New Brunswick Riding Conditions

off trail mike

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Greetings all

Still fully swamped at work so no reporting or video's to post but did see a few flakes of snow during moose hunting season in late September up near Serpentine Lake so thought I'd get out a quick post!

As we head into the 2014/5 season, I never make any predictions on what kind of winter it will be (I'll leave that up to Dave Phillips at Enviro Canada Weather and the Farmers Almanac who never, ever seem to be on the same page) but do promise to report back on conditions as they evolve.

I can say this, that so far in 2014 we have been consistently over 100mm/month of precipitation with the exception of last month (September) down at 60. October is looking like over 100mm's with next weeks forecast, so the precip is where we want it. The only question now is what the rain/snow split look like this winter.

Hoping to get a team together later this month for a few "trail maintenance" days to ensure access to some of our more interesting spots.

Will report back later.

OTM
 

off trail mike

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Trick AND Treat!

And so it begins.... This forecast is for Mount Carleton/Renous but higher elevations and central seems to be where the highest amounts will be. Don't know if I will be getting out for this one but if it's big, then I just might.

It's a great start anyway.

OTM

 
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off trail mike

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Riding on November 8th!!!!!

So the 2014/15 season has officially started.....about 6 weeks early! Environment Canada issued the following warning for a second Nor'Easter in 5 days.



But watching both our company weather station and the radar during the storm, when snow is coming at 3 - 5 mm/hour, you are going to accumulate more that 15-25cm's.

Anyway took a gamble, loaded the sled and headed inland and uphill. Went up Route 180 and the snow banks kept getting bigger. Parked at Caribou Mines exit unloaded and was shocked. I was expecting wet spring snow, and what I got was a very typical mid winter storm when the temp is slightly below zero. Not fluff, not wet snow just slightly dense. Perfect to keep you above the ground... totally carvable and about 50-60cm's.

I stuck to sheltered valleys as much as possible since the wind was blasting and wind scouring is a problem here all the time and this storm was no different. I didn't get into the Big South or Governor's Resort and points west, but I gotta think its much the same.

For those interested in riding early, I'd keep an eye on the forecast. If it stays cold and we get any more Nor'Easters, I'd be trying to be out on the following day or two.

Also I belive Gaspe is full on. A group from Bathurst headed up the Chic-Choc's on Saturday morning since they have probably twice as much as we do. Not back yet, but will be interesting to see some pictures.

Got a short video which I will try to post, but here's a pic off the GoPro

OTM

 
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off trail mike

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Got a quick video together of the riding conditions on Saturday, November 8th. Looks like this might just be the base for the season as its supposed to be cold for next couple of weeks.

OTM

<iframe width="640" height="390" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/1AahypU-HzU" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
 

off trail mike

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Update Dec 6th, 2014. Snow in the forecast!

You know, I should have taken a camera today to show conditions.

I was driving my truck up to a camp and it was sketchy going at best. One wrong wheel placement and you're stuck. During the drive I had my fingers crossed I wouldn't meet any sleds travelling at warp speed. When we arrived at our destination I no sooner turned the truck off and a group of three Pro Climbs went cautiously by! December 15th is when trails are "officially" open and before that it is basically a free for all. Trucks, 4 wheelers, side by sides, and sleds all occupying the same narrow roads, so for any sledders in our locale...PLEASE BE CAREFUL, lots of vehicles still moving around..

But that's about to change. With 30cm's down and the lower half being very dense it is a very good base. The really good news is there is another 40cm's coming between now (Saturday) and Wed/Thursday, so that should end vehicle movement for the season.

Hoping we get a group out on Thursday or Friday this week and will report back then, but it's been an awesome start to the season.

OTM
 

off trail mike

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Dec. 12th Update. A rather large nor'Easter

So my buddy in Kingston, Ontario is being hit with the same storm as we are.....some 1000km's away so this one is a biggy. As all Maritimers know it its a mixed bag of precipitation but its already supposed to be rain here and clearly its not. I took this off our security camera at work just now (9:00pm)



Weather station there also says -1.9 Deg. C and 45mm of precipitation so far, but it is a snow melting system so given the temp and camera shot's that's 45cm's of snow.

Still expecting it to convert to rain overnight at some point but the majority will likely be snow and with warm temperatures over the next few days, it's not likely to crust too bad for now.

Good news is it is just about the best base you could hope for to really kick the season off: Big volume and high density (it's pretty wet).

Ride report to follow as will try it out on Friday or Saturday.

OTM
 

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December 19th Update

Just got back from a late afternoon/early evening ride. So I can confirm we got 25-30cm's of snow Wed/Thursday. Problem is it's sitting on 2 - 3 feet of boiler plate snow. I guess that's what happens when you have 80cm's of snow followed by 80mm of rain falling at 1 deg. C.

