Thursday, February 21, 2013


Right around two weeks ago we got nuked with 16" of snow. It was a big dump of snow in a short amount of time. I tried to stay on top of packing as it was falling, at least the inner trails but after 10 hours had to stop and go to bed. Took 12 days to finally get caught up to where I wanted things to be even though the singletrack classic just couldn't pack out anymore. The trees and anything that could hold snow was beautifully flocked with a blanket of white. We went from people saying "Are your trails open yet" (even after they had been opened for 10 weeks) to "I bet you are busy and have a ton of business". The snow compliments the existing reservations but really doesn't bring any new business. If anything, we lose a little business from people not wanting to venture out on the roads and actually had a few cancellations which seems crazy. Also from a business perspective, it costs a lot more money to manage the snow in particular grooming when this much falls at once.  When I first met Doug Edgerton, the guru at West Yellowstone track systems and groomer of the Rendezvous trail system in West Yellowstone, he said an ideal scenario is to have a good shot of snow early to build a base and subsequent snowfalls to to freshen things up. It only took a year or two to realize this and 23 years later, still feel the same. When we were living out west, we never had good track skiing but loved the deep powder for burning turns in the backcountry. I thrive on grooming low snow conditions and having good skiing when people don't expect it. Interesting enough, and contrary to what most people think, there are a lot more injuries that occur during "good" snow vs "bad" snow. With all that said, in weather you don't pick and choose and you can't wait for what you want and instead make the most of what you got!

  With the big dump, school was cancelled of course and Jon helped me one afternoon. Grooming the singletrack absolutely destroyed me. I got stuck more times in two days than I have the last 23 years. It was fun having Jon help out.


Grooming between Twin Lake I knew it was going to be dicey and I missed the trail and was done. First time ever on the snowmobile I had to have someone come help me get out. Lee has helped a few days and caught him to help lift the sled out that was wedged on a deadfall and bullrush clump.
 Lucky's Loype was the hardest with little room for error and off camber turns. This trail is groomed opposite direction it is skied so easier to make the turns.

The third pass on Roy's Run I tried to go wide and got launched the other way.  Just was happy to walk away in one piece. 

 Jon's team continues to have success, this time taking Districts with two convincing wins and earning the #1 seed for regions, which is huge. The team is playing great and fun to watch.
The snow let up for a few days but the wind was ripping flags on Tuesday  making some big drifts where it comes off the lake. Buried on Bullhead trail.

Both Jon and Jens were in the same arena in Fargo,  playing back to back games for one of the rare times this winter, which was nice.
 Jon's team was out to Maplelag for team bonding and a good portion of the kids got chopped. Jack joined in with the reasoning to support the only team mate who was in middle school.

Last weekend Jake was as close as he would be for the racing season racing on the big hills of Mt Itasca. Sunday Jon and I went over to watch the 20km skate race. 4 laps of a brutal 5 km course. Jake scored a nice top 20 finish and points for the team.

After making way to the top of the big hill, skiers flew down a wicked downhill that saw most everyone get down with no issue....unless your binding released from your ski!

Talking to skiers after the race, they all agreed it was the hardest race of the season so far.

 Doesn't seem like we have been in the kitchen as much this year during the day but Jonell always delivers with something new and amazing.


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Anonymous said...

Jay, I think I need to take you snowmobiling in the mountains for a few days... LOL.

Jay Richards said...

Exactly. How about I ride in the back with some tele skis and ski down! If we had snow like this when you were here John, I would of had you run with the Bearcat.


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