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  1. #76
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    10,632

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    Well, today was interesting. We drove to the Outdoor center and then skied on the Catamount Trail down back to our inn, about 5 miles. The innkeeper took DH back to get the car and we ate lunch. It was one of the most beautiful skis I have done. So then we drove to Highland Lodge trails in the next town. Apparently, a consortium of groups are keeping the trails groomed since the lodge closed. Well, some were groomed and tracked and some were groomed. We did a very long climb, in the deep woods and went to do the black diamond downhill we had done a few years ago. It was totally ungroomed . You really needed back country skis, but down I went. I tried to ski in the deep snow, not in my friends' tracks, but I kept sinking. I fell twice in the beginning, but managed to slowly get down without really being able to snow plow. I hope they eventually groom this trail, because unlike last time. I wouldn't be scared. It's supposed to rain tomorrow, so we may end up shopping in St. Johnsbury.
    Last edited by Crankin; 03-02-2012 at 01:11 PM.
    2007 Kuota Kebel
    Terry Falcon X

    2011 Guru Praemio
    Terry Falcon X

  2. #77
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    10,632

    Pictures

    A few views of skiing in Craftsbury and Greensboro, VT
    2007 Kuota Kebel
    Terry Falcon X

    2011 Guru Praemio
    Terry Falcon X

  3. #78
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Maine
    Posts
    937
    Thanks for sharing your pics, Crankin! Have you been able to ski since your trip?

    Just returned today from the Maine Hut trip... great time and definitely something I will do again. The hills were much larger than I thought, some were well over 1/2 mile long and fairly steep, especially for 'skinny skis'. Of course, a winter with very little snow made it more difficult. BUT, the staff was great and of course the food even better. We skied about 11 miles each day with a fair amount of hills, and some great scenery. The only thing that I will change is that I will definitely buy some ski's with edges, now to decide which ones. HA!

  4. #79
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    10,632
    I think I'm done with skiing for the year.
    Unless we have a big dump of powder locally. It could happen, but with temperatures predicted in the 50's, 60's, and 70's for the next 2 weeks, it doesn't look good. And weekends are getting busy, with local things that would preclude going up north.
    DH did the spring work on the Kuotas yesterday and we put the trainers away. Although I've ridden my Guru through the winter, maybe 10 times, today feels like the start of the cycling season. Getting ready to head out on a ride in a few.
    I can't believe you did that ski without edges. I've had metal edged touring skis for 7 years. My Spyders (the older version) have the metal edges at the front and backs of the skis and some other edge like material in the middle. Given that most of our skiing, in a normal snow year is at Windblown, which has perhaps the steepest terrain of any place I've skied (I can't even look at the black trails there, because I don't have the skill to descend them), I wouldn't even consider skis without metal edges. The friends we ski with love climbing, so we follow .
    I am probably going to get some entry level back country skis/boots for next year. Any recommendations? We most likely will go up to Lahouts up in Littleton, NH to get them, as I am done with REI and the "chain" feeling I get when I go there. It was just dumb luck that I bought the Spyders last time.
    2007 Kuota Kebel
    Terry Falcon X

    2011 Guru Praemio
    Terry Falcon X

  5. #80
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Maine
    Posts
    937
    To give you a bit more info about the people at the Huts that we met, no one had ski's with edges! I did read all of the information about the Huts pretty thoroughly, and no mention or suggestion of ski's with edges. I also spoke with a couple of their staff before going, and again, something that most people don't have. I was also told by a couple of people that I know that the terrain was simply rolling... But that's probably the perception difference between very well seasoned skiers and myself. HA!However, it is something that I will buy and would definitely suggest to others. With so little snow fall this year, you can imagine how hard packed the trails were.

    AS for me, I will still continue to ski, but as you mentioned that may be very short lived. I've rode outside a good portion of the winter, so it sounds as though that may start to happen more on a regular basis.

    I'm not exactly sure what you are looking for in ski's... traditional length, non traditional length, full length edge etc.... I'd be glad to give some suggestions if you want to share a bit more info. I would suggest that if you are at all looking, I would highly recommend Akers Ski here in town. They have been in business for 53 years, all skiers and people that generally care about you and the type of sking that you want to do, no pressure tactics, no egos etc.. In a nutshell, great customer service! Their website is Akers-Ski.com or you can call 207-392-4582.

    At this point, I'm looking at the Solomom X Adventure 59, fairly light, traditional length and 3/4 edge. Some other choices, are of course the Fischer Silent Spider 62, or Alpina Discovery. I'll wait until next year to definitely make a decision, who knows maybe there will be some new choices.

    I agree with you, I've never been someone that was particularly interested in the 'chain' stores. Somehow I always felt more comfortable with the equipment and suggestions from people that work in the industry all the time.

