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      Slush Conditions in BWCA?     

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bigmitch1
member (48)member
 
01/07/2019 05:34PM
I am considering a trip this weekend somewhere in the BWCA.

I saw the weekly Youtube video posted by the Tuscarora Lodge on Sunday and the slush looked really bad.

Anyone been out lately with conditions to report?

Thank you.
 
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morky
member (26)member
 
01/07/2019 06:37PM
I was on Duncan this weekend. It was really bad.
Jaywalker
distinguished member(2026)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/08/2019 10:08AM
That Tuscarora video made it look pretty bad alright, and with another heavy snow it might be even worse now until a deep cold. Yikes, but the fishing looks pretty good!
Banksiana
distinguished member(2061)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/08/2019 11:25AM
Slush is bad and will be bad until the water drains or a trail is laid across the lake. Cold won't make it go away (the snow provides enough insulation to prevent it from freezing). Slush forms because the weight of the snow pushes ice into the water- water flows through the ice and saturates the snow to the lake's water level. The snow above the slush insulates the the slurry from freezing.
Tuscarora Outfitters
member (40)member
 
01/08/2019 11:41AM
The latest storm didn't drop that much snow, only about 2 inches up here near the end of the Trail. So the slush is slowly starting to get a little better. But it's still pretty bad.
bigmitch1
member (48)member
 
01/08/2019 12:29PM
Thank you for posting your weekly Sunday videos! Much appreciated!
Jaywalker
distinguished member(2026)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/12/2019 09:18AM
bigmitch1: "Thank you for posting your weekly Sunday videos! Much appreciated!"
+1 . I'll definitely keep watching. Thanks for taking the time to do these!
ArrowheadPaddler
distinguished member(676)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/12/2019 01:39PM
Got back last night from a trip near the upper Gunflint. Slush on all the lakes we encountered, but was manageable. We were using Altai Hok skis with rubber boots, and usually could float ahead of the slush as it filled in our tracks, as long as we kept moving. Some of our group occasionally bogged down and we had to scrape skis. The ice was about 12-14" thick on the lake we were on, but not well formed near shore. I broke through in an area that did not arouse suspicion (no beaver activity, springs, creeks, bogs, etc). Lots of snow, especially early and mid trail. Seemed to be a little bit less at the end of the trail, but still plenty. Lots of work breaking trail through the woods.
Jaywalker
distinguished member(2026)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/12/2019 11:13PM
ArrowheadPaddler: "Got back last night from a trip near the upper Gunflint. Slush on all the lakes we encountered, but was manageable. We were using Altai Hok skis with rubber boots, and usually could float ahead of the slush as it filled in our tracks, as long as we kept moving. Some of our group occasionally bogged down and we had to scrape skis. The ice was about 12-14" thick on the lake we were on, but not well formed near shore. I broke through in an area that did not arouse suspicion (no beaver activity, springs, creeks, bogs, etc). Lots of snow, especially early and mid trail. Seemed to be a little bit less at the end of the trail, but still plenty. Lots of work breaking trail through the woods."

Where you on your Hoks when you broke through, or on boots??
Pinetree
distinguished member(12290)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished membermaster membermaster member
 
01/12/2019 11:38PM
Jaywalker: "ArrowheadPaddler: "Got back last night from a trip near the upper Gunflint. Slush on all the lakes we encountered, but was manageable. We were using Altai Hok skis with rubber boots, and usually could float ahead of the slush as it filled in our tracks, as long as we kept moving. Some of our group occasionally bogged down and we had to scrape skis. The ice was about 12-14" thick on the lake we were on, but not well formed near shore. I broke through in an area that did not arouse suspicion (no beaver activity, springs, creeks, bogs, etc). Lots of snow, especially early and mid trail. Seemed to be a little bit less at the end of the trail, but still plenty. Lots of work breaking trail through the woods."


Where you on your Hoks when you broke through, or on boots??"


