- The best down pressure is _________ to set a good track
- 20 lbf
- 200 lbf
- 20,000 lbf
- The best tiller speed is:
- 20 RPM
- 200 RPM
- 800 RPM
- 4500 RPM
- I takes approximately______Horsepower to till 1 foot wide:
- 1 HP
- 2 HP
- 10 HP
- 20 HP
- After a deep snow, first groom:
- The left side
- The right side
- The low side
- The middle
- After a 40 degree day you should groom the trail with a 10 inch base:
- At closing
- Just before the temp hits 32
- As the temp drops below 32
- In the morning
- When the snow temp goes from 33-32
- If you have an actuator on your snowmobile implement, you know your fan cooled machine is running at a good temp because:
- The temp light is not on
- The ribbon tied to your cowling is flowing
- It smells OK
- The head temp gauge reads ______or less
- The best distance between tracks is:
- What ever feels good
- Depends on the snow
- 8 inches
- 6 inches
- Corduroy is for:
- Preventing an icy hard surface
- Getting an edge in
- Catching snow in the cracks
- The best time to groom in a rainy condition is:
- Just before it rains
- As it is raining
- Just after it rains
- After the snow freezes rock hard
- The average trail pass as reported by CCSAA is
- Optimum skate lane density for recreational skiers is:
- Prevent slipping in your parking lot after a rain by:
- Grooming the lot
- For the best steering and traction , stud your wide track:
- On the edges only
- Never stud a snowmobile for work
- In a V or W pattern
- To bring up dry snow after you have a thaw:
- Set your tiller depth at 5 inches
- Use your blade in the position
- Increase your tiller speed
- Use your renovator
- To get even compaction on a 12 foot wide trail
- Drive your snowmobile in the same spot every time
- Drive your snowmobile opposite directions every time
- Drive your snowmobile in staggered positions
- Drive your snowmobile with different speeds
- The only time to get out of your snow cat with your tiller running is:
- When the saleman is there
- When the mechanic is there
- When the parking brake is on
- NEVER get out with the tiller running
- The best standard speed for setting tracks is:
- 2 mph
- 5 mph
- 10 mph
- 20 mph
- Snowmobile grooming costs including a standard SWT and groomer and operator are:
- If you have a compacted icy corn snow base of 6 inches and you get an inch of snow, the best grooming technique is:
- Comb the new snow on top with light pressure
- Roll the new snow on top
- Mix the old snow with the new snow by using teeth down a ½ inch
- Why groom? Let it get skied in!
- The best suspension for grooming on a snowmobile is
- A soft rear end and tight front end
- A tight rear end and soft front end
- A tight rear and front
- A soft rear and front
- The best place along a skate lane for a classic track is always:
- On the far left
- On the far right
- Down the center
- Centered 2 feet from the edge
- You can pull up dry snow under an icy surface with a:
- Tidd Tech
- To set tracks in a thin base
- Remove the cutters
- Farm snow in from the edges
- Use light down pressure
- Raise the track setter in very thin areas
- Snow density is important for:
- Warm temperatures
- Death cookies are
- Small snow chunks
- holes made by skiers
the cookies your mother in law bakes
- Small snow chunks
- Base building in early season should start:
- As soon as it snows
- When the ground freezes and it snows
- Only after 6 inches or more of snow
- December 1st
- Wet areas can be fixed by using:
- Sand and salt
- Hay and snow
- A powertiller
- A roller
- Liquid cooled snow mobiles overheat because:
- They don’t have a radiator
- You are grooming slow
- You are grooming hard pack
- They don’t get snow splashed on the running boards
- Most recreational skiers prefer:
- A hard fast glazed track
- A soft mushy track
- A hard packed but non icy track
- A shallow track
- Always set your track setter in from the edge because
- You need to pack the pole plant area
- To keep the classic skier out of the brush
- For safety
- Especially on outside curves
- The best time to groom is
- When the skiers are off of the trail
- As the temps are dropping
- Just after a snow
- Just after a melt/freeze cycle
- Use up pressure
- On hill crests
- On thin spots
- On intersections
- On deep snow
- When the snow is being plowed off the trails into the woods with your implement
- Wait for a few days
- Put the teeth down deeper
- Pack, Drag or Roll first
- Go faster
Vendors that attended included:
- Pisten Bully by Track Inc with a PB 100 equipped for Nordic
- Bombardier by Aspen equipment with a BR180 and rubber tracks
- Tidd Tech with various groomers and new innovations
- Yellowstone Track Systems with the new Ginzu Groomer and gooseneck
- Alpina with the NEW dual-track Sherpa Snowmobile and new powertiller
- Ski-Doo by Ave’s Sport Center
- Cragin Groomers
- KRC Snow Paver
- Snow Implements is a dealer for YTS, Tidd Tech, Alpina and Xcskigroomers
The heated “Race Building” had tables for vendor’s displays, and had grooming video tapes playing during the 2 days. Vendors had over 80 pieces of grooming equipment on display and available for test drives.
