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   Winter Camping and Activities
      2020 Ice Condidtions     

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Soledad
distinguished member(1695)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
12/30/2019 01:20PM
Has anyone been out on BWCA lakes? What is it like to travel? Does anyone have a more recent report than this one? Fishing/Ice Report
 
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Gadfly
distinguished member (393)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
12/30/2019 03:40PM
It has been a couple weeks but I was up December 6th through the 10th in the Ely area on a 500+ acre lake and we found 6" to 10" of decent quality ice. There was 3" to 5" of snow on top and we only ran into one section of slush for about 50 feet.
Tuscarora Outfitters
member (40)member
 
12/30/2019 03:46PM
Here's what Round Lake looked like yesterday: Slushpocalypse

Tuscarora, Missing Link, and Seagull have significant slush. Although it's not super deep on the big parts of the lakes, it is very widespread.

Andy

RainGearRight
distinguished member(1567)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
12/31/2019 06:53AM
We're headed up mid gunflint trail tomorrow for a few days. Not lookkng forward to another trout opener of slush. Last year on Daniels we had so much our water hole was under 10 inches of water. Lots of tasty folaige comming up though the hole...
We were able to set up on the ice right near shore but tromping down the snow but by the last day the slush/water was encroaching.

Ill give an update this weekend.
RainGearRight
distinguished member(1567)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/04/2020 09:22PM
Short report is the lakes are screwed. We had 8" of slush from shore out.
Got worse as we drilled holes but crusted up as you packed the slush down witb snowshoes. Water hole was a disaster. Fishing was slower than previous years but we still caught fish.

Tuscarora Outfitters
member (40)member
 
01/05/2020 03:05PM
Here's a more up to date look at what is going on out there: Gunflint Trail Slush and Weather Update

The high winds are scouring the insulating snow off the lakes pretty well and some of the slush is starting to freeze up, combined with the colder weather this week I think everything is going to improve quite a bit.

Andy
01/06/2020 12:35AM
Was on the lakes near the Boy Scout base last week. They wouldn't let anyone on Moose and all treks were routed towards Griddle, Flash, Snowbank, Secret, and Blackstone.

My crew set foot on Flash, Snowbank, and Griddle. Flash had a few inches of slush under about a foot of snow with 8" of ice underneath the slush, although not in all places. We didn't stay long enough on Griddle due to how bad the slush was. Our time on Snowbank was short but it seemed to have similar slush conditions as Flash.
Jaywalker
distinguished member(2026)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/06/2020 10:40AM
Sounds like setting up tents on the ice is off the menu for a while. Question is at what point will there be enough crust to allow good sized snow shoes to pass over without breaking into the slush?
jbacker7
member (5)member
 
01/06/2020 01:42PM
We were out on West Bearskin this past weekend. There was 8-10" of snow and slush on top of 8-10" of ice. We still sank in with snowshoes, and pulling a sled was miserable.
Gadfly
distinguished member (393)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/06/2020 02:17PM
That's a bummer. Will most likely be in that area for a March Laker trip. Hope conditions are better by then.
GopherAdventure
distinguished member(578)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/06/2020 06:06PM
I was planning on heading in via Moose for MLK weekend. I hope conditions get a little better before then. Maybe Wood will have to be my backup plan, or Parent....

Mirth, did they have a sign at Moose advising against travel on the ice?

Tony
Tuscarora Outfitters
member (40)member
 
01/06/2020 07:03PM
Jaywalker: "Sounds like setting up tents on the ice is off the menu for a while. Question is at what point will there be enough crust to allow good sized snow shoes to pass over without breaking into the slush?"

The high winds and colder temps have done a lot in the last 24 hours. We were out all day today and snowshoes and skis kept us completely slush free. Hopefully we can get some cold and avoid more snow for a little while.

Andy
GopherAdventure
distinguished member(578)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/06/2020 08:27PM
Thanks for the update Andy!
01/07/2020 04:38PM
GopherAdventure: "I was planning on heading in via Moose for MLK weekend. I hope conditions get a little better before then. Maybe Wood will have to be my backup plan, or Parent....

