When Mother Nature decides to abruptly end the season

When Mother Nature decides to abruptly end the season

For many people in the snowmobile world, the current snowmobile season should be forgotten as quickly as possible.

“The track conditions are deteriorating very quickly. Last week around 50% of the clubs were still open, but the snow conditions there changed quickly, with temperatures above 10 degrees in several places, explains Denis Lavoie from Motoneiges.ca. There are currently a few clubs still open along the entire south bank of the St. Lawrence River, from Montreal to the Gaspé, but in my opinion it is only a matter of hours before the closure becomes official. Very often one of the last to be closed, the hiking trail 595 in Gaspésie, between Matane and La Cache, has been closed since Monday morning. »

Several clubs in Abitibi-Témiscamingue are also closed. The same goes for Mauricie, Laurentides and Lanaudière.

“To be honest, I don’t expect many clubs to remain open, except further north. On the north coast, part of the Trans-Québec 3 is closed. The only places where snowmobiling will still be possible are around Chapais, Chibougamau, parts of the north coast or even on the peaks of Monts-Valin since they closed the south of the Mont on Monday morning. »

Sad result

This snowmobile season will go down in the record books as the worst and shortest since the interconnected trail system was introduced fifty years ago.

“We are experiencing a very difficult season that will become known as the one that prevented many snowmobile enthusiasts from experiencing a normal season,” explains the general director of the Fédération des Clubs de Motoneigistes du Québec, Stéphane Desroches.

So you have to “run” through the snow, so to speak, by launching the trailers to specific locations in these regions.

According to Denis Lavoie, the El Niño phenomenon has significantly changed the course of winter.

“We must remember that nature always has the last word. When snowmobiling, the amount of snow on the ground matters. For a winter like the one we are currently experiencing, with four degrees and above normal in February, El Niño is directly responsible. The various winter storms we needed passed further south. »

The industry is suffering

People in the industry have also suffered from the effects of this particular winter.

“Since the economic conditions for the sale of new or used snowmobiles were already unfavorable because consumers are on the brakes, it is far from ideal to expect a similar winter,” explains Denis Lavoie. Manufacturers are already sending us notices that they will reduce production this year. Spring orders are not expected in large numbers. It is certain that enthusiasts who change their snowmobile every year will do so anyway. After the season we just experienced, someone definitely needs to have a good budget to be able to quickly make a purchase for the next season. »