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.

  • 06 Feb 2018 8:40 PM | Anonymous member

    There was another 5 cm of fresh snow this morning. More snow to break through! Robin and I didn’t rush to get out, and due to the lack of road maintenance decided to head out from the house, back to the area skied yesterday. We would be able to take advantage of our recent tracks, venturing off them to push further in.

    We were off sking by 10 AM with a bit of light snow falling. I was thinking, another dull day, but all of a sudden lots of blue sky began filtering in. As we climbed and skied along the high ridge overlooking Cornall Lake we were being bathed in bright sunshine! I could feel the level of energy picking up. Conditions off-track were easier than yesterday, the fresh snow seeming not as ‘slow’. 

    The day kept switching back and forth from light snow to bright sun. We timed our lunch perfectly with a spell of blue sky, relaxing in the sun, and with a view. Soon, however, clouds moved back in, so we packed up, and continued on. We looped northwards towards the narrows between Silver and Cornall Lakes, enjoying a few more challenging scarps to negotiate. Soon we picked up one of our previous tracks, and just in time too, as we could both feel fatigue setting in.

    A “track set” finale to the day, arriving back at the house by 4:30 PM. Another great ski, including some “freeform” skiing by Robin.

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

  • 03 Feb 2018 5:20 PM | Anonymous member

    I was skiing with someone new today. Bryce, a fast strong skier had recently joined Five Winds, and had mentioned he was trying to find other off-trail adventurers living locally. Wendy gave him my name, thankyou! (although I’m feeling some pain after a strenuous day)

    He came down from Bracebridge to our place. With the potential for accumulating snow all day I thought it was better not to park along some roadside, interfering with the plows. We had all day to ski through some interesting terrain, and a great spot is the area between us and Kahshe Lake.

    We were off before 10 AM, taking the usual route down to Cornall Lake. The sun was shining through a thin haze and light snow. No clear blue skies like yesterday! We were skiing in about 10 cm or more of fresh snow. Conditions were excellent as long as we avoided the south facing terrain where there was no base, just solid rock.

    We meandered amongst the ponds and marshes, and climbed the numerous open ridges, always hoping for a good snow covered slope to ride down. 

    The snow became slower during the afternoon as the temperature rose, even clumping on occasion, or maybe it was us. As the day wore on, I could feel my energy waining, and my muscles complaining. Resting on my poles became a frequent sight. Bryce seemed to be able to soldier on at full speed, but did admit he was feeling it too. 

    Back to the house before 4 PM. A great full day exploring, although I’ll be stiff tomorrow!

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

  • 02 Feb 2018 9:58 PM | Anonymous member

    Markus and I headed out today for an afternoon of exploring the ridges and ponds in the Muldrew Area. No real planned route, just ski and explore for 2-3 hours.

    The temperature was cold and there was a moderate northwest wind to add windchill, but there was bright sunshine. Snow conditions were great despite the lack of a deep base. The recent snowfall had compacted to about 5 cm or so. No breaking trail needed today. South-facing slopes however, required caution due to bare rock underlying the fresh snow.

    We constantly were tempted by the challenging ridges which flanked most of the waterways. As a result we had a somewhat “crazy” route where, maybe climbing ropes would have made travel easier. The challenges were fun, and before we knew it we were back at out starting point.

    Another great day outside. Looks like lots of snow coming in the next few days.

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

  • 31 Jan 2018 5:14 PM | Anonymous member

    The recent cold snap had frozen everything up rock hard, including what was left of the base in the woods. Ponds and lakes were smooth scating rinks, great for poling down with skis, but the undulating and hilly terrain off the water was far too slick.  

    Fortunately, today we received between 5 and 10 cm of new snow, creating some great ski conditions. The main ‘down side’ of the new snow was that the bare rocky areas were not not distiguishable from the areas with the hardpack. For the most part you could guess where the underlying snow was ample, but there were those spots where the "brakes" came on suddenly, and the ski bases took the hit. A few trees here and there also created some challenges.