Mirth, did they have a sign at Moose advising against travel on the ice?

Tony"


Tony - I did not make it down to the put-in (either Northern Tier's or the official by La Tourell's) so I can't say if there was signage. The base staff were adamant that the ice was sketchy on Moose and they were not letting any crews head that way, period.

I hope you find good solid ice! At least by MLK most of the activity by the base will be diminished to cabin weekends and dogsled treks.
Pinetree
distinguished member(12291)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished membermaster membermaster member
 
01/08/2020 11:09PM
mirth: "GopherAdventure: "I was planning on heading in via Moose for MLK weekend. I hope conditions get a little better before then. Maybe Wood will have to be my backup plan, or Parent....


Mirth, did they have a sign at Moose advising against travel on the ice?


Tony"



Tony - I did not make it down to the put-in (either Northern Tier's or the official by La Tourell's) so I can't say if there was signage. The base staff were adamant that the ice was sketchy on Moose and they were not letting any crews head that way, period.


I hope you find good solid ice! At least by MLK most of the activity by the base will be diminished to cabin weekends and dogsled treks."


Usually sled dogs run it quite often. Forest service probably would know if being used.
Tuscarora Outfitters
member (40)member
 
01/12/2020 04:14PM
Conditions got a lot better this week, especially on the bigger lakes that really got hit with the high winds. If you skip past the fishing to end of this video you can see what Seagull Lake was like a few hours ago: January 12th, 2020 Winter Update

Almost no slush, and the slush we found wasn't very deep. Just need to get some more cold weather before we get more snow.


Andy
01/12/2020 06:17PM
Thanks for the update Andy! Really look forward to your winter videos!
Rich aka tg
GopherAdventure
distinguished member(578)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/13/2020 10:10AM
tg: "Thanks for the update Andy! Really look forward to your winter videos!
Rich aka tg"


Rich,

You going up to the BW this winter? Conditions are looking a little better now...

P.S.- we have got to get together for some paddling/fishing this coming season.

Tony
Tuscarora Outfitters
member (40)member
 
01/19/2020 02:25PM
The upper Gunflint Trail got around 6 to 8 inches of snow and mid-trail got over 12. Unfortunatley we're going to slush up again, shouldn't be too bad around us but I suspect mid-trail might get pretty bad. Here's what it looks like : Gunflint Update

Even with the snow the trails into Tuscarora and Brant are still in really good shape because of winter campers (and us using them) and there are good paths across Round and Missing Link.

Andy
GopherAdventure
distinguished member(578)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/22/2020 09:22AM
Was on Moose and Wind on the Ely side this past weekend. There was a hard 2-3 inch layer of ice with a layer of slush underneath followed by 10” of solid ice. I only hit two small slushy patches in 3 days of winter camping. The outer layer was thick enough that I never broke through on skis or snowshoes. Ely got 7” of snow while I was up there that may change things a bit but it only slowed me a little.

Tony
ZaraSp00k
distinguished member(1400)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
01/24/2020 08:00AM
what about the snow itself, is it the usual dry snow or the wet snow we've been getting in the TC area?
as it relates to skiing and snow shoeing
Tuscarora Outfitters
member (40)member
 
01/24/2020 08:57AM
The snow has been mostly dry. There's still lots of lofty deep snow in the woods, we haven't had any warm weather to settle it. That's going to change over the next week or so, the snow will settle quite a bit.

Andy
Mocha
distinguished member(7029)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
01/24/2020 11:38AM
omg! is Ada a nut or what! can't imagine staying upright on skis behind a snowmobile. looks like fun times.
Pinetree
distinguished member(12291)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished membermaster membermaster member
 
01/24/2020 12:58PM
Mocha: "omg! is Ada a nut or what! can't imagine staying upright on skis behind a snowmobile. looks like fun times."

I know I can't anymore-well never could. Like flat surface skiing and going slow.
Tuscarora Outfitters
member (40)member
 
01/28/2020 10:13AM
Conditions are continuing to slowly improve at the end of the Gunflint Trail. There's still spotty slush but it's not very deep (a few inches on big lakes, worse on smaller lakes) and it's easy to stay on top of with skis or snowshoes. 14 to 20 inches of ice depending on where you are.