You should have close to 30 inches now of ice on a normal winter. Sounds like slush pretty much all the northern half the state,
WhiteWolf
distinguished member(4106)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
01/14/2019 02:26AM
IF the cold blast comes through this end of the week- which looks likely- and with wind and wind chills very cold; experience has told me that extreme wind chills have a better chance of freezing slush rather than just extreme cold temps with no/little wind --Why? The wind removes heat from the upper surface of the snow/ slush better than just cold "still" air. Grew up on a lake and experienced this first hand several times. Extreme wind chills have a better chance at removing that upper heat in the slush layer. And than the cold can work. Just my thoughts. 1989 on the lake I grew up on was totally ruined pre Christmas. Than brutal cold came WITH wind. Look it up if you think I'am full of it. Froze the lake and slush SOLID. Without the wind involved (and heat dispersion of the slush) I had seen it many times with the same lake having still slush issues without brutal wind chills. Call my thoughts a joke. But this is more a science than most people think. I have personally experienced this several times- Agst popular thought- extreme wind chills effect more than just animate objects.
ArrowheadPaddler
distinguished member(676)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/14/2019 07:23AM
Jaywalker: "ArrowheadPaddler: "Got back last night from a trip near the upper Gunflint. Slush on all the lakes we encountered, but was manageable. We were using Altai Hok skis with rubber boots, and usually could float ahead of the slush as it filled in our tracks, as long as we kept moving. Some of our group occasionally bogged down and we had to scrape skis. The ice was about 12-14" thick on the lake we were on, but not well formed near shore. I broke through in an area that did not arouse suspicion (no beaver activity, springs, creeks, bogs, etc). Lots of snow, especially early and mid trail. Seemed to be a little bit less at the end of the trail, but still plenty. Lots of work breaking trail through the woods."


Where you on your Hoks when you broke through, or on boots??"


No thankfully, it certainly would have complicated things if I was. I did break through briefly in a beaver flowage area a couple hours before that, but managed to jump free and my skis didn't get wet. I would not want to try to get those things off if they were under the ice.
Jaywalker
distinguished member(2026)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/14/2019 11:03AM
WhiteWolf: "IF the cold blast comes through this end of the week- which looks likely- and with wind and wind chills very cold; experience has told me that extreme wind chills have a better chance of freezing slush rather than just extreme cold temps with no/little wind --Why? The wind removes heat from the upper surface of the snow/ slush better than just cold "still" air. Grew up on a lake and experienced this first hand several times. Extreme wind chills have a better chance at removing that upper heat in the slush layer. And than the cold can work. Just my thoughts. 1989 on the lake I grew up on was totally ruined pre Christmas. Than brutal cold came WITH wind. Look it up if you think I'am full of it. Froze the lake and slush SOLID. Without the wind involved (and heat dispersion of the slush) I had seen it many times with the same lake having still slush issues without brutal wind chills. Call my thoughts a joke. But this is more a science than most people think. I have personally experienced this several times- Agst popular thought- extreme wind chills effect more than just animate objects. "

Why would this be so hard to believe? Sounds like blowing on a cup of coffee.
Pinetree
distinguished member(12290)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished membermaster membermaster member
 
01/14/2019 11:26AM
The same works for large windswept lakes. They take longer to freeze but once frozen the cold wind blows across them and ice depth increases more than on many small lakes. Also so that is compacted has less insulation value than fluffy snow.

I see were going to get colder temps now but no extreme cold or nothing more than normal temps.
Lailoken
distinguished member (130)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/15/2019 07:28PM
ArrowheadPaddler: "Got back last night from a trip near the upper Gunflint. Slush on all the lakes we encountered, but was manageable. We were using Altai Hok skis with rubber boots, and usually could float ahead of the slush as it filled in our tracks, as long as we kept moving. Some of our group occasionally bogged down and we had to scrape skis. The ice was about 12-14" thick on the lake we were on, but not well formed near shore. I broke through in an area that did not arouse suspicion (no beaver activity, springs, creeks, bogs, etc). Lots of snow, especially early and mid trail. Seemed to be a little bit less at the end of the trail, but still plenty. Lots of work breaking trail through the woods."

