this morning i woke to sunshine and a beautiful morning. so i took my time breaking camp and warming up by the fire, then a real nice leisurely ski back home.
the trail is well marked and getting better every year. i only had 2 road sections, and both were closed seasonal roads, so not even true road bits. due to snowshoeing being very popular on this trail, some of the sections were truly nightmares, with frozen post-holes and chicken heads for miles. but then some of the in-between sections were pure, untouched, and even decent snow.
the usgi's worked their magic on this one. the trip would have been impossible on a lesser ski. i am so glad i got these....even if i complain about their weight on occasion. but for stuff like this they are absolutely awesome. and i love how quickly i can take em off and put em on. there were many sections that i had to boot, either due to no snow or solid ice along a ridge, and the quickness made it not an issue to just take the skis off again.
i can't wait to get another good snowfall and do the next section south, i ran out of daylight just when it was starting to get good! oh well, next time...
Thanks for the awesome report. As I’m a backpacking gear nerd as well, mind telling me about your big-3 setup (Shelter, sleep system, pack)?
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- Location: New Hampshire
- Ski style: Bumps, trees, and steeps and long woodsy XC tours
- Favorite Skis: DH: Voile V6, Altai KOMs, XC: Asnes Gamme 54, Classy Woodies
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conny, yeah, my choice of trees was limited in the area i wanted to camp. that one in particular was sagging really good in the morning! but oh well, i still slept great. that has always been my downfall with the hammock, choosing less than stellar trees
so satchel, my system is the eno pac crest hammock (really a summer hammy, but i use it all year). it's a nice piece of simple, effective gear. in that i put an rei air mattress. can't remember the model name, but it is also the best air mat i have ever used. generally i dislike air mats due to their ability to fail at the most inopportune times, but this one has stood the test of time and abuse. my winter bag is an old army down mummy that was my grandpa's. still works a charm and is super warm...smells kinda funny tho. then on top of the bag i use an old army wool blanket, also from my grandpa. this system seems to work good and i'm always toasty. not very space efficient however, as the sleeping bag and blanket take up nearly half the sled
my favorite bag (that rode in the sled this time) is an osprey kode 32. for winter sports it is absolutely my favorite. the insulated hydration system does freeze, even in michigan. but i haven't found a bag yet that will keep the hoze and nozzle ice free. the best thing about the bag tho is the ski and snow board carrying ability. it has the rubber-backed straps typical of a ski bag, and i have used them many, many times for both skis and snowboards. it handles all of them beautifully and keeps the load high and tight. also it has the nice avvy pocket with all the bells and whistles that are found on the osprey avvy pockets...but i don;t have to worry about avalanches here so instead it houses my flask for easy access with mittens!!
the sled is a jett sled jr that i have modified to beef up the attachment point. my harness will be redone this summer and be much upgraded for next winter. on the ice last weekend the straps (instead of rigid poles i had on my last pulk) were useless as if pounded into my heels on occasion. not good. that was the biggest bug i found in this little trip and i really gotta just get that that corrected. it could be dangerous on top of being annoying.
no it was in the sled for the most part. wore it with the skis on it for one longer ridge walk. the trail runs right along the edge, about 150-200' basically straight down to the river, and it was solid ice there. pretty much unskiable and i didn't want to have the skis on the sled just in case. but otherwise, yeah it was in the sled!
i have a smaller patagonia sling-bag (you know, the one all the women use as purses now ), and that's my wax bag so i carried that on me for most of the way.
oh and the other really nice feature which i don't use anymore since hanging up the snowboard is the helmet carry option. really nice on this bag. even when it's fully loaded and busting at the seems you can still easily put a helmet on the outside and it sits perfectly on top of the bag. great bit of creative engineering there. now that i am trying to up my game with more technical woods runs again i might revert to helmet use...we'll see.
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