Winter Redux, Snow Enough to Restore Skiing

An inch here, an inch there… cold, fine powder makes a nice filler for what remains of a great base.

We had a good deal of warming and melting last week but, with temperatures falling to the single digits and a light dusting of snow a few days ago, this fresh snowfall of an inch plus on Monday evening, will at least restore ski trails in Door County to an acceptable condition. These are the times that try trail groomers’ minds. It will take a bit of work to fill bare spots, but good trail conditions may result, now that we have a fresh batch of white to work with. This is wishful thinking… an educated guess. I will have a field report this evening after trial skiing here in Sturgeon Bay, but things look much better.

Friday and Saturday may bring more snow, with a large storm headed this way. It is still uncertain whether it will track over Door County or go below us and blanket Chicago or Milwaukee. Travel conditions are expected to be challenging.

Rain, Rain, Go Away!!!

All I can say is, I knew this was coming and I am glad I skied on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

It is 40 degrees. It is foggy. It is raining. We have been watching the snow melt all day and tomorrow will be more of the same. Skiing, for the moment, is kaput. But, those three days before it all vanished, provided a great taste of how good it feels to move like a skater on snow blades once again. For me, skating is a great way to exercise and flow through arm and shoulder movement in a swim-like action. It’s great to set off on a long straight and level track and just seek out that steady, graceful rhythm, letting muscles become attuned to the process, building strength in stages. For a few days, it was quite good. But for now, it rests as a memory. And, if the snow does not return, I will break out the running shoes again and take to the pavement.

Door County Gets Instant Skiing with More than a Foot of Snow

Tuesday, December 29, 2015 was unofficially dubbed the Day of the Snow Shovel!

After a mild Fall and a very not-white Christmas, everything changed over night. It didn’t seem like all that much, unless you were out driving on Monday evening.

“I live approximately 2.5 miles from my parents’ house. It took me 3.5 hours to get from their drive into my garage,” says one Sturgeon B&B owner at 1:42 am. “Stuck 3 times in the road. Towed by a neighbor. Pushed by 3 strangers.”

“KEEP SHOVEL AND CAT LITTER IN CAR. DO NOT GO OUT THERE!”

On Tuesday, many people never made it to work. We were out digging. For most of the morning, Alisa and I labored to clear a 10′ driveway and our city sidewalk. As we lifted and hauled the heavy custard-like snow, I found relief in knowing that we had just been gifted with the perfect base! By Wednesday, the 13″ had been plowed, rolled and groomed at many of the local trail networks. We started the New Year skiing at Crossroads at Big Creek and for the most part, it was surprising how good the trail conditions were. Yes, there are a few wind-blown bare spots and a few spots of icy crust in the wetlands, but that amounts to approximately 1% of the overall trails. Snowkraft is in excellent shape as well.

Today, I will try the trails in Potawatomi Park. Right now, I still don’t trust Winter after that unusually warm Fall and there is talk of rain possibly on Friday. So, ski now while the time and temps are just right!

Door County Cross Country Ski Trail Report for March 6, 2014

No matter how many words Eskimos have for snow, I have to ask, “How many words for ‘perfect’ are there?”

snowkraft-2014-03-06-500

…at SnowKraft Nordic on Thursday, March 6

 

Here we are in March. For a while, both our weather reports and our ski reports looked like they belonged in January. The good news is that the daytime temperatures are warming up and the days are growing longer and that means, more skiing! All ski areas across Door County remain open and in great shape so we hope you are enjoying some spring skiing.

Potawatomi State Park
The most recent snowfall was 4 inches on March 4. The Blue, Red, Black and upper Green trails were last groomed for skate skiing on March 5. The Blue, Red, Black and upper Green trails were last groomed for diagonal stride skiing on March 4. The skate lane is firm and fast with great glide: rated excellent. The diagonal stride track is deep, firm and fast: rated very good. (Gene Kastenson)

Crossroads at Big Creek
All trails were rolled, packed and tracked at Crossroads on Tuesday, March 4. Tracks are full depth and should be very firm and well set. Excellent snow conditions for March. Skating lanes were rolled twice and should be firm and fast. Remember that the Friends of Crossroads do have free equipment use on Sunday afternoons from 1 until 3 pm.  (Dick Weidman)

Whitefish Dunes State Park
Trail Conditions are Good to Very Good. Trails last groomed, March 1. Trails have had considerable use but tracks have held up well. Two inches new snow on March 3 has been skied in and tracks are free of debris. Plan is to groom all trails prior to the weekend. (Rich Dirks)

Peninsula State Park
Good overall. Snow depth varies up to 20 inches. Ski trails are in good condition but will be improved after the groomers work on the trails on Friday March 7. It is anticipated that the trails will be very good for the weekend.  (Jeff Pfeifer)

Newport State Park
All trails have not been groomed but the few skiers that have been out have created a good track over the old base. Conditions are very good for March. Grooming will be limited in the month of March but we ask that hikers and snowshoers please respect the track. (Dale Krolich)

For more detailed information about the Door County Silent Sports Alliance and information about how to become a member, please visit www.doorcountysilentsports.org.

