Baldy Trailhead, Wasilla, AK

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ᚠᚨᚱ ᚾᛟᚱᚦ ᛊᚲᛁᛖᚱ
Posts: 100
Joined: Tue Dec 29, 2020 6:37 pm
Location: Alaska, Mat-Su Burough
Ski style: Mixed xcountry offtrack/bc
Favorite Skis: Asnes NATO BC so far
Favorite boots: Still searching

Baldy Trailhead, Wasilla, AK

Post by ᚠᚨᚱ ᚾᛟᚱᚦ ᛊᚲᛁᛖᚱ » Sun Jan 17, 2021 1:48 am

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Found this Trailhead while scouting on Google maps. There are a few lesser known trails in Mat-Su bowl that i want to check out. Unfortunately the main use for this trail is ATVs and snowmachines. There is no parking. You just find a spot off the side of the road. While I could complain about how rutted and cruddy the trail was, in truth, it was a blast. I got back to my car with my arms and legs feeling noodly. This was my first chance to really test out my excursion 88s outside of my backyard forest. I attempted to ski in some off trail powder about 2-3 feet deep. It was fairly heavy unconsolidated snow and was pretty unstable if I attemped any turns.
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A lot of this would be my technique since I haven't skied these kind conditions except with alpine skis or snowboard.
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I avoided descending the way I came up, since the steep, narrow, packed, rocky, rutted trails would make it difficult to control my speed.
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Instead I followed the edge of a creek back down to where the trail descended more gradually.
On my next outing I hope to make it all the way to the summit if time allows. Next winter I am hoping to have my brother up and cross the ridge down to Willow Fishhook Rd.
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So part of this trip was to assess if this is a viable route to ascend.
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Junk pickup truck, obligatory for the Wasilla area. At least this one had a nifty acid trip paint job.
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lowangle al
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Re: Baldy Trailhead, Wasilla, AK

Post by lowangle al » Sun Jan 17, 2021 8:36 am

It looks like you had a good time out there, were you happy with your set up? What app are you using? I couldn't quite figure it out. At first it said you did 10.1 miles then down below it looks like you skied in 4k and out 4k climbing 500 and some meters, and that 31 km/h seems pretty fast for that gear in those conditions. How far did you go and how long did it take?



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ᚠᚨᚱ ᚾᛟᚱᚦ ᛊᚲᛁᛖᚱ
Posts: 100
Joined: Tue Dec 29, 2020 6:37 pm
Location: Alaska, Mat-Su Burough
Ski style: Mixed xcountry offtrack/bc
Favorite Skis: Asnes NATO BC so far
Favorite boots: Still searching

Re: Baldy Trailhead, Wasilla, AK

Post by ᚠᚨᚱ ᚾᛟᚱᚦ ᛊᚲᛁᛖᚱ » Sun Jan 17, 2021 1:33 pm

lowangle al wrote:
Sun Jan 17, 2021 8:36 am
It looks like you had a good time out there, were you happy with your set up? What app are you using? I couldn't quite figure it out. At first it said you did 10.1 miles then down below it looks like you skied in 4k and out 4k climbing 500 and some meters, and that 31 km/h seems pretty fast for that gear in those conditions. How far did you go and how long did it take?
Its just called ski tracker. I was happy with the setup. It climbs very well. I don't have skins yet and I only had to take my skis off and climb once. The image with 10.1 miles displayed is from google earth. It is for my proposed trip across the ridge. I skied 4 k in and 4 k out. I stopped at 1 hour outbound due to time constraints. It took about 20 minutes to return. At the very beginning of the trail there is a steep icy hill, but it was straight and smooth so (on the return trip) I just dove straight down. Thats probably where the 31 km/h was. It was much harder to ski in the deeper snow than I anticipated. Part of the problem was not being able to get enough speed to reliably plane on top of the snow. If I shifted my weight in an attempt to turn, which ever ski I weighted would sink and catch, throwing me forward.



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lowangle al
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Re: Baldy Trailhead, Wasilla, AK

Post by lowangle al » Sun Jan 17, 2021 8:35 pm

It sounds like a fun run with almost 600m of vertical in 4k.

You need a lot of speed to turn skinny skis in deep snow and you may have to more evenly distribute your weight on both skis to prevent sinking. As you move from a packed surface to powder you need to be more aware of how much weight is on each ski.



