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Halfway Haven


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I agree with the comments above around a better plan for clearing the road and a long term plan for the place being needed.
 

I have been to halfway and it is an interesting spot and am thankful of the people who worked hard to keep it open in the past. But without that ‘one’ family or group of people to operate it, it is a tough proposition. 
 

Ultimately I hope the trails can stay open without halfway. As a rider with a fuel caddy I can make it 200 kms pushing snow so a second caddy would make the trip doable (maybe not for everyone but still possible). In either case I wish the rider could make the call to go or not rather than the ofsc just closing the trails fully. 
 

There are trails in QC that have no fuel for ~230 kms and still open (La dore to Chib. as one example).

 

so I wonder what it would take to groom those trails with out halfway? Quebec seems to groom trails that are this remote without gas so why can’t ON? Wonder what solutions we can come up with without halfway? Maybe the club can find an alternate fuel solution and operator support plan? Can we not put a larger fuel tank on the groomer? Etc.  

 

Anyway enough armchair quarterbacking from me…

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5 minutes ago, willb said:

I agree with the comments above around a better plan for clearing the road and a long term plan for the place being needed.
 

I have been to halfway and it is an interesting spot and am thankful of the people who worked hard to keep it open in the past. But without that ‘one’ family or group of people to operate it, it is a tough proposition. 
 

Ultimately I hope the trails can stay open without halfway. As a rider with a fuel caddy I can make it 200 kms pushing snow so a second caddy would make the trip doable (maybe not for everyone but still possible). In either case I wish the rider could make the call to go or not rather than the ofsc just closing the trails fully. 
 

There are trails in QC that have no fuel for ~230 kms and still open (La dore to Chib. as one example).

 

so I wonder what it would take to groom those trails with out halfway? Quebec seems to groom trails that are this remote without gas so why can’t ON? Wonder what solutions we can come up with without halfway? Maybe the club can find an alternate fuel solution and operator support plan? Can we not put a larger fuel tank on the groomer? Etc.  

 

Anyway enough armchair quarterbacking from me…

 

Anything and everything can be done, but like everything else, at what cost, and who wants to bare that cost.

 

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27 minutes ago, willb said:

I agree with the comments above around a better plan for clearing the road and a long term plan for the place being needed.
 

I have been to halfway and it is an interesting spot and am thankful of the people who worked hard to keep it open in the past. But without that ‘one’ family or group of people to operate it, it is a tough proposition. 
 

Ultimately I hope the trails can stay open without halfway. As a rider with a fuel caddy I can make it 200 kms pushing snow so a second caddy would make the trip doable (maybe not for everyone but still possible). In either case I wish the rider could make the call to go or not rather than the ofsc just closing the trails fully. 
 

There are trails in QC that have no fuel for ~230 kms and still open (La dore to Chib. as one example).

 

so I wonder what it would take to groom those trails with out halfway? Quebec seems to groom trails that are this remote without gas so why can’t ON? Wonder what solutions we can come up with without halfway? Maybe the club can find an alternate fuel solution and operator support plan? Can we not put a larger fuel tank on the groomer? Etc.  

 

Anyway enough armchair quarterbacking from me…

I believe that operator hours worked are also an issue as well as available fuel.

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I saw a pic of that grader not to long ago with the hind end stuck in the ditch, and a post on FF thanking a bunch of guys for getting repairs done on it. I couldn't imagine freezing my bits off in -30 weather bucking huge drifts and the amount of snow they have, in that pos. I have run one of those things around my buddies farm in the summer, it was fun, I wouldn't even kick a tire on it if there was frost, it is in about the same shape as that thing.

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It seems that some here are ignoring the posts from Dan Senior, about the unbelievable snow dump that area got.  ......and no Armed forces to dig them out like Toronto needed a few years back ;) ......but I agree a team effort from all parties involved might be able to keep future years feasible. 

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5 hours ago, Spiderman said:

 

Anything and everything can be done, but like everything else, at what cost, and who wants to bare that cost.

 

Agreed! I am sure the ofsc is doing some good work on this front, but some transparency from the ofsc on what solutions are being looked at and some details rather than we just closed trails would be welcomed! 