Door County Cross Country Ski Trail Report for February 20, 2014

Trail conditions are changing rapidly, hour-by-hour right now based on recent weather changes.

In the last few days, we have had snow, rain, high temperatures, low temperatures, wind and everything in between. Groomers have to wait for the right conditions to get out and work their magic on the trails after a major weather event. This time of year, you are advised to call individual park offices for a trail update before heading out to ski. Good luck to all area skiers who are competing at the Birkie this weekend!

Potawatomi State Park
The last snowfall was on February 17. The perimeter trails on the green, blue and red loops were rolled and packed for skating and tracked for diagonal stride on February 19. (Gene Kastenson)

Crossroads at Big Creek
Crossroads received 6” of snow on Monday. Trails were rolled on Tuesday. Due to blowing and drifting, no track was set initially. All trails were again rolled and tracked on Wednesday. (Jim Maki)

Whitefish Dunes State Park
Trail Conditions are fair to good with 6″ of new snow, rolled, packed and a new track set on February 18. Because the snow has such a low moisture content, it has resulted in a very soft trail. The track is full depth and very clean, but high winds are causing considerable drifting in open areas. The tracks should set up overnight. Whitefish Dunes State Park trails are classic only. (Rich Dirks)

Peninsula State Park
We received 5 – 6″ of fresh snow and everything is rolled and groomed as of 11:30 am on Tuesday. Conditions should be good to very good. Get out and ski! We will watch and see what happens Thursday in regards to the weather.  (Greg Sunstrom)

Newport State Park
Newport received 6″ of new snow but they have not yet been groomed since the new snowfall. (Dale Krolich)

For more detailed information about the Door County Silent Sports Alliance and trail photos, please go to: www.doorcountysilentsports.org.

Door County Cross Country Ski Report for February 13, 2014

We have just received new snow which will freshen up the ski trails! All cross country ski trails are open in all areas of the county and the weather forecast predicts warmer winter temperatures so, that means even more great skiing opportunities. Wax up those skis and get out there! If you have never skied before, this is the year to give it a try! You can even use ski and snowshoe equipment for free at Crossroads at Big Creek in Sturgeon Bay on Sunday afternoons.

Potawatomi State Park
The last snowfall was 3″ on Feb 12 and 13. All trails were last groomed for skating and tracked for diagonal stride on Feb 11. Although current conditions are skiable for both skating and diagonal stride, the diagonal stride track has been covered over in several areas by drifting snow. The snow has stopped falling, but the drifting continues. Contact the Potawatomi State Park Office for further updates based on planned future grooming for the weekend. (Gene Kastenson)

Crossroads at Big Creek
Crossroads received over 3” of snow on Thursday (Feb. 13). All trails will be rolled and groomed on Friday (Feb. 14). Track will be set. Conditions should remain excellent for all types of skiing with the new snow and cold nights. Bring your Valentine out for a Full Moon Ski on the 14th. (Jim Maki)

Whitefish Dunes State Park
Trail Conditions should be excellent following grooming and resetting track on Friday. The recdent 2″ of new snow will cover over woods debris and provide conditions for a near perfect track that is full depth and firm over a very hard base – making for an enjoyable experience for those who come for the Whitefish Dunes State Park annual Candlelight Ski under an almost full moon this Saturday, February, 15. (Rich Dirks)

Peninsula State Park
We plan to have everything groomed for the weekend. As of 10 pm on Thursday we have received about two” of new snow and it is still snowing. We anticipate that all trails will be in very good condition after grooming. (Greg Sunstrom)

Newport State Park
Very good overall. Two” of new snow on Thursday but not enough to regroom. Newport and Europe Bay loops single-track trails are in good shape. Some trail debris was starting to accumulate but should be covered by new snow.  (Dale Krolich)

For more detailed information about the Door County Silent Sports Alliance and trail photos, please go to: www.doorcountysilentsports.org.

