Great Afternoon for a Cross-Country Ski

It was a beautiful afternoon for a ski. The trees flocked with snow, temperature in the teens, warm sun and all was perfect.

Pincushion Trail

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Illgen Falls Frozen

A quick stop at Illgen Falls showed us what we thought we would see. A frozen waterfall!

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Harvesting Ice

It’s been a few years since I helped with ice on Saganaga. On the Canadian side of the lake the resorts would harvest their own ice to use during the summer. Last year Cassidy and Matt went to help Ryan and Tessa with their ice harvest. They did things a little bit differently but it was basically the same process. When I helped we didn’t cut all of the way through the ice. A thin layer was left and after all of the squares were removed a small hole was punched through in order to let water seep in to make more ice. I can’t remember if it was a safety thing so folks wouldn’t go through the ice or if it was some other reason. Anyone know?  It’s an experience in any case.

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Snow Coverage this Winter

We feel fortunate to have a good amount of snow on the ground. It looks like we aren’t the only ones who have snow!

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Cross-Country Ski Trails in Tip-Top Shape

The trails are calling, can you hear them?

photo courtesy of Sugarbush Trail Association

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Saganaga Lake Boundary Waters Trip

Layne Kennedy shared this video of his Boundary Waters Canoe trip on Saganaga this past summer. His dog Mazzie is the star. It sure makes me long for those summer days in the BWCA.

Mazzie Goes Camping from Layne Kennedy on Vimeo.

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Moose Reminisce

I was going through some of my photos the other day and found these. Moose are such magnificent creatures and it’s always a treat to see them on the Gunflint Trail. I could watch them for hours.

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Catching Fish in the Boundary Waters

Boundary Waters FishingIt’s fun to catch fish in the Boundary Waters. It’s even more fun when you get to pull them up through a hole in the ice. Do you ever wonder who came up with the idea to ice fish? I’m always amazed at the ability to drill a hole, drop a line and catch a fish. When the lakes are liquid you can move around from place to place quite easily but in the winter it isn’t so easy. You choose your spot and invest time in drilling a hole because you can’t use a power auger in the BWCA. It isn’t too bad drilling a hole at the beginning of the winter but when the ice gets thicker it becomes much harder work. These brothers make catching fish in the winter look easy.

Nice catch Matt and Ryan!


catching fish in the bwca

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Gunflint Mail Run Fun

Matt, Cassidy and Joe worked  a couple volunteer road crossing shifts for the Gunflint Mail Run sled dog race this past weekend. The last team didn’t get to their checkpoint until after 2AM so they had a short night of sleep in their toasty tent. Kudos to all of the volunteers who made the race possible and of course the mushers and dogs too.



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Snow Depth and Snow Fall

Here’s some interesting information about how snowfall and snow depth is measured. If you want to know the official snow measurement guidelines from NOAA then check out their handbook that the volunteers who measure the snow use.

This is a portion of an article by Bill Syrette
How deep is your snow

Snow depth should be a measure of the average depth in a given location and its immediate surroundings. It’s usually rounded to the nearest whole number. To get a representative number, you need a site with minimal drifting (not always easy to find) and several measurements should be averaged to get a final number. I like 10 because it makes the math easy.

Careful measurement is vital so we can make reasonable estimates for the amount of liquid contained in the snowpack. As hard as it is to believe at times, the snow will eventually melt, and rapid melting could cause problems with flooding. Also, hydrologists’ models to predict water levels critically depend upon good initial data collection (though improved satellite data has helped reduce their reliance on any individual measurement).

Snow depth is like the sum of individual snowfalls, if one assumes no sublimation – snow turning into water vapor – or melting from the first snowfall until the present day. That assumption would almost always be wrong, of course, but if we suspend reality for a moment, the depth will still never exceed the sum of all snowfalls because snow is compressible. So, two 10.5-inch snowfalls may only accumulate to a depth of 17 inches. It’s the compressibility of snow that causes the greatest consternation and controversy with snowfall measurement.

How much snow did a storm bring

Snowfall is the amount of snow that accumulates during a given time, usually a 24-hour period. In a perfect world this 24-hour period would end at midnight, but the vast majority of National Weather Service cooperative observers take their daily observation in the morning.

To properly measure snowfall, you need a level and flat surface. As with snow depth, measuring snowfall should be unaffected by drifting. The National Weather Service suggests the use of a snowboard, which is a white surface that will absorb very little sunlight and stay close to the ambient air temperature, but any “cold” surface will do. Keeping in mind that consistency is critical, the goal here is to make a measurement that is representative of the surrounding area and consistent with others making snowfall measurements.

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  • Have you visited this spot in the Boundary Waters before? It's the bridge for the Kekekabic Hiking Trail...

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