Taylors Brook Road. The trail was pretty flat for the most part all the way into Eagle Lodge. We couldn’t do much play for the first 30 km or so as there were a lot of rocks ect showing through the snow and there were a couple strikes. Once we got inside Eagle Lodge though there was lots. We spent most of the day along the edge of the high country climbing the cut-lines. What I liked about TBR over the Gregories is that there were fewer people. Especially once you got off the main drag to the gorge. We had a ball.
I will be posting a blog on Hodges in a few days but winter isn’t over yet!
As many of you are aware we had two days of high temperatures and high winds and the snow took a huge cutting. The roads and trails are still in really good shape with plenty depth for the most part but we need some powder on top to make for a comfortable ride. We had a big group out yesterday and they all came back raving about the trip despite the hard packed snow. We had to alter the route to stick to the roads for the most part but they were in really good shape so we had fun. On the last part of the day we went to Hodges Pass where the snow was still pretty dry and the going was great. You could go anywhere! All we need is for the excess water to run out of the brooks and valleys and some snow on top and we will be in great shape again. Anyways, for now I have downgraded the conditions to good.
The first picture below is from the shoulder of the Main Top on the Gaff. Some areas lost much snow from the wind but you can easily get around them. Once we got to the quarry area there was loads of snow. The second picture was also the Gaff and the 3rd was Hodges Pass.
There were lots of machines on the go yesterday as we hosted Rendezvous 2012. I am on the organization committee but I was too busy with tours to participate. I just heard from another committee member who told me the weekend went very well. Because Grand Falls – Windsor lost pretty well all the snow the group had to trailer as far as Red Cliff (10 km East of here) to unload. Other than that the ride went very well other than two machine overheated a couple times. Interestingly enough they were trail machines and all the mountain machines did fine. Another great event for sure!
Its finally shaping up! Another storm hit us this week…just in time for the Tony West Group too. The bys are here on their 3rd consecutive year now and already planning a the 4th! The first day was during the storm on Hodges. What a blast! I’d say we had at least 60 stucks…thank God for the sno-bungee. Tony caused an avalanche on the landing drift and slid into the trees. I was there today and the drift is at least 40 feet high now. Needless to say, I didn’t attempt it today. We spent a good 2 hours trying to climb the North side but couldn’t get much past the base. Hodges Pass was awesome although we thought it wise not to try the South side because of time and a couple inexperienced riders. We had lots of fun and stucks on the North side though. That’s my Expedition after darting up a steep side to highmark around a large fir tree in the background. Got around the tree easy enough but dropped into a hole….no camera tricks required in that pic as the machine was down past the hood. Look familiar Jay P.? LOL Yes, that is two wide tracks stuck side by side. Tony was the star of the day with lots of air and the only one to climb the landing drift.
The next day I wanted to spice it up for the bys. They have been to the Gaff several times already so I though it would be the perfect time for the South Brook loop again with all the powder. As you can see from the pic we certainly were pushing powder with a steady supply constantly flying over the hood. It was a hard day for frozen goggles for everyone. As for the short tracks they had to stop on a level and behind another machine. That’s me in front. After a good meal at Eddies Restaurant we pushed on breaking trails most of the way. Anyone who could carve was carving much of the way. It was a phenomenal day and for all the guys it was the best day they had ever spent on a machine. I think I should rename the South Brook Loop to the Kippens Ridge Expedition with 220 KM of every kind of snowmobiling you can have!