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Finger Lakes Region XCD

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Re: Finger Lakes Region XCD

Postby MikeK » Fri Jan 26, 2018 2:29 pm

For those of you unclear where I am or what the heck the Finger Lakes Region is, I figured I'll show you... plus I'm bored and there's no snow.

Not really a great consensus on the actual boundaries, but it's something like this. There are a number of long, skinny, sometimes deep lakes which resemble fingers. It's an area of western NY that has a pretty large diversity of landscapes but generally I'd say is somewhat reminiscent of Pennsylvania once you get towards PA. Lots of shale, glacially carved hills, hardwood forests with hemlock groves surrounding waterfalls and deep gorges. It's generally flatter and more sandy/loamy towards the lake (Ontario). Our climate tends to be pretty moderate from the lake but we often get big lake effect snow events either from Lake Erie or Lake Ontario depending on the wind direction.

I like this map:

rsz_1rsz_nystate_flregion_ontario_89e359b8-4d5f-473a-bb3c-b7aa8a1989f8.jpg
rsz_1rsz_nystate_flregion_ontario_89e359b8-4d5f-473a-bb3c-b7aa8a1989f8.jpg (93.11 KiB) Viewed 1215 times


It's shows the region boundaries relative to NY state boundaries as well as a few of the more popular population centers. I live on the west side of Rochester. This side of the city quickly turns from industrial mess to suburbia to farm land in about 5 miles. Suburban sprawl is much greater on the east side of the city but the east side is hillier and has a number of gorges and gullies that make for excellent MTB.

Photo from Tryon Park on the east central part of Rochester:

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One of our popular parks south of the city is Mendon Ponds. It has been long known as a XC ski park (bikes are not allowed) and has a number of challenging short, but steep sections as well as grooming for skate skiing. It is known for its kettle ponds and steep eskers which make it a fun place for XCD. There are some open fields as well for diddling around:

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The bike park I referenced above is in Victor (which is shown on that map). As you start to head south from the lake, the land becomes hillier. Victor is a very historic area for the Iroquois and has long been fertile farm land with small hills they could use defend their territory from invading tribes or Europeans. Dryer park is situated on such a hill and the next hill over is called Fort hill which was used as a look out by native tribes. It's an historic area now.

As you head farther south on the map you get into lake country (the actual finger lakes). At this point the hills start to get quite big, the largest having around 1200' of vertical from the valleys below. This makes it excellent land for skiing and biking.

One of the finger lakes (Honeoye) from a large ridge looking north toward the flatlands:

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A typical finger lake from the shore - Canadice Lake:

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Another popular area is the Bristol Hills, which are the largest of the hills in the area. Central to them is a small town called Naples, where I grew up. It's known for it's large hills, waterfalls, and vineyards:

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Hemlock glens:

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Large frozen falls:

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The skiing is quite good down here if they get good snow. Despite the elevation, sometimes the LE events can miss this area leaving it cold and dry.
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Re: Finger Lakes Region XCD

Postby RobRox » Fri Jan 26, 2018 7:21 pm

In September, quite a few years back, we did a Finger Lakes wineries tour on the way back from Alfred U. Very pleasant passtime.

We camped here and there, wandering freely. Looking at the various waterfalls left me wondering if they'd freeze up...nicely, it seems!
Go for adventure, take pix, but make certain to bring'em back alive!
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Re: Finger Lakes Region XCD

Postby MikeK » Fri Jan 26, 2018 7:36 pm

How did you like the wine?

Some people love it, others hate it. I say you have to like whites to like Finger Lakes wines.
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Re: Finger Lakes Region XCD

Postby RobRox » Fri Jan 26, 2018 7:45 pm

We carried a mixed case home. Reds too. On the fun scale, not up to pradikat or controllee wines, but tasty enough.
Go for adventure, take pix, but make certain to bring'em back alive!
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Re: Finger Lakes Region XCD

Postby North816 » Sun Jan 28, 2018 2:37 pm

nice tour guide! It always looks beautiful from the airplane when flying west. Looks like a great place to live. I didn't realize there some pretty big hills & mountains around the lakes, it's gorgeous.
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Re: Finger Lakes Region XCD

Postby MikeK » Sun Jan 28, 2018 3:17 pm

Thanks North.

Yeah, the Bristol Hills are kind of a big deal (around here). This place boasts the most vert from the Adirondacks to the Rockies:

http://www.bristolmountain.com/

That used to be where I skied but in recent years I've lost a lot of interest in it. It has decent vert and pitch, but that's about it.