Talked to a couple of guys who just got back from Gaspe and their conditions are worse as they didn't get nearly as much snow as we did this week..

So what we have is a good start, but not carvable snow just yet. It's too fluffy and the skis cut straight through to the hard layer and if you use the throttle too much while attempting to bank, the track tends to wash out making it treacherous. So it ain't pretty out there, but it is passable.

With all that rain, lots of washout's too, so be aware. We met the Chaleur Snowmobile Club groomer on trail 302 in a massive washout down the center of the trail that stretched over 200 feet and in places cut through 3 feet of snow and right to the ground. It was impressive how he was able to break up the boiler plate and make the trail passable.... So for those who prefer the trails.... the parts that we rode on were very good.

More dirt coming on Christmas/Boxing day, but it looks bad. Another monster rain/snow combo, with more rain this time.

The only good news is that we are probably a month ahead of last year regarding snow pack and when the January snow finally comes, it should be awesome

OTM
 

off trail mike

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Dec 26th Update - Another 20mm of rain!

Merry Christmas all and hope everyone has max'ed out on turkey!

Feels VERY deja vu'ish in the 'hood. Going back to last year at this time .... great snow in November and December and then the dreaded January thaw. Well, this year, we've had two "thaws" so far but this one dropped a straight 20mm of rain at the weather station (300 meter elevation) with no snow in the mix whatsoever. Thankfully this was way below the forecast number so I'm sure we still have lots of snow but it's now entirely boilerplate, right to the ground!

So the waiting game begins..... Forecasts look completely random at this point but some seem to put something out there between Jan 3rd and 6th. Too far away to put any weight on them so here's to hoping.

Maybe I'll find a way to polish a totally scratched sled in the meantime.

OTM
 
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off trail mike

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January 9th Update - BRRRRRRRRR..........!

Just a quick update. Its wicked cold right now and no real change in the forecast for the next 10 days or so. So we did get snow around the 5th & 6th of January, maybe 15cm's, then it blew like a hurricane so we are basically back to boilerplate with some lube on top.

Identical to last year. Great trail riding right now and has been since December. Due to lack of snow in southern NB, PEI and NS, there are more sled trailers around than I have ever seen!

Forecast is calling for a few squirts of precip but nothing major. Will likely have to wait until the deep freeze passes and we get into February.



OTM
 

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January 19th update....Not Happy

Well....I was expecting a carbon copy of last year and that's what we are getting....only slightly worse. At least in late January last year we got a good 40cm's on top of the boiler plate. Well....we got 10mm of rain today instead. It was up to 8 deg C and even a bit of sun peeked through. Don't have to forecast anything from here because this will be followed by yet another round of Mr Polar Vortex plunging us back into the frigid side of winter.

Too bad too because we had received 20-30cm's of freshy lately and the boiler plate was starting to rot under it. Was helping the Chaleur club yesterday scout out a new trail to Island Lake and when walking in the woods I was surprised to be breaking through the crust layer quite often.

Still tons of snow for the trail guys, in fact it'll even be flatter and faster after today's rain...but for us long trackers....its at least another 10 days by the look of it.

Gonna be an awful short season this year if this keeps up!

OTM
 

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January 29, 2014 Update.....It Snowed!!!!

Just came back from a short ride this afternoon....sorry no pic's or video as didn't have much time. I would rate today at 6.5/10 and that's because the boilerplate is still down there making it a bit tricky. Pretty good, not great.

Thankfully winter storm Juno ended up delivering about 30 cm's (14") to our region and it seems pretty consistent everywhere we traveled today.....basically backcountry between Chaleur Snowmobile Club, Island Lake and Red Pine Knoll. Maybe the Big South, west of Governors, is better but couldn't confirm it today. Also altitude didn't seem to have any effect on snow depth either ... which is weird.

Regardless, looks like another 10-15 cm's coming tomorrow and Saturday which should be just enough to make it real fun..


Going out this weekend with the next snow, so will report back then.

OTM
 

off trail mike

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Sorry,

Forgot to include this (Accuweather precip forecast)....yep.....snow is coming tomorrow...think I'll be heading more towards the southern part of our range....looks better.

 
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off trail mike

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2/8/2014 Update......Still Wicked Cold...Still No New Snow

Starting to feel repetitive. Well southern NB got 1 or 2 meters of snow last week, we got 1 or 2 centimeters. Well maybe 10.

Had it not been for the nuclear winds on Feb 1 (last Sunday), our snow would be awesome right now. Jan 31 delivered better than expected....maybe 20cm's of fluff and it was a great day. On sunday I had to hold on the bars for fear of being blown off the sled. Our weather station showed sustained winds at 50kmh with gusts to 75 all day long. The snow is now in the trees....or in Gaspe!