Andy
Tuscarora Outfitters
member (40)member
 
02/02/2020 03:08PM
Pretty quiet week, about 3 inches of snow this morning but it's getting sunny now.

Here's what it looks like on Round, the Kek, and Sag: Feb. Gunflint Trail Update

Andy
Tuscarora Outfitters
member (40)member
 
02/09/2020 01:29PM
Conditions remained mostly unchanged this week. We got about 3 more inches of light fluffy snow on the upper Gunflint Trail. The slush is bad in some spots and nonexistent in others. If you're heading to Tuscarora anytime soon check out the middle part of our video this week for a look at what you can expect, the trail is in excellent shape and there's almost no slush. There is also a good trail into Brant if you're heading that way.

Skiing to Tuscarora (and some ice fishing)

Andy
Gadfly
distinguished member (393)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
02/10/2020 11:22AM
I appreciate the updates. Will be somewhere up the gunflint 4 weeks from Friday after Lakers and maybe some whitefish.
Tuscarora Outfitters
member (40)member
 
02/16/2020 01:43PM
Another uneventful weather week on the Gunflint Trail. Some cold and a little snow, trails to Tuscarora and Brant remain in good shape but the lakes have been drifted over by the high winds. The first significant above freezing temperatures are coming next weekend! (at least at this point in the forecast)

Gunflint Update

Andy
Jaywalker
distinguished member(2026)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
02/16/2020 07:21PM
Ada and Andy,
I just love these update videos. Thank you for the updates.
Troutfarmer
Guest Paddler
 
02/17/2020 06:42PM
Hi there, I’m going winter camping in 2 weeks and am wondering what the ice thickness is likely to be. Our auger can handle about 34”. I assume we’re ok? We will be somewhere mid to upper gunflint, depending on conditions. Thanks!
Tuscarora Outfitters
member (40)member
 
02/17/2020 08:01PM
You will be good, there won't be any thick ice this year.

Andy
Soledad
distinguished member(1695)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
02/19/2020 10:36AM
Troutfarmer : "Hi there, I’m going winter camping in 2 weeks and am wondering what the ice thickness is likely to be. Our auger can handle about 34”. I assume we’re ok? We will be somewhere mid to upper gunflint, depending on conditions. Thanks!"

The Ely side may have more ice. A friend was on Farm Lake the past weekend and said that he almost needed his extension but had a couple inches to spare.
Tuscarora Outfitters
member (40)member
 
02/25/2020 04:46PM
This weekend was the warmest weather since sometime in November, the snow settled a bunch but we didn't lose a lot in the woods. Slush is almost nonexistent, I was on 12 lakes this week and didn't see one spec of slush that wasn't caused by us drilling holes. The best winter camping and fishing weather is probably going to be the next few weeks.

Gunflint Trail Update, February 25th

Andy
Tuscarora Outfitters
member (40)member
 
03/01/2020 01:46PM
Not to sound like a broken record, but it was another week of unchanging conditions. It's been seasonably warm and looks like it will continue to do so. The trail into Tuscarora is still in excellent shape and winter campers are reporting 18 to 24 inches of ice and no slush. The lakes are crusted and drifted and the snow is settling in the warm weather, but we have not had any major melting yet.

Gunflint Update -- Skiing to Bridal Falls

Andy
Gadfly
distinguished member (393)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
03/03/2020 08:39AM
Thanks for the report again. Hoping this good weather can hold out for a couple more weeks. We prefer to camp on the ice so glad to hear the conditions are great for that at the moment.
Tuscarora Outfitters
member (40)member
 
03/09/2020 12:32PM
6 inches of heavy snow fell on Wednesday night last week, the most in almost a month. A little bit of slush popped up here and there but nothing bad. Saturday and Sunday were in the upper 40s and low 50s and it knocked down most of the new snow and settled everything on the lakes. Temps well below freezing at night are going to make for some crusty snow this week. The lakes are holding up very well and the 10 day forecast looks pretty typical for March, at this point I think good fishing and camping conditions are going to last at least in to the 20s of March.

