April 2, 2017 - Farewell to Winter! Update 4/2/17
The snow was melting quickly Sunday under the strong April sun, but I did sneak in a 20 mile ride after work. Lakes were slush pits, so I stayed off them.
I took the opportunity to ride some of the local “side trails” that I seem to miss all winter. Looks like nobody had run this one in quite a while before I tracked it:
Besides that, I ran S85/Ski Hut trail a few times and C8/Sabael Trail out to Furnells Field.
Much of the Sabael trail was good riding like this:
But, there were places where flowing water was destroying the trail from underneath. Here was the worst spot today:
The big holes don’t surprise you. The smaller holes where the trail begins to collapse are the ones that can get you; there were several spots on the Ski Hut trail and Sabael trail that could surprise you.
Once you get out into the open, the trail is totally at the “mercy” of the relentless sun. The Crow Hill Road shelf was still holding up Sunday afternoon, but the trail leading into town from there is getting skunked:
I made my way out C8 about a mile past the former Arctic Cat dealer. It was still in pretty good shape, but I didn’t venture out much further only because I just wanted to bop around town.
Then I found this spot on the banks of the Cedar River and hung out for a while in the 50*F warmth. Just a great place to hear the birds, see the deer dance and hear (and see through the trees) a few other sleds passing in the distance:
Not a high miler by any means, but this ride hit the spot perfectly for April 2nd. My last ride? Well, I’ve learned never to say never until ALL of the snow is gone. But if I’m done, I went out on a great note!
With deep snow remaining in the woods, the die-hards can get their fix this week. With a couple of significant rain events on the horizon for this week, I think the Fat Lady is warming up her vocal cords.
Summing up this winter
Except for the 3 week doughnut hole from late February until mid-March, I gotta say it was a pretty good year for snowmobiling in ilsnow land. I know some people have a different view because they had to trailer a lot to hit the places that had snow. But I live here, so I get to call it the way I see it. I logged nearly 2250 miles for the winter, which is on the plus side of par for me.
Lack of snowfall was certainly not a problem. March 14th brought the biggest snowstorm (23 inches) we had since the legendary Valentine’s Day Blizzard of 2007 dumped around 3 feet. Our seasonal snowfall total of 127.5 inches to date is the biggest since the 132.9 inches set back in 2007-08. With the vast majority of April left, we could catch it.
Our biggest problem was that it never stayed cold for weeks at a time and a warm-up was almost always around the corner. But I can’t recall a winter that bounced back so many times and so quickly after warm spells like it did this winter.
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April 1, 2017 - April Fool if you think its over…
Early spring snows are usually a tricky beast. Thankfully, Indian Lake ended up with about six inches of snow/sleet mash to grease the skids again.
Didn’t make it out until after work. Indian Lake village trails were tracked up by late afternoon, but still in pretty decent shape; some slush here and there.
S84 out to Blue Mountain was getting ground down to dirt in the usual spots before I got up over the top. Overall, it was a somewhat lumpy ride. The smoothest section was along Rock Lake. There were a few spots where the water is eating away at the trail, but nothing insurmountable.
538/Newcomb trail was soft and lumpy, but still a half-way decent ride. There were occasional thin spots, but the shady nooks were still holding quite a bit of snow:
At the Newcomb-T, I hooked a left onto C7B toward Long Lake for giggles. For about a mile in, this was one of the smoothest stretches I rode on Saturday. But then it turned thin and bumpy with water hazards, so I turned around.
One back to town, I was able to find enough snow on Benton Road to make the connection to S87/42nd and Broadway, which was really nice. Adirondack Lake was turning into a slush pit, so I just pinned it-to-win it across.
S86/Little Canada was nice and flat! Only one or two other tracks on it all day. Snow was nice and deep toward the Lone Birch, but thinner near the Route 30 One Stop.
Section between Route 30 One Stop and Crow Hill Road was a fun slush pit in places. S85/Ski Hut trail was great!
C8/Sabael trail was really nice riding, but there were several water hazards opening back up. A lot of it looked like this:
Then I spun back to the compound with about 65 miles under my belt.
Wish I could have gotten out Saturday morning before S84 & Newcomb trails got bumped up a bit. But then again, it was good to see people taking advantage of Old Man Winter’s parting gift. I spotted a dozen or more sleds in the time I was out. Even if you didn’t make it up on Saturday, it will be around for Sunday.
If you have already called it a winter, that’s fine too. But when I live here and we get a fresh blanket of snow, I’m going riding…as long at there is a base underneath it! Even April…
Despite Old Forge/Inlet closing their trails for the season at the end of April 1st, Moose River Plains should remain open through the weekend. Perkins Clearing is a good play call if you take it from the north end from Mason Lake parking lot.
I think I’ve got one more ride in the tank this weekend before calling it quits myself. We could be in for a couple of significant rain events during the first week of April that will finally start the spring break up in earnest. So, grab it now…or forever hold your peace!
For the ilsnow nation,
This report is brought to you by Adirondacks Speculator Region Chamber of Commerce. Speculator has long been one of my favorite places to ride! There are lots of options, whether you want to ride around Speculator for the day, or launch a 250 mile mega-miler. Speculator is loaded with businesses eager to cater to snowmobilers. Look them up at the Speculator Chamber and grab a copy of their snowmobile trail map. Be sure to tell them that Darrin @ ilsnow.com sent you.
