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edge


Nov 15, 2004, 2:04 PM
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The Official East Coast Backcountry Skiers Thread
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With snow about to rock the Northeast's collective dome in the next month or so, I'm wondering who else from the area goes backcountry touring? Post up if you participate in this slippery fun.

Also, let's get a list going of some great backcountry tours. In NH, the grand daddy has to be the Presidential range traverse; something I've always wanted to do in winter. I have done the whole range piecemeal fashion in winter (not on skis, though) but would like to link it all up. Maybe this year.

There is also a very fine run that leaves from the top of Wildcat Mountain and goes 12 miles out to the Jackson Ski Touring area. You just need to pay for a one ride ticket at Wildcat, and then for a day pass at Jackson. If you want to avoid the Jackson pass, you can either 1) hope you can ski faster than the patrol, or 2) shorten the trip and drop out at the Dana Place Inn on Rte 16. The AMC runs a shuttle bus to all three locations, so it's easy to drop a car and go.

What else?

Weather Forecasts

North Conway, NH

Adirondack Weather and Trail Conditions


Web Cams

Mt Washington from Intervale

Mt Washington from Jackson

Mt Washington from Wildcat

Mt Washington Summit


paulthenurse


Nov 15, 2004, 10:02 PM
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Good thread, Edge!
I'm in the process of buying gear now. Actually, I'm still in the 'trying to decide what to buy' mode. I've been leaning towards an AT setup, primarily because I've been alpine skiing for over 30 years and tele just looks like WAY too much work. However, I've been talking to a few people who tell me that it's not that bad. I 'm just worried that it won't fit in with my own personal skiing style, which can be summed up thusly: Cruise a few hundred feet. Stop. Look at the scenery. Look at the snow bunnies. Take a sip of wine from the wineskin. Stop at top of mogul run. Look over edge. Decide I like my knees the way they are and head off to the nearest cruiser trail. Cruise a few hundred feet. Look at the snow bunny I just oogled at the last stop. Ski to lodge. Go inside and have a beer. Admire the snow bunnies. Go back outside. Go to top and repeat.

It's not that I can't ski the triple death black diamond runs, I just don't enjoy them. Too much like hard work. And tele looks like it's unrelenting runs of knee jarring hard work. Please correct me if I'm wrong, cause I can find plenty of tele setups for a whole lot less than an AT setup. (I was figuring that I would buy a beater setup on E-bay to learn on for the first year and then get a nice setup if I decide to continue on the ungroomed.)

PTN
(Realising that I may be opening up a can of worms here, I'm not looking to get crucified by the freeheel mob. I want to go freeheel, but I'm not sure if I want to be free on the way down as well as up.) PS Hope I didn't hijack the thread, just wanted to ask people who actually backcountry ski here in NE.


slobmonster


Nov 15, 2004, 10:12 PM
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And tele looks like it's ... Please correct me if I'm wrong
Oh, you won't get crucified by meadow skippers on hippie sticks.

Try some tele, you might like it. After a youth on alpine boards I took up skiing tele mostly out of boredom, and I found that I could ski better, prettier, and more difficult terrain than on alpine gear. And I know it isn't just me; telemark skiing is a major growth niche in the industry.

To un-hijack the thread: you will hate skiing down the backside of Wildcat on alpine gear. After a few turns off the summit, it's mostly rolling terrain with a few turns here and there, and lots of opportunities for kicking and gliding, which your gear will disallow.

Have fun up there. I miss the Whites.


cantdog


Nov 15, 2004, 10:13 PM
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I'm always looking for new safe partners(avy savy) in the winter for some backcountry touring. I'm currently living in Maine, but will most likely be travelling to NH most weekends if Maine continues the trend of lean snow years.

I did a bunch of recon in the spring and eyed some awesome looking chutes/slides of the 'magus highway I really want to check out.

Let me know if this interests anyone, we can discuss it later this winter over beers in conway...


edge


Nov 16, 2004, 5:24 AM
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In reply to:
In reply to:
And tele looks like it's ... Please correct me if I'm wrong

Try some tele, you might like it. After a youth on alpine boards I took up skiing tele mostly out of boredom

Exactly my progression as well.

