Snow Updates

We have many members who have homes or cottages near our trail system, so we will receive frequent Snow Updates on the condition of the trails and how much snow we have.  Our trail system covers a vast area and conditions can be quite variable from one location to another due to snowsqualls that come off Georgian Bay.  It would not be uncommon to receive three feet of snow in one area while another area would receive six inches depending on which way the wind is blowing, so the club will travel to the area most favourable depending on the conditions.  The conditions can vary greatly compared to other ski areas such as Kolapore and Copeland Forest, but generally due to the more northerly location and predominant westerly winds, our trail system will hold its snow the longest.

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  • 23 Mar 2019 4:38 PM | Anonymous member

    I enjoyed a short afternoon ski, following the ponds and ridges south of Hardy Lake.

    Snow conditions were fantastic! We skied on a rock solid 1-2 ft base with a soft sugary layer of corn snow on the surface.

    With the ponds being frozen solid, conditions couldn't be better!

    It would have been a great day for an all day ski, however schedules wouldn't allow for it today.

    https://www.flickr.com/gp/76927845@N07/18676s

  • 26 Feb 2019 7:11 PM | Anonymous member

    Despite the strong northwest winds, it was a beautiful afternoon for a ski. With the recent thaw, and rain, I was hoping a good consolidation had occurred. I had my doubts, as when I walked the bush behind the house there was no chance I could stay on top. I wasn’t sure whether even being on skis would be much better … only one way to find out.


    Elaine, Stephen, and I headed up to Hardy Lake for a short afternoon ski, south of the highway. I was pleasantly surprised at the firmness of the snow, not perfect, but enough to avoid the strenuous trail breaking we had recently been enduring. The 5-10 cm of fresh, wind blown snow, kept conditions from being too slick.

    We had a few hours to ski about, trying the ponds, ridges and forested areas. We stuck to the open areas when we had the winds at our back, opting for a more sheltered route when heading the other way.

    We were back at the cars in about 2 ¼ hrs, having enjoyed great off-trail conditions!

    https://www.flickr.com/gp/76927845@N07/yRScvk
  • 28 Jan 2019 6:44 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    We have lots of snow on our trails, and we should be getting a fairly large amount of snow this week as well.

  • 14 Jan 2019 1:08 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

     

    We started out from Harrison Trail Road Junction and headed to Moon Falls.  My group hiked in icers and Louise's group wore their snowshoes.

    The snow conditions were at that transition point where in the woods and crossing a few grassy marshes I wish I had my snowshoes on.  A few post holes later we would be back on firm snow again.  Once we hit a frozen pond it was so easy just walking with our icers on.

    Beautiful clear blue ski  -18C morning.   It warmed up to a  nice -11C at lunch time.   With the sun we were actually sweating at times.

    Check out the photos posted. 

  • 07 Jan 2019 4:17 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    We were pleasantly surprised to see how much snow were on the trails and didn't think they would be skiable,  however, yes, they were.  It was not as much snow as we're used to, but it was still fine although you needed to be careful if there were any exposed rocks in places.  Of course, we also complain when there's too much snow because it's slow going breaking trail!  Snow on ridges and open forests were good.  If you were in the hemlocks, the snow was very low and not skiable, so had to make your route selection take into account the type of forest cover.  Some groups skied about 50/50 trails/marsh type areas, while the snowshoers went wherever their legs took them.

    Marshes were mostly frozen with a good thick layer, but where there's running water, it was still open in places.  Some of the bigger lakes, you could still see quite a bit of open water.

    We had two snowshoe groups, one group using snowshoes, the other a mix of snowshoes and icers.  The ground was pretty firm with snow on top, but not so much that you would sink too far down.  You did want to have some type of claw on your feet, along with your poles.

    We had 37 people out for our first bus and whether you were a skier or snowshoer, all the groups seemed to have a very good day.

  • 05 Jan 2019 11:34 AM | Anonymous member

    Had great conditions skiing the lakes, ridges and ponds near Gravenhurst!

    https://youtu.be/bhcflPKYXEo

  • 03 Jan 2019 11:14 AM | Anonymous member

    So much for the big storm! Muskoka saw mostly rain, until the wee hours of New Years Day when the cold air returned, accompanied by a bit of snow. Fortunately we lost little snow during the thaw, and the 1 cm or so of new snow became securely frozen into the remaining base and pond ice.


    Markus and I headed back up to the Hardy Lake area on Wednesday for a full day of bush crashing and pond skiing. There was bright blue sky, and just a bit of wind, which with the minus 2 temperature, was noticeable.

    Conditions were fantastic, we skimmed down the ponds and marshes with ease, experiencing good kick and glide. As we rounded the first corner a wolf, or large coyote bounded across the open space, quickly disappearing into the cover of the forest. Unfortunately this was all the wildlife we saw for the day. As usual, however fresh animal tracks were everywhere.

