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Crews battling tough conditions to get snowmobile trails groomed

Snowmobile trail groomers are facing harsh conditions at the start of this season.
Snowmobile trail groomers are facing harsh conditions at the start of this season.(KVLY)
Published: Dec. 29, 2021 at 11:09 AM CST
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CLAY COUNTY, M.N. (Valley News Live) - Snowmobile enthusiasts will have to wait a few more days until the Clay County Trail Blazers can get the trails properly groomed for the season.

Greg Strommen, Trail Coordinator for the Clay County Trail Blazers says the recent winter storm has caused major delays to the grooming process. He said their equipment is too heavy to groom the deep snow covering the 179 miles of snowmobile trails the club grooms. They switched to packing the snow instead of grooming after equipment continued getting stuck.

“Believe it or not our large trail grooming machine do struggle with all this extra deep snow we received,” Strommen said in a text message.

On December 28 the club spent 3.5 hours covering 11 miles. Strommen said that distance usually takes them half that amount of time. The Clay County Trail Blazers cover trails from the North Dakota border to Becker County, down to Barnesville, and up to Ulen. On top of facing harsh weather conditions and dangerous wind chills, Strommen said two of their machines aren’t working, so they only have one groomer to cover all of the trails.

“It’s not all about jumping in a groomer and going...Monday and Tuesday are ‘maintenance’ nights,” Strommen explained, “We spent 2-4 hours a week doing basic preventative maintenance.”

Strommen said the club hopes to be back to grooming the trails by early January.

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