First trail conditions update of the year, keyword: SNOW.

Heikki Lunta has arrived in Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula, and what an arrival for the Finlander  The Keweenaw had seven days of CONTINUOUS snowfall, and since Jan. 12 we’ve gotten 61.5 inches of the white stuff. Winter is here, and it’s here in full force.

SNOW

A snowy January day on the Birch Loop at Swedetown Trails. According to meteorologist John Dee, it snowed for seven straight days in the Keweeaw! All of the trails at Swedetown are open and ready for your skiing pleasure!

With all that snowfall, Swedetown Trails are all open. Every trail is being groomed daily, and the system has been packed with skiers coming from all over the Midwest!

“We’ve been out working hard on these trails,” said Pat Szubielak, one of the groomers who keep the trails in top shape. “The mama bear loop, the papa bear loop, it’s all ready for skiers to enjoy!

You won’t be alone out on Swedetown, either. This weekend is expected to be one of the best of the season as the snow is fresh, and temperatures are expected to get back in the teens (it’s been WAY too cold here this week). Skiers are hungry for some trail time, as proven by the Marquette’s Noquemanon Ski Marathon, which saw its 50k race hit capacity for the first time in race history (congratulations guys!).

This snow has been awesome, and meteorologist John Dee said he’s expecting it to continue.

This map, from JohnDee.com, shows snowfall during the last 24 hours (Jan. 23, 2013). Notice the only place with a foot being the heart of Michigan's Keweenaw Peninsula! We've got the most snow, and we're ready for you to ski!

This map, from JohnDee.com, shows snowfall during the last 24 hours (Jan. 23, 2013). Notice the only place with a foot being the heart of Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula! We’ve got the most snow, and we’re ready for you to ski!

“We received our average (62”) January snowfall in just 12 days,” said Dee, whose forecasts can be found at JohnDee.com. “We have certainly made up for lost ground created by the mild and rather snowless start to this winter. The forecast holds the potential for more cold and snow starting mid week next week, and continuing through the first few days of February.”

Overall it looks like the Keweenaw is well on pace for more than 200” of snow this year. That total might be impressive for other areas, but that’d be a below-average year for the Keweenaw. Earlier this month, The Weather Channel named Hancock, Michigan as the third snowiest city in the United States. And if you think Hancock gets a lot of snow, you should see Calumet!

All of this just goes to show: You should be planning on attending this year’s Portage Health Great Bear Chase Ski Marathon. Register today and save yourself more than 20 percent! Also, don’t hesitate to come up early and visit us for some pre-race training.

Some go-to snow links: