2005 Grooming Clinic Agenda

This year ABR will again be hosting the Midwest Grooming Clinic. The format will be set up a bit different this year. We will have the standard grooming clinic, like we have had the last 4 years, on March 1-2, 2005, Tuesday and Wednesday. We will also have a one day “hands-on” Workshop on January 11th, 2005, Tuesday. The workshop will be limited to 20 people and once the Tuesday Workshop is full we will schedule one for Wednesday, and Thursday if needed.

What is a Grooming Clinic?

For those of you who have not heard of the Clinic, let me try to describe it as a combination of a Clinic, Seminar, Workshop, Trade Show, and Show and Tell. You can take part, demo equipment, exchange ideas with the pro’s and vendors or you can browse the demo’s and watch and listen to the presentations. Groomers from the most experienced to novices are invited and have attended. Even veteran groomers will learn something if they keep an open mind. Speakers are invited from all over the country. Dress warm for the outdoor mornings and cooler for the afternoon indoor talks. Don’t forget to bring your ski clothes!

What is a Grooming Workshop?

The workshop is a new format for this season. We will limit participation to 20 groomers/day for more individual attention and smaller group size. You can watch, listen, take part, demo equipment, and exchange ideas. Vendors are not being invited to display or sell equipment at the workshop, but will be attending the Clinic in March. The purpose of the Workshop is more grooming oriented and not sales or trade show based. All of the snowmobile pulled grooming implements will still be available for demo along with 3 – 4 models of snowmobiles. A Snow Cat with a blade and renovator will also be available. We will concentrate more on beginning grooming. There will be an indoor session on the SWT and implement wiring and steering improvements. There will also be a chalkboard discussion on grooming techniques using the snowmobiles and implements.

Costs/Meals

The cost for the March Clinic is $150/person, or $175 if registered after January 1, 2005. This includes rolls and coffee and lunch both days and the March 1st dinner.

The cost for the January Workshop is $100/person. This includes rolls and coffee and lunch.

We will have free ski rentals and beginner ski instruction for all registered participants.

Lodging

Book your lodging and ask for the groomers discount.

Indianhead Motel 906-932 2031 Sandpiper Motel 906-932-2000

Black River Lodge 906-932-3857 Regal Country Inn 906-229-5122

The Montreal Inn B & B 715-561-5180 Anton-Walsh House B&B 715-561-2065

Ski House Rentals 800-900-3620 x-03 ABR Trailside Lodging 906-932-3502

2005 ABR Midwest Grooming Workshop

Tenative Schedule

Tuesday January 11th

6-8 AM Groom the ABR trails with Eric and Rick (by advanced appointment)

8- 9:00 Registration coffee and rolls

9- 10:00 Walk through of the grooming implements available (on snow)

10-11:00 Grooming 101 (Chalkboard Discussion) in the Lunch Room at ABR

11-12:00 Basic grooming on snow

12:00-1:30 Pasty lunch at ABR and test drives

1:30-2:30 Setting up your Skandic SWT for grooming in the heated workshop

1:30-2:30 Tracksetting on snow

2:30-3:30 Grooming Scenarios in the lunch room at ABR

3:30-5:00 Open skiing and demo of grooming equipment

2005 ABR Midwest Grooming Clinic

Tenative Schedule

Tuesday March 1st

8-9 AM registration coffee and rolls sponsored by _________

9- 12:00 Vendor Demos 15-20minutes /vendor on snow

11:40-1:30 Pasty lunch sponsored by _________ at ABR and test drives

1:30-2:30 Grooming Lectures at the Erwin Townhall (½ mile down the road)

2:30-3:30 Grooming Scenarios

3:30-5:00 open skiing and grooming

6:30 –7:30 Social hour and vendors indoor table displays at Tacconellis 215 S. Suffolk St in Downtown Ironwood. Social hour sponsored by _____________

7:30-8:30 Dinner at Tacconelli’s sponsored by _________

8:30-9:00 Presentation

9:00–9:10 Grooming Trivia Test and Prizes

Wednesday

6-8 AM optional grooming teams hands on

8-9 AM coffee and rolls sponsored by ___________and equipment viewing

9-12 test driving grooming equipment/ meet the vendors

Smaller Group Sessions

8:45 – 9:45 Beginner grooming; meet in the Registration/Wax Barn

9:00-11:00 smaller group lectures and discussions

10:30-11:30 snowmobile pulling power and steering demonstrations in the parking lot

11:30-12 tracksetting “hardpack” demo behind the Registration/Wax Barn

12:00-1:00 lunch at Tacconelli’s Restaurant sponsored by _________

1:00-3:00 lectures at Tacconelli’s in downtown Ironwood

1:00-2:00 Grooming lectures

2:00-3:00 Grooming Scenarios

3:00 load and go… or stay and ski

This tentative schedule is being developed and details and specifics subject to change. Watch the website for updates. The general time slots will remain the same.

