Katahdin ski & snowshoe conditions

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Monday 30 January 2017

January 30, 2017 - Monday: KW&W National Monument

The first half of the Messer Pond road had 2 inches of loose powder on top of a smooth crust. Very skiable! The second half to Haskell Gate had sections where the powder had blown off, exposing the underlying crust. Still very skiable. Temps remained 1-2 degrees above freezing but the wind chill kept the powdery surface dry and untransformed. On the Oxbow loop, didn't check the entire loop but the mouth of the trail seemed to have a fair amount of powder.

Saturday 28 January 2017

January 27, 2017 - Friday KW&W National Monument update

What a difference a week can make. Just back from a very long day of some grooming, trail maintenance and other chores up on the National Monument. The road into the Kiosk and Trail head is in great shape and wider now, thanks to the Snowplow guy. There was about 3 -4 inches of fresh dry snow on the trail when we arrived.

Mark was able to set 1 track around the Old River Road Loop . The other side he just laid out corduroy. We then headed deeper into the land. In places the snow had drifted and blown off back to the hard crust we had last week. It is getting more breakable, at least when you step off the grooming machines to cut brush. It is up to your thighs, so we should be set for snow for some time to come. We cleared brush and made it all the way into Big Spring Brook then came back out and went all the way in the K Comp Trail, clearing more brush along the way. This time thanks to the VIP's doing a great job 2 weeks ago, we completed the section down to just above Bowlin Bridge. It is packed with corduroy and it started snowing pretty good on the way back out. Enough so that the track set had a nice dusting in it.

Skiing should be great tomorrow. If this snow keeps up, we will groom again on saturday.

Friday 27 January 2017

January 27, 2017 - Friday

The Hole Bait was groomed this morning and the skiing is good to very good.

The five and a half mile loop at the Northern Timbercruisers clubhouse is groomed and conditions there are good.

There are no other updates as of 1 PM today.

Thursday 26 January 2017

January 26, 2017: Thursday

Don reports that with the 1" of frech snow from overnight covering over the icy crust, the Bait Hole is good skiing for an experienced skier right now. The Bait Hole will be groomed tomorrow (Friday) morning.

Don and company are out right now grooming the trails at the Northern Timbercruisers clubhouse.

New England Outdoor Center groomed yesterday and had a group of kids out skiing this morning so conditions are good on the Twin Pines trails.

Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument has grooming scheduled for this afternoon.

Monday 23 January 2017

January 23, 2017 - Monday: Business Trip

I'm on a business trip for the next three days, running through airports. Be warned that ski condition reports may be delayed.

Saturday 21 January 2017

January 21, 2017 - Saturday: KW&W National Monument

Trails around the loop and into Haskell hut are groomed. Track is not set - trails are packed and there is a double track from gate to gate for skate skiing. The skiing will be very nice

january 21, 2017 - Saturday; Bait Hole update

Yesterday, the snow surface got a bit wet from melting from yesterday's slightly-above-freezing temperatures and then iced up overnight. The trails are icy and fast on the hills and under the trees. Out in the open, the snow surface is again getting wet and the conditions are a bit sticky. With the temperature excursion today to just above freezing, the sticky snow will get even more sticky so bring your maxiglide or other wax for sticky wet snow. Otherwise, conditions are good right now. Expect the snow surface to freeze back up overnight.

Friday 20 January 2017

January 20, 2017 - Friday: KW&W National Monument

We just received 3" of new snow Wed' night . Because the conditions under the new snow are bullet proof we will not set track .We will stay away with the groomer and leave the fresh snow. The skiing will be very nice with the new powder on top . See you out there . More tomorrow afternoon .

Mark the Groomer Guy!

Thursday 19 January 2017

January 19, 2017 - Thursday: Good at the Bait Hole

Yesterday (Wednesday), the folks at Northern Timbercruisers broke out the trail with a snowmobile from the Clubhouse to the warming hut and flagged it across the bog. So the trail is marked but there is no track set and no grooming - just a sled track. The first person to ski it will be breaking trail. Given the state of grooming, Don rates the current state of the trail as fair.

At the Bait Hole, be careful in the parking lot because of hidden ice and lots of it. Even with the fresh snow fall, the new snow is not very thick and there is ice right under it. On the other hand, the new snow is not really enough to groom but it is enough to ski. Don's out there right now (11 AM) and he rates the skiing conditions as good.

NEOC has the groomer out right now on the Twin Pines trails and they anticipate the conditions will be good as soon as they are done in just a little while.

Unless I post otherwise this evening (after confirming with Greg), there is not yet enough snow here in town to groom on the Hillcrest trail.