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ᚠᚨᚱ ᚾᛟᚱᚦ ᛊᚲᛁᛖᚱ
Posts: 100
Joined: Tue Dec 29, 2020 6:37 pm
Location: Alaska, Mat-Su Burough
Ski style: Mixed xcountry offtrack/bc
Favorite Skis: Asnes NATO BC so far
Favorite boots: Still searching

Re: Baldy Trailhead, Wasilla, AK

Post by ᚠᚨᚱ ᚾᛟᚱᚦ ᛊᚲᛁᛖᚱ » Wed Jan 20, 2021 10:12 pm

Made it up to 1600ft today (about 1200ft vertical)
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Beautiful views out to Cook Inlet (though the pics probably don't show it too well).
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The decent was a real PITA at times. The narrow atv trails hem you in, preventing turns to control speed its either snowplow all the way down or full speed ahead! (Not recommended).
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Once I was able to get off the trails I got to experience some of my first real tele turns in deep snow.
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jyw5
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Re: Baldy Trailhead, Wasilla, AK

Post by jyw5 » Thu Jan 21, 2021 2:57 am

Nice!

long skinny skis are tough to turn. my 185cm skog are quite difficult for me. the 172cm ft62 and 169cm s112 are much easier. I am learning to step turn and also plant poles to jump turn on lower angles and gradually able to do it on steeper descents...takes alot of practice. You will eventually get it. keep at it. the 1200+ vertical in a few miles is a perfect length to practice the up and down. I'm going to ski the road run (Willow-Fishhook) tomorrow at Hatcher pending weather. Going to try for 3 laps (3200ft vertical, 9.5 miles)... debating which setup to take.



User avatar
ᚠᚨᚱ ᚾᛟᚱᚦ ᛊᚲᛁᛖᚱ
Posts: 100
Joined: Tue Dec 29, 2020 6:37 pm
Location: Alaska, Mat-Su Burough
Ski style: Mixed xcountry offtrack/bc
Favorite Skis: Asnes NATO BC so far
Favorite boots: Still searching

Re: Baldy Trailhead, Wasilla, AK

Post by ᚠᚨᚱ ᚾᛟᚱᚦ ᛊᚲᛁᛖᚱ » Thu Jan 21, 2021 5:09 am

jyw5 wrote:
Thu Jan 21, 2021 2:57 am
Nice!

long skinny skis are tough to turn. my 185cm skog are quite difficult for me. the 172cm ft62 and 169cm s112 are much easier. I am learning to step turn and also plant poles to jump turn on lower angles and gradually able to do it on steeper descents...takes alot of practice. You will eventually get it. keep at it. the 1200+ vertical in a few miles is a perfect length to practice the up and down. I'm going to ski the road run (Willow-Fishhook) tomorrow at Hatcher pending weather. Going to try for 3 laps (3200ft vertical, 9.5 miles)... debating which setup to take.
I realize that jump turns will probably be necessary for these trails (unless I want to snow plow all the way down). With a 199cm ski its pretty hard to turn when you're on a 5 or 6 ft wide atv trail with dirt banks on either side. I just don't think I could bring them around fast enough without jumping. Its a skill I haven't had much opportunity to practice yet.



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lowangle al
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Re: Baldy Trailhead, Wasilla, AK

Post by lowangle al » Thu Jan 21, 2021 8:23 am

That snow looks pretty good up there. I should be there now but won't be back until the end of Feb.

Step turns and jump turns, the forgotten skills. Fun stuff and indispensable for turning double camber skis in tight places. I still do both but they are much more subtle movements on downhill oriented gear.



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fisheater
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Re: Baldy Trailhead, Wasilla, AK

Post by fisheater » Thu Jan 21, 2021 6:59 pm

If it’s narrow try to wedge, weight one side, turn a little weight the other side. You can advance from there, all the way to a nice Tele turn. However start with that, you’ll be surprised what you can throw in from there



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ᚠᚨᚱ ᚾᛟᚱᚦ ᛊᚲᛁᛖᚱ
Posts: 100
Joined: Tue Dec 29, 2020 6:37 pm
Location: Alaska, Mat-Su Burough
Ski style: Mixed xcountry offtrack/bc
Favorite Skis: Asnes NATO BC so far
Favorite boots: Still searching

Re: Baldy Trailhead, Wasilla, AK

Post by ᚠᚨᚱ ᚾᛟᚱᚦ ᛊᚲᛁᛖᚱ » Sat Jan 23, 2021 12:54 am

fisheater wrote:
Thu Jan 21, 2021 6:59 pm
If it’s narrow try to wedge, weight one side, turn a little weight the other side. You can advance from there, all the way to a nice Tele turn. However start with that, you’ll be surprised what you can throw in from there
Thanks for the tips. Hopefully tomorrow I can put it to use and a more fluid descent, rather than just locked in a wedge for dear life.
lowangle al wrote:
Thu Jan 21, 2021 8:23 am
That snow looks pretty good up there. I should be there now but won't be back until the end of Feb.

Step turns and jump turns, the forgotten skills. Fun stuff and indispensable for turning double camber skis in tight places. I still do both but they are much more subtle movements on downhill oriented gear.
I watched "The Telemark Movie" and a lot of it is really interesting. Some of the techniques which appeared to be superfluous movement are actually crucial to descending more treacherous turrain when you can't just power the skis through it with your boots. It pretty humbling when i come from considering myself a pretty competent alpine skier.



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