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59 minutes ago, willb said:

Agreed! I am sure the ofsc is doing some good work on this front, but some transparency from the ofsc on what solutions are being looked at and some details rather than we just closed trails would be welcomed! 

Isn't it a little premature to expect much in the way of reasonable solutions or transparency given that the first public info. regarding this particular issue was only posted at 11:36 AM yesterday.

Short of the obvious which would seem to be providing a private company of foriegn ownership with a bundle of money for proper snow removal and staffing issues, I don't think there is a simple, permanent answer or it likely would have been put in place for one of the times something similar has happened at Halfway over the years. JMHO

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8 hours ago, brodhagenbullet said:

Maybe a club could groom the 60km road and call it a trail,problem solved,assume groomer can make 120km round trip?

the trail runs just south of that, from the hydro line, to Chapleau. grooming their road still doesnt give access to the fuel truck, to bring in thousands of gallons of fuel a week. 

 

it all boils down to the clubs, district, and the ofsc has put boat loads of money and time into that trail, to offer the trail to the riders, with a monetary benefit to that business... and it has repeatedly failed. when it fails, all that prep, signing, brushing, grooming maps, planning etc... is all for nothing, and money up in smoke.

 

Halfway has to put some big work into it to reap the benefit, from this trail, they are seeking. I am not saying they dont work hard there but, there comes a limit at what the ofsc should do to bring a trail to a business. 

 

Ski

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7 hours ago, stoney said:

 

Curious, when you state the above, is that something that I assume the OFSC stepped up and did to keep this open with hope  things would work out?

 

Otherwise, the above really makes sense - stop the bleeding, no matter the cost and look for the "right" fix......if that is possible.

 

Sounded like things were on track with an abrupt change - so something went a miss that appears to not even cause or see the owner reach out for some help to overcome the hurtle, at least to complete the season, that is really too bad seeing as I am thinking mid Feb to mid/end of Mar for that area is likely the busiest for them.

 

it was a suggestion, that the clubs and ofsc should get a monetary guarantee from halfway, if the trail is being brought to them, they are responsible for the groomer fuel bill, if the business closes, during the grooming season. the ofsc, and clubs cant keep maintaining that section of trail, for that one business, without a guarantee, they will be there to provide food, shelter, fuel service for the groomer, and the sledders. 

 

and for those that think you can make it with a can or two, of fuel... maybe when it is groomed but, with no grooming and 4-6 feet of snow in there... no, you are not going to do that!

 

the liability for the ofsc for the distance, weather, terrain, shelter, fuel, and services, for the average sledder (not the hard core explorers), is too much to take on for any entity. 

 

forget halfway, re-open up the trail from Misanabbi, to Chapleau, re connect the Big loop from there. leave the roads, hydro line, from south of wawa, to searchmont to the off trailers. people in the states can still start in the Soo, you just have to head east to elliot lake, then to sudbury,  to go north. Ski

 

Ski

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41 minutes ago, skidooboy said:

 

it was a suggestion, that the clubs and ofsc should get a monetary guarantee from halfway, if the trail is being brought to them, they are responsible for the groomer fuel bill, if the business closes, during the grooming season. the ofsc, and clubs cant keep maintaining that section of trail, for that one business, without a guarantee, they will be there to provide food, shelter, fuel service for the groomer, and the sledders. 

 

and for those that think you can make it with a can or two, of fuel... maybe when it is groomed but, with no grooming and 4-6 feet of snow in there... no, you are not going to do that!

 

the liability for the ofsc for the distance, weather, terrain, shelter, fuel, and services, for the average sledder (not the hard core explorers), is too much to take on for any entity. 

 

forget halfway, re-open up the trail from Misanabbi, to Chapleau, re connect the Big loop from there. leave the roads, hydro line, from south of wawa, to searchmont to the off trailers. people in the states can still start in the Soo, you just have to head east to elliot lake, then to sudbury,  to go north. Ski

 

Ski

 Absolutely the most intelligent response yet to this situation. I always thought the Wawa Misanabbi Chapleau connection should have never been closed. Worst case scenario you drive to Wawa from the Soo to drop. Glad I went and saw it, was a great experience. I wish them luck but I’m afraid the future does not look bright. 