8-9 AM registration coffee and rolls sponsored by Cross Country Skier Magazine
9-9:20 Tidd Tech: we learned about the Tidd Tech products from Phil Zink
9:20-9:40 YTS: we learned about the products from YTS from Doug Edgerton
9:40-10 Alpina we learned about the new 4 stroke Sherpa and tiller from Quirino Tironi
10-10:20 Cragin we learned about the aluminum Cragin Groomer from Bob Cragin
10:20-10:40-Ski-doo we learned about the Skandic SWT adjustments from Rick Slade
Artic Cat: we heard about the Bear Cat 4 Stroke from a owner groomer
Polaris: we heard the wide tracks from another owner/user
11:00-11:20 Bombardier (Thursday) we saw the BR 180 in Rubber low snow tracks
11:20-11:40 Pisten Bully we learned about the PB100 and Canyon from Greg Toomire
11:40-12:00 KRC Snow Paver we saw the new groomer from Russ Alger (demo 4 PM)
11:40-1:30 Pasty lunch sponsored by Track Inc at ABR and test drives
1:30-3:30 Lectures at the Erwin Townhall (½ mile down the road)
1:30 Low Snow Grooming Eric Anderson
2:00 Technical Grooming Doug Edgerton
2:30-3:30 Grooming Scenarios: Birkie 2002, low snow, hard snow, and icy snow
3:30-5:00 open skiing and grooming
6:30 –7:30 Social hour at Tacconellis sponsored by Yellowstone Track Systems
7:30-8:30 Dinner at Tacconelli’s sponsored by Snow Implements
8:30-9:00 Slide Show of The 2002 Olympics Behind the Scenes and the Grooming by Doug Edgerton, Chief of Course Preparation
9:00–9:10 Grooming Trivia Test and Prizes
8-9 AM coffee and rolls sponsored by ABR and equipment viewing
9-12 test driving grooming equipment/ meet the vendors
Smaller Group Sessions
Beginner grooming meet in the Registration/Wax Barn
Snow Cat Maintenance by Greg Toomire Track Inc
Grooming from a skiers prospective by Phil Zink
Snow Science and Analyst by Russ Alger in the hardpack demo area
Analyzing the snow from a skier
Tracksetting “hardpack” demo behind the Registration/Wax Barn
Snowmobile pulling demonstrations: pulling 10,000 pounds by a dual track Alpina
“Loop de Loop” Steering tests of various snowmobiles by Dick Langer
Wiring your snowmobile for an actuator in the Registraton Barn by Eric Anderson
Lunch at Tacconelli’s Restaurant sponsored by Alpina
Lectures at Tacconelli’s in downtown Ironwood
1:00-1:30 Grooming Costs $5.05 /mile to groom with a snowmobile and 4 Implements
1:30-2:00 Safety- Trail design policy and grooming by Eric Anderson
2:00-3:00 More Grooming Scenarios
3:00 load and go… or stay and ski
What did we learn?
Snowmobile grooming is expensive at $5.05/mile, make the most of it.
Skiing across the parking lot is the most dangerous part of the trail (even though Doug Edgerton sets tracks across the parking lot every clinic)
Grooming deep snow takes many passes with a snowmobile.
Why is snow density important and how to measure it.
