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Finger Lakes Region XCD

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Finger Lakes Region XCD

Postby MikeK » Mon Jan 22, 2018 1:26 pm

S Bounding continues...

I had mounted up my 98s with NNN-BC last year, which I switched from plain pins.

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They skied OK, but I needed a pair of bindings (preferably NNN) for a skinnier ski and had a few sets of pins available so my newfound dirt bag decided to re-swap. In order to maintain the mounting position, which I rather like, I put on some 10mm risers.

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Also, I found I really love the leathers I use with these skis in the 3 pin version. They are a tad softer than the NNN-BC version, but are more comfortable to me.

I decided to check out a really fun place where I ride my bike before we lost our snow (raining now). There's a bazillion trails but it's kind of hard to tell exactly where they are with snow and the woods are open on the north side. There's only a little over 100' of vert here but the terrain is so good with lots of different pitches and aspects.

"Skin" track - I used the easy or climbing bike trails to get up:

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Up at the top of hardwood section:

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Down toward the bottom of the hardwood section - can't really see my tracks in this pic but I was coming pretty much straight down the middle of the photo and then off to the right once the pitch lessened (sorry, shadows are bad and I couldn't see on my phone). I got tripped up a few times on hidden logs and sticks - face planted once on a steeper section where I caught a stick.

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Found a couple OK lines, but could use a little saw work - staying on the bike trails kind of sucks because they are such sharp turns with long traverses. Better to head down the fall line a bit more. Couple spots I hit over some logs and had to straight line a bit before I could get decent snow and turn again. I need to keep working at it and figuring out the lines.

I only skied two of the 4 sides of this hill, and I think the far back side will be the best. There's a really long dh flow trail back there that is pretty clear even on the major fall line. I think it will ski well, but I need more time here.

Overall a great place for XCD, far exceeded my expectations and seen as how it is a bike park, I thought it would be all tore up from fat bikes but with this amount of snow, no one is riding here. A few snowshoe tracks and bare booters but a lot of untracked snow.

There are some fields and access roads to the hill which I started off lapping to get in the groove.
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Re: Finger Lakes Region XCD

Postby Bob T » Tue Jan 23, 2018 10:46 am

Great stretch of woods, Mike. Looks fun to me! As you mentioned, with a little sanitization some of those lines could be made more merciful in low snow conditions. I've got three levels of sanitization, from highest to lowest:

Desperation/max - mostly fields and wide trails, mowed or worn down from traffic, can ski it with barely any snow. Pickup even little sticks and rocks. Everything clean.

Bunny BC - could include water bars and some rocks which can be avoided and a moderate number of trees, moderate slope, need 4 inches of base and ideally some fluff to make it fun, otherwise even though it doesn't look like much, it can hurt. Remove deadfall and low hangers, leave rocks and sticks. I spend most of my clearing time monkeying around with these trails.

Wild - All terrain opens up. Need 18+" of solid base plus some serious fluff to shed speed in. Plenty of trees and steep. Sometimes I'll walk these areas and pull deadfall away to create a path through a choke point, but generally there are plenty of options to go where obstacles aren't.

With a lighter 3-pin binding I can forget about the "Wild" category.
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Re: Finger Lakes Region XCD

Postby MikeK » Tue Jan 23, 2018 11:41 am

Thanks Bob!

This is quite a groomed area because of the bike trails, but it's not really set up for skiing. Moving a few twigs here or there and it could be really great. I may even ask the bike club about this, but first I'm just going to do it ;)

This is the map, so you can see there are LOTS of trails:

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We're lucky to get a foot of snow in these parts, so I have to do my best to find stuff that is skiable without a ton of base. Usually that involves pre-cut trails or grass, but I like to get out into the wilds too. The option then is cleaning up the forest.

This is a slightly different area, but this one is kept pretty cleaned up by a local XC club:

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Re: Finger Lakes Region XCD

Postby lowangle al » Tue Jan 23, 2018 11:55 am

Yeh Mike it doesn't much of a hill to be fun, but when you are hitting debri on the ground it's hard to get a nice smooth run. Your snow cover seemed better than what I had in Pa. earlier this month. Fortunately within a ten minute ski from my house I come to an old grass covered logging road that only needs minimal snow to make turns on. When I have more time back there I plan on doing some clean up, like Bob suggested, to open up some runs through the trees. Until then I'm always looking for grass covered terrain that can be skied on minimal snow. This is important for me down there because we often loose our base between storms.
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Re: Finger Lakes Region XCD

Postby MikeK » Tue Jan 23, 2018 12:22 pm

I had some real good turns on what is called "Gravel Pit Road" on that trail map, but it didn't have enough pitch to keep me interested.

