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Two Groomers out Last Night05:35 AM - Jan 26, 2020
Sunday, Jan 26th, Club #1
-7 here in Bathurst this morning and there will be freezing rain later this morning and into the evening followed by about 5 cm of snow for 24 hours. They are calling for up to 10mm and hopefully that number stays where they are estimating. Just afraid to see trees bending into the trail. We had the two groomers out last night doing the California loop and all clusters and the 22 to the 301/22 intersection with the #1 groomer + the 23 from Rogers Lake down to Nepisiguit with the #3 groomer. This grooming will keep those sections flat pre rain. There was very heavy traffic through the system yesterday and the new 504 and the 503 seen good traffic as well. A lot of people are quite happy to see the old 504 reopened. There are at least 80% of the sledders never traveled this trail before. It should be noted that the section between Governors and Melanson Brook is on the narrow side with quite a few blind crests in the trail so we advising everyone to drive with caution in this area and remain on your side of the trail ON THE RIGHT.
Grooming Went Well Yesterday05:45 AM - Jan 25, 2020
Friday, Jan 24th, Club #1
We had a great 24 to 30 hours of grooming yesterday completing the trails from Bathurst to Serpentine and Mt Carleton 504. We finally reopened the trail 503 between Trails 23 and 19, which opens up other possibilities of great trail loops offering spectacular scenery. We also groomed the 506. See map below.
It has been brought to our attention by many parties including groomer operators, sledders, NBFSC etc that there are many incidents of excessive drinking on the trails. Case in proof is the evidence left behind at shelters and pit stops along the trail where aluminum cans litter the trail side. I’m sorry, but Zero Tolerance was adopted by the federation years ago and they will continue to promote it. Further it is illegal to be caught drinking on the trail system and the ORVE has the legal right to levy penalties exactly with the same levels as though you were caught on the roadways anywhere in New Brunswick, (give this some thought as of the seriousness) which includes fines, impoundment of the vehicle and arrests. That is the way it is. Lead by example when out there on the trails. Don’t become a statistic.
Things went well out there last night. + Update 3 PM05:15 AM - Jan 24, 2020
Update 3 PM: 503 completed and half way up on Trail 504 to Mt Carleton
Friday, Jan 24th, Club #1
Not sure about writing this post this morning as I don’t want to jinx our one day without an incident. With the #1 on the go and just getting back from Serpentine to Rogers Lake, Roger was there to meet Mickey to take it back on the 23 and do the 503 for the first time this year due to the logging operation on Trail 19 near Simpson Fields. When the finish that it will turn on the 23 and do the 504 from Governors to the Mt Carleton Park. The #3 “Big Blue” ran from Nepisiguit to the Host in Bathurst by Ron and Troy took over from there and is currently on the trail back to Nepisiguit Lodge.
We are getting great reports back on trail conditions and that was helped by all the cold weather that occurred this past 7 days. We are trying to bring them up to an 8 to 10 level. There was steady traffic all day yesterday through the system and it was almost like Spring riding with temps near the zero level.
Drive safe out there.
Big Thank You to Atlantic Host02:00 PM - Jan 23, 2020
Another sell-out supper at the lodge last night. We want to thank Keith and his wonderful staff for providing the most popular of all our suppers. We had people in from NS Pubnico area, a big contingent from our good neighbors from the Miramichi and different parts of NB plus a couple from Massachusetts. The chicken & rib were fantastic, prizes were great and everyone had a great time. A special thanks to our own volunteers with Dennis, Dave , Richard and Kirk plus our staff Joan, Charlene, Micheline, Bryce and Jessie. Thank you all for all showing up to a great social event. See you next week at our next supper (turkey dinner and all the fixens) sponsored by Guy and West End Sports plus Joan’s special deserts. Call the lodge 548-9174 for tickets as they will be going fast and they could be sold out already.
So many steps forward and back. I can almost Waltz05:45 AM - Jan 23, 2020
Thursday, Jan 23rd, Club #1
This is so bad you may as well laugh. The last two days it was one step forward or whatever. Too many steps, then you start tripping over everything. So here is what took place yesterday. We got the #1 workhorse back on the trail late yesterday afternoon and it is on the trail at post. The laugher is the #3 which has been running nonstop broke a steering cylinder. It had basically covered a lot of trail between Nepisiguit and Governors. Ron will have that cylinder repaired today.
