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   Winter Camping and Activities
      Brule Lake Day Trip Report     

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WildDog
member (20)member
 
12/17/2017 08:46AM
Hi all! I thought it would be helpful for any of you looking at going to Brule Lake (Entry Point #41) anytime soon, to provide some info on conditions as of 12/13/17. I drove up from Silver Bay in the morning and parked at the intersection of The Grade and Brule Lake Road. It had snowed about 6 inches overnight and snow flurries continued throughout the day. The plan was for a long (sunup to sundown) day of skiing with a daypack so had no means to check ice thickness but there was more than enough, I would say around 10 inches. Found mixed conditions on the lake - a fair amount of snow but it varied from bare ice, to drifted snow, to powder to crust and everything in-between - very very little slush anywhere and no open water anywhere I made it to. Brule Lake Road was still passable with 4WD and high clearance (there have been times I have drove down in December) but with only one vehicle and being alone I opted to park up top off of the grade and ski the 6 miles down since I was in it for the workout anyways - beyond December I could never envision trying to drive down. Going was slow with the fresh snow and not having anyone else to help break trail - ended the day with 24 miles of skiing in about 9.5 hours. It was great to get out and a good primer for an upcoming few day trip between Christmas and New Years. Photo Album HERE
 
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12/17/2017 09:35AM
Long ski, good report, fun pictures.
12/17/2017 02:27PM
Looks like as much fun as in the summer.
Pinetree
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12/17/2017 04:19PM
Great report and it looks awesome with like you broke trail. That is a nice long day trip with daylight hours on the short end. You guys were moving pretty good in fresh snow.
I love doing all day trips into the BWCA. So many nice areas to go and so quite. Maybe next week I may make it.

What were your ski type. I think I may have figured it out from the photo's.

Thanks for the nice report and photo's.
SevenofNine
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12/17/2017 07:39PM
Thank you for the report and great pictures.
Jaywalker
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12/18/2017 10:07AM
Thanks for the information. I'd be glad to hear anyone else's report on ice-snow-slush in other areas in the next couple weeks too.
WildDog
member (20)member
 
12/18/2017 11:17AM
Pinetree, the skis are Fischer Traverse 78 (78-61-69) with NNN BC bindings in the 179 length. They are almost identical in spec to the long-time backcountry and polar standard Fischer E109 (82-60-70) (and I should mention the E99 as I am assuming many on this site have those as well) - my understanding is that there really is not anyone importing the E109 into the US anymore and the Traverse line is Fischers equivalent ski for the US market. As much as I love them, more and more often I am finding myself reaching my Altai HOKs 125 (there are a few other skin based skis on the market again as well, like OAC) I find that I am not moving much faster on my BC skis unless conditions are perfect and the HOKs are much more versatile / adaptable for all conditions, super capable over portages and when you completely loose glide due to slush, cold temps etc., much more comfortable to walk / shuffle in than the longer skis. Years past I would bring skis and snowshoes on a sled-hauling trip but when I bring my HOKs, that is all I need. That said, I am very happy to have these in the quiver with all my other skis and snowshoes and they will always have a place!
Pinetree
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12/18/2017 01:42PM
Thanks for the good info WildDog.

Yes I just got the a new pair of E 109 Fischer last year with a Crown base in a 200Cm length BC NNN binding from BackCountry store last year. I love them and get good floatation but could see how in certain situation the HOK would be nice.
I think like you said the E109 is getting very hard to get in this country this year. I could see in the woods the HOK would be great for turning. But would thing the skis like you use or E109 would still be a more all around ski.
I have used a much narrower back country ski for winter camping and actually got by pretty good even on long trips pulling a sled.
Something special about back country skiing this time of year.

I think one of the longest day trips I have seen and maybe they are on this board. I know the one person lives in Ely. They skied from Moose lake landing up to Carp lake into Canada than up into the Man chain (fished trout) about 4 miles and skied back out. They did mostly skate ski late in the season.

whitecedar
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12/21/2017 08:55AM
Thanks for the trip report and especially the photo album!
 
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