11 January 2022 – Klondike Snowmobile Association
It’s another deep snow winter here in the Yukon!
Our groomer operators are out on the trails working for you. This year’s snow fall has not only been remarkably deep, but it’s also remarkably hard to groom.
Grooming generally involves scraping down moguls, filling in dips, processing the snow, panning the surface smooth, and then allowing it to set up. The processing of the snow changes the snow in such a way that during the set up time it sticks together much better than it normally would, which causes the trail to stay firm and smooth for a longer time as snowmobiles and other traffic travel on it.
This year though the snow has been very dry and “sugary” snow, which means despite the best efforts of our groomers it’s just not setting up the way snow normally does in the Yukon, and instead is staying fluffy and sugary right to the bottom.
We are working with our single blade groomer and pans to at least compact some of the snow base on the trails, however snowmobilers should use extra caution. Trails will likely be bumpier than usual due to the snow not setting up as it normally does, and also travelling off trail right now it is very easy to get stuck in the deep snow due to the lack of any solid base forming resulting in soft powder all the way to ground level.
Also, with the recent dramatic changes in weather several riders have reported lots of overflow on various lakes around the southern and central Yukon. Overflow occurs when the ice on a lake is plenty thick enough to support snowmobiles, but due to the weight of the ice water from underneath gets pushed up through a crack in the ice and results in a layer of slushy water pooling on top of the thick ice.
This can be very hazardous to snowmobilers as snowmobiles tend to get very stuck very easily in overflow and when this happens it’s nearly impossible to recover your snowmobile without getting yourself wet.
We are currently recommending snowmobilers only travel on frozen lakes with someone who knows the area and also that everyone avoids areas known to often have overflow.
We will continue to work with the snow we have and post further updates as the winter progresses, and please continue to send us your trail reports.
Happy snowmobiling everyone!