Monday, April 25, 2016

Spring Not Quite Here Yet Folks

What a difference a few weeks make - Picnic tables outside of Poplar Creek Guesthouse B&B take on April 6  and tables without snow taken today.

Still some snow in the woods and shaded spots along the trails including East end trailhead of the Banadad Ski Trail. Not great for skiing anymore but if you are a diehard you might want to start down the Banadad. We were up at the Banadad's  westend yesterday and the snow was completely gone - this end of the trail likely received less snow then the trail's other end.

The lakes are still ice covered along the Gunflint although on many of the lakes the ice has retreated from the shoreline. Little Iron lake is the exception, it is now open along with most of the smaller ponds. Temperatures this past week were below freezing during the night and just in the 30s during the day.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Last Skier on the Banadad after a Tough Year on the Trail

Judy Ross this year's last on trail
For the second year in a row the person to close-off the ski season on  the Banadad this winter season has a cabin on Little Ollie Lake. This year's honors goes to Joanne Nichols and her dog. She skied several days getting out as far as the Lizz Lake Portage a round trip distance of eight kilometer. Her last day on the trail was April 16.  According to Joanne  "You can't beat 60 degrees and nice snow on the Banadad. Making my own tracks was just fine!"

Swamp west of Tim Knapp Trail

Last year on April 8 Judy Ross closed off the trail. Judy also has a cabin on Little Ollie Lake. Both Joanne and Judy and their husbands hail from White Bear Lake..

All and all it was a tough winter season on the Banadad Ski Trail- A heavy wet snowfall in mid-December resulted in dropping much of the side brushed and hundreds of trees into the trail. The Banadad Trail Association made a valiant attempt to clear the brush and trees blocking the trail. Eighteen kilometers of the east end was cleared however as fast as that section of trail was cleared more snow laden  trees fell into the trail and the trail became impassable again. This continue throughout the winter.

Since most of the Banadad Trail System is located within the BWCA all work had to be done using hand tools. Thus complicating a all read difficult task

Clearing miles of brush like this
In attempting to clear the trail the Association funded  255 1/2 hours by paid trail crews supervised by Boundary Country Trekking at a cost of $7453 for the labor and snowmobile expense,  In addition some 83 hours of volunteer labor was contributed clearing the east end of the trail and two USFS crews spent  four days clearing on the west end of the Banadad and a day on the Moose Trail. 

Finally,  in early February, with trees continuing to fall, and overworked grooming equipment breaking down, the trail crews decided to concentrate on the eastern end of the Banadad through the rest of the winter. As a result crews  were able to keep cleared about 16 kilometers trails including east end of the  Banadad ,the Lace Lake, Tall Pines and Knapp Trails.

It is clear, that with much of the brush and down trees still remain on portions of the trail from last year's storm, the Trail Association has a herculean task ahead of them before the entire 41 kilometers  Banadad Trail System can be opened for skiing next winter.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Lots of Snow still on the Banadad

We still have lots of snow in the mid-Gunflint Trail area. The Banadad Ski Trail has 14-15" inches of base-continues snow with no bare spots. I know this because I just move one of our snowmobiles from the Tall Pines' Yurt parking lot down the Lace Lake Trail to the machine's summer resting 

spot. If you have not put your skis away you might one to take one last run along the Banadad. It might be warm this morning but the trail looks beautiful. Sorry no tracks!.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Beautiful Day on the Gunflint - Plenty of Snow

The snow has finally stopped falling; we have a measure 20 inches of snow (I just checked). This morning it was 13 degrees below but the sun is out and it is predicted to reach into the 20s above today. Looks it is going to be a great winter day. More snow on the way over the next few days.You should consider coming- lots of openings at Poplar Creek Guesthouse B&B and the Little Ollie Cabin at "quiet time prices." you can't loose but if you are planning to head up this way be sure to bring your skis.

Friday, April 8, 2016

So this is Spring!

April 8 - At Poplar Creek Guesthouse B&B it has been snowing for the past three days. There was twelve inches of snow on the ground but there now is twenty inches. It is still snowing! Great weather for skiing or snowshoeing but certainly not a good time for a picnic.