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Old 08-27-2018, 08:59 PM   #1
StevenGilford
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Default Trails on Lake Winnipesaukee

Through winter are there set trails on Winnipesaukee, or is the lake just 'open' after snowmobile trails take you to it?

If there are trails, is there a map anywhere?
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Old 08-27-2018, 09:30 PM   #2
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There are designated routes, but you can pretty much go where you please on the lake. If you really want to know the trails purchase a Garmin Montana GPS, and buy trail maps for it. Just like using your cars GPS. here's an interactive map to get an idea of the trails system in New England. Just pan in to find Lake Winnipesaukee.

http://www.gpstrailmasters.com/conte...now-map_E.html
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Old 08-28-2018, 08:36 AM   #3
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You can go where ever you want, but that doesn't mean it's a good idea. There are many areas of the lake that don't completely freeze in the winter. And some years are better than others. Proceed with caution. I generally wait until I see cars on the lake before I proceed out on a snowmobile. Then I follow where others have gone, but you need to be careful with that too. Sometimes others are lost or they are on their way to skim across an open area. Be careful.
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Old 08-28-2018, 01:00 PM   #4
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Got caught out there after the winds started up one day after a night of fluffy snowfall. Total white out conditions! If I didn't have my GPS I would never have known where I was, or how to get back to shore. Scary! I was afraid I was going to get hit by another sled lost in the total whiteout. Just something to be aware of, as what may start out as a beautiful clear, pristine day, with good visibility, may turn for the worst on the lake. it can happen fast especially after a coating of light fluffy snowfall.
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Old 08-28-2018, 01:52 PM   #5
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While we may suggest routes on maps, we do not actively monitor or mark them as trails. I suggest the Winnipesaukee Navionics app for your phone. It is made for boating, but will help with the getting lost part!
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Old 08-29-2018, 06:49 AM   #6
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Be especially alert for pressure ridges that popup, sometimes with water on top of the ice on the other side. I recall maybe 15+ years ago going down a common ice route with a friend in the low light, we hit a ridge, went a little airborne and was a tad surprised when we 'splashed down' on the other side. Fortunately there was ice below about a foot of water. But it scared the ... out of us... We stopped on the trail shortly after to gather our wits and one of the sled's track froze up solid. Not fun.
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Old 08-29-2018, 11:43 AM   #7
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After the terrible tragedy of two winters ago, when 2 or 3 (can't remember) died when they broke through the ice during the fishing tournament, I try to avoid riding the big lake.
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Old 08-29-2018, 12:44 PM   #8
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Quote:
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After the terrible tragedy of two winters ago, when 2 or 3 (can't remember) died when they broke through the ice during the fishing tournament, I try to avoid riding the big lake.
Is riding on the lake unpredictably dangerous, or are the deaths from operator mistakes?
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Old 08-29-2018, 01:00 PM   #9
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It can be if you dont know it especially with the winters we have had as of late. You really need to know where you are and keep your speed under control if you dont know it. Things can change on it week to week for sure. I tend to minimize lake riding except to get from point A to B as its often bumpy also. Also for people without experience on it who wake up after a fresh fell one nite and looks great but snow covers up alot. Couple years ago a kid from NY drown under this scenario.
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Old 08-29-2018, 01:37 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StevenGilford View Post
Is riding on the lake unpredictably dangerous, or are the deaths from operator mistakes?

Can be both

Here's the article about the 3 drownings two winters ago

http://www.newhampshire.com/news/bod...-to-3-20170212
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Old 08-29-2018, 04:05 PM   #11
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Is riding on the lake unpredictably dangerous, or are the deaths from operator mistakes?
Yes.

You have to use your head, going out without knowing if the ice is safe makes it very dangerous. As I said before, I wait for the cars to show up on the ice. Generally at least a few of those guys go out and drill and measure the ice thickness. Even then I'm cautious and generally avoid untraveled areas.
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Old 08-30-2018, 01:50 PM   #12
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It's a lot different now. 30+ years ago when winters were generally colder and longer there would be sometimes 2-3 feet of ice in some places and island construction with logging and concrete trucks driving across the ice. I remember trying to drill a hole for ice fishing off Kona and the auger would not reach all the way thru.

But, even then there would be places with thinner ice because of currents or a stream entering the lake. Plus there would always be cracks and ridges that were invisible until hitting them on a snowmobile going 40 mph.