Here's a topo of the Naples area:

https://www.mapsofthepast.com/mm5/graph ... A0001A.jpg

So you can get an idea of the topography. It's fairly rugged. My mom still lives in a place called Ingleside on that map and that's where I grew up. I have an original paper version of that map in the picture which I keep for sentimental purposes. It's in rough shape, but it reminds me of home.
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Re: Finger Lakes Region XCD

Postby MikeK » Sun Jan 28, 2018 4:34 pm

Couple more favorites of mine:

Lake Ontario:

Image

Parish Gully:

Image

Image
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Re: Finger Lakes Region XCD

Postby MikeK » Sun Feb 11, 2018 11:53 am

Excellent day out at Harriet Hollister yesterday. Really great mix of groomed XC and ungroomed XCD. Used some almost XC skis and they were a great compromise. Snow was heavy and wet as there was an inversion and it was really warm up high.

Started raining on the way home, which I thought would kill our snow but it was short and it started snowing again near dusk. We picked up another couple inches. Going out in a little bit to see how sticky it is. Gonna take my fats skis though.
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Re: Finger Lakes Region XCD

Postby MikeK » Sun Feb 11, 2018 5:11 pm

Pretty sloppy out there. Snow is wet and slow, but at least no bottoming. The cleaning real did the trick, I can ski most any line through here.

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I skied this until it was pretty tore up and hit a couple other small hills close by.

One thing is apparent though... in this snow, pitch is your friend, and I need to find more. More vert too. Gonna keep looking for some other places. This is OK if the snow is fast.
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Re: Finger Lakes Region XCD

Postby Bob T » Mon Feb 12, 2018 10:54 am

Glad you got some cover to play in. :)
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Re: Finger Lakes Region XCD

Postby MikeK » Mon Feb 12, 2018 11:09 am

Still warm, wet glop out there... but I'm going to keep at it anyway.

Beggars can't be choosy, eh? :mrgreen:
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Re: Finger Lakes Region XCD

Postby MikeK » Sun Mar 04, 2018 5:33 pm

Well, guess I was wrong about the bike. We got a good portion of the big storm that swept up from the south.

I spent my last couple days skiing around off of some state land down near Honeoye lake. There's trails for bikes and skiing and they groom some of them, but apparently the snow was too deep to groom with their setup so it's all open. Snow wasn't great yesterday, but people have been skiing around and making tracks, so at least you can get here or there without killing yourself. It's super heavy to break through. Today, it seemed to have lost some moisture, both days were in the mid 20s. It seems there is some strong wind coming up the side of the hill from the valley though because even the hardwoods were wind scoured in some places:

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This made skiing down them a little sketchy. Balance had to be perfect so as not to nose dive, and some of the drifts were really stiff, and other spots were bare, or thin. I took one short run down this aspect, bit it twice and decided it wasn't worth continuing on. Went up to another area where the snow felt a little softer and didn't get the wind.

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Off to the side where the snow was better, but there are a number of flat spots here so not as good for the down:

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It's strange how this snow is - sometimes when we get this wet snow it's like a fine wine that gets better with age. No melt yet up at these higher elevations but it's getting dryer and softer. The snow under is still a little too soft and you sink a bit more that I would like. I think we'll get a good week of skiing out of this though, and hopefully it corns up later on - the lower angle hills are way more fun with some nice corn!
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Re: Finger Lakes Region XCD

Postby Bob T » Sun Mar 04, 2018 8:00 pm

Fine looking refresh, Mike. Hoping we get some our way soon.
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Re: Finger Lakes Region XCD

Postby MikeK » Sun Mar 04, 2018 8:06 pm

Thanks Bob.

Looks like we'll get some scraps of the storm that is driving up NE into Thursday. If this snow settles a bit, a few inches of fluff on top would be wondrous!

In the lower elevation, open areas, it's already turned to a crust - lots of initial moisture, warm temps and sun did it in within a day.
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Re: Finger Lakes Region XCD

Postby oldschool » Sun Mar 04, 2018 8:46 pm

Been a good one for us too around here. Friday was a good day to work half from home and the snow just kept coming. Took the snowblower out Friday evening to clear our driveway and get the car out. Decided that this weekend would be a work weekend as it looks like this week won't be so bad and conditions will hold out until we get to spring break week next Friday. So I worked on Saturday and went to our new climbing gym in the evening for a bit of bouldering - it's always a bit sketchy dropping off to the mats and sure enough I felt a weird twinge on my right leg above the knee. This morning was not a load of fun and the stairs were tough. A huge bruise or knot in the muscle above the knee to the outside of my leg, plus a little "snick, snick" as I moved it made me wonder whether if you can walk on a leg or climb steps awkwardly, could it still be broken?

Well, did some work work and then hit our local golf course tour with a buddy and grabbed beers after. My pal nailed it - "about 20% of that was good, the rest was tough and crusty" - I replied that the 20% made it all worthwhile. So nice to feel the skis run and glide again. Should be able to get out a little more locally for the odd XC fixes. Plan is to head to Gore then Whiteface next weekend and early in the week after this.

Nice to not have a fractured leg and to enjoy skiing a bit today too!
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