By Bob Smith – TTF Board Member
Presidents Day weekend is shaping up to be one of the best this season. As of the evening of the 14th Tollgate has received right at 12” of new snow. What a great Valentine’s Day present! Early this morning, the Milkshakes Snotel site reported 68” and by evening over 13” of snow had accumulated for a total of 81”. It should be a great weekend. NOAA weather forecasts cooler weather and continued snow falling for most of the week ending Sunday the 18th. Saturday the 17th may be a bit warmer but then drop down into the mid 20’s for a high. This is one of those years if you want to snowmobile you have to become a “Storm Chaser” or at least be ready when the snow falls. Several of us have followed storms around the NW and have had a great time playing in the powder. The old timers say March is typically the best snowmobile month of the year. We’ll pray the old timers are right and that it starts ramping up soon. Don’t forget to check in with the Wallowa Avalanche Center @ www.wallowaavalanchecenter.org. Be safe and have a great weekend.
What’s new on the Mountain.
The Tollgate Store is officially open and has been renamed the “Alpine Outpost”!! The new owners are busy remodeling but are serving meals most days of the week. I can personally vouch for the pizza and clubs, they are amazing and all served with a smile. It’s going to be a great addition to our mountain. We are now able to snowmobile all day and come in for a hot healthy meal before heading down the mountain or back to our cabin. We wish Victoria and Ren all the best as they open their new store and restaurant. You can find them on Facebook at Blue Mountain Outpost.
Jeff Wagner, one of our new groomer drivers with help from Jess Thompson has created an Interactive map of the Tollgate Trail System. By using the Avenza Map application on your smart phone it will pin point your precise location. This will be very helpful for newcomers as wells as those of us that tend to get turned around a bit. Just another safety tool to not only define where you are on the map but to let you friends and family know as well. You probably will need cell service, however without endorsing a cell phone carrier, there are companies that have good cell reception on the mountain and the App is free. Thanks Jeff and Jess!
Listed below are the instructions on how to download it on your smart phone.
1. Load Avenza Map app on phone or tablet
2. Select the store button or the + icon in upper right corner
3. Select “get a map from store”
4. Type “Tollgate Trail Finders Snowmobile Map” in the “find maps” area
5. Select the map file for the free download.
User location should appear as a colored dot on map showing their current location. Pins can be placed on map for points of interest and notes. This makes using our trail map as easy as using google maps. It will show your current location on our map along with GPS coordinates. A person can now take a screenshot of app and text an image that shows location on map along with GPS info to anyone.
Organized club rides are on hold for the time being until the weather cooperates. We will update as conditions change on Facebook “Tollgate Trail Finders,” and our Club Website. www.Tollgatetrailfinders.org.
March 3rd at 9am – Advanced GPS Ride – Backcountry and GPS Skills focus for this ride. Led by Brandon Christensen. Note: for advanced riders only
March 3rd at 9:30 am – Family Ride to Ruckel Junction – led by Cecil Berry
March 3rd at 5pm – TTF Club meeting and Elections. This will be our last meeting of the 2017-2018 season.
March 3rd at 6pm – Annual Steakout. After the club meeting we will be BBQing your favorite steak or whatever you would like to put on the grill. It will be potluck style…Please bring a salad or dessert and the Club will furnish baked potatoes, bread rolls and all the toppings for the spuds. This is a great time to get together, laugh and reminisce about the past seasons activities and enjoy a night with your snow friends.
March 24th – Vintage Snowmobile Weekend at Alpine Outpost! Bring your vintage sleds. BBQ at the Alpine Outpost. Come join the fun!
Our grooming chairman, Jess Thompson, has an in-depth groomers report posted on the TTF Website.
It includes conditions and possible hazards. The lack of snow and warmer weather has opened up water holes on some of the trails. Jess states that most of the trails are in good shape and with the weather cooling down this week they should be able to resume grooming the trails.
Let’s all continue to think Snow and we look forward to seeing everyone March 3rd for the Steakout!!
Tollgate Trail Finders