I don't have an update yet on KW&W National Monument. I'll post one here at katahdinski.com as soon as I get one.

Monday 16 January 2017

January 16, 2017 - Monday morning at o'dark thirty: KW&W Nat. Mon.

This was sent from the folks at Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument while I was out goofing off Sunday. I will post the contents of the two emails they sent, one after another - it will make more sense that way. My apologies to the folks at KW&W Nat. Mon. for not checking email when I got out of the movie theater.

The first email, sent early in the day:

Yesterday 5 VIP's (Volunteers in Parks) Tackled the trail from Bowlin Camps to the Ka Comp Trail. Happy to report no major trees , lots of small stuff. All was cleared up in good order and we even had time to go do some trail work at the north end on the Old River Road Loop While Mark started the slow work of scratching up the crust layer that is a very dense 2 inches on top of over a foot of dry sugar snow underneath.

There is now a crushed granular surface , but no track set to ski/snowshoe and fat tire bike on. Scenery is beautiful! The road into the trail head at Matagamon is very icy so only studded tires and all wheel drive recommended. As things warm up we are sure conditions will improve.

The second email sent sometime Sunday evening:

We have just returned from a long day on the Trails out of Mattagmon. Thanks to a group of 3 of our VIPS the Old River Road Loop Trail is now partially ready for double track set. Lots of hard work was completed on the trail today with loppers and saws and dragging brush into the woods. Mark spent a good chunk of the day grinding a track which turned out pretty good. We had skiers and skate skiers and walkers who were all happy at the beauty, conditions and sunshine.

Tomorrow sounds like it will be another good day. All wheel Drive or 4 wheel drive and care still needs to be used on the road in, very icy. Be careful in the parking area as well , cross-country boots are very slippery on ice.

A few inches of snow will make all the difference in the world.

They also included a nice pic of some of their volunteers working on the trails:


Saturday 14 January 2017

January 14, 2017 - Saturday: Cold, Icy, Windy, and Cold

New England Outdoor Center has gotten their groomer fixed, and indeed they went out and groomed the Twin Pines Trails. The expert skier who went out on those trails has just reported that they are icy and the skiing is difficult. Given that this weather is supposed to hang on for another day or so, it's going to be a while before conditions soften up.

Wind chill out there right now at 1:30 PM is currently -3 °F.

Friday 13 January 2017

January 13, 2017 - Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument Update!!!

Well good news and bad news up north on the KWWNM Ski Trails. As you all are aware we had an extreme warming event with some intense but brief rain, fog and wind. Temps are now in the 20's and the winds are blowing!

We lost a good 10 inches of our beautiful snow. We were left with a very think crust on the surface. That was the bad news. The good news is that there is some nice drier snow under that crust. We have snow we just can't access it yet for grooming. It may take some time to work this crust into the subsurface to make a good skiing surface once again.

The road into the Matagamon Gate is very icy, and no 2 wheel drive vehicle should attempt it.

Ski Trails are currently a breakable crust where you can break thru up to 12 inches in depth. At this time our groomers cannot touch this. We are going to watch the weather and hope to be able to do more as temps moderate.

We promise to let you know as soon as things improve. In the mean time we will continue to do trail work so when we can groom we will make the Trail connection from Matagamon to Bowlin. Matagamon Camps called the other day and said that they will be offering shuttle service between the two locations so check in with them. This will be great for those who want to start at the Matagamon gate and end at Bowlin!

Think Snow

January 13, 2017 - More Friday the 13th, 4 PM UPDATE

Just talked to Don who just finished out at the Bait Hole. He says conditions are fair to poor. There's only about 3/4 of a mile of set track. The rest is icy. Don said that if you ski on the snow mobile trail, it's much better skiing right now than the ski trails.

Trails at the Timber Cruisers clubhouse are poor and icy.

NEOC/Twin Pines has had to send someone down to Lincoln to pick up a part to fix what's busted on the groomer. Watch this space for updates this evening or tomorrow morning.

Just talked to Greg. Hillcrest Golf Course trail is not open. The access trail for the sled is actually dangerous for even foot traffic right now because of runoff water under the ice crust. We'll let you know when Hillcrest will be back open - though it won't be until we get more snow. The snow on the course is not snow, it's ice and it's too dangerous to ski right now.

January 13, 2017 - Friday: Good news, bad news and no news

The wind is really nasty today. Dress for wind chill.

