Sunday, January 30, 2011

Finishing up Jan with some SHRED

Saturday we got out on a line Bill and I scouted in the Fall.  It had taken us two seasons to figure it all completely out and it was great for it to finally all come together.  It was an interesting tour for sure.

Got to glissade down a steep descent with a few tricky cross fall line spots.  Made it feel very 'alpine'.  Just a bit of boot packing up and over a little obstacle and luckily we spotted our in without much issue.  Getting on the line was much easier than anticipated.  The riding was great.  Nice little pitches with some little traverses thrown in.  Got off track a bit descending into a small drainage when we should have been traversing but luckily we spotted our error in time and were able to get back on track trudging through some deep snow while hoping we wouldn't find any tree wells to explore.

The line only got better as we dropped down into the drainage that would be our out.  Things opened up into a great glade with all kinds of options for awesome.  We dumped out onto a little slice of New England ski history and made our way out to our spotted car.

Ben threw together a great edit in no time flat and really made me want a GoPro again/more. I'm the guy in the front most of the time, black jacket, gold helmet. Not the guy getting stuck under the tree with the huge pack. That would be JPMV haha.

I layered a bit better this time around and I continue to wrack up my AT experience.  All the little tricks of the trade.  Packing more efficiently, with the things you need most frequently in easy to reach locations.  As well as pacing and on this trip a tiny bit of route finding.  I am beginning to get a bit more familiar with my G3 Baron's.  Overall a pretty good AT ski.  Decently light but I did notice them feeling a tad 'noodly' and very unforgiving if you get in the back seat at all.  Granted I shouldn't be back there.  I think if I get enough days in this year and get a bigger knowledge of local locales to hit I will look into getting a slightly better setup next year.

And to finish off the weekend I snagged a few miles on my new (to me) waxless set up at Gunstock.  Had a blast and I will definitely be keeping Nordic in my bag of tricks moving forward.  Quite the work out and the trails at Gunstock are great.

My classic technique probably sucks but I was starting to feel much better getting around.  Granted I was in the track most of the time.  I was either straight lining descents or locking out in a snow plow, haven't tried any tele turns yet.  Doesn't feel like it would quite work on my setup.  I was pretty cooked after only about 5 miles.  Even small hills are pretty brutal and they are probably made worse because of my inefficient technique.

It was kinda funny being reduced to a gaper as members of the nordic community blew by me on skate setups.  It's been awhile since I've been the one struggling and seemingly not moving as everyone else glides effortlessly by.  But the best part is most definitely the fact that I am wearing my cold weather cycling gear which in essence makes me look somewhat 'racer' inclined and I think I very much look the part of a decent xc skier...until I start moving.  NORDIC POSER 4 LYFE.

Monday, January 17, 2011

MLK Shredfest

Boy am I glad I don't have work today!  Got a whole lot of shredding in this weekend and sleeping in this morning with maybe a bit of active recovery today is just what I need.

Ben and I got a very unexpected huge day at Cannon on Saturday.  The original plan was to hit Cannon early and then when the crowds showed up we would bail back south a bit and do a lap or two at Tenney and call it good.

Weather was perfect, cold but sunny and we got right to it.  First thing we noticed was the lack of crowds...did everyone forget it was a holiday weekend?  We figured everyone was just running a bit late and went about finding the goods.  I was on my new powder boards for the first time and I LOVE THEM.  Very well rounded and versatile.  Did much better on groomers than I expected but they do prefer to go straighter and faster on hardpack and are a little unpredictable at times at medium speeds on harder stuff.  They are much quicker than I expected and by the end of the day I was very comfortable on them in tighter tree lines.  We also found a few stashes of boot/knee deep powder and man do they fun.  Great purchase, very pleased.  Also had two hilarious crashes because I forgot to turn the DIN up from the shop setting.  Clipped a rock or root on a traverse on our first Mittersill run, knocked my feet together and double ejected.  AWESOME.  Then about 3 mins later on that small snow field heading down to the Tuckerbrook area I literally just hit a small mogul and popped out of one ski.