Conditions are still good but getting tracked up everywhere. Going to have to head to my more secret locations later this week to get any freshy! LOL.

Bottom line is we need snow. 6/10.. again.....it's good, not great.

OTM
 

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Valentine's Day Update: Finally.....Big Snow in the Forecast!

So from my previous posts, you know we have been going thru a bit of a "new" snow drought despite other parts of the Maritimes being buried in meters of snow with storms passing on a weekly, if not daily, basis.. As March approaches and the weather patterns "warm up", it typically moves those storm tracks further north, and like last year, that process usually starts in mid Feb. FINALLY it is starting. Looks like 50-80cms this week.

So here's tomorrow storm. I have put our riding area on it so you can see roughly where we backcountry. Because of elevation (400-600m), we will likely get 30+cm's



For the week ahead, here's Big Bald Mtn's forecast. It's much more suited to our elevation and on the southern edge of our riding area.



Going to be a good week. Hopefully riding on Wed/Thursday this week so will try to get some pics

OTM
 

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March 1st:.....RRRRR

First the snow storm report. So Valentines produced 30ish cm's followed by a hurricane, and so did February 20th.....followed by a hurricane..I was lucky to ride on the 20th and the riding was excellent. Maybe 25cm's of freshy.

THEN CAME THE WIND. Did I mention that....LOL

Sorry folks. We have had an epic snowfall year. Probably the highest in a decade. In the trees, I don't think I have seen so much, but frankly we have been having an epic wind season too, like nothing I've seen. The drifting and hard pan has even extended into the treed areas.

Went riding yesterday, and did find a few sheltered clear cuts but you're going to do a lot of "trail" riding in between to find them.

Going to have to totally adjust my riding to suit these new conditions...anything low in elevation and well protected is the way to go. Heading back out this Wednesday with a new plan so hopefully will manage to find some good snow.

3/10 this week

OTM
 

off trail mike

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March 18th...It was a curvy kinda day!

Finally Some Conditions to Write About! The huge storms over this past week that dumped massive quantities of snow over Nova Scotia and Southern NB also extended north to include most of northern NB for a change. Although not 60 cm's, we at least got something.

So given this new round of snow, decided to take a run yesterday to see what we got. Headed towards Governors in a few areas I was hoping the wind hadn't destroyed . I was figuring just doing some straight line recon and not much more. Well it was way, way better than that.

Elevation 600m


Elevation 550m


Open Season on Clear Cuts. They're buried!



Although we didn't pick up 60cm's like Halifax, we definitely got a solid 25cm's west and south of Bathurst. Best conditions appear to be around Governors and heading towards Big South. Avoid windward (west and north) side of anything. I stuck to south and east valleys and it was really good.

And it's not like we don't have snow. I had to make a small brook crossing where the water had melted a slot 3 feet wide and 7 deep. That's a lot of shoveling!



And the best news of all......another 25cm event for tonight and tomorrow!

OTM
 

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Compilation: Southern Riders of the Storm

So I've pretty much been discussing conditions (or lack there of) around Bathurst and parts west but southern NB and Nova Scotia have both seen wild quantities of snow this year. Here's a few shots in the southern 'hood.

Nova Scotia this week







And what 500cm's of wind swept snow looks like on PEI. Apparently the streets around those houses were nowhere to be found!

 
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off trail mike

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April 3 Update: Still Lots of Snow, Great Conditions and 20cm's in the forecast!

So spring has arrived but not much melting going on so far. We were able to go for a couple of rides last week (26th and 29th). 26th was bluebird and probably our last powder day of the year and the 29th was spring conditions....sunny and +5 C

Since then it has cooled down quite a bit, so Sunday's heat put a bit of crust on top but not bad. Will be out next week for sure as time is running out, but I'd say a solid 3 more weeks of sledding.

Snow Report.

So it's going to start tomorrow with the Big Bald forecast being 25cm's plus and Bathurst at 10-15. Don't know if its going to be accompanied by the usual wind, but given it will fall at close to zero so hopefully it's dense enough to stick around.

Pic's are from around Suez wind park and west of Governors Resort.

OTM








 

off trail mike

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Greetings all

Hope everyone is having a great summer. Been maxed out at work but compiling some more pics/vid from last year. Just gotta find a few hours when family/work/life slacks off enough to get it done.

THink snow!

OTM
 

off trail mike

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So it's apparently an El Nino Year! This means warmer.... which I'm happy about. Last winter was brutally cold and windy....not a lot of fun....and snow sucked.

The million dollar question is: will it be wetter, and if so snow or rain> Time will tell. I don't predict because it's useless, but like much of North America, this has been a very dry year so far, so hopefully the fall changes that!!

OTM
 
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