    Elaine R., Markus and I skied a loop back to where I did my recent “water ski”, following pretty much the same route. We did start from a friends location down Hewitt Street, eliminating the Hahne Trail portion of that route.

    It was a great afternoon ski (2 1/2 hrs), and with more new snow in the forecast, conditions will keep improving.

    A link to pictures and videos

  • 27 Jan 2018 4:48 PM | Anonymous member

    Seeing some sun poking through the clouds, I decided last minute to head out for another afternoon ski, a solo ski today. The thaw has done significant damage to what is left of our base! I figured it was worth checking out the conditions, turning back if no good.

    I headed out the back door eventually crossing the highway, and skiied southerly towards Kahshe Lake. Snow was firm, but sticky, and the ponds and lakes were covered in a film of water,  a cm or two deep in most places.

    Elaine was coming back from a family visit, and I wondered about coordinating a pickup down at Kahshe Lake if I could time it right, however she was ahead of schedule, and the conditions were not fast enough for me to get down there as she was passing by, and I wouldn't want to ask her to wait around.

    No need to create pressure!

    I just kept skiing towards Kahshe until I figured I had skied about half the time, then started to loop back. Lots of water crossings including Cornall and Jevins Lakes, but the ice was still solid, even with the water on top. KInd of fun skimming across the water, with the slick ice underneath, creating a bit of spray.

    The cold air is just around the corner, but will be slow to entrench itself this time. Then things will be frozen solid. Too bad the base is compromised in many places. If there is no new snow, then skates might be a better choice.

    Still, it ended up being a good afternoon ski.

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

  • 26 Jan 2018 11:05 PM | Anonymous member

    Today was an amazing day of skiing in bright sunshine, except … its not March! 

    Three of us (myself, Markus, and another friend Bob) slapped on the boards, heading back to the usual Hardy Lake area. We were off skiing by 10AM, skimming across the icy surface of the first marsh. Today was an all day ski, with a lunch somewhere, and on a route modified as the day went on. 

    A nice layer of powder in areas out of the wind, provided us with a good kick and glide. There was a gradually increasing headwind, which was a bit bothersome, however the warming temperature helped offset it. The base, although shallow, was solid and smooth, allowing for some short turn sequences, and “side sliding” on some of the short hills.

    We enjoyed our lunch in the warm sun, Markus providing some hot lemonade and rum. 

    Our afternoon was spent skiing a scenic return route, with the wind at our backs. At one point we encountered a few fast flowing streams which dictated our direction, until we were back onto more frozen ponds.

    Before long we were back at the car, loading up for the short drive home.

    A beautiful ski day, and a bit of a sunburn as well. Hopefully the next thaw is shortlived!

    A link to pictures, videos

  • 24 Jan 2018 5:18 PM | Anonymous member

    Another thaw has passed … and our snow is still surviving! Fortunately, as the cold air descended upon us, so did a bit of new snow, and it was enough (just) to take the “edge” off the otherwise icy conditions. The frigid temperatures overnight froze everything up solid.

    I was out with Elaine R. today for an afternoon ski. Hardy Lake south was the planned area, and with its numerous ponds and marshes, a good spot to explore with flat terrain.

    Out on the open ponds there was little sign of fresh snow, but with a bit of pole action, the skis just raced across the slick surface. We were down the ponds in minutes. We avoided any steep hills, meandering amongst the swamps, open ridges, and ponds skiing a loop which took us about 2 1/2 hours.

    A bit more fresh snow would be nice, otherwise a good use of the poles made it a great ski.