I have an old pair of Karhu XCD skis with double leather three pin tele boots attached with a Voile releaseable three pin bindings so they will release when I wrap around a tree. This was all state of the art when I bought them in '85, and have served me well. Being a cheap ass Yankee, I expect to own and use them until they break. Despite my best efforts on jumps, half pipes, and drop-ins, they are still going strong. The boots were resoled once.

Paul, there are some excellent deals right now at http://www.sierratradingpost.com. Check them out!


shakylegs


Nov 16, 2004, 6:36 AM
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What a great idea for a thread! ;)
If you like cruiser routes, there's no more fun to be legally had than on tele, imo. You just flow like water.
Has anyone here done Avalanche Pass-Mont Colden in the 'Dacks? I've gotten up to the lake, but have turned around before hitting Colden. Mean to do it this winter.
Another tour, similar to edge's Wildcat, is Big Jay. Buy a single-ticket ride up Jay Peak, and then ski backcountry in the wildness behind.
Oh, and finally, I have a pair of Garmont boots to give (yes, give) away. Size 9, about 6-7 years old. Pay the shipping and they're yours.


cantdog


Nov 16, 2004, 4:30 PM
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I'd like to get out to avalanche pass this winter.

Big Jay is sick, usually shuttle a car out there and do laps after everything is tracked out on the mountain. Good way to end the day.


braaaaaaaadley


Nov 16, 2004, 5:49 PM
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Ive been a pure tele convert for two years now. I do some BC, but its in virginia (near Mt. Rogers). I hit whitegrass a couple times of year also. I think tele is the coolest thing ever invented and I highly reccomend you try it if you have never done it before. Def. opt with a releasable setup though b/c injuries are ugly with the nonreleasable setups.


paulthenurse


Nov 17, 2004, 3:35 AM
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This was all state of the art when I bought them in '85, and have served me well. Being a cheap ass Yankee, I expect to own and use them until they break.

I realized when I was standing at the top of a half pipe last year and starting to hyperventilate as I psyched myself before heading in, that the skis I had on where older than my college freshman daughter. :shock: I'm all over that cheap ass Yankee thing. (Although thanks to Georgie Porgie cheap ass and Yankee don't really go together... How about cheap ass New Englander?) State of the art when I bought em, brought em to a ski shop a couple of years ago for a screw that was missing and the kid there called em 'relics.' I got your 'Relic' right here, kid. :evil: Ended up just finding the right screw in a hardware store.

In reply to:
I haven't made a single successful turn yet but I'm looking forward to trying again this season.

THat's what I'm worried about. How can you ski on tele's for a whole year and not be able to turn? I'll be wicked pissed off if I drop a boatload of money on new ski's that I can't figure out how to use! And doublly pissed if I injure myself badly while learning. Any suggestions? (Other than the obvious "Suck it up and quit your whining.")
PTN


edge


Nov 17, 2004, 6:07 AM
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I'll be wicked pissed off if I drop a boatload of money on new ski's that I can't figure out how to use! And doublly pissed if I injure myself badly while learning. Any suggestions? (Other than the obvious "Suck it up and quit your whining.")
PTN

After downhill skiing for 7 years, including racing in college, I could go anywhere in the northeast and ski all day without falling. This included anywhere in Tuckermans Ravine and even some of the gullies in Huntington or Katahdin.

One day, on the way to Sunday River, I saw a sign for Tele rentals and made my friends pull in. I fell all over the place that day, did nothing harder than an intermediate trail, and had the time of my life. I bought the above mentioned telemark set-up within two weeks and didn't use downhill gear at all for the next 8 years. Now I occasionally switch between the two, but tele skiing gets me way more places than downhill, and often for free.

Bottom line: rent.

You may even find a ski area that gives lesson/rental packages. That would be your best bet if you can find one. Anybody?


brianc


Nov 17, 2004, 8:27 AM
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Sorting out the whole AT vs. Tele thing as well. Have some old BD Seracs with Silvretta 500s which actually ski pretty well in-bounds but do give one pause when you see just a wire bail holding you in - mostly I see them as a "climb first, ski second" type of rig.

Have some new [to] K2 sticks coming my way now which will function as my "real" skiing rig. Thought about tele but given my reading and mid-Atlantic location it seems like it ight just be too frustrating - days available to ski vs. learning curve. Plus the added expense of needing both boots and bindings (already have AT boots). Alternatively, expense might be equal as the Fritchi's I've been eyeing aren't exactly cheap.

