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Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Early spring

This may be a bit early for spring, but as of now skiing at Black Mountain is on haitus. If we get snow conditions I will keep this blog posted with new conditions, so check back if any spring snow occurs!

Monday, January 26, 2015

BMNSC Meeting

There will be a meeting January 28, 2015 starting at 6:00PM. The meeting will be held at the Bluffs Resturant and on the agenda is the ski race and trail issues. 
All interested parties should plan on attending. 

Friday, April 18, 2014

Good Friday Report

Bill A was out skiing today and had the following to say about it.

There is still an amazing amount of snow at Black Mt!  Coverage on the north ridge of Presque Isle side is especially good.  More bare spots to tip toe around on Cheb Co side.   Had a very enjoyable classic ski out there today, with the added bonus of running into Allen Sorgenfrei who was skating like a rocket, and later skiing with Tracy Hardin.  Suggest rock skis, just to be on the safe side.
Happy Easter All! - Bill

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Call it a season !

Well it has been one of the longest grooming seasons.  But it has come to an end.  The equipment was picked up and moved to it's summer storage.  We need some snow on the ground to be able to load the equipment onto a trailer.  So things are thawing quickly at the Buffs so it had to be this week.

There is still plenty of skiing to be had on Black Mountain.  The snow will be there for some time to come.,,

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Saturday Grooming Effort

Went out from the Bluffs this a.m., covered those predicted areas mentioned in last night's "What if" tentative report for this a.m.
However, was not able to reset new tracks, so it is just skate lanes that are refreshed with no new tracks set.
Last grooming was this past Wednesday. This a.m., there were no visible signs of anyone having skied classic or skated since then. There were no pole plant impressions along the tracks I set on Wednesday. Nor were there any sign of anyone skatiing since.
So today those same areas have refreshed combed surfaces, but with no new track set.
Had to stop constantly to knock ice balls out of the track drives even at 24 deg, due to yesterday's rain having saturated the trail base with rain water. Also stopped to pick up alot of new wind-blown limbs & tree trash.
Today may have been the last grooming, depending on what happens in the next couple of days.
The snow base is plenty deep, more than I've seen in recent years. Being able to manage that depth in spring conditions in another thing ~
                           Observed several skiers out there enjoying their Spring skiing day.

Grooming Saturday ???

Snow blowing around here for several hours, looking like mid-winter again~
Not sure how today's earlier rain at 33 deg. affected the trails before it turned to snow.
IF it gets & stays cold enough early Saturday  a.m. for the snow pack to support the groomer's weight without Blazer tracks sinking in too deep like it did Wednesday, I'll take another shot at doing some grooming wherever possible. Most areas the snow is still 2 ft deep out there.
Might  try going out the hilly side of Bluffs loop, down to Twin Lakes & back......up the long hill past the Cheboygan shelter, across the ridge  (bypassing the black hill turnouts), do the upper triangle & rollercoaster loops. If it looks possible, will try going down around the Presque Isle shelter, across to #11 & back up to the I did on Wednesday.
All of the above is just  guesswork up for grabs...depending on whether conditions will allow without sinking in or clumping ice balls in that older set of track drives on the Blue Blazer.  If temps actually stay below 27 long enough to get that much done, maybe it will work.
If not, there may be enough new snow for anyone interested to just get out there and ski back in the tracks I set on Wednesday, assuming they'll be visible.  If I can do two laps to include skate lanes & set new track on second pass, will do.
If you go and don't find fresh grooming, that probably means I tried but these Spring conditions didn't allow.
I am not sure how many are still interested in skiing at this point of day-to-day?

Friday, April 4, 2014


Sorry for the late update, been traveling.

Jim did some grooming the other day.  His report is below.

Wednesday a.m. grooming wasn't working due to 2 inch thick slabs of solid crust bridging over the softer underneath deep depth of softened corn snow.
Later--4:00 p.m., 34 degrees, left for the Bluffs to try when surface was softer with hopes of setting a track. Bluffs driveway is broken up, muddy gravel & large puddles, icy's called Spring Break-up.
Meanwhile, the temp had disappointingly risen to 40 deg starting out from the Bluffs around 5:00 p.m.
We have had too many warm days in a row lately, which is adversely affecting trail's ability to support our equipment.
Went out the Bluffs loop flat side, across the ridge, bypassing the hill turnouts, across the road, around the upper triangle loop & rollercoasters. Then went back down from marker #16 past the Presque Isle shelter, taking the #12 cut-off across to #11, and back up to the rollercoasters. Set a track on the second pass around.
Grooming result was a mix bag of just about everything...including alot of tree trash, all those wind-blown leaves that were buried in the last snowfall are exposed again in most areas.
The weight of the equipment was sinking more on every pass, especially where we had earlier blows with alot of deep drifting this winter. This required keeping a death grip on the wheel, with the outer front tracks randomly & suddenly sinking a foot, making it very hard to steer & not to get sucked off the trail edges into the trees. Found out snow has become very porous corn beneath, apparently thawing from the ground up in places. This gave the impression of riding in a boat undulatiing over waves.
Repeated passes over the same areas resulted in sinking even more with each pass, so the skate lane is still a mixed bag of dirty tricks. Tracks are set full depth with alot of leaves, twigs, bark all smushed into them.
Gave up on the idea of going down to the south end PI parking lot after having several narrow escapes nearly getting sucked off the trail. Stopping to knock ice balls out of those older track pods wasn't helping.
** If I were looking for best skating, I would choose time of day to skate crust wherever you have it at home or nearby fields.
Dog hikers had been out postholing down the middle when it was warm & soft, hard to cover those.