"Friday aand I broke trail on our Snowmacines up to where the Irondoggers had been stopped about 1.5 miles short of . We cut some brush and pushed the trail through, then went on to Finger Lake and beyond a ways. Later Brad Helwig and Eric Qualm (IronDog Team) got part way down the steps to the Happy from where we left it. Yesterday (Jan 2, 2010) Brad and Eric finished the steps, and got a trail on up all the way to Rainy Pass Lodge on Puntilla Lake.
There was some rain a week or so ago, and it has really set up the snow good. There still is a lot of alders, but a big snow will really help. I expect the trail will stay in fine as there are Iron Dog teams, including Eric and Brad that will keep pushing up to Puntilla and beyond in the six weeks left before that start. This is early for a trail in to Puntilla, so that is a good sign.
There is quite a bit of overflow out there tough. Anne Ver Hoef (my wife) ran from our cabin at Shell Lake to Skwentna on Friday (this trail is the best anyone has ever seen due to the work by the Shell Lake trail grooming committee), and hardly left a tennis shoe print in the trail with no real overflow problems. , she was running up to Finger, and postholed through our snowmachine trail and soaked her feet in overflow, and ended up turning around and coming back to Shell Lake as it was -10F. Most of the lakes around there have overflow lurking. But the trails are really set well with a base, biking or running is no problem out there now. More snow will come, but the trails have a great base right now."