Door County Cross Country Ski Report for February 6, 2014

All cross country ski trails are open in all areas of Door County and the weather forecast predicts more great skiing opportunities!

Wax up those skis and get out there. If you have never skied before, this is the year to give it a try! 

Alisa Landman…

Potawatomi State Park
The last snowfall was 3 inches on January 30. All trails were groomed for skating and tracked for diagonal stride on February 4. The skate lane is firm and fast with some bumpy stretches. The diagonal stride track is deep, firm and fast. The trails have gathered some leaves and debris since the last grooming. Skating and diagonal stride both rated good to very good. (Gene Kastenson)

Crossroads at Big Creek
Excellent.  Trails were groomed and tracked on Thursday, February 6. Skate lane is firm and fast. Track is in great shape as well. No new snow to report, so conditions should remain excellent through the weekend. Friends of Crossroads will loan ski equipment and snowshoes for free on Sunday afternoons from 1 to 3 pm. (Jim Maki)

Whitefish Dunes State Park
Almost Excellent – All trails were re-groomed on February 5 and a new track was set. Base is firm, tracks are full depth and will setup overnight, pole plant areas are firm, but portions of the trails are peppered with ground up woods debris in areas near Beech, Cedar, Hemlock and, to some extent, White Pine trails. Overall, the trail conditions present some of the best skiing in years with no freeze/thaw cycles to deal with, so now is the time to get out and enjoy it. On February 15, the rescheduled Candlelight Ski event will be held under an almost full moon. (Rich Dirks)

Peninsula State Park
Very good condition overall.  Everything was groomed on Friday January 31, and the yellow trail was groomed again Saturday evening February 1 after our candle light ski. Everything is in good to very good condition. Let’s get skiing! (Greg Sunstrom)

Newport State Park
Excellent overall. Newport and Europe Bay loops’ single track trails are in excellent shape. (Dale Krolich)

Door County Cross Country Ski Report for January 30, 2014

All Door County cross country ski trails are open and the weather is finally close to normal winter temperatures, so everyone should be able to get out and enjoy all of the county’s cross country ski trails!

3rd Annual Fruit Loop

Don’t miss the 27th Annual Fish Creek Winter Festival. Wacky winter-themed carnival games for all ages under the big tent and the 4th annual Fruit Loop, a half mile costumed winter fun run on Sunday Feb 2.

Potawatomi State Park
Very good. Three inches of snowfall occurred today January 30. Rolling and compacting the snow commenced Thursday night and the track is setting up nicely. With planned additional grooming, the drifted in skate and classic track on the Red trail should be eliminated and should provide some enjoyable weekend skiing. (Gene Kastenson)

Crossroads at Big Creek
Very good. All trails were rolled and tracked over the past weekend. Our base is of course, excellent. Skate lanes are great, but due to some blowing and drifting, the track sometimes gets filled in open areas. Skiing conditions will improve as the temperatures warm up over the course of the week. Friends of Crossroads will loan ski equipment and snowshoes for free to all who want to get in touch with nature in winter on Sunday afternoons from 1 to 3 pm.  (Jim Maki)

Whitefish Dunes State Park
Very good. Last groomed January 25. New track set on all trails. Base is firm, deep and tracks are full depth. There is considerable drifting in some areas along with woods with debris here and there. Plan is to re-groom Wednesday and/or when there is new measurable snow. (Rich Dirks)

Peninsula State Park
As of January 29, the skate loop has 1 inch of dusting over a hard base –  90% of the tracks have held up well, with the top of bluff and open Kodanko field on the blue loop drifted over. Because of high winds, there are leaves and a fair amount of debris on tracks. Because of debris, I would rate the tracks as good. With fresh snow predicted for Thursday and winter games this weekend, the plans are to get out first thing Friday morning and have everything freshly groomed for the weekend. Please, join us for our annual Candlelight Ski as part of the Fish Creek Winter Games on February 1. (Greg Sunstrom)

Newport State Park
Good. Single track for classic, Europe Bay and Newport trails are still in very good shape. Some debris in tracks. Europe Bay Trail near the Hotz site is wind blown. (Dale Krolich)

Door County Cross Country Ski Report for January 24, 2014

What a year for cross-country skiing in Door County! All cross country ski trails are open in all areas of the county and just keep improving.

Eric Weidman at SNOWKRAFT Nordic.

Eric Weidman at SNOWKRAFT Nordic.

