Well here it is, fall.
Hi there, this is Jebb reporting. Shorter days and cooler temps. Outside today it is slightly flurrying, windy as heck, and 40 in Massachusetts, so I naturally am thinking about winter! This winter could be the best, as I am getting much more connected to the prospects of back-country in the Berkshires of Massachusetts, the Green Mountains of Vermont, and potentially the Adirondacks. So far I am already familiar with and have skied the Thunderbolt Ski Trail on Mount Greylock in Adams MA which is worth a spot on the bucket list:
I skied the CCC trail at Pittsfield State Forest called the Ghost Trail on Pine Mountain, which was fun, historic, and not terribly challenging:
But now I am getting excited to explore a few new places,
Primary spot will be Hogback Mountain off of Route 9 in Vermont. Before the snow flies, I went to the last work day of the fall on Sunday 11/8/15 which was focused on the habitat rejuvenation, and on Black Friday I will return where the team will work exclusively on the ski runs:
Next, I am keen to try Petersburg Pass on Route 2 in MA, and head over to Dutch Hill in Heartwellville VT:
Watch the news for updates on Dutch Hill, there are some people who want to turn it back into ski slopes for back country touring!
The effort to remake / revive Dutch Hill into a back-country ski area is extremely exciting, especially given the traction that the Rochester Area Sports Trail Alliance (RASTA) has made in central Vermont, clearing glades in second growth forest under the approval of the Forest Service! Between Hogback and RASTA, reclaiming the trails on Dutch Hill should be a slam dunk for approval!!
You can keep in touch with the updates via their website, read about the 3rd Annual VT Backcountry Forum that just happened, and the big push is to develop a hut to hut ski route in VT, which sounds totally awesome!
How am I going to do all this skiing? By hiking?!
The boots I am going with are the brand new K2 Pinnacle 130 touring boot with Tech pin binding fittings / mounts premolded into the DIN sole. The boys and girls in Vashon WA are hearing the call of the wild on this model! I am fortunate enough to get these through my National Ski Patrol affiliation, and K2 expects a review 🙂
The skis I want to use are my Rossignol Squad 7 which are rocker powder skis with a tapered tip. While they are an older model ad do not have the “honeycomb core” I will gladly carry the extra weight until I can get a lighter pair of skis since these skis are amazing in the soft snow.
And to make the connection between feet and ski, there are some exciting options these days! There is a new genre for bindings that are super lightweight and very performance oriented. The classic tough guy is the Dynafit Beast and the Dynafit Radical. Both are beefy enough to handle a strong skier really making fairly aggressive turns (as the literature says). A newcomer to the touring scene is LOOK, with their new HM12 binding that is both very light and very strong with a DIN rating that goes up to 12. Then, how about that new binding the Marker Kingpin? With DIN certification it sounds like a safe binding, light enough and definitely powerful enough for descending with authority!
I am going to try like heck to get a pair of these the Kingpin (left) or the LOOK HM12 (right), and I will let you all know how I fair and I will test them thoroughly to see if they are as stout as the brochure says …
And of course, I am going to rely on Climbingskinsdirect.com for all my skinning needs, as you can read our earlier post, they are fantastic and work great! http://www.climbingskinsdirect.com/
Well you gotta carry other stuff too!
Here is my brand new pack, which I will also use as a patrol pack. I went with the Deuter speed lite 20 pack, because it is a good size for day trips, and I can attach my skis or snowboard easily with the interconnecting compression straps. Nice touch, you can connect the left female end into the right male end like magic!