New snow bodes well for Wisconsin winter sports

Earlier ice storms left debris on many snowmobile and cross country ski trails
Published: Jan. 19, 2023 at 10:21 PM CST
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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - The ice storm earlier this year blocked ski and snowmobile trails with large amounts of debris not seen in a long time.

“Up until a couple of weeks ago we were still brushing our trails there to get them cleared out,” said Trailmates Snowmobile Club Board Member Allan Zahrt.

Zahrt keeps tabs on trails in his section of the county to see when they will be ready and when it snowed this morning, he said he needed to contact his groomer operators.

So far, even with last night’s storm, they’re still waiting. Zahrt said it’s a combination of safety and respecting peoples’ land that the trails cross.

“It’s right on the borderline. We would like to open but it’s got to get cold. We can’t keep having this warm weather and that mist we had after the rain this morning, that did not help,” said Zahrt.

For the Wausau Night Gliders ski teams, it’s also a little frustrating and they felt the effects of the ice storm as well. “Warm temps, ice, rain, and then of course we had that severe storm damage,” Kresse said. “We got hit here the worst in the whole state, right here. So that impaired our larger trails, and then we cleaned up our inner ones.”

As for Wednesday’s snow dump, Kresse said it’s a move in the right direction.

“We’d like a little more, but it’s good. It’s great, and we’ll be able to do both techniques with the track and then ski technique too.”