The #1 picked up its drag at Nepisiguit and did the 23 502 and the Cal Loop just to get some hours on testing the unit. As soon as it reaches Rogers Lake it will be off to Serpentine on Trail 23, then we have the 504 and the 503 (back in the loop) to get groomed up. The #3 will be doing the trail 19 to Bathurst once the cylinder is repaired.
I’m assuming that the Wednesday Night Supper at the lodge was another success (I couldn't attend) as all the tickets were sold out for the Atlantic Host's Chicken & Ribs. I’ll see if I can get some info by late morning.
One forward and Two Back05:55 AM - Jan 22, 2020
Wednesday, Jan 22nd, Club #1 -20 At Post
Yesterday morning’s post read “one step forward and one step back” and this morning’s post will read “one step forward and two steps back”. It’s not raining but it is pouring troubles as we had the two other groomers down yesterday morning, The #3 had hydraulic fittings problems along with a broken piston clevis which all got repaired by 2 PM. Unit is out grooming and did the Nepisiguit through Rogers Lake up to Red Pine Shelter and over 507 and 22 to the 501/22 intersection, back to Rogers Lake. Operator change out then back up to Governors on Piston Alley (on the Trail 23 at post. The #3 will run close to 24/7 as we lost the #1 (our workhorse) due to a fuel feed problem. We hope to have it back within a day or so. I want to commend Ron Scott (Trails Director) through these trying times.
Trails remain in the 7 to 10 range and we’re going to push through this groomer epidemic. Traffic was steady and it is ideal weather for snowmobiling. See Grooming maps below.
A "shout out" to our good friends from Pubnico.
Stay on the right side, especially in corners.11:00 AM - Jan 21, 2020
Safety Message Stay on the right side, especially in corners.
80 to 90 % of our trails are of the wide variety here at Nepisiguit (20ft), but there are areas that are not so wide. In this day and age with so many riders on the trails, we still have people taking corners on the opposite side of the trail. I’m sure everyone out there has experienced this, with many experiencing near misses. One has to realize that you have to slow down making turns, because your sled does drift, some more than others and yes there are other people using the trails other than yourself.
Of course there are the strait stretches and in a lot of cases they are up to 25ft wide and more. You still see people running right down the center of the trail, snow dust and all. Think of the person that is coming from the other direction dealing with your snow dust and meeting your buddy following your tracks with his sheep mobile down the center of the trail. I’m going to spell it out for you:
S T A Y O N Y O U R S I D E
One step forward and one step back.05:45 AM - Jan 21, 2020
Tuesday, Jan 21st, Club #1
-20 this morning in Bathurst. The maintenance on the #1 went well and got back on the trails yesterday afternoon and left East Bathurst on Trail 19 to the Atlantic Host, fueled and then headed for Nepisiguit and Rogers Lake and is still on the trail at post. It will leave for Serpentine sometime today. The #3 will be back on the trail today after replacement of a few hydraulic fittings. One thing we have going for us is the trails are holding due to the low temperatures. We are kind of threading along on thin ice with one of groomers being sidelined. Trail conditions range from 7 to 10.
If anyone chose to come to the north this week, it was wise decision with perfect weather for the next 6 days. Tickets are sold out for this week’s supper at the lodge, but we do have openings for next week’s Turkey supper sponsored by West End Sports. This is a popular supper and I’m assuming these tickets will be going fast as well. The response to these suppers is beyond expectations, which are major fund raisers to support our trail grooming. I might add that any support to our lodge that all profits go right back into trail maintenance, which includes many aspects of supporting this sport; grooming, groomer maintenance, groomer fuel, signage, shelters, bridges, off season trail maintenance and improvements, wages etc. etc.
Low Temperatures + Update #1 10.2006:00 AM - Jan 19, 2020
Update #1 1040 AM. The #1 was scheduled to run back to Rogers Lake, but Ron ordered it to the Garage in East Bathurst for a deicing and maintenance. We have to protect our workhorse with making sure it is in top shape as we're down a unit with the # 2 on the fritz.
Sunday, Jan 19th, Club #1
We are in the beginning of a 5 cm flurry, which will last until this evening.