Roll snow with a roller with ridges to farm snow blown across the trail.
Snowmobiles have a wide variety of turning circles (demo).
When do you roll or drag?
Adjust your suspension so your machine turns (demo).
When not to set a track on a curve, intersection or hill.
How speed relates to the grooming operation.
Conserve snow on the sides of the trail for when you really need it.
Don’t groom your snow too hard, too fast.
A hardpacked icy surface can be groomed inot a skiable suraface (demo).
How to set tracks in a thin base.
The “Shovel” is your best friend when you get stuck. (“hands on” demo).
How much weight is optimum for tracking.
The most dense part of the trail is where your groomers tracks go;’ alternate this position.
How to know if your fan cooled snowmobile is hot.
Wire actuators on your snowmobiles to optimize your implements efficiency.
Safety is a top priority in grooming and trail design.
When to groom….. and when not to groom.
What liquid cooled machines work for grooming and why?
Mount your electric actuators switches in a convenient location and fused.
Pull dry snow up from deep down when you have icy conditions.
What a skier likes for a track position on the trail.
An ugly shallow scratched in reset track is safer than an old icy, firm, pretty track.
Mark your calendars for next year’s clinic Jan 14-15, 2004
A 45 minute highlights video is available from the 2002 Clinic
Tests were conducted by grooming clinic participants in a hard surface controlled test. 2 people were used on the machine to simulate pulling a load. Circles were measured to the outside ski center skag.
Test 1 With 2 people on the machine in the seated position, no braking or motion
|Polaris Wide track Powder skis with bumper weight||40‘ 2”|
|Polaris Wide track Powder skis stock||58’ 6”|
|Skandic SWT stock skis and bumper weight||25’10”|
|Skandic SWT with flexi skis||27’8”|
|Skandic SWT with 144 studs in center and bumper wt||44’0”|
|Alpine II with bumper weight||26’|
Test 2 With 1 person and body motion
|Alpine II with bumper weight||22’9”|
|Skandic SWT with flexi skis||25’10”|
Tests results compiled by Dick Langer
This year ABR again hosted the Midwest Grooming Clinic endorsed by the CCSAA on January 16th and 17th, 2002. We had 122 groomers and vendors turn up for the occasion…. from Canada to lower Michigan, from Montana and Colorado to Italy.
Next years clinic is scheduled for January 15th and 16th, 2003
A video was taped and is being edited of the clinic. Call or email for details.
Who was there?
- Pisten Bully by Track Inc with a new PB 100 demo equipped for Nordic
- Bombardier by Aspen equipment with a BR 180
- Tidd Tech with various groomers and new innovations
- Yellowstone Track Systems with the new Ginzu Groomer
- Alpina with the NEW Twin Track Snowmobile and powertiller
- Trakor by xcskigroomers.com a new track-setter
- Ski-Doo by Ave’s Sport Center
- JACA by First Tracks of Thunder Bay Canada
- ASV’s Track Truck by Duffy’s Sales
- Bachler by YTS with a renovator
- Cragin Groomer
There were many sales as a result of the Clinic. Vendors came with trucks and trailers full and left empty. Please support these vendors and tell them you saw their equipment at the clinic.
The heated “Race Building” was used for vendor’s displays with boards for used equipment for sale and innovative ideas.
Who did we hear from?
- Doug Edgerton, president of Yellowstone Track Systems and the Chief of Course Preparation for the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City
- Russ Alger of The Keweenaw Research Center at Michigan Technological Univ.
- David and Phil Zink of Tidd Tech in Fraser, CO
- George LeFeuvre of JACA in New Brunswick, Canada
- Dave Forbush of Forbush Corner in Frederick, MI
- Ing. Quirino Tironi of Alpina in Italy
- Jay Richards of Maplelag in Callaway, MN
- Greg Toomire of Pisten Bully, Track Inc, in Bloomington MN
- Erik Petersen of Bombardier of Aspen Equipment, in Duluth MN
- Jim VanderSpoel Supervisor of Operations at Mt. Zion and faculty member of The Ski Area Management Program
- Eric Anderson of ABR Trails.
What did we hear about?