Thoughts from those in the know? Zack?


ryanpete81


Nov 17, 2004, 8:34 AM
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Trail from Great Glen to Bretton Woods, vice versa...sneaking on the trail on either side is easy.

Also some great stashes in Franconia Notch.


Partner yannbuse


Nov 17, 2004, 8:44 AM
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Great idea for a thread. I get the impression that alot of you use a tele set up to satisfy your addiction to backcountry. well i ski alot of the east coast backcountry but all on my alpine skis. however this season im investing into thinner skis with fritschi bindings (trekkers) to havesome of that uphill climbing climbing ability..... snowshoes became a nuisance....
Nonetheless ive considered telemarking but i really can't imagine skiing as hard as i do now on tele.... if i can rip out of skis set on DIN of 11 i get the notion that tele bindings wont hold. I love skiing hard!!! love tuckermann's headwall especially when you get enough snow cover to take on some of those rocks!
eitherway east coast doesnt satisfy me in its entirety, does it satisfy you? if not where do you go in the world to get satisfied? For me its my love for chamonix.... go to love the cham....

yann


braaaaaaaadley


Nov 17, 2004, 1:06 PM
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"...if i can rip out of skis set on DIN of 11 i get the notion that tele bindings wont hold."

You should check out the 7tm... din cert. to 10 I believe.


shakylegs


Nov 17, 2004, 1:45 PM
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In reply to:
In reply to:
I haven't made a single successful turn yet but I'm looking forward to trying again this season.

THat's what I'm worried about. How can you ski on tele's for a whole year and not be able to turn? I'll be wicked pissed off if I drop a boatload of money on new ski's that I can't figure out how to use! And doublly pissed if I injure myself badly while learning. Any suggestions? (Other than the obvious "Suck it up and quit your whining.")
PTN

I learned to XC ski last year in the backcountry. Everytime we'd get to a hill worthy of turns (extremely rare) I'd fall in the first 20 feet & tumble the rest of the way. Not once did I spend a day trying to learn to telemark. I figured that it would come w/ time. Also, my Atomics are narrow & I imagine that makes tele turns much harder to do. Even my gf, who did Tuckermans Ravine on telemark skis, found hers (same make & model) took time to get used to for turning.


Did your skis have steel edges? Were they single or doubled cambered, like true XC skis. Because, if they were really XC skis, it's practically impossible to do a tele turn.


eastvillage


Nov 17, 2004, 2:32 PM
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Hunter Mountain (4000') in the Catskills has some excellent BC. You can buy a single ride up at the Hunter ski area (3400'), then head back and up to summit, then down into Stony Clove or back west on the Horse trail to road (2000'), all very nice and not crowded.
Regarding Tele, I too, used to alpine ski for 20 years. Then I started snowboarding, and I love it. Point here is that new physical endeavors in your 40's require a commitment, both mental and physical. Take lessons first and go to the gym and get strong, especially your legs, cause your gonna work them deep and hard telemarking, (while you're having the time of your life!). Oh and be sure to get KNEEPADS for tele as you are dropping a knee on every turn. Mad River Glen in VT has tele lessons/rentals and a huge crowd of fanatics.
FYI, There are lots of web sites for BC in New England.


mschneider


Nov 18, 2004, 6:29 PM
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Great thread!!

I'm just getting into backcountry and tele myself. I picked up a set of Fisher Outtabounds, Voile 3 pin cables and Garmont Excursions end of last season cheap. I also "inherited" a set of Rossignol Energy 9.9 alpine skis from a neighbor who didn't want them, and he also sold me some brand new Targa G3 bindings at 1/2 price. This'll be my lift-served set-up with the Garmont's. I live in Leominster, near Wachusett, so I bought a Century Pass to crank out the turns on the lifts to get good fast (hopefully). Matter of fact, I took the Fishers up to WA WA last Saturday after the storm and skiid up the auto road and made turns back down. After struggling to tele on light XC gear last season, I was surprised how easily I made my first real tele's on the heavier gear.

