Monday, March 11, 2013

North Shore Trek starts March 13

Tofte to Gunflint Lodge in Seven Days
Wednesday morning Tim Crampton and I (Tony Mommsen) will start skiing from Tofte Minnesota, seven days later we will finish at Gunflint Lodge. This is not a hard-core adventure. We will be skiing on groomed trail networks along Lake Superior and  the Gunflint Trail (with just a couple obstacles).  Sleeping in lodges with saunas and hot tubs. Gear will be shuttled. And we will experience long warm days and views of Lake Superior and hills and forests along the Gunflint Trail.

A Few Obstacles 
We've been talking with resort owners, outfitters, Nordic skiers familiar with the North Shore trails.  There are two sections with no cross country ski trails where creative problem solving will be required.

Last year on the Gunflint Trail [photo: Ingrid Remak]
Tofte to Lutsen. More than one North Shore contact has told us we will not be able to ski from the Sugarbush Trail System to Lutsen Trails. So we may ski as much as possible then walk or shuttle to Lutsen Road.

Bally Creek Trails to Bearskin Lodge
30 miles. We plan on piecing together unplowed roads and lake skiing over the course of a couple days to get to Bearskin Lodge. Including Pine Mountain Road, South Brule Road and Lima Mountain Road.

The Idea
Family and friends became weary of my trek ideas. I talked about skiing across Minnesota - too much prairie.  Ski across Wisconsin - too far between towns. Then my brother Pete told me it had to be the North Shore - The best skiing and the best scenery around and it's begging to be linked together as a week-long trek. See map above.


Product Review
Timex Marathon GPS
We are hoping this is a pilot trek, paving the way for a formal trip with a bunch of skiers. North East Minnesota tourism contacts will want to know if we find good connections. If people can make if from one lodge to the next without putting in double Birkies. So distances we travel is important and we will be using the Timex Marathon. This GPS is basic, it will tell us how far we travel each day and how fast we average and allow us to save previous day's records for up to 30 hours. And that is about it. So, it will not help us much if we get lost. Unless knowing how far from found we are.

Tomorrow we put it to the test.


Beeceegee said...

This sounds like an amazing trip! Have a wonderful time and we'll look forward to hearing about your adventures~

Robert Pranis said...

Sounds like a wonderful journey. I would like to comment on some of your postings. The "Lutsen" trails and "Deer Yard" trails are part of the Norpine Trail system that is maintain by the Norpine Trail Association,, just as the Sugarbush Trails are maintained by their trail association. We would very much appreciate if you could refer to these trails by Norpine since we rely on volunteer help to maintain these trails and trying to make people aware of our trail association. Our trail include everything East of Lutsen Mountain and West of Cascade State Park.

Thanks for your consideration and happy skiing.

Bob Pranis
President, Norpine Trail Association