The winter of 2017-2018 was our first winter at the lodge. It was an extremely cold winter and a lot of snow. The snow came early and had the lakes buried with 3 feet of snow by the end of January, which is terrible for making ice. The snow acts as insulation and the weight of the snow pushes the ice down, creating a layer of flood water between the snow and ice, making it extremely tough to haul gear with a snow machine. In places there was as much as a foot of water under the snow. Once exposed, this water instantly freezes to the gear and drags the machines down, locking them into the slush as it was -35 when we hauled in at the end of December.
We made two trips into Cree this year, one from December 27th – January 5th and another in the end of March. December was very cold, and March was quite nice. Fishing was great during both trips!!
We bought a couple new snow machines and we built custom sleighs to haul everything in, but we soon found out that with all the snow, we were going to need a snow cat. We hired Bobby John, a local from up north to haul the cabin package in with his snow cat. A 30 hr round trip, hauling 13,000 lbs of gear, but was it ever worth it!