It is a balmy -17 this morning in Bathurst, a real heat wave from the -25 recorded last evening. Seriously these temperatures are very dangerous and an accident in these conditions can be life threatening, so please sled with caution out there on the trails. It is also serious for all groomer operators, but they have heat in their cabs and most have back-up.
Last night we moved Big Blue to Rogers Lake to get some of the western side of our system looked after. Once there we had an operator change out and it left for Governors and is now on its way back at post. The #1 is running from Rogers Lake to the Host in Bathurst and is still on the trail at post. At 5 AM Troy was about two hours from reaching the Host. On a side note, Troy will do the 502 on the way back to Rogers Lake, which will be sometime during this evening. The trail set-up after the groomer passes is about 5 to 10 minutes at these temperatures. We are officially down to two groomers with the #2 out for hopefully less than a week due to a Cummings engine failure. The engine had to be shipped to Fredericton due to warranty.
Trails should remain decent over these few days and traffic was steady throughout Saturday despite the low temperatures. See grooming map below. https://nbfsc.evtrails.com/#
It's Cold out There This Morning06:00 AM - Jan 18, 2020
Saturday, Jan 18th, Club #1
-20 with a -30 wind chill. We dodged a bullet yesterday morning with the ditching of our workhorse #1 groomer (see yesterday’s post). As you know we’re down to two groomers of which the #1 does 75% of the grooming. We just got word that the #2 will be out of action for as much as two weeks and as little as one week. One positive with these low temps, which is the lowest we’ve seen this year, is that the set-up time is within 20 to 30 minutes.
Due to the cold temps traffic was moderate and steady on the trail system and with these conditions we’re urging everyone to drive safe as an accident could be life threatening.
Grooming last night: #1 from Rogers Lake on 23 507 and 22 to 22/301 return on 22 to Nine Mile shelter then doubling back to Rogers Lake. The #3 was out of Nepisiguit on 23 to Rogers Lake and is on the way back to Nepisiguit at post.
Vehicles on the Trails + correction on the off road site10:00 AM - Jan 15, 2020
Just a note before this happens. It can be a fool hardy adventure to attempt to drive a street vehicle on a groomed snowmobile trail. It is illegal and can be damaging to the vehicle plus the potential for a huge fine ranging from $180.00 for driving a four wheeled vehicle on a snowmobile trail. Just pass this message on and for those who witness such an incident. We can’t do anything if that vehicle is not reported to the proper authorities unless you do this; record the time, date, licence plate and the approximate area of the incident. A photo of the licence plate would also be helpful, then report to the authorities. 1-877-449-2244 https://www2.gnb.ca/content/gnb/en/departments/public-safety/community_safety/content/drivers_vehicles/content/off_road_vehicle_enforcement.html or the club. We had 3 such incidents on our system last year. One of which received fines, because it was reported as per the above.
Safety on the Trails:01:00 PM - Jan 9, 2020
January 10: Safety
Usually I’ve stressed the issue of safety on the trails and it is about time that we bring this topic to the front. Fortunately we have been spared a fatal accident this year in New Brunswick, but that goes without saying that we’ve had a share of accidents. With increasing traffic we should always be aware that there are othe sledders out there that are using these trails so keep a few safety tips in your mind while sledding. Keep the speed down where you are in control, Stay on your side, Safe distance between sleds, Stay out of the snow dust where you have total visibility, and use your common sense. I’ve attached my version of the accident Pyramid. Let’s keep it well below the top.
Grooming plus warnings about riding on non designated trails05:10 AM - Jan 4, 2017
-3 in Bathurst at post. Snow turning to rain today. Yesterday the #1 was up to Serpentine from Rogers Lake (trail 23). 21 hour run. On the way back it did the Dry Gulch 506 road. The #2 is very close to a fix and if there is, then both groomers will wait until this snow dries out a bit.
Just a warning to all snowmobilers wandering off groomed trails on private property: if we abuse our privilege we could lose a very important section of Trail 19 from Atlantic Host going East. Another contentious area is in Gloucester Junction Near East Bathurst, which is again on 19 East. Some sledders are jumping the trail onto the CNR rail bed. We’ve already been warned by the CNR in past years. If we lose this section of trail, then all the work that was done between that area and Route 360 will all be for not, thus cutting access to East Bathurst plus the Peninsula. This no laughing matter if we want snowmobiling to continue here in Bathurst.
