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Nopiming Sno-mads Update for February 2023

Hello Nopiming Sno-mads,

Well if you were hoping for more snow and colder weather then you are in luck. Over the past week we received approx. 10 to 12 centimeters of snow, and the temperature has dipped down below -30 Celsius at night. This is good news for our club as the lake trails have been very rough due to frozen slush and hardly any new snow for quite some time. We have been very cautious in putting our larger Class A groomers on the lakes as the ice is not as structurally sound as in past years. The recommended ice thickness to put a large class A groomer on the ice is 16 inches, but this assumes that we have clear blue ice. Slush ice has air pockets and is not as strong as blue ice, therefore we need more than 16 inches of ice to safely cross the lakes. The implications of putting a Class A groomer on lakes are significant and so we must weigh the risk against the reward. Luckily, the colder weather this week has increased ice thickness by a couple more inches which has allowed us to groom our lake trails with a class A drag (Trails 231, 232, 234). We were fortunate to have our Class B drag (Kubota) to groom as we wait for the ice to thicken, which helps to keep our trails in decent shape. The Class B drag only requires 8 to 10 inches of ice, so it allows us to groom our trails until we get enough ice to put the Class A drag on the lake trails. I'm sure that many of you have noticed that we have been using our Class A drags on trail 233 (Osis trail to the Winnipeg River) for quite some time. In fact we started grooming trail 233 with a Class A drag on December 27th and have been doing so since. The strategy to bypass beaver dams by using pond levelers has paid off by allowing us to safely groom trail 233 much earlier than in previous years. We did have some overland flooding between Shane's shelter and the junction to trail 231 (south loop turnoff), but it is now frozen and has several Caution and Slow signs to warn sledders. You may notice a new bypass trail at the south end of Mary Jane lake. We received permission from Conservation 2 weeks ago to build a trail bypass around the beaver dam at the south end of the lake. For many years the old beaver dam remained dormant and therefore did not pose any grooming risk. However, this year the beavers have taken up residency in that area and built a new dam on top of the old dam thereby causing flooding in that area. Beaver dam ice is always dangerous to cross with our Class A drag as the ice gets thinner as you get closer to the dam because of water seepage. Our newly acquired excavator was put to work and we were able to clear a new trail in just 2 days. Without the excavator it would have taken a group of volunteers many weeks to clear that trail. The new brusher attachment for the excavator has also been used extensively to help clear trail and to brush existing trails. Our volunteers know all too well that the hardest job we do is to clear and brush trails. We sure hope that those who attended "The Chili Extravaganza" appreciated the variety of chili recipes as 5 top chefs went head to head in competition to earn the prestigious award of best Nopiming Sno-mads chili. It was a closely contested chili cook off, but in the end Keianna Solvason was awarded the best chili trophy. Many of us think that this competition will only grow in popularity so we are already looking forward to seeing who next year's winner will be. If you make awesome chili, then perhaps you should put your recipe to the test! We should mention that the club raised a whopping $1,063 in donations, so thank you very much for your generosity! A big thank you to Martin and Ingrid Enns for taking the lead and organizing the event. Many of us are impressed by Ingrid's event planning skills and would love to see her take on the role full time. In fact, we would like to form a social event planning committee, so if you are interested in participating please contact one of the club executives. Our annual poker derby is just around the corner scheduled for February 11th from 9:00 AM until 1:00 PM. We plan on serving free hot dogs, smokies, soft drinks and coffee between 11:00 AM and 3:00 PM at the Groomer Shed. Poker derby stations are located at the Groomer Shed, Rumble Inn, and Shane's Shelter. All Poker Derby cards need to be returned to the Groomer Shed Poker Derby station by 1:00 PM. We will determine the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd best poker hands sometime after the 1:00 PM cut-off and hand out the cash prizes. There is no set course this year as all trails have two way traffic. Even if you do not want to ride the trails you can still participate in the poker derby by drawing your hands at the Groomer Shed. The cost of the poker hands are 1 for $5, 3 for $10 and 7 for $20 and can be purchased at any of the 3 stations. 1st prize is 25%, 2nd is 15%, and 3rd is 10% of money collected. We are looking for volunteers to help with the poker derby, and to help prepare and serve food, so if you are interested please contact Wendy Dietz at 204-791-6564. The 1st annual Bird Burger day is scheduled for February 25th from noon until 4:00 PM. Jesse and Dylan Guenther have generously volunteered to recreate Blaine's famous Bird Burger recipe including fries. If you love socializing; meeting with neighbors and friends; and enjoy a famous Bird Burger and Fries, then this event is for you! The event will take place in the Groomer Shed across from the lodge between noon and 4:00 PM. We will also be serving soft drinks and coffee. Burger, fries and drink price is $15 per meal. Finally, I'm sure that many of you have noticed that trail 230 is closed on the Snoman interactive map. Crown Lands Management, who oversee the portion of trail 230 that is outside the boundary of Nopiming Provincial Park have made the decision to close that portion of the trail due to a conflict with mining exploration. Snoman is actively involved in helping us find a solution so that we can re-open trail 230 for next year's snowmobile season. Sincerely, Nopiming Sno-mads Executive

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