- Snowcat safety and maintenance by Jim VanderSpoel
- Do not get out of your snow cat with the tiller running and always set your parking brake. Thermoses on the front dash may end up breaking a $1500 windshield.
- Keep your Snowmobile from burning up by Rick Slade
- There are 3 suspension adjustments to make your Skandic SWT steer better, or a front weight rack and flexi skis. If your lights get bright and or your handle grips get hot, your voltage regulator is on it’s way out, turn off the machine and replace it (the regulator). Carry a fire extinguisher under your seat.
- There really is an Alpina dual track snowmobile and power tiller! Quirino Tironi
- We saw and test drove the Alpina dual track snowmobile. It has tons of torque and traction plus it steers like a dream. It was built for hard work. The pull behind powertiller tilled some man made ice and set tracks like it was butter. The Alpina pulled the 8 foot wide Cragin groomer though deep snow with 4 men (1000 pounds) on the Alpina and steered as it climbed a hill! Orders for the Alpina should be made this spring for October delivery. These specialty machines are built to order similar to snowcats. Alpina now has ABR Trails as the Midwest dealer and Importer for the US. Call ABR for a demo of the Alpina. A video is available.
- Grooming from a skiers prospective by David Zink
- We saw a video/slide show on why to groom wide on hills, put a radius edge on the striding trails, alternate side grooming etc. This was an excellent presentation and very well done, especially for the non skiers
- How to get the most from low snow conditions
- Various discussions on how to conserve snow by not grooming, using JACA grabber wings to pull snow in or just scarifying the surface lightly so not as to bring up dirt. Use your snow cat with a compactor bar and have the tracks loosen up the hard pack. Be sure the ground is frozen or you will bring up dirt.
- Snowcat grooming in low snow by Dave Forbush
- Dave explained how he only uses snowcats and grooms in low snow. He only opens weekends and holidays and saves the weekday snow. He pulls moulding plates and rollers behind his snow cats and he runs a very reputable, professional and meticulously groomed private trail system with an $18 trail fee 1 hour south of the Mackinaw bridge in Frederick MI.
- An open session discussing various grooming scenarios for different conditions.
- This was a particularly interesting open discussion, coming up with solutions and ideas for grooming in different low snow conditions.
- Powertilling and snow density by Doug Edergton
- Till deep enough to set tracks, keep your shaft speed down to not over till and have a rock hard surface, use “up pressure” on hill crests and intersections. Use summer tracks for early season grooming. If you overgroom your snow you end up with “sugar snow”.
- The compact Nordic version of the Keweenaw Snow Paver Groomer by Russ Alger
- The miller is under development for Nordic ski trails.
- Where to find used equipment and how to know if it’s any good by Track Inc
- Grooming for races and hi level competitions by Eric Anderson
- If it’s snowing at midnight the night before the JO’s sprints, you will not get any sleep. These young athletes deserve the best course possible. In a open windy golf course sprint course pack channels upwind with your snowmobile to catch the blowing snow and keep it off the course. Don’t forget the warm-up loop, groom it as you do the course.
- Grooming with a snowmobile in freeze/thaw conditions by George LeFeuvre
- Bring out the snow fence drag and snowmobiles when your course turns to mush and the 3 snowcats are stuck at the 6 km mark of a World Cup event during warm grooming temps. Groom when the air is cooling and moisture is evaporating.
- Automating your drags and attachments
- Make sure your battery and alternator can handle the loads of your actuators and aux lights. Always fuse the aux equipment. Cole Hearsey makes a nice 2 pol;e self centering switch with a long handle.
- Grooming with a Track Truck by Duffy Anderson
- Snow Characterization by Russ Alger
- There is no black box to evaluate snow conditions.
- How to evaluate your groomed trails
- Talk to your skiers and ski your trails. Try hard with 100% effort, but remember you can not please everyone, try to please 80% of your skiers and 20% of the coaches.
- Grooming for efficient skier flow by Jay Richards
- Test your grooming by skiing it and look at the tracks of the skiers skiing them. Alternate the track from the left to right in dual tracked trails on down-hills. Do not track through your intersections.
What did we eat?