Hi, Can you scrap the Altai Hoks? How do you get off frozen slush without taking off the synthetic skin?
ArrowheadPaddler
distinguished member(676)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/16/2019 06:30AM
Lailoken: "Hi, Can you scrap the Altai Hoks? How do you get off frozen slush without taking off the synthetic skin?"

We used both a small ice scraper like you would use on a car windshield, or a ski pole to remove the ice from both the skin and ptex base. Also, applying a skin wax really seemed to help prevent ice-up and help ice removal.
Lailoken
distinguished member (130)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/16/2019 01:54PM
Did not know there was skin wax, seems like two opposing functions? Sliding and not gripping or gripping and not sliding?
Banksiana
distinguished member(2061)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/16/2019 03:46PM
Skin "wax" prevents water or snow from adhering to the fibers. It is a liquid that you rub on, let dry and go. In common use for fiber based waxless trail skis. An example of skin wax
Lailoken
distinguished member (130)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/16/2019 04:48PM
Thanks so much. Planning 2night/3day solo trip to BWCA in next week or so. 2nd time winter camping, first solo, so appreciate the info.
bigmitch1
member (48)member
 
01/17/2019 09:07AM
Thank you for all of your responses.

On Sunday, we skied for an hour out of Sawbill Lake testing for slush conditions by poking ski pole deep into the snow.

We looked very hard, but found almost no slush.

On Monday, we did an overnight trip out and back to Kelly Lake.

Surprisingly, the slush was not an issue.

We had only three sections where the slush backfilled a tiny bit into our tracks.

I only had to scrape once.

The snow crust was pretty solid and the wind was picking up pretty strong on our return on Tuesday.
clinegc
member (50)member
 
02/04/2019 04:57PM
Wondering if the slush conditions have improved with our recent weather. Anyone just getting back? Heading into the Quetico next Tuesday...hopefully!!
fsupp
distinguished member (125)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
02/05/2019 06:22PM
clinegc: "Wondering if the slush conditions have improved with our recent weather. Anyone just getting back? Heading into the Quetico next Tuesday...hopefully!!"

I was in the BWCA from 1/24-1/26 (Moose and Wind Lakes), and the snow was either crusted over or in powdery drifts. That is, apart from one section of slush that stopped my three companions cold when we entered Wind. But even that had crusted over when we exited, and that was the only slush we encountered.
Pinetree
distinguished member(12290)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished membermaster membermaster member
 
02/05/2019 06:54PM
fsupp: "clinegc: "Wondering if the slush conditions have improved with our recent weather. Anyone just getting back? Heading into the Quetico next Tuesday...hopefully!!"


I was in the BWCA from 1/24-1/26 (Moose and Wind Lakes), and the snow was either crusted over or in powdery drifts. That is, apart from one section of slush that stopped my three companions cold when we entered Wind. But even that had crusted over when we exited, and that was the only slush we encountered."


Heard the Gunflint slush was disappearing before this weeks snow. More snow this week could change things?
imtk
member (5)member
 
02/08/2019 12:20PM
Any recent intel on Wood and Basswood lakes? Heading up 2/15/19.
Bearskin Lodge
senior member (57)senior membersenior member
 
02/10/2019 12:44PM
Heard the Gunflint slush was disappearing before this weeks snow. More snow this week could change things?"

We found some pretty good slush on E.Bearskin the other day. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1daWVgYJ73U

It was really the only spot on the lake, but it was real bad.

Quinn
imtk
member (5)member
 
02/10/2019 12:50PM
Bearskin Lodge: "Heard the Gunflint slush was disappearing before this weeks snow. More snow this week could change things?"


We found some pretty good slush on E.Bearskin the other day. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1daWVgYJ73U


It was really the only spot on the lake, but it was real bad.