March Clinic Vendors to be confirmed.

  1. Pisten Bully by _______ with new innovations from PB
  2. Bombardier by Aspen equipment with a Bombardier groomer?
  3. Tidd Tech with the NEW G2 groomers and new innovations?
  4. Yellowstone Track Systems with the NEW Ginzu Groomer and gooseneck

5. Alpina with the NEW dual-track Sherpa Snowmobile and NEW powertiller

6. Xcskigroomers with the NEW Sno Razor groomer and cutter bar?

7. Ski-Doo by Ave’s Sport Center?

8. KRC Snow Paver?

9. Snow Implements …. A dealer for YTS, Tidd Tech, Alpina and Trakor

10. Northland Equipment with Arctic Cat and John Deere?

11. Wildcat by Cushman?

12. Kubota by Lulich?

13. Artic Cat?

14. Polaris?

15. Yamaha?

16. Kawasaki?

There were many sales as a result of the Clinic. Vendors did sell their demos and we are encouraging this year’s vendors to load up their trucks and trailers for the Clinic.

The heated “Race Building” will again house tables for vendor’s displays, and will have grooming video tapes playing during the 2 days.

Bring your used equipment that you have for sale or a photo and ad to post on the FOR SALE board at the clinic!

2004 ABR Midwest Grooming Clinic

What did we learn?

Generalizations:

  • Fresh snow has air in it.  Your job is to get the air out of the snow so it will adhere better to itself and older (base) snow.  This is a time consuming process in which results are often not seen until the next day.
  • It is almost always best to mix older snow with fresh snow-thus just packing (rolling) snow will not do a good as job as adding work with a renovator.
  • Snow on regularly groomed ski trails will better withstand heat and traffic (skiers) than snow on ungroomed or irregularly groomed ski trails.
  • Best results occur when grooming occurs at or below 32 degrees.
  • Multiple passes over the trails are normally required
  • Track setting is normally done last if you are doing the full width of the trail.
  • Track setting works best if set the tracks and let them sit overnight before skiers use them.

Equipment:

  • “State of the Art” (2004) Nordic ski trail grooming equipment represents a significant improvement over similar equipment 10 years ago but a dedicated ski trail groomer using older equipment will have more success than undedicated ski trail groomer using ultra-modern equipment.
  • Nordic Ski Trail grooming speeds are normally in the 5-10 mph range.  Faster speeds normally do not produce better results. Track setting may require speeds of 5 mph or less!
  • Skidoo Wide Track (24 inch) Skanda is the most widely used snowmobile for Nordic ski trail grooming. Purposes.  It also has a known weakness with its generator and reports of it blowing up exist.
  • There is a growing trend to utilize a second battery (secured in the rear rack area of the snowmobile) to run the various electrical actuators found on ultramodern grooming equipment.  Ultramodern grooming equipment has 2-3 electric actuators and manufactures are exploring the possibility of adding more in the future.  You will need to learn how to wire in the implements to this second battery.  If you use the accessory outlet on your snowmobile to run the electrical implements on the grooming machine, expect fuses to blow and items on your snowmobile to malfunction.
  • Most experience groomers are adding weight to the front of their snowmobile and adjusting (raising) the height of their rear suspension to improve steering when using an implement off the back of the snowmobile.  These operators are also switching to aftermarket skis in which dual or triple carbines or runners are featured.  All of these adjustments are normally required when using ultramodern equipment due to the increased length of the ultramodern equipment.
  • Compaction drags usually only work well with snowmobiles when there is less than 3 inches of snow on the trail.
  • Operating costs for a Pisten Bully or similar type of snowcat machine are approximately $65 hour.  Snowmobile operating costs have been documented to be one-fifth the cost of using a snowcat.  These costs include labor.

