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  1. #586
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    northern Virginia
    Posts
    5,937

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    It's too bad your skiing season ended with blood, but at least it was a minor injury. Good luck with your back!

    - Gray Trek Madone 4.7 road bike, mystery crack in top tube repaired by Calfee, Bontrager Affinity RXL saddle
    - Red Trek 6000 mountain bike, Bontrager Evoke WSD saddle

    Gone but not forgotten:
    - Silver Trek 2000 road bike
    - Two awesome and worn out Juliana saddles

  2. #587
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    The glorious Michigan U.P.
    Posts
    23
    We're getting into that in-between season when the skiing would be fantastic if a person didn't have to go to work in the morning. By the time I could ski yesterday, it was pretty soft & painfully slow. The trails are still covered, but starting to get a bit dirty, and they've stopped grooming part of one or two loops. The sun is just too high in the sky now. So I guess it's back to running until the weekend. And dreaming about next season. I did a great 3-hour crust ski with friends on Saturday.

  3. #588
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,278
    Bump!
    Did my first x country ski today. Our wonderful semi-local center, which has owners who are geniuses at grooming, opened last weekend. They had a few "rock ski" days, and then some overnight snow on Tuesday, which we did not have. So, there's 8-10 inches of packed powder, with 75%tracked and/or groomed. They discounted this weekend, not for conditions, but because they knew most people are out shopping! It was a bluebird day, temperature around 25 up there, which is just perfect. Hardly anyone there, too. The conditions were pretty good, not exactly powder, only a little slick, and not icy. We did all the easy and one harder downhills, with some climbing, too. The intermediate trails here would be expert in other places. The most difficult trail i do here would qualify as a downhill ski run; I can do it from about 2/3 up the mountain. But, the trails that access this were closed and you could only get there in a round a bout way. Probably not a good idea to do it on the first ski of the year anyway. We skied for about 1.5 hrs., went back to the lodge, had some soup, and then went back out for another 45 minutes, to do the hard downhill.
    No crashes, good fresh air, and all is right in the world.
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  4. #589
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
    Posts
    869
    Good for you, Crankin. My skiing is all right out my back door and, uh, shall we say, "back country" or even "expedition". Be nice to try a lodge with groomed trails and maybe a nice meal, afterwards. I think I'd enjoy that. Must be something in the area. I'll have to check it out.

    Like I said, my trails are what I make them. I have to break them after a deep snow, then work them down until most, but not all, of the loose snow is gone. When the trails are good, they really are good and I have them to myself, but most of the time I have to take what the weather gives me. When they get too icy to be safe, I have to wait for a weather change or new snow. I have no way to groom them.

    This week was my first week of skiing, though, what with a nice 6" snowfall. Temps have been steady in the teens all week, but we'll be up around the freezing point, today, so I may get icing, overnight. I usually get more miles in by skiing out on the lake when it's iced over, enough, but that may be awhile, this year. A fresh cover of snow on ice that is forming makes for iffy ice. Usually when I see my neighbors pull their ice fishing huts out on the lake, I'm good to go.

