Powder Chowder! Update 3/16/17

After I spun around the local Indian Lake trails Thursday afternoon, I decided to try C8 out to Headquarters to see how far I could get.

To my delight, several sleds had broken across Route 28&30 and worked their way back.

It was an epic powder ride all the way out to Cedar River HQ! I was smashing two-foot pow-pow nearly most all of the way out. Had most of the benefits of breaking trail without much worry of getting stuck. When I was going downhill or through a turn, I would just plow through it. When going uphill or when getting bogged down, I’d just slip back to the beaten path. Looks like there were two or three large trees that were cut out of the way by Parks and Rec.

After about 10 miles in, it looked like a couple sleds had turned around and left me with this to mash the remainder of the way to Headquarters. It’s OK to be jealous:

Trail C8 Powder Chowder

Trail C8 Powder Chowder

Once I got to Cedar River Headquarters, I saw that the gates were open and that the trail into Moose River Plains has been packed down by the groomer:

Although it was packed down, the stretch from Headquarters to Silver Run was loaded with steep rollers. Looks like they were imprinted there from earlier in the winter.

From Silver Run to Limeklin Gate was groomed and a nicer ride. Inlet loop trails were groomed and fantastic! Ole Barn to Gilbert Road was groomed and in pretty good shape.

Had some peanut butter panic wings at the Screamen Eagle for dinner. On my way out, I ran into the legendary Dennis Hudson of inletsnow.com and chatted with him for a few minutes before heading home.

On the way back home, I thrashed through more powder chowder on C8. Wish I had topped off with gas in Inlet because the gas gauge was reading a bit lower than I would have liked by the time I got deeper into C8. So, I wasn’t nearly as gung-ho as ripping powder. But once the gauge bounced back up to quarter tank at Deer Valley, I knew I’d make it back so I reverted to full powder bulldozer mode.

I took a look at S84 out toward Blue Mountain when I got back in town. Looks like somebody broke into it…

Got back to the compound at 9:30pm with 90 miles spun off, although it felt every bit like 150 miles on my body.

Weekend Outlook:

I’m assuming the Indian Lake groomers will be out Friday and/or over the weekend. Keep in mind that some trails may take longer than others to get groomed with the steep-n-deep.

The real epic riding will be mid-week once everything is tamped down and the weekend crowds are gone. 😉

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.

Back From the Dead! Update 3/15/17

Just when it appeared the snowmobiling season was lost, Tuesday’s storm dumped 2 feet of snow on Indian Lake and joined the pantheon of blockbuster March snowstorms!

Also saw reports of 2 feet from Speculator and Piseco, and 30-33 inches from Eagle Bay/Inlet. For Indian Lake, this was the biggest snowfall since the legendary Valentine’s Day 2007 Blizzard which dropped 3 feet.

During Tuesday afternoon, we were cranking at 3 inches of snow per hour during the heart of the storm.

Here was a clip I took:

I basically did 3 tours of snow removal:

1. Remove the first foot mid Tuesday afternoon.
2. Remove the second foot Tuesday evening after 9PM.
3. Cleaned up around the edges on Wednesday and whatever blew back into my driveway overnight.

After all of that, I went out to survey the scene. My drive-by recon showed that all of the Indian Lake village trails were broken. But C8 from former Arctic Cat Dealer to Headquarters was not touched and S84 out to Blue Mountain was unbroken. I wasn’t going to play around with breaking them alone. Maybe the Blue Mountain Boys will get ‘er done.

So I rode around town and romped through the powder. At times, I had snow going up over the hood. I did get stuck a few times, but can say I deserved it each time.

You know it’s steep-n-deep when the stop sign is nearly submerged:


I blasted across Adirondack Lake, which was a big bowl of belt-smoking powder chowder. Took almost everything she had to make it across.

Did make it through C8/Sabael trail. Only a couple of small water spots in there.

After looping around town a few times to romp around, I called it an evening with just over 20 miles.

Weekend Outlook:

I did pass by the Parks and Rec building and saw that their groomers had been dug out and look ready to go. So I anticipate they will be out this week to pack and groom it all down. More snow is expected on Saturday, but nothing close to the magnitude of Tuesday’s Mount Crushmore.

Keep in mind that we don’t go from 2 feet of new snow, to perfectly groomed trails everywhere at the flip of a switch. There may be some trails that don’t get groomed until there has been enough traffic to pack them down. Some places may still have blow down that need to be cut away.

This winter has been one for numerous comebacks and this was the greatest one yet! Some people are wondering where this was a few weeks ago. Well, it’s here NOW! Our trails never lost their hard pack/icy base in the woods, and we just needed snow to put the meat back on the bones.

LAKES: It’s been very cold for several days, so the lakes have “buttoned up” so to speak. Having said that, ice thickness remains less than normal for mid-March. Riding frozen lakes is at your own risk! I can’t tell you whether they are safe.

Extended Outlook:

Temperatures should remain at seasonal levels or colder for the next week-plus. Another Arctic surge is likely for Wednesday/Thursday, but probably not as severe as our previous one.

Next week would be an excellent time to drop a dime on an unused sick day. 😉

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.

To the edge of oblivion, but… Update 3/9/17

3/10/17 Update: An arctic front dropped an inch-plus of snow Friday evening, ready to be blown to smithereens. 

3/9/17 Report

Winter’s remnant snow pack took yet another hit this week. We didn’t get a ton of rain, but two days of mild temperatures and strong winds ate some more cover away.

Around Indian Lake, snow pack ranges from thin to bare in the exposed hillsides and fields to 6 inches to a foot-plus in the shady woods. The snow-bowls of southwestern Adirondacks appear to still hold 12-18+ inches of pack:

Adirondack Snow Pack

Adirondack Snow Pack

Weekend Outlook:

Well, people were able to ride Perkins Clearing last weekend. Most people told me they managed 50 miles or more. I suspect you could attack Perkins Clearing this weekend from the north end by parking at the Mason Lake parking lot on Route 30 about 7 miles of Speculator. Heck, you might be able to attack the Speculator Tree Farm by parking at the south end of Old Route 30 near Wells. But keep in mind that base conditions will be even more marginal than they were last weekend….and ice scratchers/studs will be your best friends.

I can’t really recommend trying Moose River Plains at this point because it doesn’t keep snow as well as Perkins Clearing does.

Another thing to keep in mind would be brutal cold over the weekend. Saturday may be especially nasty with strong gusty winds and temperatures hard pressed to reach 10*F in the afternoon.

Also, beware of blow-down if you decide to take a chance here…

Next Week?

All eyes are on the possible major snow storm for Tuesday into perhaps Wednesday. At this point, I think the bigger question is WHERE it will happen as opposed to IF it will happen.

Nearly all the modeling have clustered on a massive eastern United States storm. I’ll show you the GFS as an example:


It’s an impressive storm setup, for sure. But the projected “flat” PNA+ ridge has me somewhat concerned whether the east coast storm achieves the necessary downstream amplitude necessary for this storm to take it to the house for ilsnow land.

This event is still several days away, so it’s just watch and wait for now. To be sure, we’d need a significant or major dump of snow to really get things going again. If we catch white lighting in a bottle on Tuesday, we could keep the season going for at least another week.

For the ilsnow nation,


This report is brought to you by Steet Ponte Auto Group. Many of the vehicles here in Indian Lake are bought from the Steet Ponte. Co-owner Joe Steet is a huge fan and booster of ilsnow.com. If you’re looking for a new truck, give Steet Ponte a good look.


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