Ten Mile Gorge, Moose Basin & The Fingers
Ten Mile Gorge (Access through Permission Only)
By Julia Endicott (Rocky Harbour Resident)
Ten Mile is a spectacular snowmobile route through a glacier carved land locked fjord with sheer 2200ft granite cliffs. To access, you must cross Eastern Arm Pond and Yellow Marsh where you will follow a winding trail alongside Ten Mile Brook which feeds into Eastern Arm Pond. Ten Mile Pond is nestled in between Gros Morne Mountain (the island’s second largest mountain) and Rocky Harbour Hills. While ascending this semi-technical route the sight of snow sitting atop tree bows reminds you that this place really is a winter wonderland. This awe-inspiring route is the tried and true, dependable route for local snowmobilers when weather rolls in over the mountains. It provides safe and quick access to Gros Morne National Park’s lowlands. If you’re a local to the Park’s communities you may be lucky enough to take advantage of this stunning route one day. Unfortunately, access to Ten Mile is only permitted to the local populations within the Park. Many people worldwide have viewed Ten Mile Pond atop Gros Morne Mountain in summer, but very few have had the privilege of snowmobiling in the frozen fjord in winter.
The Fingers (Taylor’s Brook Road)
By Rob Clarke
Starting at the 51 KM mark on Taylor’s Brook Road (TBR) you will find some amazing cut lines. A special project from the forestry department, these cut lines prove to be a snowmobiler’s paradise on a bad weather day. Corridors cut about 12′ wide at the beginning opening to almost 20′ further inside TBR.
Find your way to the bottom of this hidden playgrounds and get ready for some fun. Warning, best enjoyed with at least 4′ of snow with a good base and deep in this area of TBR, that’s doable from one day to the next.
The first section of these “Fingers” are on a slight grade but go for a long haul! Start at the bottom and “pin it”!
Grab a handful of throttle, lean back and keep your eyes looking where you want to go! Pow covered blow downs tossing your sled from side to side like a bucking bronco, using the trees alongside the cut line to bounce you back in line. Do not ever, never ever look at the trees! They say trees can’t move, they never rode the fingers pinned. First time you take your eyes of the line you’re done! (Many bumpers have been harmed on these runs!)
Ok now you’ve experienced the gentle side of the “Fingers”! Time to graduate to the steeper – deeper more technical fingers located inside at km59. These treasures are a perfect place for you and a few buddies to test your skills and your sleds. A cut line at the bottom brings you to the starting line of these vertical raceways. Straight up chutes along a steep slope adds a whole new level of crazy! Again, line yourself up at the bottom and “pin it”! This time you have a 3rd challenge to add to your experience – the degree of steepness. Simply keeping your skis from coming back over will prove a skill set all its own, throw in huge pow pillows, deep deep fluff and you have a recipe for extreme stucks!
The best time to tackle the Fingers is right after a fresh storm. Throw a couple feet of fresh pow on an already deep base and you better have a track with paddles the size of bread slices and a length with numbers closing in on 200! Oh, if you’re lucky enough to be in this neighborhood you’re going to need a jet engine to help you turn that beast! Then you may have half a chance to make it to the top on your first attempt!
Ok some of you are saying I’m full of it! If you’ve been in the fingers before and experienced their awesomeness and still think I’m full of it, I can guarantee you that you haven’t been in there with bottomless pow and a fresh dump of white gold! Then and only then will you truly get the full effect of “the Fingers”, another gem within the province of Newfoundland & Labrador.
Moose Basin – South Western (Port Aux Basque)
By Chad LeRiche and Jamie Osmond
This place is a hateful spot most of the winter due to the blowing winds that never seem to stop. But come spring, Moose basin on the South West Coast of the Island of Newfoundland is a favourite spot for the PAB Backcountry riders. It’s a love-hate relationship but when she’s good, it’s great…the prime location being table mountain.
There are couple different ways to access Moose Basin, South Branch being the fastest with an approximate ride time of 30 minutes . Leaving from Port aux Basques on the South West coass takes approximately 45 minutes, going through the mountain . FYI…No groomed trails in this area, it’s all backcountry ridingand 2080 feet above sea level. If you’re interested, curious for exploration, be prepared and good advice to find a local guide to take you. When conditions are great, this area is great…you just got to time the conditions.