It will be tough going because of all the new snow, but I expect there will be enough boot, ski, and fatbike pack to ride some places as long as you're prepared to air down as low possible and slog it out. I went out on saturday on MOZ on Mt. Sentinel, before the latest snowfall, and had a hard time because the snow was so deep, so I got out the XC skis on Sunday and Monday. A friend rode a little bit in the rattlesnake on Monday, but i think he was limited to Sawmill Road and Woods Gulch Road. The more time that goes by without snow, the more packed in it will get. I saw on facebook that someone snowshoe-packed Hayes Creek at Blue Mountain. search for fatbike missoula on facebook.
If you go to Pattee Canyon, stay off the south side trails as that is groomed for XC ski. Stick to the crazy canyon side. Also, you can ride the center of the Main Rattlesnake Trail, but stay of the groomed classic tracks on the sides.
"What's the deal?
Earlier this year MTB Missoula won a grant to buy a groomer to open up a network of winter trails for cyclists, by cyclists. We're stoked. The machine is a custom fabrication that will groom tread about 24" wide. Here's a video of a prototype; ours won't look exactly like this, but it'll be close. There may be opportunities in the future to provide a classic track for skiers, as well.
Who's doing it?
A group of MTB Missoula volunteers will be responsible for the grooming.
Where are the trails?
We're going to start by maintaining a stacked loop of trails on property owned by The Nature Conservancy, up Highway 200. The parking area will be on Twin Creeks Road. If you've ever skied or snowmobiled at Wishard Ridge, that's the spot. The attached map is a basic idea of what we've got in mind, although it might look slightly different in practice.
When's it happening?
Our plan is to begin grooming in the first week of 2017. We'll shoot an email if things come together before then. We'll plan on grooming any time it snows 4" or more, and we'll update information on the FatBike Missoula Facebook page.
Ken Smith is the main force behind this project. He's done a ton of work on the grant writing, product design, and access negotiations to make this happen. He can answer more specific questions as they come up. His email address is [email protected].
Want to get more involved?
The grant covered $7,000 for the purchase of the groomer. We're still working on fundraising $1,900 for operating costs. In the first year, donations will keep this project rolling!
Thanks again, and please don't hesitate to reach out with any questions,
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