DEER LAKE The Newfoundland and Labrador Snowmobile Federation is urging caution on the trails, as some areas may be soft, causing riders to become stuck.
© Paul Hutchings
William Bennett of Deer Lake enjoys the rail bed trail on one of the first sunny days in while for the town. The Newfoundland and Labrador Snowmobile Federation say they are happy for all the extra snow but are warning snowmobilers that there soft spots that could cause problems, which the groomers will take care of in the next few weeks.
Federation executive director Gloria Knowlton said the west coast has been blessed with a lot of snow, and that the groomers are out two or three weeks early in some places.
But the snowfall has been so fast that the base underneath has not been freezing properly, causing boggy areas.
Last week, a groomer got stuck in the St. Anthony area because of one of those soft areas. Snowmobilers could ride through them and possibly lose control, causing injury.
“People just need to be careful as they ride on the trails. Anything can happen at this point,” said Knowlton. “We’ve had personal conversations with operators and discussed issues with clubs before they start grooming just to keep an eye out.”
Junction Trailblazer executive director Wilf Curlew said more cold weather is key.
“None of the bogs are froze up. Once the snow gets down into them and we get some more cold weather they’ll be fine,” he said. “But the groomers are out and they’re pushing down the snow banks, and they’re out with a drag today so they’re getting the job done.”
Knowlton added that extra enforcement will begin shortly. Two months ago the Federation received word that the RCMP, as well as several government departments, would be on the trails checking to ensure riders have trail passes, and watching for other offences.
The RCMP in Deer Lake have two snowmobiles, which they say will be on the trails in the next few days.