Blackhills Conditions #2

skivoice

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Nov 1, 2012
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Aberdeen, SD
A request for the SNOCOP. Back in the mid to late 90s the trail maps had mileage on them for the different trail segmemts it would be awesome if they would do that again on next year's map. It would make route planning easier. I have a pretty good idea of most of the trails we ride but I have been riding out there for 30 years. Others in our group have not and they always ask how far to the next stop. The answer is always a guess.
 

starrsleds

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Oct 18, 2008
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sledding don't get any better in the hills was a bit tracked up but could find good spots, question duane why are they plowing six mile rd? and is it legal to ride on it? we dropped onto it on sunday and mad me nervous
 
Feb 8, 2018
2
0
1
Far NC iowa
how did the snow amount turn out the last few days?

10-14" . South maybe more but just went there yesterday so it was tracked up and was blowing some.

Areas off trail 1 south of 9 was awesome.
 

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sdsnocop

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Hot Springs, SD
A request for the SNOCOP. Back in the mid to late 90s the trail maps had mileage on them for the different trail segmemts it would be awesome if they would do that again on next year's map. It would make route planning easier. I have a pretty good idea of most of the trails we ride but I have been riding out there for 30 years. Others in our group have not and they always ask how far to the next stop. The answer is always a guess.

I will pass on the request.
 

sdsnocop

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sledding don't get any better in the hills was a bit tracked up but could find good spots, question duane why are they plowing six mile rd? and is it legal to ride on it? we dropped onto it on sunday and mad me nervous

Usually when 6 mile is plowed it is for logging activity. SD law allows you to ride the ditch unless it is not passable then you can ride the far right side of the road. FS laws may be different. For safety reasons you should avoid those plowed roads since they are not usually plowed very wide and if you meet a logging truck you may have difficulty climbing over the berm to get out of its way.
 

Firetrail

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Nov 29, 2007
533
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Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Trails

Get out very early in the morning. The groomers work overnight and the trails can get torn up pretty fast. You will not see a groomer after about 10am. If the weather warms up they go away even faster. Also always ride on the outside of the corners. It is smoother there and longer into the day.
 

sdsnocop

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Spent a couple of hours today riding the trees with the M7. Snow is starting to set up. Stumps did not cause me any issues. You can still dip and dive carving turns and trench when on the throttle. If you are light on the throttle you can pick your way through the trees almost forever. Lot of the areas are tracked but you can still find nice snow. Please use some common cents when looking for untouched snow. Just because it is possible to go around a locked gate by going over the fence does not mean it is open to ride. I am seeing areas that landowners have taken measures to keep people out by fencing and signing being tracked up. That has even included fenced areas with cabins or ranch buildings in it. We have been writing trespass tickets on properties that are clearly fenced and signed. The Forest Service has been writing tickets on those they find riding in the cross country ski areas. Our local weather man is predicting below normal temps and above normal precip for the Month of March. I am about ready to turn 7500 miles on my patrol sled and am still on the original belt. I am probably pressing my luck on this belt and should replace it but I am curious to see how much longer it will survive.
 

Big D rmk700

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7500 on one belt I am lucky to get 500 and then performance falls off but I am riding all back country and usually good powder with lots of long pulls.
 

sdsnocop

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7500 on one belt I am lucky to get 500 and then performance falls off but I am riding all back country and usually good powder with lots of long pulls.

I will admit performance is currently sub-par. However the sled is not babied. The job does put me in some back country areas running full throttle pulls. I also have pulled multiple sleds back including a few with locked up tracks. I have also pulled stuck pickups and SUV's.
 

CATDIESELPOWER

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Oct 5, 2009
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Spent a couple of hours today riding the trees with the M7. Snow is starting to set up. Stumps did not cause me any issues. You can still dip and dive carving turns and trench when on the throttle. If you are light on the throttle you can pick your way through the trees almost forever. Lot of the areas are tracked but you can still find nice snow. Please use some common cents when looking for untouched snow. Just because it is possible to go around a locked gate by going over the fence does not mean it is open to ride. I am seeing areas that landowners have taken measures to keep people out by fencing and signing being tracked up. That has even included fenced areas with cabins or ranch buildings in it. We have been writing trespass tickets on properties that are clearly fenced and signed. The Forest Service has been writing tickets on those they find riding in the cross country ski areas. Our local weather man is predicting below normal temps and above normal precip for the Month of March. I am about ready to turn 7500 miles on my patrol sled and am still on the original belt. I am probably pressing my luck on this belt and should replace it but I am curious to see how much longer it will survive.

How long did it take you to get to 7500 miles, SD?
 

lostinblackhills

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Oct 19, 2009
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Rapid City SD
Has anybody heard any snow totals predicted for hills?? I am in the wish full thinking mode and would love to get up there monday. Site i use has yet to make a guess for this storm.
 

Firetrail

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Nov 29, 2007
533
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Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Conditions

Rode the Hills for the past 3 days and it is a mixed bag out there. There is some good snow cover over a lot of the Hills The best of it seems to be to the south of Trailshead but not too far south. South of trail 9 it thins out quite fast and although you can ride into Mountain Meadows that may not last long. The sun and warm weather are taking a serious toll on the trails south of 9 and snow is disappearing quickly. Although we made the trip to MM on Sat. I would not see any reason to go back. Reports were that the lake ice was thick and there were some ice shacks out there but no cars. We rode across the lake to avoid the bad trails into Mountain Meadows but do that at your own peril. Although the snow remains pretty deep in a lot of places and there are rideable trees and meadows, the snow is very wet and not much fun if you are looking for some of the lighter stuff. At present ALL of the snow in the Hills is wet and most of the accessible areas are seriously tracked up. It appears there has been little new snow in the past couple weeks. If you are a trail rider the story is a little better but we saw significant deterioration of some trails in the south and far north. Although the groomers have been out in many areas, they have not been able to do too much with the wet snow. Trail riding out of Trailshead is still pretty good but was getting seriously moguled up and the weather was too warm for the groomers to fix them and have them "set". We did see a few sleds on the Mick and around Lead / Deadwood but without some snow and cooler weather that will not last too long. I was riding in a sweatshirt on Sat. I guess the bottom line is that these are very typical conditions for this time of the year in the Hills and anything after the 2nd week of March is a gift. Without some significant snow and much cooler daytime temps, riding the Hills will be done shortly.
 
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sdsnocop

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Just got back from a search and rescue mission. 2 on rental snowmobiles got both sleds stuck and were not able to walk out. We found them tonight on a ridge between trails 1 and 4. We had GPS coordinates from the cell phone but if not for the flashlight the renter had It would have been difficult to find them. They had walked away from the stuck snowmobiles. It had snowed but due to the strong winds and drifting it was hard to tell how much new snow fell. Groomers are out tonight and are reporting a lot of drifting on the trail as well as down trees. I was called out tonight from home on my day off. 95 mile drive to Hardy, search and find lost snowmobilers, recover and return both rental snowmobiles, drive 95 miles back home.
 
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