We had a nice banquet dinner at Tacconelli’s with the social hour paid for by Track Inc /Pisten Bully Dealer. Russ Alger followed with a 1500 Mile Trek Across Antarctica Slide Show. Alpina hats, Pisten Bully hats and a Pisten Bully jacket were given away to some technical question answers.
A pasty lunch was sponsored by CCSAA from the Pastry Kitchen
An authentic Pizzocheri (hearty wholewheat pasta) and grilled Cottechini (Italian mountain sausage) was prepared and sponsored by Alpina dual track snowmobiles.
What did we see, touch and drive?
The Bachler renovator and tracksetter and the new ginzu groomers from YTS, the full Tidd Tech line up including new 8 foot roller, super flaps and actuators from Tidd Tech, the full line of JACA equipment including a set of grabber wings, renovator and hi speed tracksetter, the new Alpina dual track snowmobile and powertiller, The xcskigroomers.com tracksetter, the 8 foot wide aluminum Cragin groomer, The PB100 and 070, Bombardier’s BR 180 and Prinoths T2S, ASV’s Track Truck, Ski-doos SWt and WT’s, an older Alpine II, and various homemade attachments.
Thank you for attending the grooming clinic. When we started planning the clinic, last April, we had hoped for 30 attendees. We ended up with 124! The idea was prompted after I attended a grooming clinic at Frisco and Breckenridge Nordic Center, 1400 miles to the west. The clinic cost, with transportation, lodging and hotel, was over $2,000. There were 15 –20 participants, including 3 presenters, and the clinic was 1 ½ days. I still thought what I got out of the clinic was worth it, but I did see a need for a clinic closer to the Midwest.
According to the registration forms, we had 986 years of grooming experience gathered in one room.
We are already planning another clinic for next year, tentative date Jan 16-17, 2002. We have enclosed an evaluation form to help us improve the clinic, please fill it out and return it. As a wrap up I would like to summarize the events over the clinic and the vendors that attended. Email me if you are interested in future grooming clinics, workshops or publications.
Wednesday started out with 8 inches of fresh snow and about 20 degrees.
9-12, we had on snow demos from Piston Bully with a new 9 foot PB100 and Bachler /YTS Front Renovator, a 9 foot tiller and twin Bachler tracksetters. I also demo’ed ABR’s PB 200 with a 12 foot tiller. Bombardier demonstrated the new BR 180 with a front blade. Snowmobiles and grooming attachments were available for demo during this time.
The Race Building/Wax room was set up with brochures from vendors, product samples, groomer innovations, homemade accessories, a “For Sale Board” (see below) with used groomers, and videos playing grooming tapes.
1:00-4:00 we met at the Erwin Town Hall (just down the road) and had a sit down lecture/discussion. Our first speaker was Russ Alger from the Kewenaw Reasearch Center at Michigan Technological University who spoke on “snow” from a technical level and on the research they are doing. KRC has a research tool that compacts snow to .68 density. Paul Swanson spoke on power tilling and on the models of Piston Bully, Eric Peterson spoke on Bombardier. Doug Edgerton of Yellowstone Track Systems and George LeFeuvre spoke on grooming for races and some of their experiences grooming Olympic Events around the world. Eric Anderson of ABR spoke on buying a used snowcat.
4:00-6:00 we returned to ABR and had open grooming and open skiing, the skiing was not too good since most of the grooming demos occurred close to the trailhead!
7:00-10:00 we met at Mama Get’s Restaurant and enjoyed dinner and drinks we had some casual grooming discussions.
9-11 we observed some on snow demos. Doug Edgerton demonstrated setting tracks in the parking lot with the Bachler/YTS renovator and tracksetter pulled by an Artic Cat Bearcat 550, liquid cooled. With multiple passes a track penetrated the hard pack. Phil Zink of Tidd Tech set tracks with the Trail tenderizer and David Zink of Tidd Tech demo’ed the features of the groomer and the most recent innovations. We also saw the new roller, and packer tracker. Bob Cragin of Cragin Machine demonstrated the Cragin groomer (aluminum) 8 foot wide and 12 feet long weighing only 300 pounds. ABR trails were groomed Thursday AM with this drag pulled by a SWT . Rick Slade of Ave’s (Ski-doo Dealership) demonstrated the suspension adjustment on the Ski-doo Skandic SWT and initiated discussions on steering the SWT.
