There’s a new groomer in town making sure many of our region’s snowmobile trails are kept in tip-top shape for the winter months. The Eastman SnoPALS are the proud owners of a Prinoth Husky they recently acquired and now keep at their Seven Sisters facility. It’s a lighter-weight machine that has many advantages over the club’s old one — a farm tractor that had been converted with tracks to serve as a snow groomer.
“With the old tractor, the weight distribution was five pounds-per-square-inch once it’s on the tracks. With the new Husky, the weight is less than a pound-per-square-inch. That makes a huge difference when you’re going over deep snow or ice or frozen bogs,” says John Fleming, SnoPALS president, who recently took over for Gus Wruck.
The SnoPALS formed in 1996 when the Pinawa, Agassiz (Seddon’s Corner), Lac du Bonnet and Seven Sisters snowmobile clubs merged — hence the acronym PALS. The club maintains approximately 300 kilometres of trails. The new machine will help ensure those trails are kept as pristine as possible for the scores of avid snowmobilers who visit Lac du Bonnet in the winter months, due in part to the fact the Prinoth Husky is more appropriate for the volunteers who help groom the trails.
The Lac du Bonnet region contains hundreds of kilometres of snowmobile trails, maintained by several clubs. In addition to the SnoPALS, there’s the Lee River Snow Riders, Mooswa Lake Snowriders, Brokenhead Trail Blazers, Whiteshell Snowmobile Club, Maskwa Snowmobile Club, and the Nopiming Sno-Mads. All clubs are constantly upgrading their infrastructure.
The Mooswa Lake Snowriders recently acquired a newer equipment storage building, according to club member Tonya Kemball.
“Snowmobiling puts so much into our region’s economy. We live in an absolutely spectacular part of the province for scenery. You go through farmers’ fields into the Canadian Shield, and it’s just beautiful. We’re dedicated to providing the best recreational snowmobiling that we can,” Fleming adds.
The region’s clubs are always looking for volunteers. Visit http://snoman.mb.ca/clubs.php and scroll down to the Eastern Region section for maps and info on how to get involved.