Live from Whitegrass

Get psyched before your own next trip... fire your imagination and expand your horizons while discovering new telemark and backcountry skiing destinations from around the world. Our Trip Report Archive is packed with inspiring and informative words, photos and video, it’s a wonderful resource made possible by the contributions of thousands of enthusiastic members of our community. Come on in and get your stoke on…
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fisheater
Posts: 1770
Joined: Fri Feb 19, 2016 9:06 pm
Location: Oakland County, MI
Ski style: All my own, and age doesn't help
Favorite Skis: Gamme 54, Falketind 62, I hope to add a third soon
Favorite boots: Alpina Alaska, Alico Ski March
Occupation: Construction Manager

Live from Whitegrass

Post by fisheater » Mon Jan 17, 2022 8:05 pm

Whitegrass has been on my radar for a couple years. So seeing a storm was coming in I decided to drive into it. It was kind of the same thing I did in my younger years, except it was driving through the lonely Alleghenies of Pennsylvania, Maryland, and West Virginia, rather than the wilds of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. It was the same whiteouts, however I was solo. On the other hand in my younger years I still drove, but my partners may have already been in apres ski mode, and I wasn’t immune to peer pressure. Now days I drive a four wheel drive truck as well.
The drive was tough.
So I arrived today at Whitegrass to fresh powder and 25 mph winds! Life usually isn’t a fairy tale! In today’s weather I have not scratched the surface of the terrain. However those glade scenes you see in the videos, that is part of the trail system. This place is a playground for light BC gear.
I had my new FT Xplore and Alaska 75 with Rotte ST bindings. They didn’t give anything up on the down to Annums, cables, and plastic boots, as those are what the guys I met were skiing. However it was easy for me to keep up on the up with my lighter gear.
Now to the MOST IMPORTANT THING, the people at Whitegrass. I was solo, I skied mostly with two groups of people I met. I have to say I was privileged to share the mountain with such nice people. I’m not a resort skier. I certainly used to be. To be able to come to a place like this is unique. If you enjoy light XCD gear and are within driving range I highly recommend Whitegrass.
TBC for a few days!

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Woodserson
Posts: 2780
Joined: Wed Feb 11, 2015 11:25 am
Location: New Hampshire
Ski style: Bumps, trees, steeps and long woodsy XC tours
Favorite Skis: DH: Voile V6, Ripstick88 XC: MR48, Nansen, Gamme, E99
Favorite boots: T2Eco, Alaska, Rossignol BCX10
Occupation: Aspiring M F PIMP

Re: Live from Whitegrass

Post by Woodserson » Tue Jan 18, 2022 9:49 am

PICTURES



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Musk Ox
Posts: 327
Joined: Sat Jan 19, 2019 8:53 am
Location: North
Ski style: Bad
Favorite Skis: I am a circumpolar mammal
Favorite boots: Hooves
Occupation: Eating lichen, walking about

Re: Live from Whitegrass

Post by Musk Ox » Tue Jan 18, 2022 5:25 pm

PICTURES



User avatar
fisheater
Posts: 1770
Joined: Fri Feb 19, 2016 9:06 pm
Location: Oakland County, MI
Ski style: All my own, and age doesn't help
Favorite Skis: Gamme 54, Falketind 62, I hope to add a third soon
Favorite boots: Alpina Alaska, Alico Ski March
Occupation: Construction Manager

Re: Live from Whitegrass

Post by fisheater » Tue Jan 18, 2022 6:09 pm

I know there is supposed to be photos! Yesterday it was 18F with sustained winds at 25 mph +. Today there was kind of a frozen fog. I promise photos tomorrow!
Today as good as the skiing was, it was about the people. I met Kurt, Meghan, and Laura today about 2/3’s of the way up the mountain. I tagged along to the summit of Bald Knob, however there was no summit view. The high mountain fir, and the mountain laurel let you know you were in a special place. From the summit I was given a tour of the ridge top glades.
On a side note, they call this cross country skiing at Whitegrass. I stayed higher on the mountain for a couple hours, then made my way down. Near the bottom I hit a trail that was groomed. I noticed it was tracked on the side. The tracks were very wide. The 97 mm shovel of my FT fit in the track! I finished my way down flying down a track on my FT’s. Only at Whitegrass!



User avatar
fisheater
Posts: 1770
Joined: Fri Feb 19, 2016 9:06 pm
Location: Oakland County, MI
Ski style: All my own, and age doesn't help
Favorite Skis: Gamme 54, Falketind 62, I hope to add a third soon
Favorite boots: Alpina Alaska, Alico Ski March
Occupation: Construction Manager

