We are continuing to review conditions but at this point we aren't going out to pan yet. The primary reason is the lack of snow, potential damage to equipment, and safety concerns for trail users. In the Isabella area the Tomahawk trail is being groomed since they have much more snow to deal with. In the Whyte road area and west the Rangers Club is attempting to roll and pack their trails in preparation for more snow so there isn't more damage done to their grooming equipment. The Pequaywan club is waiting for more snow until they go out. The North Shore / CJ Ramstad State Trail has been panned in the Two Harbors area but there is little snow to actually groom.
In gathering all of this, and on ground information, our hope was that we could at least pan a corridor to knock down the grass so people attempting to ride, could go to a destination or complete a loop. At this point we don't have enough to do even that. The main problem is that most of our trail is on such uneven terrain that we need quite a bit of snow to fill in the holes and cover the rocks. We have sections of trail that are on higher ground that could be good riding but we can't get there easily without potentially damaging equipment. Groomers cost $210,000 and drags can get close to $20,000. Tracks aren't designed to go over sharp rocks continuously unfortunately.
A prime example of varying conditions is the section south of highway one. It is essentially forest road and relatively flat which provides decent riding without a lot of grooming in low snow conditions. South of there is swamp. In these low snow conditions we are making trail improvements by widening the Yukon south of the Yukon Spur trail as it has been growing in over the past few years. That section should be much better once complete. The end result is a safer trail.
We need close to a foot of snow, without losing any more base, to make the excellent trails that you expect. We certainly hope we get that soon. Thank you for your patience.