How far can you travel, cross country, on ungroomed terrain, in one day?

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Fishnaked

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How far can you travel, cross country, on ungroomed terrain, in one day?

Postby Fishnaked » Thu Nov 15, 2018 6:13 pm

Been day dreaming, or shall we call it fantasizing, about a tour through the high Rocky Mountain desert region this winter... say 60 miles. The terrain is undulating with nothing gaining more than 15' at a time...a total elevation gain of 1000' over that 60 miles. The route would be on an old dirt road which receives no winter maintenance. The snow could vary between 12" and 24", and soft. I am pulling a pulk in this fantasy, with all my gear.

Skis would be Rossi BC125's with NNNBC bindings and Alpina Alaska boots. Physical conditioning and stamina good.

I have an idea how long it would take me but would love to be humored with ideas of your own. How long do you think it would take you?

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Re: How far can you travel, cross country, on ungroomed terrain, in one day?

Postby fisheater » Thu Nov 15, 2018 10:04 pm

I don't do long tours. Although I do have one in mind. I just wanted to thank you for posting. I am really looking forward to hear from a few guys.

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Re: How far can you travel, cross country, on ungroomed terrain, in one day?

Postby t-$ » Fri Nov 16, 2018 6:25 am

60 miles in that terrain....let's see. factoring in vodka breaks, smoke breaks, and an occasional actual rest, i figure around 4 days in perfect conditions. more like 5 since i don't like to actually work when i tour. i think some people could probably do it in 2-3 days with no gear and not a lot of trail-breaking

edit: ok, this is a good thinking exercise. one major factor i didn't originally consider is acclimitization. i assumed you lived there are were used to high-elevation. im a relative lowlander so i would need a week to just be there before i could even think about posting those numbers. also, the snow depth variable is the perhaps the biggest unknown. breaking trail in 6" of pow vs 2' is huge for me. if there was any significant unconsolidated snow then you could probably almost double that time. but assuming "normal" trailbreaking conditions i would go with a solid 5 days. are you going alone or do you have a partner who may not be super skilled?? this will obviously also affect your overall estimate.

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Re: How far can you travel, cross country, on ungroomed terrain, in one day?

Postby Fishnaked » Fri Nov 16, 2018 10:36 am

t-$ wrote:60 miles in that terrain....let's see. factoring in vodka breaks, smoke breaks, and an occasional actual rest, i figure around 4 days in perfect conditions. more like 5 since i don't like to actually work when i tour. i think some people could probably do it in 2-3 days with no gear and not a lot of trail-breaking

edit: ok, this is a good thinking exercise. one major factor i didn't originally consider is acclimitization. i assumed you lived there are were used to high-elevation. im a relative lowlander so i would need a week to just be there before i could even think about posting those numbers. also, the snow depth variable is the perhaps the biggest unknown. breaking trail in 6" of pow vs 2' is huge for me. if there was any significant unconsolidated snow then you could probably almost double that time. but assuming "normal" trailbreaking conditions i would go with a solid 5 days. are you going alone or do you have a partner who may not be super skilled?? this will obviously also affect your overall estimate.


:lol:
Thanks to both of you.

It would be trail breaking the entire way... and this is a solo trip.

One thing I thought of was... rather than doing all the skiing during the day, was to begin in the eve and ski well into the night, when the snow was crustier and easier to glide on. Visibility would not be a problem... assuming it was not snowing hard.

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Re: How far can you travel, cross country, on ungroomed terrain, in one day?

Postby bgregoire » Fri Nov 16, 2018 12:52 pm

If you are carrying all your gear I am assuming you will be winter camping?

You want to know how much we travel in a single day, but there are so many factors do consider that our numbers will be of little relevance to you and your trip.

If you actually want to figure out how long your trek will take YOU, I suggest to look at it the other way around:
-How many hours do you need to rest (sleep) per day?
-How long does it take YOU to set up camp, cook and melt snow in the evening and morning?
-Then, how many hours per day are left for travel? (24h-X-Y=Z)
-Factor in a safety net, say %30 more time then estimated, to deal with equipement breakage, an accident, troublesome snow conditions etc. and that should give you a decent estimate.

By the way, you can do this kind of trip on wide skis as mentionned in the OP but if you can, I would consider more traditional fjallskis like the E99, Amundsen, etc. with HALF SKINS. I doubt you will manage the tour on scales alone and full skins is overkill (i would have then as back up though in the pulk), especially if the skis are as wide as you plan on using.

Oh, and don't forget that if you have 2 feet of fresh snow, you pulk is going to act like a plow, that is going to slow you down considerably.

Shucks, I just reread your OP and read that you are just fantasizing, i was actually taking you seriously!
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Re: How far can you travel, cross country, on ungroomed terrain, in one day?

Postby Fishnaked » Fri Nov 16, 2018 2:02 pm

bgregoire wrote:If you are carrying all your gear I am assuming you will be winter camping?