  5. #590
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,278
    Well, my back country skills are not as good, but I don’t have much experience with that. Conditions in New England are sketchy and changable even in the best grooming!
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  6. #591
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,278
    Skied at Windblown today (again) and I admit the cold got to me. There was hardly anyone there, despite being school vacation and all trails being open. After an hour and 10 minutes, we were done! The conditions said powder, but I found there was a layer of ice under it,in some places, which was noticeable. Not horrible, by any means, but between my sunglasses fogging and my fleece gaiter getting soaked with sweat (I hardly ever have to wear this), I felt hot and cold at the same time. It was 10 degrees when we started and 5 when we finished. I told DH I would go back out if he wanted, but he said he was done, too, after we ate our soup. We mostly stayed on easy trails, which is not like us; did one good climb and one medium downhill, but nothing big. I guess I did more than 99% of the people around here, so it's enough.
    Tomorrow we leave for 3 days in the Berkshires. It is going to be a bit warmer tomorrow (20), so we are going to drive to and try out a new place in southwestern Vermont, to ski, and then head south to Great Barrington. Sunday is supposed to be frigid. We found a ski place that also has a winery and is 10 miles from the inn, so we will either try to ski there, or snow shoe and then do some wine tasting before New Year's Eve. We plan to stop at another place on the way home, we go to fairly often, but we didn't get there last year. However, frigid temperatures may have us opt out and her and head straight home.
    Ah, winter.
    Last edited by Crankin; 12-29-2017 at 12:46 PM.
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  7. #592
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,278
    Wow, I’m the only one skiing?
    So, looking at the weather, we decided to leave the side trip to Vermont until another time. Drove directly to Hilltop Orchards, near our inn, in a small burst of snow, which led to a lowering of the speed limit on the MA Pike to 40 for part of the trip. The place is interesting. An orchard/winery/nordic center. The trails were not groomed, and North Woods, you’d be proud of me. We got on a black trail by accident, figured out we were going the opposite way that most do, so lots of climbing, with an easy descent. Some ice chunks and twigs, though. Didn’t see anyone until we were back in the fields, and they were snow shoeing.
    Did the wine tasting afterwards. Quite nice! Most of the others were guests of the inn in Lenox which owns the orchard. So, that means they are from that city south of here, who overrun the Berkshires in all seasons. Grrr... saw lots of rudeness, including people walking into the center with snow shoes *on.* Also saw an unruly kid throw a ski pole at bis dad in a fit of anger, with the staff having to intervene. The dad had a serious gash in his face from it. Oy.
    Heading out soon to another place. Wind chill is -15.
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  8. #593
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,278
    Guess none of the other skiers are still around, but I'll keep posting.
    Last Wednesday I drove out to western MA and skied with a friend. Bluebird day, really hard climbing and great conditions at Northfield Mountain.
    This weekend, we went to Franconia, NH with our friends. We made the reservation, after there was a big storm, then within days, rain was predicted for last Friday, with 50 degrees. We had a scary, foggy drive up there, taking 45 minutes longer than normal. The rain stopped, temperatures plunged, and about 3-4 inches of snow fell. Woke up Saturday to 5 degrees F. Went into Littleton, NH to Lahouts (an awesome ski store), as I forgot my tights orpants. Ended up buying downhill ski pants, as all the x-country pants were too long. They will be use for playing in the snow or walking, definitely warm, but too wide at the bottom. But, they worked for skiing, but not snow shoeing. We snow shoed in the afternoon, right out the door of our inn, it was exhausting.
    Sunday, we went to Bretton Woods Nordic center, where the grooming is excellent, so we figured it would be the best of bad conditions. Basically, no tracks for classic skiing and 3 inches of snow over ice. We skied for about an hour and 10 minutes on easy trails, ate lunch, and then went back out for about 2 hours. We did some good climbing and descending on a blue trail, but it was getting really cold, about 2 degrees and the sun was going down. We got back to the nordic center at 4 and we were exhausted. I had a bit of frostbite on my chin! I get so overheated and wet when I wear a neck gaiter made of fleece. I basically cool down through my head, and I ripped the gaiter off after 20 minutes! On the way back, the wind picked up and I think that's when it happened. It went away, though by this morning. I have to buy a buff that's thin; used to have 2 for cycling, but I never used them.
    The place we were going to go to today had only a few easy trails open, so we snow shoed in the Franconia Trails. Beautiful, and challenging. We did about 3 miles, with 500 ft. of climbing, then had lunch and headed home.
    Another great weekend, despite the lack of good snow. A few years ago, I would have been upset, but I like snow shoeing and we have a big storm coming Wednesday.
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  9. #594
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
    Posts
    869
    I been doing a bit of skiing, but mostly it's been the snow biking, this winter. Last winter, too. Still love the skiing and will always do some, though. It's just that all my skiing is on my own trails and those are never groomed. Just whatever Ma Nature gives me, one day to the next. I find that the fat bikes are less picky about snow conditions.

  10. #595
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,278
    We had a great ski trip! Except me being sick, that is, but I know as soon as I book this trip every February, something happens. But, I pushed through.
    We got to the Northeast Kingdom (Greensboro) around noon on Wednesday, stopped at a general store to buy a sandwich and made our way to the house we rented from Air B and B. Truly a Vermont experience, at the end of a dirt road, with a spectacular view. We unpacked and our friends arrived mid afternoon. It was gloriously sunny, but by the time we all unpacked, we were exhausted and it was time for happy hour. We had planned to eat in that night, so we started with happy hour and then I cooked a Valentines Day dinner.
    The next day was cloudy and warmish (got up to 40 or so), so we applied plenty of Glide to our skis and were off to Craftsbury Outdoor Center. This place is the best, and midweek, not so crowded. We skied 10K (exactly) of moderate trails, with an equal amount of climbing and descending. That night we went to a new café, that is in a new community arts center. There seems to be a never ending supply of organic, farm to table food and craft beer in this part of the world.
    Friday, we decided to try the trail system at a place that is an inn that has been closed for the past few years. The Craftsbury center has been grooming it though, kind of sporadically, and now that the inn is reopened, regularly. These are the most beautiful trails around; we have both skied and snow shoed there many times. The snow was kind of slushy and icy and ungroomed, so we snow shoed for 3 miles, as skiing would have been not too fun. Thick, pine tree lined, woodsy trails, punctuated by big fields. We had to go alongside the ski trails to get back into the woods, to end up doing a loop. When we were done, we had to kill some time, as we had called the owner of the house to get someone to sand the driveway, after our friends skidded off the side when we were leaving. So, we went to the Craftsbury General store and had coffee, and bought a few things. We were exhausted and decided to eat leftovers that night.
    It snowed a little overnight (an inch or two) and we headed back to ski at Craftsbury. Of course, being the weekend, and the start of school vacation week in MA, it was more crowded. The trails were fast and although we did a few of the same trails as Thursday, it felt harder, I think because of the conditions. We skied about 8K and then headed off to shower and then drive up to Newport, VT, on the border, where we had reservations at a really nice place. We decided to get there early (we had already changed our reservation from7:30 to 6), so we ended up doing a cider tasting, where they poured portions way too big. I was the only one who told the pourer to tone it down. Hence, we really needed to eat, so at 5:30 we walked in to the restuarant, feeling like we were now part of the early bird special crowd. But, they were gracious and we had an awesome view of the lake, where Canada is on the other side.
    Yesterday we packed up and went back to the now groomed Greensboro trails, where we had snow shoed. What an awesome experience. We did some really hard black trails, climbing, and then a long, meandering descent that had outstanding views. None of us had been on most of these trails. Again, we skied about 10K. It had really warmed up, gone from cloudy to sunny, and at the end, was really sticky skiing. I was exhausted, so after doing some really tough skiing for 4 days, I actually had a couple of "stupid" falls, all when I was climbing up little hills and my edge slid out. We headed over to Hardwick, where we all had sandwiches and onion rings, eating stuff we never touch!
    So glad we have today off. I went to the dr. and I do have a sinus infection; got my meds and resting, because it will be 70 here on Wednesday, and i plan to ride!
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  11. #596
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
    Posts
    869
    That sounds like a wonderful trip, Crankin. Good for you. Someday, I'd like to try that getaway kind of ski trip, seeing different places, staying at a nice place and sampling the local cuisine. I'd need to get in a bit better ski shape, though. It's been awhile since I put in those kinds of distances. Anyway, thanks for sharing. Makes for a nice winter daydream.

