Rumford snowmobile trails have ‘plenty of snow’

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RUMFORD — Members of the Rumford Polar Bears Snowmobile Club were grooming trails covered with more than a foot of new snow Friday.

Using the club’s website, they also alerted riders headed to the area for Presidents Day weekend that it will take several days to get the trails groomed as more snow continues to fall.

“We got plenty of snow now,” Trailmaster Tom Reed said Friday afternoon after returning from grooming. “It’s real good snow, too; dense. It’s got a lot of moisture in it. It’s fairly soft, so it will freeze up tonight.”

Reed said the storm Thursday and Friday brought 12 to 13 inches of snow to some areas and well over a foot to some of the club’s higher terrain.

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“It will keep us busy,” he said.

The latest snowfall brings the total to 69 inches for the 2013-14 season, with a snow depth of 32 inches as of Feb. 9, according to the club website.

Trails groomed Friday were from the club’s groomer garage, along ITS 82 and out to Black Bridge, he said.

“Then, we come back through and did Black Mountain Trail, which goes to the ski area, and Swain Pond Trail,” Reed said. “Tomorrow, we’ll groom ITS 82 East out to where we meet the Andover club’s trails in Horseshoe Valley.”

The Rumford club maintains nearly 90 miles of trail. By the end of December, members were urging riders to take it easy on their trails due to a lack of snow and exposed rocks and roots, and accumulating ice.

At the time, club Vice President Bob Stickney said all they needed was one good snowstorm packing 10 to 15 inches. That arrived this week, but Reed said the riding had been excellent up until then.

“We like to get snow, but we like it spread out more,” he said.

When it arrives in one big storm, it takes a while to get it under control and groom it all. Sledders can help by riding to the right and packing the trails, not riding down the middle of trails, which isn’t safe and increases difficulties in grooming trails flat, he said.

And although he said he’s expecting more snow Saturday and Tuesday, the club only has about five more weeks of good grooming left in the season, unless the weather remains cold.

“By tomorrow night, we’ll have everything on the Rumford side of the (Androscoggin) River all done,” Reed said.

tkarkos@sunjournal.com

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