While some may be dreading a snowy commute this weekend, snowmobilers are looking forward to the snow storm.
Snowmobilers say it has been hard to get out on the trails the past few months because there hasn’t been enough snow.
Patrick Poulin is the Trail Coordinator for his snowmobile club, the Williston Hill Hawks. He is also the he the Chittenden County Director for Vermont Association of Snow Travelers. He said it’s been difficult to go snowmobiling and maintain the trails so far this season.
“This is probably the worst I’ve seen it in a while,” said Poulin.
In order to snowmobile there needs to be at least 6-8 inches, but there has only been about 6 inches in total around Chittenden County.
“We’ve been out twice to pack the trails and then we couldn’t do anymore because there was no more snow really to work with. We packed it and we built a base. Luckily the base held even with the warm weather we have had,” said Poulin
To make sure the trails are all set for snowmobilers there needs to be a base of ice underneath all of the snow. It can be hard to keep a good icy base with fluctuating temperatures.
“I don’t know how many days of consistent freezing weather we’ve had in the last month… um not a lot,” said Poulin.
Officials explained that it can be dangerous without enough snow on top of the base. Matthew Tetreault is the Trails Administrator for Vermont Association of Snow Travelers. The organization manages 128 snowmobile clubs and over 4500 trails across the state.
“When we don’t have the snow, a lot of those stumps that have been cut off or rocks that are there do protrude up and do cause a hazard and that’s why with low snow it can be very dangerous and you have to be very cautious and that’s why a lot of our trails have been closed for the season,” said Tetreault.
VAST is hoping for a snowy next few month to finish off the season.
“Hopefully, like the next eight or so weeks which is about the length of our season legally by statute, that we will have some good riding and it will continue to snow and provide a little bit of snow each week,” said Tetreault.
With snowmobiling season in full swing, Vermont State police want to remind everyone about snowmobile safety. Anyone over the age of 12 and born after 1983 must complete a safety course before hitting the trails. Officials also say to stay clear of iced lakes/rivers. For more information on safety click here.