Katahdin ski & snowshoe conditions

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Sunday 26 March 2017

March 26 - Sunday: Last Post for the 2016-2017 Season

The Bait Hole: bring your maxi-glide, folks. The hills are fast from freezing overnight (still). Afternoons are getting sticky. There's still skiable snow left but you may want to start bringing your rock skis soon. Call Don Nodine after this for updates. His number is on the Northern Timber Cruisers cross-country skiing webpage.

Don just called from the Clubhouse. It's till good skiing BUT the hill are fast to very fast. He also said that he's having an easier time going UP the hills to the side of the set track rather than using the tracks.

I'm leaving for a business trip in a few minutes so this is the last post for the season. You can skiing conditions for the last week of March and the first week of April at the Bait Hole/Clubhouse by calling Don or by calling New England Outdoor Center for conditions at the Twin Pines/Millinocket Lake trail area.

Wednesday 22 March 2017

March 22, 2017 - Wednesday: Fast Snow

The thin layer of icy snow that fell this morning did not improve conditions. Snow at the Bait Hole are currently fast and icy.and skiing conditions are only fair. Below freezing temperatures and high gusting wind conditions are forecast to persist into tomorrow (Thursday) afternoon.

Monday 20 March 2017

March 20, 2017 - Monday: Spring Skiing Everywhere

Spring is here. All four areas (Bait Hole, Clubhouse, NEOC and KWWNM) have snow, groomed trails and Spring skiing conditions. To remind you of what Spring skiing conditions are: the mornings will be icy, hard and fast, especially on the downhills and trails sheltered from the sun by shade; early to mid afternoon will be very good skiing on softened snow as the temperature goes up; late afternoons can be icy as the temperature starts to drop below freezing at the end of the day. In the softened snow sweet spot in the early to mid afternoon, skiing will range from good to excellent. Hit up the trails now while the good snow lasts!

Sunday 19 March 2017

March 19, 2017 - Sunday: Spring conditions

Both the Bait Hole and the Clubhouse trails are groomed with track set. At the Clubhouse, the trail to the warming hut is packed down. Right now, conditions are fast so hills will be challenging for less experienced skiers. As things warm up today, the snow will soften and conditions will improve. Overall conditions are good, and they are expected to be very good this afternoon.

Conditions are KWW Nat. Mon. and NEOC will be similar. It's near perfect Spring conditions out there right now - go ski!

We will be shutting down this website a week early this year. The last day we will post will be on Friday, March 24.

Thursday 16 March 2017

March 16, 2017 - Thursday: Bait Hole Update

The Bait Hole is groomed with track set. Snow conditions are excellent. Skiing conditions are a bit windy, so dress to protect for the current 5 °F wind chill temperature. Today's winds will stay above 10 mph, gusting to 25, until late afternoon. Tomorrow's winds are forecast to be 5 mph or less.

Wednesday 15 March 2017

March 15, 2017 - Wednesday: Millinocket update

The five and a half mile loop trail at the Northern Timber Cruisers Clubhouse is now groomed with track set. Snow conditions are very good.

The Bait Hole will be groomed tomorrow (Thursday) morning.

The Twin Pines Trails at NEOC are currently in the process of being groomed (4 PM Weds.).

March 15, 2017 - Tuesday: lots of snow

Don just called. He is breaking out a trail at the Northern Timber Cruiser Clubhouse five and a half mile loop, and will be packing down the newly fallen snow all the way to the warming hut. The clubhouse trails will be broken out today.

The Bait Hole will be groomed tomorrow.

Monday 13 March 2017

March 13, 2017 - Monday: no news is no news

We haven't received any updates on conditions since the beginning of the weekend. Assume conditions are fast and icy and generally poor at the Bait Hole and Clubhouse trails; fast snow w/ some ice, no track set but packed, fair to good at the KWW Nat. Mon. and NEOC. Everyone is sitting on their hands right now to see what tomorrow's (Tuesday's) snow storm brings.

Friday 10 March 2017

March 10, 2017 - Friday: KWW National Monument outlook for weekend

Groomed this Thursday. After another warm spell - we went up and ground up some good frozen granular snow. It is still too hard to set track. We groomed from the trailhead around the Old River road loop all the way into Haskell Rock and Stair Falls. Today I will groom into Bowlin Camps and into Big Spring Brook hut. That will set us up for some nice skiing this weekend. Please dress to stay very warm; see Matagamon weather prediction for saturday:

Day: Partly cloudy with slight chance of snow showers. Highs around 7°F. Wind chill values as low as -27°F. West northwest wind to 19 MPH, gusting to 30 MPH.


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Wednesday 8 March 2017

March 8, 2017 - Wednesday: More Rain

Conditions at the Bait Hole trails and the Northern Timber Cruisers clubhouse trails are fast, icy and poor. The snowpack at the Bait Hole on Monday was 28 inches so there may be a few more weeks left of skiable snow assuming the rain stops sometime soon. Conditions throughout the area will continue to be poor, icy and fast unless we can get some new snow to cover over the current boiler plate surface on the trails.

For the sake of safety, the folks at Northern Timber Cruisers (who maintain the trails at the Bait Hole and Clubhouse) would like to ask skiers to stay off the multi-use trail and any other snowmobile trails in the area. There have been too many snowmobile accidents this year - we don't want one here. Please stay safe. Thank you in advance for your cooperation.

Tuesday 7 March 2017

March 7, 2017 - Tuesday: #$%@&*!!! rain!

Don called from the Bait Hole at 11 AM. There's no progress yet at the Bait Hole. Skiing conditions will likely continue to deteriorate unless and until we get some decent snowfall.

We wish we had something better to report.

Monday 6 March 2017

March 6, 2017 - Monday: Icy Conditions

Conditions at both the Bait Hole and Clubhouse trails are poor due to ice.