Now as always, know where you're going. Keep an eye. Have a rope on hand. Travel with others and keep some space in case some one goes through the ice.
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Old 08-30-2018, 02:03 PM   #13
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It's a lot different now. 30+ years ago when winters were generally colder and longer there would be sometimes 2-3 feet of ice in some places and island construction with logging and concrete trucks driving across the ice. I remember trying to drill a hole for ice fishing off Kona and the auger would not reach all the way thru.

But, even then there would be places with thinner ice because of currents or a stream entering the lake. Plus there would always be cracks and ridges that were invisible until hitting them on a snowmobile going 40 mph.

Now as always, know where you're going. Keep an eye. Have a rope on hand. Travel with others and keep some space in case some one goes through the ice.
I always wear ice picks around my neck. Most people that drown, do so because they cant get out of the water and onto the ice. The ice picks assist with that greatly.
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Old 08-30-2018, 02:24 PM   #14
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I always wear ice picks around my neck. Most people that drown, do so because they cant get out of the water and onto the ice. The ice picks assist with that greatly.
good idea.

My friend went though years ago and got out because his gloves froze to the ice
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Old 08-30-2018, 03:28 PM   #15
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I always wear ice picks around my neck. Most people that drown, do so because they cant get out of the water and onto the ice. The ice picks assist with that greatly.
I do the same, good practice.
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Old 08-31-2018, 05:00 AM   #16
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I too have the picks, I also bought a snowmobile jacket and pants that have float assist technology. Wearing both, the suit can keep you afloat for an hour or more.
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Old 08-31-2018, 12:51 PM   #17
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Default .... regardless the water temp!

For about three dollar, get a good quality foam noodle, and make yourself a swimmer's belt by threading a sturdy 5/16 or 3/8" line down the center hole ..... and oh yeah ..... wear it around your waist and under your coat while snowmobiilng ... so's no one can actually see it. It will float you so good!

Is loaded with buoyancy assistance technology .... and is good for swimming that big Winni surf.... if you want to swim safe .... regardless the water temp.

Back in the day ...... before the foam noodle was invented ..... like in the 1920's ...... a cork or a coconut flotation belt was very similar. Ever see a coconut flotation belt made with coconuts?

And ...... probably ..... the two orange ice picks could be stored inside the foam noodle center hole ...... ready to use ..... along with a whistle, a Pay Day candy bar, and 50-cents to use that pay phone ........ helloooooo ........you'll never guess what happened!
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Old 08-31-2018, 01:49 PM   #18
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For about three dollar, get a good quality foam noodle, and make yourself a swimmer's belt by threading a sturdy 5/16 or 3/8" line down the center hole ..... and oh yeah ..... wear it around your waist and under your coat while snowmobiilng ... so's no one can actually see it. It will float you so good!

Is loaded with buoyancy assistance technology .... and is good for swimming that big Winni surf.... if you want to swim safe .... regardless the water temp.

Back in the day ...... before the foam noodle was invented ..... like in the 1920's ...... a cork or a coconut flotation belt was very similar. Ever see a coconut flotation belt made with coconuts?

And ...... probably ..... the two orange ice picks could be stored inside the foam noodle center hole ...... ready to use ..... along with a whistle, a Pay Day candy bar, and 50-cents to use that pay phone ........ helloooooo ........you'll never guess what happened!
I think you would die of exhaustion and starvation on the mission to find that pay phone to spend that fifty cents.
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Old 08-31-2018, 04:59 PM   #19
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That's why you carry the candy bar.
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Old 09-01-2018, 10:31 AM   #20
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That's why you carry the candy bar.
If a candy bar can get you through a week long hike, you are a better man than I.
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Old 09-02-2018, 06:31 AM   #21
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Default Ok 2

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If a candy bar can get you through a week long hike, you are a better man than I.
Ok, two candy bars, one in each front pocket.
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Old 09-02-2018, 07:07 AM   #22
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In order for the candy bar joke to exist, ITD had to read ALL of FLL's post, up until the final line with the joke about a payphone. Bravo for sticking with it!

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Old 09-02-2018, 06:05 PM   #23
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Ok, two candy bars, one in each front pocket.
Really???
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Old 09-02-2018, 06:07 PM   #24
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In order for the candy bar joke to exist, ITD had to read ALL of FLL's post, up until the final line with the joke about a payphone. Bravo for sticking with it!

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