Quinn"


dang - thanks for the info
Exfs
Guest Paddler
 
02/10/2019 03:01PM
I was up to my knees in slush this morning (with snowshoes on). It was -15 so I just turned around and went back to my truck. Hopefully we can get a little thaw to help out with the slush situation.
Pinetree
distinguished member(12290)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished membermaster membermaster member
 
02/10/2019 03:41PM
Exfs: "I was up to my knees in slush this morning (with snowshoes on). It was -15 so I just turned around and went back to my truck. Hopefully we can get a little thaw to help out with the slush situation. "

Thanks for the info-area of the BWCA> Gunflint or Ely?
Tuscarora Outfitters
member (40)member
 
02/10/2019 03:46PM
Extreme slush pocket on East Bearskin

Here's a link to that video. Luckily this seems to be an isolated incident.
DKalis
member (44)member
 
02/11/2019 09:12AM
As I am writing this as I sit on Fall lake, I can say there is no problem with slush here along where the dogsled trail runs. I skijored to Ella-Hall yesterday and no signs of slush there either. There is about 15 inches of snow and then 20 inches of ice underneath near the landing on Fall.
bigmitch1
member (48)member
 
02/11/2019 09:31AM
DKalis: "As I am writing this as I sit on Fall lake, I can say there is no problem with slush here along where the dogsled trail runs. I skijored to Ella-Hall yesterday and no signs of slush there either. There is about 15 inches of snow and then 20 inches of ice underneath near the landing on Fall. "

Thank you so much for your post!

I was thinking of a place to go this upcoming weekend.
Pinetree
distinguished member(12290)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished membermaster membermaster member
 
02/11/2019 11:07AM
Yes thanks,posts like this are what the forums should be about.
Soledad
distinguished member(1695)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
02/12/2019 12:09PM
I have been on Moose, Newfound and Found lakes, and we didn't cross any slush pockets. (2/7th-11th)

Sled dogs were enjoying the fresh powder, but it was work to break trails where they hadn't yet been.

Now is a great time of the year to go winter camping!
Lailoken
distinguished member (130)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
02/13/2019 09:41AM
I just got back from Snowbank-Parent-Disappoint. Did not see any slush on first two & and only saw some in narrows - west of big island just NE of Parent-Dis portage.
imtk
member (5)member
 
02/13/2019 11:32AM
Lailoken: "I just got back from Snowbank-Parent-Disappoint. Did not see any slush on first two & and only saw some in narrows - west of big island just NE of Parent-Dis portage."

that seems to be a common spot in my experience
clinegc
member (50)member
 
02/18/2019 10:24AM
clinegc: "Wondering if the slush conditions have improved with our recent weather. Anyone just getting back? Heading into the Quetico next Tuesday...hopefully!!" Trail is blazed wide open to Rice Bay on Basswood. As usual found slush on Mahnomen. Stay on trail and no problem!
Soledad
distinguished member(1695)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
02/25/2019 03:20PM
I would be careful with slush again. I've been hearing lots of reports of it in the area. Lots of snow weight pushing down on the ice.

With the wind, any trails previously broken no longer exist.
Merlin
distinguished member (377)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
03/05/2019 05:34PM
Any updates on conditions along the Gunflint?
tommybanzai
member (24)member
 
03/08/2019 08:23PM
Merlin: "Any updates on conditions along the Gunflint?"

I am curious also... on the ely side too
Tuscarora Outfitters
member (40)member
 
03/08/2019 08:37PM
End of the trail lakes have about 8 to 14 inches of blown and drifted snow with some slush, but nothing terrible. Can't speak for mid-trail.
Merlin
distinguished member (377)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
03/08/2019 09:28PM
Tuscarora Outfitters: "End of the trail lakes have about 8 to 14 inches of blown and drifted snow with some slush, but nothing terrible. Can't speak for mid-trail. "

Thank you.
Lailoken
distinguished member (130)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
03/08/2019 09:40PM
Fall to Hoist bay had zero slush 1-3 of March. I did stay on dogsled tracks for the most part.
tommybanzai
member (24)member
 
03/09/2019 08:40AM
Tuscarora Outfitters: "End of the trail lakes have about 8 to 14 inches of blown and drifted snow with some slush, but nothing terrible. Can't speak for mid-trail. " thanks. Heading into hegman lake today. I will post how it is tonight or tomorrow
tommybanzai
member (24)member
 
03/10/2019 08:57AM
Packed trails and no slush. Great time!
 
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