Fresh Snow:

  • The goal is to keep the fresh snow under your equipment in an attempt to pack it.  If you are pushing the snow out and away from your equipment, you need to make some adjustments to your grooming implement including the possibility of slowing down the speed of your machine!
  • Normally it is best to use multiple passes over the ski trail by first starting in the middle and then alternating sides.  This will help the center of the ski trail develop an increased base.
  • Rollers can be used with every new snowfall for packing packing purposes but some groomers prefer to restrict the use of rollers to very early season usage or when the ski trails receive 5 inches or more of unpacked snowfall.  The reason behind this?  The “Time Factor” is one reason as the use of rollers should be followed with use of other implements.  It is felt most other modern implements can easily handle 4-5 or less inches of unpacked snowfall without rolling first.
  • Rolling the trails needs to be followed by use of a compaction drag and/or renovating device in an attempt to further break-down the snowflakes, remove additional air and to level the trails.
  • Use of snow flaps (items attached to the implements that are used to pull snow into the center of the implement) is commonly utilized on modern implements (G2 and YTS).  The snow flaps also help “tumble” the snow which break the snowflake down so it can better adhere to other snowflakes and make a harder trail surface.
  • It is best to set “tracks” and let them harden overnight rather than setting tracks at 8:00am.
  • If less than two inches of snow will fall during the day, you do not have to regroom the ski trails.  However, if a day long storm is to occur, it is best to groom thru the snowfall in an attempt to prevent producing a hard surface layer over many inches of soft snow.

Old Snow (no fresh snow on your trails):

  • Goal is to scarify a small amount of surface snow.  A challenging goal when your ski base is not thick.  Experience operators will often resort to home-made items in an attempt to deal with the situation.
  • It is often impossible to set track in low base conditions.
  • You do not have to always reset track
  • Having wide trails allows one to pull snow in off the side of the trails to improve conditions.
  • Just rolling existing snow will lead to multiple “bumps” on your trails.  You must scarify and mix this with the existing base to produce satisfying results.

Off-Season Work:

  • Snow can melt from the ground upward.  It is important to remove rocks, leaves and branches from your trail system in an attempt to drive the frost/cold further into the ground.  These items will act as insulators to prevent the frost from being driven into the ground and will melt the snow from the ground upward even if the air temperature is below freezing.
  • If you cover problem areas of the trail system with logs, hay, insulator boards or wood chips, you are also insulating the ground from the frost and encouraging snow to melt from the ground upward.  You should always attempt to cover these items with several inches of dirt and grass seed in an attempt to correct problem areas.
  • If you leave your trail system covered with leaves and sticks, don’t expect low snow skiing conditions.  Off season work strongly effects the condition of snow on the trails.

From PACCA

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.

Roll snow with a roller with ridges to farm snow blown across the trail.

Conserve snow on the sides of the trail for when you really need it.

Don’t groom your snow too hard, too fast.

The “Shovel” is your best friend when you get stuck.

The most dense part of the trail is where your groomers tracks go, alternate this position.

Wire actuators on your snowmobiles to optimize your implements efficiency

Pull dry snow up from deep down when you have icy conditions.