This week's update is pure fishing.

Andy
Tuscarora Outfitters
member (40)member
 
03/15/2020 04:21PM
It's looking like winter is going to stay strong going into the end of March. Last weekend's warm temps, and the rain we had mid-week, have created the best travel conditions of the season.

Gunflint Trail Conditions Update

Andy
Pinetree
distinguished member(12291)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished membermaster membermaster member
 
03/15/2020 04:27PM
Tuscarora Outfitters: "It's looking like winter is going to stay strong going into the end of March. Last weekend's warm temps, and the rain we had mid-week, have created the best travel conditions of the season.


Gunflint Trail Conditions Update


Andy"
March may be my favorite month,nice hard pack skiing on lakes and in the woods at times. Long days and light jacket for skiing and no mosquitoes.

Thanks for the reports.
Tuscarora Outfitters
member (40)member
 
03/15/2020 04:54PM
Pinetree: "Tuscarora Outfitters: "It's looking like winter is going to stay strong going into the end of March. Last weekend's warm temps, and the rain we had mid-week, have created the best travel conditions of the season.



Gunflint Trail Conditions Update



Andy"
March may be my favorite month,nice hard pack skiing on lakes and in the woods at times. Long days and light jacket for skiing and no mosquitoes.


Thanks for the reports."




I forgot to mention! The crust skiing is incredible right now, you can go for miles.

Andy
Pinetree
distinguished member(12291)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished membermaster membermaster member
 
03/15/2020 05:00PM
Tuscarora Outfitters: "Pinetree: "Tuscarora Outfitters: "It's looking like winter is going to stay strong going into the end of March. Last weekend's warm temps, and the rain we had mid-week, have created the best travel conditions of the season.



Gunflint Trail Conditions Update



Andy"
March may be my favorite month,nice hard pack skiing on lakes and in the woods at times. Long days and light jacket for skiing and no mosquitoes.



Thanks for the reports."




I forgot to mention! The crust skiing is incredible right now, you can go for miles.


Andy"
Yes that is what I like,also winter camping than on the lakes you don't even know you are pulling a sled.
Gadfly
distinguished member (393)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
03/18/2020 09:01AM
Just came back from a 4 day trip up the gunflint. Outside of the crazy wind on Friday conditions were near perfect. Wish I could have stayed longer as the bite was hot as well. No trophies but many Lakers in the 15" to 22" range.
Tuscarora Outfitters
member (40)member
 
04/01/2020 03:57PM
Well, March certainly didn't end the way we thought it would, but it's over.
The melt is on up here, forecast looks pretty good for chipping away at the snow and ice.
I hope everyone is staying safe and healthy in these crazy times.

Here's what it looks like at the end of the trail as of April 1st.

April 1st on the Gunflint Trail

Andy
SevenofNine
distinguished member(2381)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
04/02/2020 08:49AM
Thanks for posting an update. Nice to see the area in transition.
schweady
distinguished member(6738)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
04/02/2020 04:24PM
Tuscarora Outfitters: "April 1st on the Gunflint Trail
Andy"

Excellent video. Well produced and edited. Thanks.
Duff
senior member (61)senior membersenior member
 
04/02/2020 06:26PM
Thanks Andy for keeping folks like me updated with a taste of the true flavor of what is going on snow and ice wise up the Trail. Written descriptions are nice, but the videos truly shine. Thanks for taking the time all year to produce them.
Not to mention the fishing parts of your videos are also fun to watch.

Hard to believe we were up just three weeks ago, so much has changed in the world since then.
But we enjoyed our one night stay at your place and the next four days in your backyard.
It is really nice to be able to bring the hound along and have a place that will accept dogs. She was a bit confused, but settled in nicely. Hopefully with the short stay the amount of wookie fur left behind was minimal.
I hope things for all the resorts and outfitters returns to normal sooner than later.
Thanks again!

 
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