Possible postponement of the race until February 3-4 Read on for details.
Sorry for the late hour of this update. As directors we endeavor to get you as much information as we can, sometimes at the cost of timeliness. As we all know in the Midwest weather can change a lot in 48 hours, or in our case it can also not change much. As people are found of saying up here “If you don’t like the weather in the U.P. just wait a few hours.” On the same note the same goes for trail conditions. So here’s a timeline.
Monday 16th: – Friday 20th: Trails look good weather is warm but we have a solid base and the trail is firm.
Saturday 21st: Denise gets us another update on the trails because I am a pest and I want info for our TV6 interview. Trails are still good and nice and firm. Cloudy weather looks to be a good thing, keeping sleds at home and saving us from the Suns trail destroying rays. Like a fool I go on TV saying things are looking okay.
Sunday 22nd: More of the same weather as Saturday with the slight twist of some added rain. Nature and weather don’t like to hear on TV that you aren’t worried about them. (I hardly feel the knife slide in my back. Well played Mother Nature.) Also TV6 Interview plays (a day late) cutting all but the one part that is now if not out of date at least misleading. Trust me we would have all much rather heard Amanda talk.
Monday 23: People keep bugging me with their negative attitudes about the trail and weather. You can’t control it so don’t worry about it until you need to. That is my stance on people making plans based of the lotto that is our forecasting system. (Last week or the week before was not the time to worry this week is.) Given that I bug Mr. Trail Man Denise again. He in turn makes some calls and does a mini trail check before his full check Tuesday morning. (Denise is a rock start just for putting up with me.)
However, my faith is misplaced nature has turned our nice base of solid snow into a cold wet mess. Snow base has turned into a 3″ to 12″ of grainy punchy snow cone like mess, with out the tasty flavor. Denise talks with Dan our super groomer at George Young and Lyle that Race Marshal on high. (that’s only because he lives north of me, and has forgotten more then I will probably ever know about mushing) It is now late afternoon Denise calls me and tells me. We then meet up at a meeting for trail crossing and radio (safety never takes time off) and we talk more. I come home and talk to Lyle who I tried to bother while he was at a youth basketball game earlier. (Told you I am a pest) Lyle gives me some insight on how the different snow conditions will affect you mushers and the trail. I know snow from my time out on CX Skis. How snow quality affect each sport are different though.
Late Monday Night (very early morning for eastern time zone):
I am writing you to let you know we are very carefully considering postponing the race by one week. Denise will be doing a full trail inspection Tuesday morning. We have enough snow, the weather may go our way. I am sure the trails will be rideable. I am Not sure the trails will be safe or hold up to multiple mushers riding it two days back to back. Unless we get a very very (okay maybe only one very) good trail report back we will post pone the race one week. According to the rules we have until Wednesday to make the final call. However, if possible we would like to make the call earlier. Timing this decision is a tight rope walk. We know this has a huge impact on everyone. Please know that you and your dogs safety huge the top priority. We do not want to do this but we would rather postpone rather than cancel or worse, put anybody at risk. Please please let us know if you have any questions.
Looking into next week: Here is a weather report.
UPDATE- The weather for the upcoming week is forecast to be nice and cold with regular snow flurries almost daily. Single digit and below zero night time temps.
Basically just what the trails need to heal up snow, cold and time. Also a few passes with the groomer also.