South East Sno-Riders has done it again.
In 2013 the club was named tops in the province by Snoman. President Mitch Gobeil says they have now received that same recognition for last winter.
"It's quite an achievement because there's fifty-three clubs in the province that belong to Snoman," explains Gobeil. "It's a nice recognition of all our various volunteers, the board, everybody."
Gobeil says they are judged on everything from how well their trails are maintained to the cleanliness of the warmup shelters to the promotion of safety. He notes South East Sno-Riders receives a lot of very positive feedback during the course of the winter on the state of their trails.
"It's nice to see that people recognize the efforts that we put in," adds Gobeil.
If recent history is any indication, it will probably be another seven weeks before snowmobile trails open in the southeast for the season. Gobeil says they normally open in late December or early January. But that doesn't mean there isn't work to be done before then. Gobeil says since early October they have had volunteers out cutting brush and clearing the trails from trees that fell over the summer.
"It's something we do every year," he says. "The usual stuff with downed trees and things of that nature because of the high winds during the summer."
According to Gobeil, the amount of cleanup this year is no worse than normal. Though he says there are tiny pockets where it is just as bad as it was following the ice storm of 2012.
Gobeil notes the snow we have already received is welcome, as long as we don't get too much more too quickly. He says that is what happened last year when the swamps and rivers didn't have a chance to freeze before the heavy snow came. What happens then, is the snow acts as insulation, preventing a deep frost.
"That created us grief," shares Gobeil. "It takes us longer to get out once that happens because then we got to get out there with sleds and pack the snow down to drive the frost down."
Gobeil says right now he would prefer to see colder weather but then once the swamps are frozen, let is snow.