Snow Cover: 4" & going fast
Date of Report: February 22, 2017
Virtually all trails & base are gone. Vilas trails are technically open but are un-rideable. Lakes are now basically just ice with some water on top, all snow is gone. Top soil is soft but I believe there is still frost an inch or 2 down.
We have been in the upper 40’s to mid 50’s for 5 days running, lots of sun & rain Monday night as well. Some clouds today with highs forecast in 50’s again. There is a possible storm Friday with storm totals all over the place from 4 inches to a foot or better. So, we wait & see. I can imagine that given the forecast track, temps & time of year IF this storm develops, it could drop what I call “glacier snow” (given that we are in the SE winds portion of the track). Glacier snow is the stuff that is so water logged that when you shovel/plow it in the sunshine it will appear blue.
If (yes, another IF) this storm happens it will take 8″ or more to begin to make trails fair or better. The more snow the better, but heavy wet snow compounds problems too. Trees & branches may come down, and if the snow is way deep, it will be difficult to pan the trails. We will be essentially starting from square one just like early to mid December all over again. Wet areas/swamps & low spots in the trails may be an issue even with a heavy snow.
All grooming operations are suspended until the weather changes.
News and Reports:
It crossed my mind that for those of you that have never snowmobiled in Vilas or surrounding, it is unlike areas further south. We really have nearly zero farm field crossings. Most riding is in the woods, some trails are on old rail grades & there are lots of lake crossings. But, be prepared to travel a distance to the next stop, especially along the northern portions of the county. Food is hard to find on Tuesdays, carry a snack.
Please stay on the trails; Trespassing is the fastest way to loose trails. Don’t forget you need a WI trail permit to ride the state’s groomed trail system. Aggressive riding causes more trail damage than slower, less aggressive riding. Ride right & be safe.