Susan at the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument sent the following report: Five of us braved the cool temps, along with others that were in the huts this past weekend. Conditions were hard and fast, although the parts that the Groomer Guy managed to "scratch up" were just enough to make a very pleasant ski around the Old River Road loop . Beautiful sparkling day by the river. Going forward, grooming will take place either on thursday or friday, depending on temperatures. We will update this report at that time. Snow levels are holding up well but watch out for the Moose holes and use caution when approaching bridge.

NEOC reports that the Twin Pines trails are very fast with icy patches.

Saturday 4 March 2017

March 4, 2017 - Saturday: KWWNM

The folks at the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument groomed yesterday. They report that conditions there are "frozen, granular and fast." They were not able to set track.

Weather conditions today and tomorrow are just perfect for wind chill, so dress accordingly.

Friday 3 March 2017

March 3, 2017 - Friday: not good news at 9 AM

The skiing is poor right now in Millinocket. There's a thick icy crust on the snow that can't be broken up with our towed groomer behind a sled. This applies to both the Bait Hole and Clubhouse trails. Grooming won't be possible until we get new snowfall or the temperature rises enough to soften the crust of ice. No news yet on KWWNM and NEOC yet.

Thursday 2 March 2017

March 2, 2017 - Thursday: Bait Hole - KWWNM - NEOC

Don's out skiing right now (11 AM) at the Bait Hole. He reports that there's very little track left but the glide is good. The snow conditions are not bad though with some fast patches. The snow will become more and more fast as the day progresses because of the falling temperatures - so if you plan to ski today, earlier is better. He is planning on grooming tomorrow but makes no promises that he'll succeed because it might be too icy for the sled to pull the groomer. Either way, he'll let me know so watch this space tomorrow.

Temperatures are not falling fast enough for the folks at the National Monument to get out and groom all their trails so grooming there is now scheduled for tomorrow. They will let us know tomorrow afternoon what their conditions are like once they are done grooming.

The Twin Pines trails at NEOC are open and have enough snow to ski on. Conditions are okay. There are currently a few busloads of kids skiing there right now so expect the snow to be packed and getting faster as the day progresses.

Wednesday 1 March 2017

March 1, 2017 - Wednesday: rain, rain and more rain...

Sorry for no updates for the last two days - our internet connection decided to take a couple of days off without telling us beforehand.

In theory, temperatures are supposed to drop below freezing sometime towards tomorrow evening (i.e., Thursday) and will stay under freezing through the weekend and into next week. The next possible snow is forecast for Tuesday.

Reports from both KWWNM and the Bait Hole say that the snow has been surprising good for the last couple of days. There's little to no track left because of the thaw but the trails themselves still have snow. The snow fall from two weeks ago was so substantial that it hasn't completely melted away despite the last few days of above freezing temperatures and intermittent rain. If we receive much more rain and above-freezing temperatures, this may change.

Expect conditions to be on the fast and icy side once this thaw is over. Also, a lot of local ice has become rotten so exercise caution when skiing or shoeing across bogs until we've had a few days of below-freezing temperatures.

Sunday 26 February 2017

February 26, 2017 - Sunday: swimming, anyone?

Don got down the beginning of the trails at the Northern Timber Cruisers clubhouse and turned around after a hundred yards or so. Too much ice and no sign of tracks after the rain.

The skiing at the Bait Hole is "fair." It's not so poor as to be unskiable, but there's hardly any set track left and everything is very icy.

Don & Co. will not be able to groom until there's about 6 inches of new snow, otherwise, the sleds that pull the groomers won't have any traction.

February 26, 2017: O'Dark Thirty Sunday Morning

The rain is still falling, folks, and it's 50 degrees out at midnight. It might as well be Halloween. There's still some skiable snow at the Bait Hole but take your rock skis and do not assume that any ice on the bogs is safe. Wax for soft wet heavy snow. There is now rotten ice out there so be careful on the bogs. You may be better off avoiding any bogs until the temperature falls below freezing early in the week, if indeed the weather decides to do what the weather forecast says it will do... It might as well be mud season.

Just tell yourself: it's better here than in Northern California right now...

Friday 24 February 2017

February 24, 2017 - Friday: no news is no news

No one has given me any updates since the beginning of the week. Just thought I'd let folks know that, If things were different at the Bair Hole and Clubhouse since the last time we talked, Don would have told me since he's really good at keeping this blog in the loop - so assume the state of those two area are the same as the last post about them a few days ago. Conditions overall are wet, with soft heavy snow under a softening icy crust. Wax for Spring conditions.

Tuesday 21 February 2017

February 21, 2017 - Tuesday: Fast morning snow, softer afternoon snow

The Clubhouse trails at Northern Timber Cruisers are not groomed yet to remove the ice crust.

At the Baithole, with the current weather pattern of below-freezing nights and near- to above-freezing days, the morning snow is icy and the afternoon snow softens up. This is more like Spring skiing right now than our usually-expected Winter conditions. The warmer the afternoon, the softer the afternoon snow. So morning skiing for today, tomorrow and Thurday is expected to be somewhat icy and the hills will be fast. The earlier you ski, the faster the hills and the icier the trails. As the days progress, the temperatures rise and the snow will soften. The snow this afternoon will soften up and the skiing will be good. Tomorrow afternoon, the temperature is expected to get up to 38 degrees and the afternoon snow will be soft and the skiing will be good. The same pattern applies to Thursday, but the temperatures are predicted to be above 40 so expect slush to form as the afternoon progresses. The earlier in the afternoon you ski on Thursday, the better the softening snow will be. That's the predicted snow conditions forecast for the Bait Hole.

No updates yet this week from either NEOC or KWWNM. Those will get posted as the come in.

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