7404EF45-C297-4787-871B-E1EB0E748602.jpeg

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1 hour ago, J Feces said:

 Absolutely the most intelligent response yet to this situation. I always thought the Wawa Misanabbi Chapleau connection should have never been closed. Worst case scenario you drive to Wawa from the Soo to drop. Glad I went and saw it, was a great experience. I wish them luck but I’m afraid the future does not look bright. 

7404EF45-C297-4787-871B-E1EB0E748602.jpeg

Ernie had fuel in past too so old F trail across to chapleau would help no doubt. 
doesn’t do anything for a connection to black creek unless they can re open old F trail but I doubt it. 

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18 hours ago, skidooboy said:

 

it was a suggestion, that the clubs and ofsc should get a monetary guarantee from halfway, if the trail is being brought to them, they are responsible for the groomer fuel bill, if the business closes, during the grooming season. the ofsc, and clubs cant keep maintaining that section of trail, for that one business, without a guarantee, they will be there to provide food, shelter, fuel service for the groomer, and the sledders. 

 

and for those that think you can make it with a can or two, of fuel... maybe when it is groomed but, with no grooming and 4-6 feet of snow in there... no, you are not going to do that!

 

the liability for the ofsc for the distance, weather, terrain, shelter, fuel, and services, for the average sledder (not the hard core explorers), is too much to take on for any entity. 

 

forget halfway, re-open up the trail from Misanabbi, to Chapleau, re connect the Big loop from there. leave the roads, hydro line, from south of wawa, to searchmont to the off trailers. people in the states can still start in the Soo, you just have to head east to elliot lake, then to sudbury,  to go north. Ski

 

Ski

Huge money was spent on that trail, it should have never closed, that is the one that should be focused on. There are complications with groomers, it is not an easy task either. I believe that's why it was so easily abandoned in the first place.

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18 hours ago, Strong Farmer said:

Ernie had fuel in past too so old F trail across to chapleau would help no doubt. 
doesn’t do anything for a connection to black creek unless they can re open old F trail but I doubt it. 

 

As a southerner who knows next to nothing, except that I love it all seasons, about the highway 129 and 101 areas, it appears that the old F trail, or FD north were closer to the highways and services than the D trail past HH. Is the old route from Black Creek, to Chapleau, to Missinabi, to Hawk Junction/Wawa too rugged and remote to be recovered as the trail north to complete the big loop? It used to be a fun challenge. I preferred it to the current D201F/D route. I think that ski has said before that the trail is not viable, but I would suggest that snowmobiling in southern Ontario is becoming economic suicide. As sledding dies in the south, hopefully many southern riders will support the north and save organized trail sledding (OFSC). I want the old trail back. I realize that our American riders crossing at SSM have quite a bit further to ride to get over to Black Creek as opposed to the current convenience of the D trail straight north, but HH seems even less sustainable than the old trail. 

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the problem lies in the distance between Missanabi, and Chapleau. if I remember right, it is 90 miles one way (and was not that rugged of terrain). and Chapleau, hated to groom their side. getting operators, to run the whole thing was tough, due to the distance alone. the last year or 2 they put a groomer at Ernie's in Missanabi, to cut the distance, and Kenny (ernie's son) was going out, and doing their end, and did a great job but, in the end, from what I hear, the owner of Aux Trois Moulin's motel, (and the club president of chapleau at the time), put up a tremendous fuss, to get that trail closed, so he could get the trail from halfway opened, and the old F trail closed, to get more touring riders from the soo into his community, via the trail. Politics, involved hurting the sport in that region, yet again. the old F trail from Black creek/Aubrey falls, to Flame lake lodge, was pretty rugged but, fairly close to the paved hwy 129. from flame lake to chapleau via trail was either 50 or 60 miles. then to black creek was another 50 or so. one way it was 110 miles, or more and again, a tough sell to a volunteer groomer, not getting paid, with their own family, and full time job or business to tend to as well. Ski

 

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 Groomers are a paid position within the OFSC if I am not mistaken,, still doesn't mean there is a line up of people waiting to do it, but that has to help lure a few more people to be willing to do it.......has it changed that groomers are not paid :wtf:.  

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48 minutes ago, stoney said:

 Groomers are a paid position within the OFSC if I am not mistaken,, still doesn't mean there is a line up of people waiting to do it, but that has to help lure a few more people to be willing to do it.......has it changed that groomers are not paid :wtf:.  