The recent snows have been dry and are sometimes hard to pack down when rolled by groomers, so it can be a bit slower to ski. However, the natural beauty of the snowfall on the trees and the new snow coverage over leaf debris where trails were getting thin makes up for this. It is cold, but if you dress in layers and maybe add toe warmers, you can get out to enjoy all the winter splendor Door County has to offer on cross country skis!

Potawatomi State Park
Very good overall.  Last snowfall was one inch on January 22. The skate lanes on all trails were last groomed on January 20. The diagonal stride track was last set on all trails on January 18. The skate deck has a firm base with 2 inches of loose powder with good smooth glide. The diagonal tracks are firm with good glide. They are least 2 inches deep with some some shallower and washed out areas. Skate and diagonal both rated good.  (Gene Kastenson)

Crossroads at Big Creek
Excellent.  All trails will be rolled and tracked on Friday morning January 24.  We received 2 inches of new snow over the last couple of days and therefore our base is very good. Skate lanes are great, but due to some blowing and drifting, the track continues to get filled. I will continue to improve trail conditions over the weekend.  Skiing will be excellent. (Jim Maki)

Whitefish Dunes State Park
Excellent. Trails at Whitefish Dunes State Park were groomed on Monday, January 20. Snow base is about 8 inches in most areas. The classic trails are deep and set up. No significant debris to interfere with skiing. The Black trail, out to the road, was rolled for hikers. Forecast very cold temperatures on Saturday led to the decision to postpone the Candlelight Ski event until Saturday, February 15 from 5-8 pm. The Friends group has a great plan for an enjoyable evening, so join us in mid-February. (John Swanson)

Peninsula State Park
Red, blue and purple loops were all re-groomed as of January 20 and 21 and are in very good condition. All other classic tracks (yellow, orange, green and white) were groomed on January 19 and are in good condition. After grooming we received another inch of snow and this was skied in but not re-groomed. Plan ahead to join us for our annual Candlelight Ski as part of the Fish Creek Winter Games on February 1. (Greg Sunstrom)

Newport State Park
Excellent. Newport and Europe Bay loops are all groomed for single track classic. Excellent conditions overall. (Dale Krolich)

Door County Cross Country Ski Trail Report for January 17, 2014

Cross country ski trails are open in all areas of the county.

Randal and Olivia Arnold

Randal and Olivia Arnold

Winter sports enthusiasts got their wish this week, lots more snow! The extensive snowfall on Tuesday all across Door County has had the groomers busy over the past couple of days getting the trails rolled and tracks set. Most of the trails are groomed by dedicated volunteers and we are very grateful to them for the incredible amount of work that it takes to get the trails in shape for joyful skiing. Thank you groomers all over the county!

Potawatomi State Park
The park received 8 inches of snowfall on January 14 and 1.5 inches on January 16. The entire trail system was rolled for skating and tracked for classical on January 14 and 15. The ski conditions for skating are soft and the classic trail has a firm track bottom with less firm track side walls, 2 to 3 inches deep. Current conditions rated fair to good skating. Good for classic. The skate lane is being rolled again on January 16. The classic track will be reevaluated this weekend and re-groomed if necessary after experiencing more traffic. (Gene Kastenson)

Crossroads at Big Creek
The Crossroads received over 6 inches of snow on Tuesday and it continues to snow on Tuesday evening. Trails will be groomed on Wednesday morning and a track will be set. The new snow will add significantly to our present base which is over 5 inches. With cooler temperatures, the conditions should be great. (Jim Maki)

Whitefish Dunes State Park
After rolling the 10 – 12 inches of new snow Wednesday, an additional 2 inches overnight was packed and new tracks were set on all trails. Once setup, the trails should be in excellent condition. There is the occasional twig here and there, but overall the trails are in great shape. There was considerable drifting around the Nature Center and it was smoothed out as best we could. But now, there is nearly a 2 foot base in some spots. The annual Whitefish Dunes Candlelight Ski is next Saturday, January 25. (Rich Dirks)

Peninsula State Park
As of Tuesday night it looks like we have at least 8 inches of snow with more to come. We will start grooming after it stops. We will have to roll everything first and then start grooming. We will groom yellow and orange loops first. We will probably have everything done by Wednesday night. I assume we will have the best conditions of the season with the exception of Kodanko field where drifting may be a problem. (Greg Sunstrom)

Newport State Park
Fortunately we received at least 6 inches of much needed new snow on Tuesday. Europe Bay Loop is groomed single track classic. Will groom Newport Loop on Saturday. (Dale Krolich)

For more detailed information about the Door County Silent Sports Alliance visit: DoorCountySilentSports.org.