There are many components of the GMNC operations, beginning with trail maintenance (clearing trees and brush, installing signs, blue diamonds and poles) to keeping the machines running.
In some ways, grooming is the easy part. During early season trails are packed and rolled to establish the base, followed by extensive grading (and shoveling) to level the trails. When the snow has set up, we can then set the tracks with our snowmobiles pulling a Ginzu tracksetter.
Typically, we will put the PistenBully 400 on snow when we have a 24” base. A few of our trails need at least this much to cover the rocks and stumps, such as the Overlook trail at CL. Repairs are very expensive, so we need to be wait for an adequate base.
A big challenge is allocating the grooming hours over the season. Due to the remote location, we rely on the best weather information available combined with current trail conditions to decide how, when, and what to groom. Snow needs at least 3 hours after grooming to set up properly, so morning grooming is less effective as it doesn’t allow for sufficient time to firm up. Grooming at night produces the best surface, as the snow has 6+ hours to set up; however, a few inches of new snow or a wind that drifts in the trails can be difficult to anticipate.
Grooming cost are considerable, and can run between $300 (snowmobile) to $750 (PistenBully) per day to groom the entire system. Our goal is to provide something skiable every day, but since our resources are limited we cannot provide daily grooming. Because of this, we try to make the best decision possible for our users to maximize your donations.
At times, this may mean ‘touch up’ grooming with a snowmobile to grade out the skating lane, due to hikers or dog paw prints. During winter storm advisories/warnings, we generally don’t groom since it is wasting our limited funds. Please understand that we will do the best that we can to meet our goal.