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

  • 11 Jan 2018 3:10 PM | Anonymous member

    The conditions we live for are about to happen (I hope) Major thaw and consolidation followed by a severe cold snap with just a little new snow on top, hopefully allowing it to freeze deep. The layer of slush on the pond ice will freeze solid, adding more of a barrier against new slush seeping up from below. Everything will now be slick, hills included! Add the 2-4cm of fresh snow on top that they are forecasting = perfection! NO MORE BREAKING TRAIL !! (for now)  

  • 06 Jan 2018 9:42 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Snow conditions have been great on the trails, a base forming with fresh powder snow on top.  Beware that even with this recent deep freeze, lakes and marshes may not be safe to cross as the snow is acting as an insulating barrier, so there is a possibility to break through the ice.  Marshes may/may not have a slush layer underneath which will then mean that you will have to scrape your skis and snowshoes before ice forms on them.  Breakthrough is still possible as well.  If you're hitting slush, it means it's not frozen.

  • 28 Mar 2017 8:59 PM | Anonymous member

    Skiing is almost over for this season. I was obsessed with exploring more of the area north of the town of Rosseau, but further north this time. Two lakes, Ponsford and Ten Mile sit in an interesting structural feature consistin of numerous ridges and gullies trending generally NW to SE, but pinching together as they trend further to the SE. There are lots of interesting marshes and ponds, as well as a few lakes that required some exploration. Markus was tempted and ready to head out at 8AM. We had a longer drive today, continuing up to the top of the Bear Cave Road, where the road turns sharply left, and now heads in a westerly direction, about an extra half hour drive. There was a widening of the road that I felt comfortable in leaving the car for the day.

    We skied north from the car, looking for a chain of beaver ponds that would lead us up to a large spruce bog. The snow was definately softer, but was still holding us up for most of the time. Pond ice was good, now a soft sugery surface, but north shores had a ribbon of open water to deal with. To exit the wetland meant either look for a shaded exit, or the narrowest channel to make a run for it. We had several of these challenges througout the day … and all successfully excuted.

    BY late morning there ws still no sign of the sun, however that was a good thing. The one thought that kept going through my mind was … “great conditions now, but what about later this afternoon?” I sure hoped the wetlands wouldn’t become unskiable after lunch, especially once we are the furthest away from the car! The lack of sun would surely benefit us. We spent the morning skiing generally northwesterly towards Ponsford Lake, dodging areas of open water etc. We had to take the skis off and walk a bit just before the lake, as an open meandering stream eventually blocked our way, and we had to climb up into the south facing (snow free) slope. 

    When putting back on our skis when we reached snow, I noticed my one binding was very loose. On further inspection I saw what appeared to be a missing screw, unfortunately it was a sheared off screw head … great, I just can’t replace the screw. I tightened the other 2 screws … that would have to do for now. Such "high quality” equipment I have! … broken edges and bindings … hope I make it out!

    We crossed Ponsford Lake, and without any spectacular lunch spots presenting themselves, we decided to continue on, now turning easterly. We found a nice rock point overlooking a wetland for our lunch. Patches of blue sky were appearing now, and we figured we would soon be bathing in bright sunshine.
    To continue up into Ten Mile Lake before looping back to the car might not be such a good idea.  A warm sunny afternoon could compromise the ice, and with my handicapped binding, and now … another broken metal edge on my other ski … SH..T! , maybe too risky. There were lots of ponds and marshes on a more direct way back we could explore without venturing up to Ten Mile Lake. Another time …

    Soon after lunch the clouds did break up. The afternoon was beautiful, blue skies, bright sunshine and warm temperatures. We had interesting scenery, with lots of snow … and water. We had some beautiful scenic ponds, including one Markus had set up a winter camp on over 20 years ago (the poles cut to support the tent were still leaning up against a large pine tree). There were water crossings and a few spots to “ski-surf across”! Soon however the end of our route was coming up. We finished our day skiing on the snowmobile trail which led westerly back to the road where we had left the car.

    Another great ski exploration day, however I need to convince myself that skiing is over for this season! Just stop!  Hmmm … maybe tomorrow, maybe not. A swim is something I’m not desparate to do, not until the water warms up some!

    A link to pics, videos, and a map of the route!

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