    Have a great spring, and keep those ski's handy... it's hard for me to believe that the snow is gone for the season.

  6. #81
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    10,632
    I am thinking about buying back country skis that can be used in the wood or on trails that have either deep snow or no tracks and minimal grooming. I've had 2 experiences that lead me to believe that my Spyders are exactly the best for these conditions. Last year we went to Franconia and skied on some very, very difficult trails. It was the climbing that bothered me, even though that was extremely strenuous. It was the descents. I can't descend without snowplowing and being able to turn my skis for the turns. The issue was the area next to the tracks (if there were any tracks) was barely groomed and very narrow. I wanted to ski here, but my skis kept catching in the piles of ungroomed snow, causing me to fall. Then there was my descent last week, where it was essentially an unplowed road that I had descended once when it was groomed. This was about a mile or maybe a little less of fast turns and very fun when groomed.
    I like being in the woods, and would like to try more of this. I need shorter skis, no matter what. The Spyders are a huge improvement over the skis I had before, and if I get a second pair for back country, they need to be shorter, too. I know nothing about back country skis. Guess it's time to research.
    2007 Kuota Kebel
    Terry Falcon X

    2011 Guru Praemio
    Terry Falcon X

  7. #82
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Maine
    Posts
    937
    Crankin, it does indeed sound as though your current Spiders might do the job. I'm not certain what the differnence is between the newer models and yours.

    In the current models, the Spiders are a non tradional length of ski... so that should help in the areas where the trails are a bit narrow. We had issues with the trails not being wide enough to 'snowplow' and the differences in height on the trail...somehow a portion was groomed several days before and a smaller portion was not.(perhaps they only made one pass) Personally I'd rather have them not groom at all than the above situation... but I guess that's part of the challenge. Your description of the hills with lots of turns sounds a bit like a portion of my trip this weekend, and it's something that I'd definitely like to do again and again etc...

    Not knowing what the difference is between your ski's and the newer Spiders, I can tell you that the newer ski's have a 'Rocker Construction", which essestially means that the tips can splay out to make turning the ski's easier. It's something that the alpine industry used many years ago.

    The other option in the newer backcountry ski's is whether you want to have No-wax ski's or ski's that you want to wax.

    I've put some thought into the ski's that Akers had over the past season, and will wait until the newer models come out.. and then will make some sort of decision. I'm not sure whether I will go with a full 'backcountry'setup with boots and bindings as well. Fischer has a model of boot that might just fit that nordic/backcountry experience.( it's called the Offtrack BC Boot)

    At any rate, it appears that we have time to think about all of this, I'd definietly be interested in your thoughts if you're willing to share.

  8. #83
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    10,632
    Oy, I just re-read my post and there were a couple of grammar/typos that made me sound the opposite of what I meant. The climbing didn't bother me. Anyway, my Spyders don't have the full metal edges, compared to the new ones, but they do have some other supposed edge gripping material in the middle, with metal on the ends and front. Not sure about the rocker construction. They do have a lot of camber. The Fischer rep honestly told me there's not that much difference between what I have and the new ones.
    Perhaps I just need to learn to ski better and deal with the narrow downhills, with no room to snowplow? I am not sure what to do in these situations! My friend told me to ski with one foot in the track and one out, but when I tried that, the turns killed me, and I fell.
    As far as boots go, right now I have the soft, old fashioned kind because I tried the harder ones a few years ago, and they cut up my feet horribly. I know there's been a lot of changes in the past 6 years, so I am very willing to try something different. It would be great something I could wear with 2 different kinds of skis, but I know that means new bindings on the Spyders. That wold be fine.
    And definitely no wax.
    2007 Kuota Kebel
    Terry Falcon X

    2011 Guru Praemio
    Terry Falcon X

  9. #84
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Maine
    Posts
    937
    It's interesting to hear you say that the trails are sometimes not wide enough to 'snowplow'. That comment is exactly how I felt about the trails this weekend, and as I was sking reminded myself that I would more than likely want non tradional length ski's. Of course, the rest of that equation is something I'll figure out over the summer.

    AS for boots, the Fischer boot that I mentioned earlier is not quite as stiff or bulky as some of the other backcountry boots. It might be just the boot to give more support, and stability on the trails that lend themselves that way.

    It's great that the Fischer rep gave you honest/accurate information! Perhaps with a different boot and binding, it would give you a bigger 'footprint' on the ski's and solve some of the issues that we have talked about.

    Well, I'm off to hop on my road bike and get outside. It's always a great day when you can ski and then go and hop on the bike.

    Have a great rest of the week and I'd love to hear your ideas on ski's if something should pop up.

 

 

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