11-12 Show and Tell, we looked at some homemade drags and accessories brought by participants. Make sure to judge the best homemade idea on the evaluation form.
12-1 lunch consisted of traditional “Yooper Pasties”.
1:00-3:45 Lectures/discussions at the Town Hall. We heard from David Zink of Tidd Tech on early season trail prep and getting the most out of your snow. Eric Anderson of ABR led a discussion on grooming costs for Snowcats and snowmobile grooming. The final costs were, snowcat grooming $60/hour or $15/mile and snowmobile grooming costs were $5/mile. Eric also spoke on deep snow grooming. Doug Edgerton and George LeFeuvre spoke on setting a good track, while Jim Waters, a physics teacher and classic skier, expressed what makes a good track.
Open skiing was held after the clinic was concluded. I enjoyed a groomer/non-skier (never been on skis) comments as he came in after skiing a 3 km loop with a big smile “it all makes sense now, wow, did I learn a lot on that short loop!”
Other Grooming Clinics/Shows
MSAA Show Jan 29-31 2001; Vail CO, 651-638-9658
Snowcat Training Class Jan 3-Mar 27th 2001 various classes; Littleton CO 1-800-485-SNOW
CCSAA Conference and Grooming Show April 8-10, 2001; Homestead Resort, Heber City (Park City) Utah 877-779-2754
ABR / CCSAA Grooming Clinic & Workshop January 16-17, 2002; ABR Trails Ironwood MI 49938 906-932-3502
Some Interesting Ideas on Grooming from the Clinic
Grooming with a snowcat costs $15/mile grooming with a snowmobile costs $5/mile
Groom for 85% of your customers, you cannot please everyone.
Hard to steer the SWT? Buy $400 aftermarket skis, add weight to the SWT bumper, or adjust the suspension, there are 3 suspension adjustments.
Use a renovator to mix old and new snow.
Install an actuator on your Tidd Tech, or drag, to snow farm from the sides
To pack 20 inches of snow in 2 passes you need a snowcat and tiller
You need weight, slow speed, and proper snow preparation to set a good track.
Pack track with your snowcat before tilling deep snow.
Snow density measuring is an objective method of determining trail firmness
Spray your equipment with a diluted Anti-freeze mixture to eliminate snow sticking
Extend the exhaust on your snowmobile to exit the rear to eliminate fumes on you
Do not finish groom (lay corduroy) over a surface that is not compacted properly, it will freeze a superficial layer with a soft layer below. Drag/roll and compact the surface first!
Grooming for races, remember athletes have trained extensively, give them the best course that you can even if it means not sleeping, and make it a fair course
Use a pintle hitch on your snowmobile and implements
Pack the pole plant area well on striding trails
To set tracks in boiler plate, you need to till, scarify, or renovate to loosen the ice first, then set a track with heavy weight (down pressure) and multiple passes if needed
Snowmaking on Nordic trails is expensive!
NEVER get out of your snowcat with the tiller running!
Keep your classic track out of the brush, a minimum of 20- 24” is recommended
Grooming for Olympic events, grooming cost is not considered
Mount a 12 volt ATV winch on your snowmobile to lift tracksetters and winch your groomer back on the trail when you get stuck
Artic Cat Bearcats are liquid cooled but do not overheat like liquid cooled Skandics
Bearcats steer better than Skandics
Use wood chips to cover tree roots that radiate heat and melt the snow
Alternate your passes if you groom with a smaller (8-10 foot) snowcat to pack the center
Use SOS (oil sampling) to check equipment for wear & when buying used equipment
Use a shear pin to protect your drags
8 feet is not wide enough for skating and striding
Install carbide studs for grooming on icy conditions
The best grooming is done at night as the temperature is dropping and less skier traffic
If you use hay to cover wet spots, hide it from the deer and elk
Groom when you need to, not on a regular set schedule
Grooming is an economic decision, make your grooming choices accordingly to survive
Summer service your snowcat and keep it out of the sun