Banadad Trail Snow & Trail Conditions Report- brought to you by the Banadad Trail Association

The Banadad is the BWCA's longest tracked ski trails at 30 km. The Trail is best described as a single tracked intimate trail winding through the BWCA. On the Banadad eastern end is the single tracked 4-km. Lace Lake Trail, the 3.2-km Seppala Trail and the 3.5-km. Tall Pines Trail. The eastern end of the trail system connects with the Central Gunflints Trails and the western end connects with the Upper Gunflint Trails.

Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Twenty-six inches of beautiful snow on the ground-

Tracked: Banadad's eastern end trails tracked yesterday- including the Lace Lake. Tall Pines, Knapp and Banadad to Knapp. - 9 kilometers

Skiing is excellent on the tracked section of the Banadad Trails.

Snow base: 20"

Some low hanging branches along the tracked trails. We have cleared the whole eastern end at least twice and some of the western end of the Banadad but trees and conifer tops are continuing to fall on the more remote sections of the trail system.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Making Progress on the Banadad Trails

Lace Lake, Tall Pine, Knapp and first 3 Kilometers Banadad Opened and tracked.

Snow on the Ground: 18"
Tracked Trails: 8 kilometers

Crews out removing down trees and brush from the Banadad report about 1/4 mile left of the Banadad to clear on the trail's eastern end. USFS crews planned to have been working on west end of the Banadad Thursday and Friday. No report yet on what was accomplished.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Mother Nature Creates Difficult Opening of the Banadad

When we last posted here, the Banadad Trail Association had just hosted the annual trail clearing day and membership meeting.  Several volunteers had clipped and sawed their way through miles of alder brush and fallen trees, readying the trail for the winter.  More trail-clearing folks followed in the next couple of weeks, and we all had a good feeling about the upcoming ski season.

How quickly that changed! The much-anticipated snow finally came, but not as the fluffly, fat flakes that we prefer.  Instead, it fell heavy and wet, cloaking every twig and tree in a thick coat.  Mother Nature mixed in a bit of freezing drizzle, and then added more of that same kind of snow.  Someone likened it to wet cement.  That was an apt description, for when it solidly froze, just like dried cement, it weighted those trees until they were bowing down to the ground.  For many miles, the trail was completely impassable.  As beautiful as it was, it created miles of havoc, and a boatload of new clearing to be done.

For the last several weeks, many people, both volunteer and paid, have been working hard to clear the trail so that it is usable this winter.  The good news is that at this point, the Lace Lake Trail (4K) and the Tall Pines Trail (1.7K) are both opened and groomed.  The snow depth is 18".  Snow still covers the trees, making for a uniquely beautiful trail.  Come out and ski it!

The eastern end of the Banadad is once again nearly cleared, with about another day or two of work remaining.  As soon as we get fresh snow, this section will be groomed and tracked.  The trail will extend to the mid-trail junction, near the yurt.  A loop will be possible, utilizing the Moose Trail.  While not what we would have hoped for back in October when we were working, at least we have something here to ski. The distance for this section is 15.5K.

Unfortunately, it is not expected that the western end of the Banadad will be open this season.  Much work remains on the remaining 12K.  As time and funding permit, we will chip away at it, and we welcome your help if you so desire.  To that end, a sign has been posted in the parking lot, and two saws are hanging for anyone who wants to snowshoe in on the trail and cut a few things away. 

We are so grateful to everyone who has stepped in to assist in the herculean effort to re-open the trail.  Mother Nature tossed us some lemons, but we didn't let that stop us.  Join us on the Banadad, the Lace Lake Trail and the Tall Pines Trail, and see how pretty this season has turned out to be. 

Monday, December 28, 2015

Ski Trail Report

Lace Lake Trail (4 km.) opened and tracked.
Banadad east end opened out 10 miles but not tracked.

Snow on the Ground- 16"
New snow past 24 hours- 1-2"
Snow base on trail: 10+"

We are not making much headway on the Banadad- we move ahead one step and then two days later it back one step. Two days ago two guys re-cleared the Lace Lake trail, it took 5
1/2 hours. This was after the Lace Lake was completely cleared about five days ago.Then yesterday I tracked Lace Lake and still had to cut two more trees that just fell across the trail. Today four guys will be re-cutting their way east on the Banadad. We are out about ten miles of the twelve to the mid-trail junction. 

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Trail Block by down trees and brush-Crews working to get the Banadad

Tons of down brush and tree have totally blocked the trail. We have been getting more snow and it has even made it worse. Paid trails crews of three to five people have been working daily. We now have the Lace Lake, Tim Knopp and 10 of the 20 Mile of the Banadad cleared. But more tree keep falling into trail as we work. It will be at least another seven or eight days before the Banadad will be cleared. That is if we do not run out of money to pay for the trail workers before then.  Help needed!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

We now have 14" of snow on the ground. But unfortunately the Banadad is littered with down brush and
trees from the heavy wet snow we had the last few days.  See above- images from start of Lace Lake
Trail. There is also a lot of trees on the trail from a storm that went through in early November after
most of our volunteer maintenance crew had worked on the trail. We are working on clearing the trail
but it going to take quite a bit of time to get the Banadad open for skiing this year.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Volunteers Work to get the Banadad Open for Skiing

Maintenance crews have been working hard to get the Banadad Ski Trails’ twenty-six miles open for skiing. This past weekend fifteen volunteers from the Minnehaha Academy Nordic Ski Team widen and cleared the center brush along the first two miles of the trail’s west end. While all the trees that had fallen on this section of the trail were cleared previously by the North Star Ski Turing Club on November 30, the ski team still had to clear several new down trees. That same day Andy Jenks, president of the Banadad Trail Association (BTA) and his wife Julie worked on the east end starting at the Meads Lake Portage the pair were able travel about one and three-quarter of mile.  They also had to remove some thirty newly fallen down trees from this section of trail. This section of the trail was completely cleared during the BTA’s Work Weekend on November 24. Both trail sections were in the BWCA. Volunteers also worked on several trail sections outside the BWCA.

The newly down trees, the volunteers found, likely had came down due to the soaking rain, wind and heavy wet snow that occure just after the earlier crews were on the trail.

Volunteers, since September, have now but in 277.5 hours clearing some sixteen mile of the twenty- six mile of the Banadad Trails. However it clear a lot of work remains before the Banadad can open for skiing. This remaining clearing will be taken-on be Boundary Country Trekking’s trail crews with some help by additional volunteers.