Most clubs paid in past too, but many clubs people didn’t take the pay or full amount anyways. Today with districts all running it, I bet most take the pay but I am not certain on that either. 

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When I took groomer training at the Heart of Ontario snowmobile club I was told that we could get paid to groom or volunteer. 

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3 years ago

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2 hours ago, stoney said:

 Groomers are a paid position within the OFSC if I am not mistaken,, still doesn't mean there is a line up of people waiting to do it, but that has to help lure a few more people to be willing to do it.......has it changed that groomers are not paid :wtf:.  

 

at the time of the F trail debacle, from Missanabi, to Chapleau, and Chapleau to Aubrey Falls/Black Creek area, they were not. remember this was over 10 years ago now. the last year we went up the old F trail to Flame Lake lodge was the winter of 2008-2009. I think it might have tried to be open the following year. and if I remember right, Ernie's trail to Chapleau was already closed at that time. 

 

 

I understand the groomers are "paid" now but, I dont think it is enough, to lure people away from their personal job, business, family, or fun. look at what happened with Covid, hardly anyone wants to work. (if you are trying to get new blood in to the groomer/clubs)

 

 

But, this is the conversation that needs to take place, within the algoma district, the adjoining districts, the ofsc, and the clubs. there could be a solution. Ski

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The pay rate isnt very attractive. I run big toys for a living and am a member of IUOE. Find equipment operators that can run the shaping blade and pay them well and i'd be happy to pay more on a trail pass.

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1 hour ago, skidooboy said:

 

at the time of the F trail debacle, from Missanabi, to Chapleau, and Chapleau to Aubrey Falls/Black Creek area, they were not. remember this was over 10 years ago now. the last year we went up the old F trail to Flame Lake lodge was the winter of 2008-2009. I think it might have tried to be open the following year. and if I remember right, Ernie's trail to Chapleau was already closed at that time. 

 

 

I understand the groomers are "paid" now but, I dont think it is enough, to lure people away from their personal job, business, family, or fun. look at what happened with Covid, hardly anyone wants to work. (if you are trying to get new blood in to the groomer/clubs)

 

 

But, this is the conversation that needs to take place, within the algoma district, the adjoining districts, the ofsc, and the clubs. there could be a solution. Ski


For sure a very small group that would want to do it for a wage and than next criteria is doing it well. 
Given the change in winds and hurtles, definitely needs some more serious thought that is actually obtainable. 

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19 hours ago, skidooboy said:

the problem lies in the distance between Missanabi, and Chapleau. if I remember right, it is 90 miles one way (and was not that rugged of terrain). and Chapleau, hated to groom their side. getting operators, to run the whole thing was tough, due to the distance alone. the last year or 2 they put a groomer at Ernie's in Missanabi, to cut the distance, and Kenny (ernie's son) was going out, and doing their end, and did a great job but, in the end, from what I hear, the owner of Aux Trois Moulin's motel, (and the club president of chapleau at the time), put up a tremendous fuss, to get that trail closed, so he could get the trail from halfway opened, and the old F trail closed, to get more touring riders from the soo into his community, via the trail. Politics, involved hurting the sport in that region, yet again. the old F trail from Black creek/Aubrey falls, to Flame lake lodge, was pretty rugged but, fairly close to the paved hwy 129. from flame lake to chapleau via trail was either 50 or 60 miles. then to black creek was another 50 or so. one way it was 110 miles, or more and again, a tough sell to a volunteer groomer, not getting paid, with their own family, and full time job or business to tend to as well. Ski

 

if I remember correctly that groomer at Ernie's was an old ts115 and it had lots of issues that made keeping it operational problematic. It doesn't matter if it is d or f trail, grooming is the issue. If Ernie is open for fuel, F is more reasonable from a fuel standpoint. It seems like things are going backwards from a progression standpoint in this area, I remember there being positive speculation on what the F trail extension would be for a reliable trail to complete the loop. I believe that is when Steve and Gail where wanting to slow down at half way and it looked good till Roger started acting up. I only rode the trail once but it was a beautiful ride.

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it was the older unit from dubreuilville, when they had 2 units. they only have one now. Ski

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