Had some of my best fun this year on the back side of this tiny little hill:

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Which looks like this:

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It needs a touch of cleanup too, maybe this week during the thaw... but I really just found the best lines down it to maximize its potential.

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Because it's not very steep or very much vert, it's best done with 200cm sticks and NNN-BC. Getting a nice, controlled but tight skid around the trees was a lot of fun and took me a few runs to really smooth out. Started off really tense and pushing the skis too much, but the more I skied it, the looser I got and more parallel my skis got and the smoother my turns were.

I was on these skis which I've now been skiing a lot and have finally got the feel for. I'm still working on my wax technique and turning these pigs was a challenge at first, but somehow it just clicked later on after I'd skied them a lot more.

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Re: Finger Lakes Region XCD

Postby lowangle al » Tue Jan 23, 2018 1:14 pm

The front side of that hill looks more inviting to me.
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Re: Finger Lakes Region XCD

Postby MikeK » Tue Jan 23, 2018 1:35 pm

It's kind of boring. There are steeper ones with more vert in the same area if you want a wide open slope:

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Re: Finger Lakes Region XCD

Postby North816 » Tue Jan 23, 2018 8:36 pm

Mike glad to see you kept those Ingstads! I've enjoyed my white version of the 200cm
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Re: Finger Lakes Region XCD

Postby MikeK » Tue Jan 23, 2018 8:49 pm

Ha! I couldn't give them away!

But seriously they are turning out to be a good ski - different, but good. I still don't buy that they are any better breaking trail through deep snow than any other ski with this length or dimension, but they are pretty good all-rounders. Not sure why I had such a difficult time with them on hills at first but I really think it had something to do with the edges. They are getting much duller now from multiple swipes with gummi stones and seem to ski much better. Either that or just putting miles on them make me more aware of how they flex and respond.

I've noticed one other thing: they get people's attention. Whenever I talk to other skiers and I have these on I always get some kind of comment. I usually just tell them they are some fancy Norwegian skis you'll likely never see again. Plus I've noticed I spend a lot more time on the side of the trail messing with wax, so maybe that's also a reason for people to talk to me about my skis :P
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Re: Finger Lakes Region XCD

Postby MikeK » Thu Jan 25, 2018 6:23 pm

Did a little "trail" work today on the little glade near my house. Snow has disappeared so it's a good time to do a little clearing.

It's not steep, it doesn't have a lot of vert but what it lacks in those things, it makes up for in proximity. I can get here in 10 min and it's only a few minutes on skis from where I can park.

I wanted to make sure I can ski it with low snow so I really went to town with the clearing. I could do a little more, but it's in really good shape now... probably won't get anymore snow this year :evil: :x

At the bottom - left line is looking clear and wide open:

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Again at the bottom, right line needs a little more twisting and turning and a tad more clean up:

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Many piles were made:

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Upper section looking clear:

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Re: Finger Lakes Region XCD

Postby RobRox » Thu Jan 25, 2018 9:19 pm

Squeaky clean! Just the thing for low tide turns.
Go for adventure, take pix, but make certain to bring'em back alive!
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Re: Finger Lakes Region XCD

Postby MikeK » Thu Jan 25, 2018 9:53 pm

As I was hand sawing some old stumps flush to the ground and clearing dead fall I thought, Rob would be very proud of this...

Don't know how long this thaw will last but I have some other areas to get to.

Great thing about this one is no one uses it, knows that it is there or cares.
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Re: Finger Lakes Region XCD

Postby RobRox » Fri Jan 26, 2018 10:20 am

Perhaps we could do some hiking this summer ;)
Go for adventure, take pix, but make certain to bring'em back alive!
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Re: Finger Lakes Region XCD

Postby Bob T » Fri Jan 26, 2018 12:04 pm

Mike, are these most recent pictures of your woods now?! There's zero snow?
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Re: Finger Lakes Region XCD

Postby MikeK » Fri Jan 26, 2018 12:17 pm

Rob - I'm kind of a bike nut these days - I mean I always was, but I've rediscovered. Only time I'm hiking is when it's too steep to pedal ;)

Yeah Bob. Here in the flatlands next to the small, big lake, snow is easy come, easy go. We lost it all in two days of thaw followed by some rain.

I should probably go ski on some man-made glacier, but being a jobless dad, doing something that costs me little gas and money is much more preferable.
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