You want to know how much we travel in a single day, but there are so many factors do consider that our numbers will be of little relevance to you and your trip.

If you actually want to figure out how long your trek will take YOU, I suggest to look at it the other way around:
-How many hours do you need to rest (sleep) per day?
-How long does it take YOU to set up camp, cook and melt snow in the evening and morning?
-Then, how many hours per day are left for travel? (24h-X-Y=Z)
-Factor in a safety net, say %30 more time then estimated, to deal with equipement breakage, an accident, troublesome snow conditions etc. and that should give you a decent estimate.

By the way, you can do this kind of trip on wide skis as mentionned in the OP but if you can, I would consider more traditional fjallskis like the E99, Amundsen, etc. with HALF SKINS. I doubt you will manage the tour on scales alone and full skins is overkill (i would have then as back up though in the pulk), especially if the skis are as wide as you plan on using.

Oh, and don't forget that if you have 2 feet of fresh snow, you pulk is going to act like a plow, that is going to slow you down considerably.

Shucks, I just reread your OP and read that you are just fantasizing, i was actually taking you seriously!


Thanks. It is a fantasy... but I have a habit of turning fantasies in to reality. :)

Who knows. To even seriously consider, we'd need an above average snow year. Certainly assembling different ideas in my mind so if we do get the snow, and I fancy myself doing this, I'm not caught with my pants down.

Yes, I'd be pulling a pulk with my gear. For skiing in to yurts, I have preferred that over carrying a pack. And yes, I'd be winter camping as there will be nothing but a desolate snow covered high desert all around me.

Oh, and yes, I'd be carrying skins as well and use as needed (I failed to mention that the last push, which I have done many times, is a ~250' steep climb which does require skins)

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Re: How far can you travel, cross country, on ungroomed terrain, in one day?

Postby lilcliffy » Sat Nov 17, 2018 9:01 pm

Please excuse my perhaps obnoxiously opinionated response! :D :ugeek: :oops:

I am assuming that there is no steep terrain on this trek?
In particular- there is little to no true downhill skiing?

I would be looking strongly at a more cambered XC ski with a kicker skin.
I don't see how you can get enough grip and glide with a ski like the BC125 to offer efficient XC travel- especially if you are pulling a pulk...
I think that you want enough grip to hold all our weight with one leg and then stride and glide forwards on the other leg. In order for this to work you need an effective wax/traction pocket on the ski to glide forwards.
Glide and momentum is everything when XC skiing and the key to this is the magic of a wax/traction pocket = GRIP and GLIDE.
I don't see the BC125 having enough grip to pull your pulk- therefore needing skins all of the time- and without an effective wax/traction pocket, the skinned up BC125 will have no glide. Without deep snow you might as well be walking or snowshoeing...

With an efficient XC trekking ski- with kicker skins and grip wax- you should be able to do that trip in 3 days.
Even less if you go ultra light.
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Re: How far can you travel, cross country, on ungroomed terrain, in one day?

Postby Fishnaked » Sat Nov 17, 2018 9:19 pm

lilcliffy wrote:Please excuse my perhaps obnoxiously opinionated response! :D :ugeek: :oops:

I am assuming that there is no steep terrain on this trek?
In particular- there is little to no true downhill skiing?

I would be looking strongly at a more cambered XC ski with a kicker skin.
I don't see how you can get enough grip and glide with a ski like the BC125 to offer efficient XC travel- especially if you are pulling a pulk...
I think that you want enough grip to hold all our weight with one leg and then stride and glide forwards on the other leg. In order for this to work you need an effective wax/traction pocket on the ski to glide forwards.
Glide and momentum is everything when XC skiing and the key to this is the magic of a wax/traction pocket = GRIP and GLIDE.
I don't see the BC125 having enough grip to pull your pulk- therefore needing skins all of the time- and without an effective wax/traction pocket, the skinned up BC125 will have no glide. Without deep snow you might as well be walking or snowshoeing...

With an efficient XC trekking ski- with kicker skins and grip wax- you should be able to do that trip in 3 days.
Even less if you go ultra light.


Hi! Thanks. Except in the last 1 mile, there shouldn't be a need for skins. Definitely need them in the last mile though.

You might have a good point with pulling the pulk with these skis. The times I have pulled it was with a longer and skinnier set... with scales. No problem there. But with these BC125's... I'll have to try that.

I've skied the last 2.5 miles of my fantasy route many times. In the flat section, the terrain would be very similar to the rest. I typically move about 2 MPH. I've been at least one time when the snow was mostly frozen and blazed it at roughly 3 MPH.

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Re: How far can you travel, cross country, on ungroomed terrain, in one day?

Postby Inspiredcapers » Fri Nov 23, 2018 6:30 pm

This speaks to me and I’m hoping to find out how far I can go. My dream trip right now is skiing into Red Rock Canyon in Waterton Lakes National Park...unfortunately part of the route is still closed due to the forest fires of 2017 :(

Luckily there’s a lot of options available to me here in BC to build up to that...


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