March 31, 2017 - Die hard special: Update 3/31/17
4/1/17 8AM Update: Snowing steady at Indian Lake this morning with a total of 5 inches snow/sleet. Snow will quit later Saturday morning as the storm pulls away.
Star Date 3.31.2017 19:00hours:
We have 2-3 inches of snow/sleet mash this evening and the sleet is pinging off my window pretty good right now. After a start of snow this morning, this event has become a true mixed bag.
As the storm system passes by, the atmospheric column will probably cool off a few degrees overnight and attempt a flip back to snow. This has happened with a number of similar events over the winter. If we’re fortunate, we get a few hours of heavy snow and have a nice treat for Saturday.
If not, at least we’ll have a decent covering of mash to keep the slides and heat exchangers quite happy. Temperatures will stay below 32*F tonight in the central Adirondacks, so we don’t have to worry about meltdown overnight.
Worth it this weekend?
Well, I snapped this picture at the start of S84/Blue Mountain trail. Doesn’t look bad and someone did ride in today:
Yeah, the exposed areas are getting thin, but we’ve still got 1-2+ feet of snow pack lurking in the woods. Grooming has stopped for the season, but the trails are certainly ride-able. Some of the riding is probably pretty smooth with the lack of traffic in recent days. I’ll certainly take a stab at it over the weekend.
I placed a call to DEC today, they told me that Moose River Plains will remain open through the weekend. I should have asked about Perkins Clearing, but I think that’s usually the Town of Lake Pleasant’s call. I would assume that Perkins Clearing Road would remain open, especially at the north end.
Well… I did ride on Indian Lake last Sunday. Since then, it hasn’t gotten very warm (only 2 days above 40*F) and we haven’t had any significant rain. But riding lakes this late in the season is clearly at your own risk, especially when the winter wasn’t tremendously cold to build up really thick ice.
It won’t be mid-winter prime, but good enough to get around. You can do a whole lot worse for the first days of April. It’s there if you want it, and that’s NO April Fool’s joke.
For the ilsnow nation,
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March 26, 2017 - Perkins Clearing, One more time! Ride 3/26/17
Weekend snowmobile traffic was rather light and we didn’t get much rain, so I decided to take a Perkins Clearing run when I got off work Sunday afternoon.
Indian Lake village trails were in pretty good shape, aside from some bald spots. Trail surface was fairly hard and didn’t offer the best cooling today. C8/Sabael trail had a few spots where water is eating away at the trail. I didn’t venture into town, but people were making the connections to food and gas over the weekend.
Some slush was showing on Indian Lake and Lewey Lake, but nothing deep enough for much concern.
2-Miles-From-Hell was bumpy and rough all the way through, and getting seedy in spots. Perkins Clearing Road was loaded with small hard studder-rollers. Old Military Road was a bit better than Perkins Clearing Road, but nothing close to the delight it was last week. Carpenter Hill was still a nice ride, but some of the corners were studdery.
I got caught in a 15-20 minute ice storm in Perkins Clearing and looked like this by the time I got to Mossy Vly:
ilsnow.com on ice!
Thankfully, the freezing rain stopped shortly after I took this picture.
Then I hit LP9/Nichol Vly trail which was still in good shape, except for the several spots that are getting baked away. I looped down to Mud Lake Road, which was icy and thin with several stretches stripped down to dirt. After hitting LP9/Nichol Vly again, I turned north up Perkins Clearing Road to hit S82C/Old Indian Lake Road.
As often as I have ridden Perkins Clearing this year, it seems surprising that I hadn’t hit S82C yet. Besides from a few burnt spots and several funky hazards, it was a pretty good ride back up to Mason Lake parking lot.
Then I headed home and got back to the compound with about 65 miles. Didn’t see another sled during the time I was out. Probably the last time I’ll hit Perkins Clearing for this season. Maybe I’ll hit up the Newcomb trail if S84/Blue Mountain trail isn’t too far gone later this week.
Well, that 2 foot snow storm we got March 14th, sprung me loose for several more rides. Can’t complain about that.
With no especially cold weather or meaningful snow in sight, we’re clearly in decay mode now. Snow cover is 6 inches or less in the exposed areas and 1-2+ feet in the woods. That’s enough for the die-hard to keep going a bit longer.
If you didn’t care to come up this weekend, don’t bother with next weekend. By then, we’ll be into April and DEC could be closing gates as snow cover dwindles.
For the ilsnow nation,
This report is brought to you by Progressive Motorsports, celebrating their 24th year. They live, eat and breathe snowmobiling. Stop in today and see for yourself! Be sure to tell Karen that Darrin @ ilsnow.com sent ya.
ILSNOW News 4.2.17
Farewell to Winter! Update 4/2/17
The snow was melting quickly Sunday under the strong April sun, but I did sneak in a 20 mile ride after work. Lakes were slush pits, so I stayed off them. I took the opportunity to ride some of the local “side trails” that I seem to miss ...Read More