  12. #597
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,278
    I love this part of Vermont; unless you are into winter endurance sports, most New Englanders never go this far north. There are 2 downhill ski areas here, but it’s a 3+ hr drive, so families don’t like the drive. We have pretty much decided no more Stowe area. It is too crowded, less dependable snow, and not that much closer. Skiing at Von Trapp Lodge is great, but the most expensive nordic center around. You do get to see the grandchildren of Maria, of the Sound of Music fame, running the place. They are all my age...
    I am feeling much better and the most exercise I will do tomorrow is a walk at lunch.
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  13. #598
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
    Posts
    869
    I get the crowd thing. The older I get, the more I avoid crowds. The, too, I am now very spoiled, living where we do. Can't see a single neighbor from our property. Just a lot of forest and our lake and all the wildlife. I am so very blessed.

  14. #599
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,278
    We had a great and unexpected xc ski trip to Prospect Mountain, in southern VT this weekend. I have not spent any time in this area, so it was an adventure. The ski area is at 2,290 ft of elevation, used to be an alpine hill, so they get snow when it is raining just 5 miles down the road. We stayed in Bennington, VT, a nice place, in a great small B and B. We were the only ones there. So, the snow shoe Nationals were at the mountain this weekend, so it was crazy there on Saturday, less so today, as it was a snowshoe marathon and we did not cross paths with that! On Saturday, it snowed the whole time we skied, so much so, it was like backcountry conditions. We skied to the summit, hard, but doable, and descended an easier trail for a bit, until we had to descend a pretty steep hill that was intersecting with the racers going up on a cross trail. I had stopped to size up how I was going to descend and then stop without running the racers over. DH had already gone to the point where he had to stop; as I was standing, getting ready to go down, I just fell over. From a standstill! Problem was, I was on the side of the trail, in deep snow. My pole was in deep and one of my skis was buried. I could not get up and my knee was feeling twisted from the position I was in. I screamed and screamed until DH came up and pulled me to a sitting position, where I managed to stand and not fall down on the descent. What a dumb thing! No worse for the wear, and after I got through the racers, I realized I was skiing down on what was once a downhill trail. A lot of concentration there!
    Today we stayed on mellow trails until we got lost and climbed a lot, and I convinced DH to turn around. I think we were on the trail up to the summit, but since it was groomed, it seemed different than yesterday. The downhill was awesome and then we made our way around some beautiful forested trails. We only skied 3.7 miles today, but we were both sore from climbing Saturday, so we headed home around 12:30, stopping at a great diner in Wilmington, VT. It's near Mt Snow, so filled with downhill skiers on their way home.
    We are getting hit with another 6-12 inches of snow on Tuesday.... probably one more ski day.
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  15. #600
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
    Posts
    869
    You folks are really getting nailed with these big storms. Unbelievable.

    Your adventure in that deep snow sounds very familiar to my skiing, since all my skiing is backcountry in nature. No groomed trails. Just trails I make on my own. Oh, yeah, burying the skis is oh so familiar. More than once I'e had to unclip from a ski while on my back in the snow. Not very glamorous, but at least no one other than some squirrels to see me.

    I have wide, relatively short expedition type skis for my use, though. Can't imagine what you went through in that deep snow with typical trail skis. Sounds like you managed very well, though, all things considered.

 

 

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