Snowmobilers urged to use caution on lakes
Riders should only cross lakes that have been staked, trail plan association says
Posted: Jan 20, 2012 1:40 PM ET
Last Updated: Jan 20, 2012 1:36 PM ET
There's a silver lining to the snow storms that pummeled Sudbury this week. The Sudbury Trail Plan Association says its entire network of snowmobile trails should be open in the next couple of days.
Dave Bolton, the president of the association, said his group has to play catch up with all the snow that came down.
“It's a nice, light, powdery snow and we have the groomers going,” he said.
“We are hoping to get the rest of the trails open by the end of the weekend.”
Bolton added about 75 per cent of the trails in Sudbury are open right now. But he warned that some lakes are too slushy for grooming machines and are not safe. He said riders should only cross lakes that have been staked.
The Ontario Provincial Police is broadcasting the same message about being careful on frozen lakes and rivers.
They said the fluctuation in temperatures and increased snowfall has resulted in inconsistent and unstable ice conditions.
In the northeast region, they have investigated six occurrences in which snow machines have either broken through thin ice, or driven into open water. One of the incidents resulted in a fatality.
Police said three other snowmobile operators were also killed in off-ice incidents in Gogama, Sault Ste. Marie and Burks Falls.
Collisions with stationary obstacles, such as ice shacks, rock outcrops and pressure cracks see riders ejected and seriously injured or killed, they added, noting that speed and alcohol often factor into such crashes. Riding at night increases risks of open water incidents and trail collisions, as machine headlights often don’t provide enough illumination of any dangers ahead.
For more information about trail conditions, check out the Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs for updated reports.
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