    Skiing the bush was OK, although the shallow, or total absence of a base made it a bit ‘picky’ going. Surprisingly, the open ridges seemed to hold onto the old snow with 15 of more cm of solid snow in most places. As we skied southwards the bright blue sky began to get cluttered with clouds, signaling the arrival of our next snow maker.

    Lunch was on an elevated rocky area overlooking a scenic pond and a few beaver dams. We relaxed for a bit, not really noticing the cold temperature. The sun was still making an appearance, creating a pleasant break.

    Our afternoon route took us back northwards, following a parallel chain of ponds. It was nice to have such good conditions, and not even having to think about slush. The sun was now completely covered by cloud creating a more dull atmosphere.

    This route did, however, bring us to a flowing stream, one which presented us a challenge crossing it on a previous outing. Today we continued further up, hoping to cross via an old beaver dam. There was too much flow here as well, forcing us to take a more precarious route on some icy rocks a bit further downstream.

    After a successful crossing we continued on through the remaining ponds back to the car. The sun came back out for a short bit creating a beautiful contrast between the golden trees and the dark clouds behind. It was another great ski day despite the thin snow cover.


    A link to pictures, a video, and a map of the route:

    https://www.flickr.com/gp/76927845@N07/G828gd
  • 27 Mar 2018 7:15 AM | Anonymous member

    A friend from Five Winds, Peter, was available for a day of exploring. With good conditions in the Muldrew area on Sunday, I thought it best to go back today. Temperatures were cold, but were expected to rise dramatically during the day.


    It was another day of bright sunshine, with not a cloud to be seen. We were off skiing before 10AM, skiing through the bush on a frozen hardpack. Ponds were fast, but had a granular surface providing good kick and glide. Today’s challenge was to come up with a route to cover as many of the wetlands without duplicating our route. 


    Ridges were mostly bare, so our skiing was limited to the wetlands, ponds and forested areas. Sun exposed shorelines were opening up, but ample places still existed to get onto the ice when approaching from the north. All other areas were solid with even some powder in shaded areas. 


    By lunch the winds were picking up, but with the warmer temperatures now, were not a problem. We had a good and relaxing lunch break, deciding to ski another loop further to the east during the afternoon. 


    The afternoon temperature warmed up significantly, resulting in large puddles forming everywhere, not deep enough however,  to cause any issues. 


    A mystery though ... fresh, or recent ski tracks were visible in most of the ponds and marshes on this side. We were not alone? There was a solo track, but later on we came across what appeared to be 2 sets of tracks, both going in the same direction.


    Out to the cars by 5 PM. Another great day of spring skiing. Hopefully the upcoming wet weather won’t end things. It will probably push us northwards however. 


    Peter noticed a couple of animals running up into the woods far ahead of us at one point (otters maybe) otherwise, no other wildlife sightings while skiing. I did drive past a beaver, sitting on a log in a stream beside the road, chewing on a sapling. He didn’t budge as I drove by.


    A link to pictures, a video, and a map of the route:


    https://www.flickr.com/gp/76927845@N07/CJA9UG

  • 26 Mar 2018 8:48 AM | Anonymous member

    I managed to sneak in a 2 hr ski this afternoon. Great conditions ... and warm temperatures! 

    A link to pictures, and a map of the route:

    https://www.flickr.com/gp/76927845@N07/67wE49

  • 28 Feb 2018 4:05 PM | Anonymous member

    "Almaguin Jeff” came down to Gravenhurst for a short day of “flat” skiing. I wasn’t sure how the day would pan out, with a dark gloomy sky, and light rain in the forecast. Radar, however, showed the patchy precipitation dissipating as it moved over us, so the decision was lets go for it.

    We started off again from Peninsula Road, following our tracks from yesterday for a kilometre or so, before branching off to a route more down the west side, following the ponds and ridges there. At one point we had a view off to the west, away from the plateau. 

    By this point the dark gloomy skies had cleared right off, bathing us with warm sunshine! Off came more clothing layers. To think I almost cancelled the day due to the weather forecast!

    We found a good spot against a cliff for a relaxing lunch out in the warm sun, listening to the melt going on, and the occasional groan of the pond ice. We checked out a cave, but couldn’t see well enough inside if there were bearcubs and a mom. I certainly wasn’t going in any further. 

    After lunch we headed further down this pond, before making a turn to the east to pick up another pond system, which would be our return route. The snow is still good, except on south-facing slopes. Here the snow is either completely gone, or consists of narrow skiable patches. Other areas have up to a foot of corn snow.

    We were back at the car by 2 PM, thinking that the season is not over yet! 

    Thanks for coming down Jeff, great day!

    A link to pictures, videos, and a map of the route

    https://www.flickr.com/gp/76927845@N07/7135gS

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