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Blog #3: Fat Bike Grooming in Cable, WI

Cable WI Area Winter Fat Bike Grooming

Blog 3:

Cable Area Fatbike Trail Grooming
Cable Area Fatbike Trail Grooming
Fatbike Grooming
Fatbike Grooming

We thoroughly admit we love to groom and Fatbike the steep, out-of-bounds, unmapped Winter trails we at the Up North Guided Tours shop maintain!  Yes, the downhills are absolute barnburners, and a few of the uphills are hikes, but our routes put the adventure back into bike.  They get you into the deep, very less traveled backwoods; they provide you with incredible vistas for your viewing pleasure; they do feature some long, flowing sections; and they get you connected into the natural world.  We create Winter trail so you get a true Northern Midwest outdoor experience!

We start grooming early in the Winter to create a base, we groom after snowfall to maintain trail integrity, and we groom towards the end of warm-ups to compact trail so it hardens providing rock-solid firmness.  Grooming is better than not grooming, but routes set up best when groomed as temperatures are going down.  Grooming the steeps is an exercise in balance: speed, momentum, and snowmobiler agility/weight distribution are necessary to clear uphill stretches and tight, downhill, banking turns; staying off the brakes on downhills keeps the groomer in-line; and properly weighting and applying the right amount of pressure via the jack on the groomer pan as snow and temperature conditions dictate all must be considered.  Grooming the steeps is never perfect, but when balance is reached, functional snow art is created.  Accordingly, some art and some science are involved!  Remember, Snow/Icebike is an extension of mountain bike: open up your front suspension, let a little air out, and take some rough with your pristine!!!

Our preferred grooming tools for the steeps, esp. during a snowy Winter are as follows: our 2-Stroke Ski-Doo Tundra 550F LT; our Wildcat 33″ Groomers; our Stihl chainsaw; our Tubbs Wilderness 30 snowshoes in case we have to walkout; our office cell phones w/ the best possible coverage; and 2 of our compact, well charged flashlights that we typically use as handlebar lights.

We do not only create Winter biking trail by pulling a groomer, we also rough-in shorter, narrower stretches via snowshoe, poles and gaiters.  Examples are evident at our shop’s Home Trail and our Cabin’s Connector Trail we rough-in for our guests, participants, and equipment rental customers.  Now, on a personal note, the beauty of roughing-in trail by snowshoe is in the silence.  Nature forgets we are there and continues as if undetected.  Owls and Wood Peckers are heard, fresh Wolf tracks are seen, and the sweet smell of dense forest practically envelops us.  Gotta love this kind of work!

Outside of our roughed-in Home and Cabin Connector Trails, our grooming route is within Bayfield County Forestland and a large private parcel.  We take our Permit and Right-of-Way License privileges very seriously, and we thank Bayfield County Foresters and the Private Landowner/Manager for same.  The trails we maintain that are in Bayfield County Forestland are HVN and TRTS, and the trail we maintain on the private parcel is HVN X.  Those three trails are open to the general public for Snow/Icebiking.  Please see the Trails page of our website for detailed descriptions of each.  Additionally, there are trails we help FAT CAMBA maintain.  Those trails are mostly within Bayfield County Forestland and are Westside and Backside, both of which are open to the general public, as well.

Why do we put in this type of work?  To enhance the experience of outdoor adventure seekers, of course.  Enjoy!  See, and contact or 715/413-2076.