FIFTH ANNUAL North Shore Ski Trek
TWO TREKS TO CHOOSE FROM THIS YEAR
1. BEARSKIN TREK 2017
Wed-Sun - March 8-12
Four nights at Bearskin Lodge
$300 - plus a meal to share
Ski right from your lodge onto the legendary trails around Bearskin Lodge. From here you can also ski to the BWCA, or the Banadad Trail. Skiers of all abilities are invited, ski as much or as little as you wish. There will certainly be people who ski at your pace and are fun to talk with. There will be some optional activities like skiing to Golden Eagle Lodge for tea and cookies, an evening star hike (hopefully with Northern Lights) and ski part or all of the Banadad Trail. We also plan on a group dinner/party one evening in Bearskin’s main lodge.
2. NORTH SHORE TREK 2017
Fri-Wed - March 3-8
Five nights - (nearly) point-to-point ski from Tofte to Gunflint Lake
$400 - plus a meal to share
Two nights at Lutsen Sea Villas.
Three nights at Bearskin Lodge.
The trail names are famous: Sugarbush, Norpine, Bally Creek, Gunflint, Banadad. And they are famous for a reason. They are beautiful, expertly groomed, well design, full of delightful surprises. Views of Lake Superior, long hills (up and down) rocky cliffs and the long meditative day on the Banadad Trail. With this tour we are piecing together a (nearly) point-to-point adventure. This is both an informal and magnificent tour. While we are experiencing the best trails, scenery and lodges anywhere, the trip leaders will not be holding your hand.
Through the BWCA
The new feature for 2017 is a connecting 35km jaunt across the BWCA. This leg will be led by an experienced guide from Stone Harbor Wilderness Supply in Grand Marais to help select the best route and to determine conditions are safe. The first 10km will be groomed and tracked on the BWCA access road to Brule Lake. Since the next 25km will be through the BWCA Wilderness machine grooming is not be allow. We will ski this section in groups of nine (the largest number allowed in the BWCA). We will take turns breaking trail through any new snow. Early March we can experience any imaginable condition. We can have crust skiing, which would make for a good glide and a pretty fast 25km ski - we could have a foot of new snow, making for a longer, tougher haul - or spring slush conditions, in which case we would cancel the BWCA crossing and ski another fantastic Cook County trail, like the Pincushion Trails. We will not ski across the BWCA if conditions make it dangerous.
Minnesota Ski Pass
Four days of the North Shore Trek will be on trails that require a Minnesota Ski Pass. Skiers can purchase the pass earlier in the winter or the first morning of the trek at a Holiday Gas Station along the North Shore.
Even though we will be trying to ski the entire distance from Tofte to Gunflint Lake, there will be some shuttling.
- Friday - Early morning drive from from your home to Tofte
- Friday - ski Picnic Loop - Tofte to Onion River Road - start at noon - sleep at Lutsen Sea Villas
- Saturday - ski Onion River Road to Bally Creek - lunch at Cascade Lodge- ski Bally Creek to Grade Road - sleep at Lutsen Sea Villas
- Sunday - ski across the BWCA- sleep at Bearskin Lodge
- Monday - ski the Bearskin Lodge/Golden Eagle trails - sleep at Bearskin Lodge
- Tuesday - ski Bearskin Lodge to Gunflint Lake on the Banadad trail. - sleep at Bearskin Lodge - Celebration Dinner
- Wednesday - Morning ski at Bearskin before heading home.
We are working toward a true point-to-point trek incorporating the best ski trails in Cook County - for 2017 we are closer to achieving this goal than ever.
Classic Only - Banadad Trail, the trail from Cascade Lodge to Bally Creek, the ski across the BWCA
Skate and Classic - Picnic Loop, Lutsen Road to Cascade Lodge + the trails at Bearkskin Lodge.
If the weather is warm and snow is soft we strongly encourage classic technique to help preserve the ski trails.
Fill out the info below and send a check. We are accepting 30 skiers for each trip.
(sign up by September 20th - lodges request payment by October to secure space.)
$300 for the Bearskin Trek
$400 for the North Shore Trek and the following info to the address below
Phone number and Cell number
Would you like to car-pool from Mpls/St. Paul to the North Shore?
Is your car available?
If so, how many seats?
Each person will be assigned to bring one breakfast or dinner to share with 10 people.
Everyone will bring their own lunches.
North Shore Ski Trek
Kathy and Tony Mommsen
Trip leaders Kathy and Tony Mommsen
For more photos and info, join the North Shore Trek Facebook group
Bearskin Trek Map
Trails around Bearskin Lodge are the Central Gunflint System
North Shore Trek Map
A point to point ski adventure
Monday morning I hung around Carson City way longer than I planned. (I really didn’t plan). I was just putting off the long climb to Lake Tahoe. It was long and challenging. When I cleared the pass and started down toward the lake it was getting late-ish. Prospects for a campsite were tough.
The lake was beautiful in the low, evening light. As I passed through Incline Village, a woman on a bike flagged me down and suggested I head up Hwy 267 toward Truckee and bike down any dirt road near the top of the hill. Five miles later, with the sun setting, I found a dirt road and a gate and, down the lane, the nicest site of the trip. A nice flat spot, next to a giant pine, and a view Lake Tahoe and the town of Kings Beach way below.
The last few days have been sunny, breezy, hot.
1. Thurs night --- camped at Cold Springs, NV where I met Joy and Tony. They quit tech jobs in the Bay Area, got rid of everything, and are biking across the US, biking through South America then Europe for a few years - all on their bikes. (Kathy says “ we could do that.”)
2. Friday morning -- near Cold Springs, I met 70yr old Robert, who is biking across the US. He devised a footrest system which allows him to get off his bike. Not as nimble as he once was. A few years ago he got as far as Denver before he ran out of money.
3. Friday night -- I camped in Fallon, NV -- nice sunset.
4. Saturday -- after just a few miles, a million mph headwind stopped me at Lahontan State Park. Where I napped in the shade, by the lake. Camped in this state park near a couple, Tim and Kelly, from Reno. They shared their beer (Coors Lite) with me and told about how they would like to retire as campground hosts at state and national parks around the country. Later, they brought over BBQ chicken and veggies shortly after I had eaten my dinner (the best chicken I've ever had). Lucky I'm always hungry.
5. Sunday -- I bike up to Virginia City, where they were having a big celebration, me too. You know me and street dances. Biked down to Carson City. The guy at the 7-11 said everyone just camps down by the Carson River on Deer Run Road. You have to open the big gate and find a spot. Free. I felt like Chris Farley.
6. Right now I'm in the DD in Carson City. Having a treat and coffee.
[Fun Fact - Jack Rabbits increase and decrease blood-flow to their ears to control their body temperature. They nurse their young for 2-3 days, after which, the young rabbit never sees its mother again. The mother watches its young from a distance to protect them from predators. Talk about helicoptering!]
----- photos are not in date order -- sorry.