The number of skiers that used the Banadad this winter is way up. If I had to guess –it was all about having consistently great snow conditions all winter. Then, of course, the ski-season is not over yet! There is still 20 inches of snow on the ground and nary a bare spot along the trail. The trail is likely to see even more skiers yet this ski season.
Contributing to the large number of skiers, was this year's banner number of those skiing Yurt to Yurt. More skiers traveled the Bananad this year, in this program, then any other year since the program began in 1984. According to Barbara Young, Boundary Country Trekking, co-owner, “people are already scheduling the yurts for next winter and weekend dates are beginning to fill up. This means - if you are planning a Yurt to Yurt Ski trip for next winter you better make your reservations early.” Contact 218-388-4487 for more information.
New Grooming Equipment and More Improvements Coming
In late February, with the help of a grant from the Minnesota DNR, the Banadad Trail Association purchased a new snowmobile groomer -a very large Arctic Cat Snowmobile special design for grooming. One of the new machine's feature is a winch. Already the winch has come in handy when the new snowmobile got stuck in deep snow. According to Curry the groomer, "having the winch to pull the buried snowmobile out was greatly appreciated. It saved me a lot of work trying to dig the snowmobile out by hand"
Planned for this summer is the construction of a storage and maintenance building. With the construction of this building, repairs and maintenance will be done in a heated shelter instead of outside as it has been done for many years. The building will also enable us to store our grooming equipment inside and shelter from the elements during the non-snow months. Currently there are three snowmobiles and several goomers, used to maintain 'the Trail.
Fall Maintenance Planning- Help needed
Getting the trail up for the ski season is a never ending task. Right now we have two trail clearing project planned for this fall:
This fall a new trail clearing project is planned. While the date has not be set, it will be a 3-4 day overnight BWCA canoe-in and camping trip. We will canoe into Rush Lake where we will camp. Then each day hike into a much neglected section of the trail just east of the Ham Lake Fire burn. A fee of $50 will be charged to cover the cost of canoes, camping gear and food, This project will likely be some time mid September. Stay tuned on this one.
Interested in participating in either of these Trail Maintenance Projects? For more information or to volunteer for either of these project contact 218-388-4487.