Re: Live from Whitegrass

Post by fisheater » Wed Jan 19, 2022 6:29 pm

Photos as promised!
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Lower glades
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Lower glades
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Some upper glades
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The trail goes up
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View from the top of Bald Knob looking toward the Canaan Ski area
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From the top of Bald Knob
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One of the warming huts
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As much as I enjoy the skiing, it was the people that are at Whitegrass. I had tours of out of the way glades, and offers for me to tag along just to show me around. The people were universally welcoming. My favorite question I was asked,”Do they have big enough mountains for cross country skiing in Michigan?” Did I mention the food? I brought dinner back with me, a pork carnitas burrito and Brazilian seafood stew (a soup). I shared a hummus sandwich with a guy I met yesterday. He had told me to try the vegetarian food, I chuckled so he gave me a half sandwich. It was awesome! I’m not sure what was in it, but it sure was good!
If you like to go uphill and downhill, if you like hard trails or easy trails, if you want glades almost too to bottom, or just a wide run fro 2/3’s to the top to the bottom, it’s at Whitegrass. However if you want that at a place where people are overjoyed to be there, and are so generous in sharing that joy, Whitegrass is definitely the place!
Cheers!
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Enjoying the view, and the base area
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Getting into the more boreal zone



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lowangle al
Posts: 2080
Joined: Sat Jan 11, 2014 4:36 pm
Location: Pocono Mts / Chugach Mts
Ski style: BC with focus on downhill perfection
Favorite Skis: powder skis
Favorite boots: Scarpa T4
Occupation: Retired cement mason. Current job is to take my recreation as serious as I did my past employment.

Re: Live from Whitegrass

Post by lowangle al » Wed Jan 19, 2022 10:09 pm

That sounds like my kinda place. Maybe next winter.



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joeatomictoad
Posts: 371
Joined: Sun Jul 26, 2020 9:20 pm
Location: Houston, Texas, U.S.A.
Ski style: Yes, please.
Favorite Skis: Nordica Enforcer 93; Icelantic Saba Pro 117; 22D HH & Vice
Favorite boots: Scarpa T1
Occupation: I make sure ships float.

Re: Live from Whitegrass

Post by joeatomictoad » Wed Jan 19, 2022 10:24 pm

Speaking of rollin' coal (from a previous thread), that's Appalachia coal country. Never visited that area in the winter time, but Fish got me interested.



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SnowDance
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2022 5:13 pm

Re: Live from Whitegrass

Post by SnowDance » Mon Feb 07, 2022 5:25 pm

Whitegrass is legitimately my favorite place on earth.

That weekend was great, we were there through Tuesday. Had a great 3 or 4 week cycle. Warmed up now and waiting on another round :fingers crossed:

Listening to some random pysch/science podcast recently the statement was made that the best version of you is the one that is openly shared with the most people, sort of like a village or dog pack mentality. Problem is that in modern society 95% of people you come across suck and it's hard to open yourself for fear of disappointment or rejection. Heck, you can hardly make space for someone to merge on to the highway without fear of retaliation.

This is my only logical explanation for the magic found at Whitegrass. You can open yourself and know, with 99.9% certainty that anyone you interact with is going to be kind, caring and awesome. Couple that with 150"+ of fluffy snow, windy trails, meadows, glades, warming huts with snacks and kind strangers and enough backcountry to occupy you for years and you have a seriously good time.

Tons of 20-25 deg glades that can get deep. Tons of local lines nearby for seriously fun skiing even spicy on alpine gear.

Locals rip on nnnbc and Sbound 88s or annums. Rip like 360s and flips off rock cliffs, or skiing hardpack chute trails like a luge track. So fun to watch and try to follow
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JVSki
Posts: 14
Joined: Tue Dec 21, 2021 11:49 pm
Location: Boise, ID
Ski style: XC, XCD
Favorite Skis: Rossi BC70s
Favorite boots: Alpina Alaska
Occupation: Trail Planner

Re: Live from Whitegrass

Post by JVSki » Tue Feb 08, 2022 11:40 am

Even after moving to Idaho from DC last year, Whitegrass is my favorite place! Learning to ski there is definitely an advantage and also (I've discovered since) really skews your perception of what cross country skiing is. :D

Visiting my first western nordic center a few years back was a trip...why's everything groomed, and why are these folks in spandex? No singletrack, decommissioned alpine slope, or gourmet food? This doesn't feel like XC skiing to me! I'm not sure I'd ever seen skate skiiers before I visited Colorado in winter.

Funny coincidence, Kurt and Meghan that @fisheater mentioned are some of my best friends from back home, hoping to get them out to Idaho this season to ski and bring some of that vibe to the Rockies.

Glad you had a good experience, the WG magic is real!



User avatar
fisheater
Posts: 1770
Joined: Fri Feb 19, 2016 9:06 pm
Location: Oakland County, MI
Ski style: All my own, and age doesn't help
Favorite Skis: Gamme 54, Falketind 62, I hope to add a third soon
Favorite boots: Alpina Alaska, Alico Ski March
Occupation: Construction Manager

Re: Live from Whitegrass

Post by fisheater » Tue Feb 08, 2022 1:01 pm

Darn you @JVSki , I’m working on some municipal construction estimates and decided to take a break and see what’s on TT for 5 minute break. I read where you mention your friends, and remembering how kind they were to show me around a bit, and then the other people I met flashed in my mind. Well, it’s probably 20 minutes and I’m getting back to normal.
Thinking about the people I met at Whitegrass left me so heart warmed I can finally after 20 minutes start focusing again.



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