The Bait Hole. First, the parking lot. It's icy. Slow down before you make the turn - don't hit the driveway into the parking lot too fast. Park on the sandy bits and walk on the sandy bits. Where there isn't sand, it's ice and it's nasty! The good news is that Don is out grooming right now (noontime). He thinks he'll be done before dark, which means he's going to try to groom all the ski trails. If you go to ski this afternoon or tomorrow (Saturday) be warmed that where groomed trails have been remade, the hills will be fast but the level areas should be fine. Wax for ice. If you own altai skis, this would be a good time for them. I may be out on mine if I can talk myself into skiing in the very cold temperatures forecast for tomorrow. Shoeing should be ok on the groomed ski trails (stay to the right please - don't destroy the tracks!). Don is out grooming so I can't ask him but I'm going to assume until I hear otherwise that the snowshoe-only trials at the Bait Hole will not be broken out yet.

We won't know about the trails at the Northern Timber Cruisers Clubhouse until tomorrow at the earliest. The Clubhouse trails get groomed after the Bait Hole, because it's the same sled and groomer that does both areas.

Twin Pine Trails at New England Outdoor Center. The bad news: the ice was so thick that the ski trail groomer broke this morning so the trails are not groomed for now and have a thick crust of ice on them. They've promised to let me know the minute this changes, and as soon as I know, I'll post it here.

Greg is at work so I can't ask right now, but I'm pretty sure I know what he'll say: the Hillcrest Gold Course Trail won't get groomed tonight and whether it gets groomed tomorrow depends on whether the grooming sled can get up the access trail. I'll let folks know if this changes as soon as I know myself.

There's no update yet from the folks who do the trails at the National Monument.

Wednesday 11 January 2017

January 11, 2017 - Wednesday 1 PM: mush, slush, and drips

I ran out to the Bait Hole and also talked with the folks at NEOC. No one is out grooming today because folks are waiting for this warm snap to finish first. The snow surface is not bad, actually, and we have had enough snowfall that the above-freezing temperatures won't strip the snow cover off. Set tracks are looking a little bit droopy and the surface is just ever-so-slightly hard, but still skiable. Conditions are warm, a bit wet, and slightly fast. Wax as if it were Spring. Wear something waterproof on top because the snowmelt water off of branches where trails go through trees is like a very light rain right now. Scattered rain showers will continue to move through the area this afternoon and more rain is forecast for tomorrow. Skiing this afternoon will probably be better than skiing tomorrow.

Tuesday 10 January 2017

January 10, 2017 - Tuesday: slushy conditions forecast

Snow conditions are excellent everywhere. The snow shoe trails at Jerry Pond are not broken out yet. Everywhere else is great. Be warned that temperatures are forecast to rise above freezing by midnight and are expected to stay above freezing through Thursday. Snow showers are forecast to begin this evening and will turn to rain before dawn tomorrow (Weds.). Expect rain both tomorrow and Thursday during the day. Skiing conditions will go mushy and slushy tomorrow and Thursday. Set tracks are not expected to survive. When temperatures go back down on Thursday evening, the snow that remains will be icy and skiing conditions will be fast until trails are groomed again. On Friday, we will be posting updates on trail grooming status are fast as we receive them.

Saturday 7 January 2017

January 7, 2017 - Saturday

The snow is great right now everywhere. All areas have trails groomed with track set. This now includes the trail loop at Hillcrest Golf Course, which is broken out, packed and has one set of tracks down. I have no word yet on the snow shoe trails at Jerry Pond, and since my car is at the garage, I can't go and check to see if the Jerry Pond trails have been broken out yet. If any snow shoers have been there and can update me on that, please call or email (gonefishing@icefishinn.com). Thanks.

Thursday 5 January 2017

January 5, 2017, Thursday UPDATED 2 PM

The Bait Hole trails were groomed with track set this morning.

The five and a half mile loop at the Northern Timbercruisers Clubhouse is now also groomed with track set as of 2 PM.

Wednesday 4 January 2017

January 4, 2017 - Wed. PM - Katahdin W&W Nat. Monument

We just started grooming yesterday. The Old River Road loop is packed powder with a single track set. Approximately 5 K once around. We received 5+ more inches of fresh snow early this morning and the plan is to head back tomorrow to pack more snow in preparation for grooming into Haskell Rock and Stair Falls. At least for now we are plowing into the Matagamon Kiosk and gate with parking for about 6 vehicles for day use.

January 4, 2017 - Wednesday: lots of snow

The Bait Hole parking lot is not yet plowed. The Bait Hole will be groomed tomorrow .

The parking lot at the Timber Cruisers clubhouse should be done being plowed by now (1PM) but the trails are not packed down at all - any skiing there will require breaking your own trail.

New England Outdoor Center is out grooming right now, so trails there should be ready soon.

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