Spring fling! Update 3/20/17

After Thursday’s deep powder fest, I was on the shelf last weekend. So, I took an after-work spin up to Newcomb.

The local Indian Lake village trails were groomed today. Most of the trails weren’t perfectly flat, but the weekend bumps were sufficiently ironed out for enjoyable riding. The exposed areas and heavily worn corners were starting to get bare spots again, but the Crow Hill Road shelf was still intact to make the connection into town. The best trail in town was S85/Ski Hut trail, which was nearly mint.

S84 out toward Blue Mountain Lake had the usual spring time bare spots on the exposed hills and corners. Then it was a pretty good ride once I got over the top. The Old Stage trail hadn’t been tracked much, so it was a pretty plush ride. My sled had to work a bit to cross Lake Durant, but there wasn’t any slush and I was able to stay on top of the snow pack.

538/Newcomb trail was groomed on both sides today and was a nice ride from bottom to top. There were several thin spots on exposed hillsides and tight corners, but the base was solid in most places.

I snapped a picture at the Newcomb-T, just to let you know I made it there. 😉


Then I doubled back to town and called it an evening with about 65 miles for the ride.

It seems strange to talk about bare/thin spots the week after a 2 foot thump of snow. But that’s what the strong March sun and heavy weekend traffic does, even when we have seasonal temperatures and no rain.

Snow pack around Indian Lake ranges from less than a foot in southerly exposures to 2-3 feet in the shady deep woods. I’m sure someone can find snow pack thicker than a yard in their favorite snow bowl in the southwestern Adirondacks.

At any rate, Monday’s ride was light-years better than my previous trip up to Newcomb three weeks ago.

I heard that Moose River Plains was a brutal ride between Cedar River Headquarters to Silver Run last weekend. One can only hope they took a dozer to those awful rollers that seem frozen in time…

Midweek Outlook

With the daily thaw/freeze cycles we’ve had the past several days, the trail surface gets hard at night and softens during the day under the March sun. Ole’ Man Winter will give us yet another parting shot with a deep freeze for Wednesday, which will stop the slow bleeding. But I wouldn’t expect much fresh snow. If you’re looking for that “last ride,” we’re definitely as good a place as any to get it.

Weekend Outlook

To be honest, I’ve seen so many possible outcomes with the Friday, Saturday and Sunday time frame that I don’t have much forecast confidence for the weekend. We could end up with dose of temporary, base-boosting snow…or…we get warm and wet. At any rate, I do believe that most trails will hold ride-able snow as we head into the weekend.

For the ilsnow nation,


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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,


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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.


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