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      Gunflint Snow Conditions?     

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ayudell
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03/13/2017 08:19AM
We are headed in Thursday morning and wanted to know how much snow is in the woods and on the lakes to decide if it is worth it to bring snow shoes or just hike in boots. Is there any slush on the lakes that we should be worried about? How much snow would create a slush problem, I see there is some in the forecast.

Our planned route is Clearwater > Mountain > Border lakes chain > Daniels Lake. If we are covering more ground that expected we might include Rose and Duncan.
 
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ArrowheadPaddler
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03/13/2017 03:11PM
I was in that area last weekend, and there was zero slush and little-to-no snow on the lakes. In fact you could just about ice skate on them. I did not use snowshoes at all. Bring ice cleats though! The snow depth in the woods on average was about 10 inches, with some south facing slopes bare, and others a little deeper. I think conditions are about the same right now, although a warm up is on the way this weekend, so that may soften the snow and make it a little harder to travel on. There has not been much recent snow, and the amounts in the forecast are fairly minor and likely won't have much of an effect on the overall conditions.
RainGearRight
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03/13/2017 03:16PM
As of 2pm yesterday seagull had zero snow save for some drifts around shore. There was about 12" in the woods. Zero slush as well. I'm betting similar conditions on Clearwater. The lakes were slick so bring some cleats I believe there was some snow forecast for last night but I'm not sure if they got any. We received about an inch in Cloquet.
03/13/2017 10:09PM
quote ArrowheadPaddler: "I was in that area last weekend, and there was zero slush and little-to-no snow on the lakes. In fact you could just about ice skate on them. I did not use snowshoes at all. Bring ice cleats though! The snow depth in the woods on average was about 10 inches, with some south facing slopes bare, and others a little deeper. I think conditions are about the same right now, although a warm up is on the way this weekend, so that may soften the snow and make it a little harder to travel on. There has not been much recent snow, and the amounts in the forecast are fairly minor and likely won't have much of an effect on the overall conditions."

Ha! Were you one of the groups we saw on Clearwater?

I completely agree. You could practically ice skate on Clearwater. I wouldn't bother bringing snowshoes. We stayed at the BRT/Clearwater campsite, and m trip-mates hiked out on the BRT and said it was like a snowblower went through the area. They did NOT have their snow shoes, just winter boots and trecking poles.
ArrowheadPaddler
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03/15/2017 09:06PM
quote BasecampMom: "quote ArrowheadPaddler: "I was in that area last weekend, and there was zero slush and little-to-no snow on the lakes. In fact you could just about ice skate on them. I did not use snowshoes at all. Bring ice cleats though! The snow depth in the woods on average was about 10 inches, with some south facing slopes bare, and others a little deeper. I think conditions are about the same right now, although a warm up is on the way this weekend, so that may soften the snow and make it a little harder to travel on. There has not been much recent snow, and the amounts in the forecast are fairly minor and likely won't have much of an effect on the overall conditions."


Ha! Were you one of the groups we saw on Clearwater?


"


Nope, I was on Duncan!
ayudell
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03/20/2017 10:41AM
Just got back, wanted to post a conditions update. We had a couple inches of snow while we were out, but these conditions are as of getting out on 3/19.

3/16-3/19 Route was:
Clearwater > Mountain>(BRT)>Rove>Rose>Duncan>Bearskin>Daniels>Clearwater

Lakes: 1-3" driven snow on top of hockey rink ice

Woods, lake level: 0-12" of firm snow depending on aspect.
Woods, up high: 12-24(?)" firm snow
BRT Trail: Moderately packed, some post holing where the snow was softer.
It was pretty easy to walk on top of the firm snow in the woods and on the BRT, I would say that snow shoes are not needed until further snowfall.

Portages: Well packed

There were about 2-3 ice fishing groups each on Rose and Duncan.

This photo was from before the snowfall:

Melting snow in bivy camp:

Looking down on Watap:

 
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