When we last posted here, the Banadad Trail Association had just hosted the annual trail clearing day and membership meeting. Several volunteers had clipped and sawed their way through miles of alder brush and fallen trees, readying the trail for the winter. More trail-clearing folks followed in the next couple of weeks, and we all had a good feeling about the upcoming ski season.
How quickly that changed! The much-anticipated snow finally came, but not as the fluffly, fat flakes that we prefer. Instead, it fell heavy and wet, cloaking every twig and tree in a thick coat. Mother Nature mixed in a bit of freezing drizzle, and then added more of that same kind of snow. Someone likened it to wet cement. That was an apt description, for when it solidly froze, just like dried cement, it weighted those trees until they were bowing down to the ground. For many miles, the trail was completely impassable. As beautiful as it was, it created miles of havoc, and a boatload of new clearing to be done.
For the last several weeks, many people, both volunteer and paid, have been working hard to clear the trail so that it is usable this winter. The good news is that at this point, the Lace Lake Trail (4K) and the Tall Pines Trail (1.7K) are both opened and groomed. The snow depth is 18″. Snow still covers the trees, making for a uniquely beautiful trail. Come out and ski it!
The eastern end of the Banadad is once again nearly cleared, with about another day or two of work remaining. As soon as we get fresh snow, this section will be groomed and tracked. The trail will extend to the mid-trail junction, near the yurt. A loop will be possible, utilizing the Moose Trail. While not what we would have hoped for back in October when we were working, at least we have something here to ski. The distance for this section is 15.5K.
Unfortunately, it is not expected that the western end of the Banadad will be open this season. Much work remains on the remaining 12K. As time and funding permit, we will chip away at it, and we welcome your help if you so desire. To that end, a sign has been posted in the parking lot, and two saws are hanging for anyone who wants to snowshoe in on the trail and cut a few things away.
We are so grateful to everyone who has stepped in to assist in the herculean effort to re-open the trail. Mother Nature tossed us some lemons, but we didn’t let that stop us. Join us on the Banadad, the Lace Lake Trail and the Tall Pines Trail, and see how pretty this season has turned out to be.
Barbara Young quoted in StarTribune January 9, 2016.