Getting the winter stoke

Dear Winter, I am getting ready for your dumps!

It is cooling off a bit, and I have a hobby that is getting easier with these lower temps and fewer bugs (ack!). Each day (practically) I go up into the woods to inspect and buff out some of my little wicky-wacky somewhat-slopey fun-fun descent routes. Near where I am living is about 500 vertical feet of North facing forest and field. My mission each winter becomes to ride from top to bottom repeatedly.

These areas are well suited to snowboard, alpine skis, telemark skis, and the cute little gems – “Alti Hok” (as reviewed here). The woods are full of fine, well spaced hardwoods and pine, and more than a few outcrops of glacial polished stone. Where there are discontinuities between forest floor and the rocks, my obsession is to fill in these rough spots with fallen limbs and trunks. Almost all of my efforts are comprised of moving dead fallen and dead standing wood around to suit my path making imagination. While these “runs” are not sphincter pinching steep, they have a good pitch and a good flow.

I have found that over 18″ of powder and I will have to push at least a little. Spring skiing may work best, but you can get going a little too fast in the forest unless it softens up just right. What ever time of year and whatever the snow situation, if you can ride it, if you are out on snow, those are the best conditions you can have. My favorite is of course to have a nice solid base, then ride all this terrain with 6″ of fresh. Then I am keeping my speed, making turns, and having a good time. So here is a rock, and the next picture shows how I “padded” out the hard backside, so when I float over the rock, I come down nicely.

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