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

2004 ABR Grooming Clinic Quiz

  1. The best down pressure is _________ to set a good track
    1. 20 lbf
    2. 200 lbf
    3. 2000lpf
    4. 20,000 lbf
  2. The best tiller speed is:
    1. 20 RPM
    2. 200 RPM
    3. 800 RPM
    4. 4500 RPM
  3. I takes approximately______Horsepower to till 1 foot wide:
    1. 1 HP
    2. 2 HP
    3. 10 HP
    4. 20 HP
  4. After a deep snow, first groom:
    1. The left side
    2. The right side
    3. The low side
    4. The middle
  5. After a 40 degree day you should groom the trail with a 10 inch base:
    1. At closing
    2. Just before the temp hits 32
    3. As the temp drops below 32
    4. In the morning
    5. When the snow temp goes from 33-32
  6. If you have an actuator on your snowmobile implement, you know your fan cooled machine is running at a good temp because:
    1. The temp light is not on
    2. The ribbon tied to your cowling is flowing
    3. It smells OK
    4. The head temp gauge reads ______or less
  7. The best distance between tracks is:
    1. What ever feels good
    2. Depends on the snow
    3. 8 inches
    4. 6 inches
  8. Corduroy is for:
    1. Preventing an icy hard surface
    2. Getting an edge in
    3. Catching snow in the cracks
  9. The best time to groom in a rainy condition is:
    1. Just before it rains
    2. As it is raining
    3. Just after it rains
    4. After the snow freezes rock hard
  10. The average trail pass as reported by CCSAA is
    • ______
  11. Optimum skate lane density for recreational skiers is:
    • _____________________________________________
  12. Prevent slipping in your parking lot after a rain by:
    1. Sanding
    2. Closing
    3. Salting
    4. Grooming the lot
  13. For the best steering and traction , stud your wide track:
    1. On the edges only
    2. Never stud a snowmobile for work
    3. In a V or W pattern
  14. To bring up dry snow after you have a thaw:
    1. Set your tiller depth at 5 inches
    2. Use your blade in the position
    3. Increase your tiller speed
    4. Use your renovator
  15. To get even compaction on a 12 foot wide trail
    1. Drive your snowmobile in the same spot every time
    2. Drive your snowmobile opposite directions every time
    3. Drive your snowmobile in staggered positions
    4. Drive your snowmobile with different speeds
  16. The only time to get out of your snow cat with your tiller running is:
    1. When the saleman is there
    2. When the mechanic is there
    3. When the parking brake is on
    4. NEVER get out with the tiller running
  17. The best standard speed for setting tracks is:
    1. 2 mph
    2. 5 mph
    3. 10 mph
    4. 20 mph
  18. Snowmobile grooming costs including a standard SWT and groomer and operator are:
    1. $.05/mile
    2. $.50/mile
    3. $5/mile
    4. $50/mile
  19. If you have a compacted icy corn snow base of 6 inches and you get an inch of snow, the best grooming technique is:
    1. Comb the new snow on top with light pressure
    2. Roll the new snow on top
    3. Mix the old snow with the new snow by using teeth down a ½ inch
    4. Why groom? Let it get skied in!
  20. The best suspension for grooming on a snowmobile is
    1. A soft rear end and tight front end
    2. A tight rear end and soft front end
    3. A tight rear and front
    4. A soft rear and front
  21. The best place along a skate lane for a classic track is always:
    1. On the far left
    2. On the far right
    3. Down the center
    4. Centered 2 feet from the edge
  22. You can pull up dry snow under an icy surface with a:
    1. Tidd Tech
    2. Ginzu
    3. Tiller
    4. Renovator
  23. To set tracks in a thin base
    1. Remove the cutters
    2. Farm snow in from the edges
    3. Use light down pressure
    4. Raise the track setter in very thin areas
  24. Snow density is important for:
    1. Skating
    2. Classic
    3. Racing
    4. Warm temperatures
  25. Death cookies are
    1. Small snow chunks
      pine cones
    2. holes made by skiers
      the cookies your mother in law bakes
  26. Base building in early season should start:
    1. As soon as it snows
    2. When the ground freezes and it snows
    3. Only after 6 inches or more of snow
    4. December 1st
  27. Wet areas can be fixed by using:
    1. Sand and salt
    2. Hay and snow
    3. A powertiller
    4. A roller
  28. Liquid cooled snow mobiles overheat because:
    1. They don’t have a radiator
    2. You are grooming slow
    3. You are grooming hard pack
    4. They don’t get snow splashed on the running boards
  29. Most recreational skiers prefer:
    1. A hard fast glazed track
    2. A soft mushy track
    3. A hard packed but non icy track
    4. A shallow track
  30. Always set your track setter in from the edge because
    1. You need to pack the pole plant area
    2. To keep the classic skier out of the brush
    3. For safety
    4. Especially on outside curves
  31. The best time to groom is
    1. When the skiers are off of the trail
    2. As the temps are dropping
    3. Just after a snow
    4. Just after a melt/freeze cycle
  32. Use up pressure
    1. On hill crests
    2. On thin spots
    3. On intersections
    4. On deep snow
  33. When the snow is being plowed off the trails into the woods with your implement
    1. Wait for a few days
    2. Put the teeth down deeper
    3. Pack, Drag or Roll first
    4. Go faster

2003 Midwest Grooming Clinic Summary

Vendors that attended included:

  1. Pisten Bully by Track Inc with a PB 100 equipped for Nordic
  2. Bombardier by Aspen equipment with a BR180 and rubber tracks
  3. Tidd Tech with various groomers and new innovations
  4. Yellowstone Track Systems  with the new Ginzu Groomer and gooseneck
  5. Alpina with the NEW dual-track Sherpa Snowmobile and new powertiller
  6. Ski-Doo by Ave’s Sport Center
  7. Cragin Groomers
  8. KRC Snow Paver
  9. 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.

Wednesday

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

Thursday

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

Snowmobile Steering Tests

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

Snowmobile Turning diameter
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 WT 25’6”
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’
Alpina Sherpa 35’5
Bear Cat NA

Test 2 With 1 person and body motion

Snowmobile Turning diameter
Alpine II with bumper weight 22’9”
Skandic SWT with flexi skis 25’10”
Alpina Sherpa 35’3”

Tests results compiled by Dick Langer