I'd love to hook with folks for skiing this season. I'll be at Wachusett weekday nights for anyone interested in on piste stuff. Also plan on hitting Moosilauke as soon as possible. Wildcat Valley Trail (and Wildcat) are also DEFINITLY on the tick list. Might want to try Gulf of Slides, but would need a mentor with avy awaerness. Tucker Brook and Mittersill would be great too. Prospect Mountain in Woodford, VT is a great area with a former alpine area that's no longer lift served but is mowed and maintained, and gets LOTS of snow, for a semi-backcountry experience (backcountry light?).


eastvillage


Nov 19, 2004, 6:00 AM
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Thanks for the tip on Prospect Mt. Tucker Brook is really great and with the required car shuttle, you can do it two or three times in a day if you have a canon mt. day pass. TB does get moguled up if there's no fresh snow.


cantdog


Nov 19, 2004, 4:43 PM
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In reply to:
Sorting out the whole AT vs. Tele thing as well. Have some old BD Seracs with Silvretta 500s which actually ski pretty well in-bounds but do give one pause when you see just a wire bail holding you in - mostly I see them as a "climb first, ski second" type of rig.

Have some new [to] K2 sticks coming my way now which will function as my "real" skiing rig. Thought about tele but given my reading and mid-Atlantic location it seems like it ight just be too frustrating - days available to ski vs. learning curve. Plus the added expense of needing both boots and bindings (already have AT boots). Alternatively, expense might be equal as the Fritchi's I've been eyeing aren't exactly cheap.

Thoughts from those in the know? Zack?

Uhh, I'd reserve those BDs and Silverettas for approaches, you'll burn through them fast inbounds if you are skiing agressively. Also nice to have some releaseability, I dont think the 500s have a releasable toe. Also if you are cranking on them you can release the heel pretty easily. If you go through the bumps ever(especially the rock solid mid atlantic ones) you'll toast those pretty quick.

Get some freerides or Diamir IIIs. Folks use them for everyday skiing, but they are still not ideal. If you flex the ski enough,(like in bumps) you can detach the heel.(the ski flexes but the climbing bar under the binding does not). I've heard rare cases of the bar bending, but that might just be hearsay. Also, there is no ramp angle on them, so it kinda feels like you are in the backseat. This can be adjusted by adding some shims under the heel or taking off the shim under the toe. Some folks dont notice it, but I did.

Long story short, you can use freerides as an everyday binding, but they are still primarily an AT binding and arent perfect. But if you stay out of the park and arent skiing zipperlines in the bumps you should be fine.

Then there is always the alternative of getting tele gear. It doesnt take long to adjust to, and since you'll be skiing in the mid atlantic anyway you might want to take it up to spice things up a bit.

So I didnt really resolve anything...either way you are looking at close to the same price, either a pair of plastic AT boots and bindings, or tele bindings and boots. Personal preference if you want to tele or alpine. I AT exclusively, but have some free tele gear I'll be using this year to keep me occupied when the snow isnt stellar.

What kinda k2 sticks did you get?


climbs4fun
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Nov 19, 2004, 5:36 PM
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climbs4fun moved this thread from US - East Coast to Community.


jakedatc


Nov 19, 2004, 8:40 PM
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People that kick ass at Tele's amaze me... ive been blown past on icy double diamonds in VT by a few and i just kinda stood there shocked

other than that i have nothing to add other than a confuzed gaze at why this got moved to community?


joeschmoe


Nov 20, 2004, 7:43 AM
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You guys have me bummed. I'm longing for those fluffy powdy steep&deep to tight tree runs. *sigh*


killclimbz


Nov 22, 2004, 11:16 AM
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People that kick ass at Tele's amaze me... ive been blown past on icy double diamonds in VT by a few and i just kinda stood there shocked

other than that i have nothing to add other than a confuzed gaze at why this got moved to community?

Same thing happened to the front range snow sliders thread in the mountain states. I guess this isn't a recognized form of climbing, though you may be ascending winter peaks like a regular mountaineer. All because we are sliding down. Sounds like a Taos argument, but none the less from the discussions I have had with the mods, it may just be that way. Hopefully, they will change their minds and allow the threads to stay in the partners forum, where I do believe they belong. Anyone who has done the backcountry thing, knows that climbing is an integeral part of the sport. It is no different than the threads on people climbing 14'ers and such.


Partner uitdoorqi


Nov 22, 2004, 11:42 PM
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Another vote for moving it back to Partners.......


killclimbz


Nov 24, 2004, 4:54 PM
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Looks like this thread got back to the partners forum where it ought to be. Thanks to the site mods, admins, etc for changing your minds.

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