Luckily no injuries, made it down in one piece and snagged a screwdriver and jacked that DIN up.  After our few Mittersill runs, that were ok...we got candyland and golden birches we noticed that the crowds had still not shown up so we ditched our Tenney plan and went about trying to hit every wooded line on Cannon proper.  Our kill list included:
  • Go Green x2
  • Global Warming
  • Mushroom
  • Lost Boys x2
  • Banshee x3
  • Snowmaker's x3
  • Whiskey Jar
As you can see some of those warranted several hits.  Not sure what people have been doing since Wed but there was still lots of snow to be had particularly in Snowmaker's.  I think Ben and I were the only ones going in there.  Coverage is pretty great right now across the board...still a few things exposed here and there but very manageable.

Sunday Jomo and I hooked up with a small crew of some old friends from PSU...Dweeb, Mayo, Trevor and got off resort.  Met early and traveled north...I won't say where exactly because that is how the BC ski community roles on the east coast but if you frequent and have seen TR's with a pic of Dopey from the Seven Dwarves as a hint that is where we were.

Had about a 2-3mi flat skin in and then you divert off the trail for another mile of more vertical skinning.  About half way up you get to the base of a well maintained birch glade and from there you can do as many laps as you please before skiing back down the skin track in.  The glade itself is about 700 vertical feet or so.  Nothing amazing as far as terrain goes but a great day trip, the snow was real deep and primarily untouched.  I believe Mayo took some pics and Dweeb was taking video...If I can get my hands on any of it I will post it up.

I learned a few more valuable lessons about the AT game.  I still suck at layering properly.  Overheated a bit on the initial flatter skin in, but I was able to get things under control while we were lapping the glade and was actually quite comfy.  It was actually quite cold yesterday which always makes it that much harder to manage temps.  Very weird feeling so hot and sweating when it's 10 degrees out.  Then stopping for 2mins and instantly being in a deep freeze.

I must have botched blowing the water back out of my camelback's insulated tube and it froze on me.  Going to have to really stay on top of that mentally in the future.  Loosing your water supply can end up ruining your day, luckily Jomo had a back up stash that kept me out of the danger zone.  Had some issues with the adhesive on one of my skins.  I think it was the one that got a bit wet on one of the harder stream crossings on the way up. 

Rule #1: never get your skins wet.

Snow and ice started sticking and with the low temps the stickyness went to shit.  The skin actually fell completely off the ski on the second lap up.  Mayo showed me a trick to strap the skin down towards the tail that worked really well and didn't really add a whole hell of a lot of extra drag...gonna have to buy me several of these in the near future.

I was thinking about trying to get some xc skiing in today but I am just sore enough that I will probably skip that.  I'm thinking some low angle snowshoeing with the pooch is a much better option.  Holiday weekend = owned.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Lafayette Trails

Well, I'm 100% sold on cross country skiing.  Today was my first outing on the new setup and conditions were far from ideal and I still had a great time and got a good workout in just 4.2mi.

Met up with Bill and we shot up to just north of the notch and a little place called Lafayette Trails.  Small little out and back type network with a few mini offshoot loops.  We met up with what turned out to be a pretty sizable group that consisted mostly of people who consider Nordic a second or third sport so everyone was fairly well matched.

There were 4 others behind the camera. It was a tour de force.

Trails at first were pretty chewed up and hard packed.  Tumble mentioned that during holiday week a bunch of yahoos came in and post holed the whole place and kind of ruined things, its just now slowly starting to recover.  I was having a hard time getting going initially.  Had to figure out where to put my weight and get into that classic rhythm.  Took me a bit to figure out how to get the waxless pattern to really bite and grip for the kick but I found out I was having issues more due to the conditions than my form per se.  Once we got a bit higher and there was some light snow that had been softened up by the sun a tad I really got going well and felt good.

 looked good too....

Going down slope was a tad sketchy but really fun.  Its nice to be able to turn seemingly boring terrain into something interesting and challenging just by getting out of your comfort zone a bit.  I stayed upright all day, Bill had a few crashes.  It was a lot of stop and go and regrouping but I definitely felt like I was working.  And it is definitely full body.  Upper, core, lower and cardio...felt great.

I was ready for more but we had carpooled and we were running a bit low on daylight due to a later start.  I'm excited to get a bunch more mileage in this winter and be able to check out areas of the state previously unreachable to me.  I botched my garmin data by accidentally stopping the recording of data right after I started it, but Bill got a new device for xmas and recorded the track and I was able to upload it to my Garmin account.