Final Safety Message11:00 AM - Dec 29, 2016
Final Safety Message #5
Summary: I hope that the safety messages over the last few days have shed some light to those who drive with reckless abandon on our snowmobile trails. There is much more I could have stressed on, but wanted to point out the messages that were closer to the life threatening; speed, stay on your side, parking on trail, hand signals. If you haven’t read them, just scroll down and do so. Remember, it is rider responsibility, take your time & read these Red signs as they are posted throughout the province. Our trails are not perfect and not engineered. They are maintained by a volunteer organization. All the messages are meaningless if we don’t use some common sense in riding our sleds. One rule of thought; Put your mind in gear before you put your body in motion.
Hand Signals Make Trails Safer11:00 AM - Dec 28, 2016
Safety Message #14 Hand signals make the trail safer, BUT if you feel that you are jeopardising your own safety with the use of hand signals then by all means use your discretion to signal.
Communication is an important part of staying safe, having
fun and sharing the trails responsibly. Make sure you know and use these signals every time you go out.
Left arm raised at shoulder height, elbow bent and forearm vertical with palm of hand flat.
Left arm extended straight out from shoulder and pointing in the direction of the turn.
Left arm extended out and down from the side of the body with a downward flapping motion of hand to signal warning or caution.
Arm raised from the shoulder and extended straight up over the head with palm of hand flat. In some jurisdictions, the STOP signal may be indicated using the right arm, since the left hand is used for braking. Snowmobiles should watch out for and be prepared to stop for either signal.
Left arm raised at shoulder height, elbow bent and forearm vertical, wrist bent, move arm from left to right over head, pointing to right side of trail.
Left arm raised, elbow bent, with thumb pointing backward, in hitchhiking motion, move arm forward to backward over your shoulder.
LAST SLED IN LINE
Raise forearm from handle bar and show clenched fist at shoulder height.
Parking on the trail.11:00 AM - Dec 26, 2016
Safety Message #2 Parking on the trail. It sounds so minor, but can be so deadly if you don’t take these simple rules seriously. If you have reason to stop, whether it is for a rest break, sled problems, or you just stopped to give someone a hand, etc, etc. then, pick a place where it is safe; a strait stretch where it provides good visibility for on coming sleds, never on a corner, a blind hill, a narrow piece of trail and I’m sure there are more. Get your sled completely off the trail or at least one ski off in the snow. Step off the machine on the right side to ensure your own safety. Stay out of the way of oncoming traffic. Parking two abreast is definitely a no-no. I for one don’t profess that I’ve never broken these rules, but these simple rules can save a lot of heartache and misery. I’m just asking you to think about this the next time you stop on the trails. Thank You for reading this.
Nepisiguit Club #1
The Nepisiguit Snowmobile club #1, which is the oldest snowmobile club in the province, has the largest membership in New Brunswick with 949 registered last season (826 for 15/16), (849 for 14/15), (794 for 13/14), (809 for 12/14), (765 for 11/12), (579 for 07/08) with a strong Nova Scotia and PEI contingent and maintains a trail system about 400 Kilometers in length. The club started in 69/70 with one small groomer with membership fees of $10 and groomed about 175 Km in the area between Brunswick Mines (Old Theriault Rd), Highway 430 (Nine Mile East Rd), and the now Caribou Mines.
Trails were designated and signed by such names as Caribou, Bear, Fox, Rabbit and Beaver. Log shelters were built along the trails and were also designated with animal names. One unique feature at the beginning was that all traffic was in one direction. It made for safer trails as the drags were only so wide. The trails were made in a series of 5 loops and one could vary their trip in any combination of loops as they so wished. We only use a small percentage of these trails today in our present system< namely: Nine Mile East, Nine Mile North, Rio, and the Forty Four. As time progressed the trails expanded closer to Nepisiguit Falls where the Bathurst Fish and Game Ass. had built a lodge which is currently the Nepisiguit Sports Lodge. Then it progressed into Bathurst to the Atlantic Host Motor Inn. Then the trail system blew up into the Chaleur area ( we were all one club back then) and down to the Miramichi to the Belfont area where there was a thriving club house.
Of course everything was dependent on the volunteer. Some of the founders were Howard Doucet , Bud Kenny, John Labonville and there were a few more, plus loads of volunteers.
MORE TO COME