New skis, new boots, new bindings… everything was different.
Going to take some time to get used to the new setup.
I’ve moved from Maschuss Epoch touring skis (185 length!) and 3 pin cable bindings and Scarpa T4 2 buckle boots to some Volkl Nanuq skis in 177 length with 22 Designs Axl bindings and Scarpa T2 3 bucket boots.
First runs are always an adjustment, but this was a lot all at once. By run 3 I did a few passable tele turns, but alpined most of the day. Run 4 was a mixed bag, lots of fast traffic on the few trails that were open, and my clumsily trying to find my center bending the knee left me wanting for some nice wide open easy groomers to practice on.
No snow, but 37dF and raining when I left the car. Post holiday overnight to Silver Lake in GMNF. Walk in, in the rain. Setup camp, eat dinner, sleep. Walk out. I was at my desk working by 9:30am.
A bit cold, I pitched the BD Mega in a breezy spot. Wind howled overnight, so I blockaded myself in with my pack and camp chair. Had a fitful sleep, but it was wonderful to be outside under a nearly full moon, in the woods, completely alone.
Started out on a dirt road ride (frozen, snow and ice covered) and decided to check out the access road to Silver Lake, from FR 32 in GMNF. The road in had recent truck tracks on it, and when I got to the gate the snowmobile groomer had been out – so I wandered down to the dam.
I brought the wrong bike for winter trail riding – the Nicotines with 2.35″ tires just don’t float well on semi-packed snow. I washed out the front once on the way down to the lake, and had to walk the last 1/4 mile to the dam due to the churned up snomo trail.
I enjoyed some coffee and the rest of my breakfast bagel, then started back out (and up!).
It was too much work keeping the bike on track and upright on the way out of the lake – so I pushed until I got to the turn in the access road. There is a VAST trail (snowmobile) that connects back to FR 32… so I decided to follow it. I was able to ride downhill to the bridge over Dutton Brook, but the trail was far too steep for riding climbing back out. Atop the ravine – just where the trail flattened out and I thought I could ride again – I had some sleds pass me (politely). The sleds churned up the trail, so I ended up walking about 3 miles to the road intersection, pushing the bike.
Beautiful, but tiring. When we get more snow the fat tired Pugsley will make the trip… lots to explore in Moosamaloo, even in winter…
Winter arrived here in VT over the last couple of weeks. Heavy, wet snow has blanketed the state. In BTV we have been spared the power outages and downed trees, some parts of the state went without power for 3-4-5 days. I’ve been rolling when I can between lots of travel for work and family. Put some studded tires on the Krampus after some sketchy riding in the GMNF. The 45Nrth 2.35″ Nicotines really grip – although you need to find the sweet spot of pressure – too much and the side knobs don’t grip the ruts on the dirt roads, too little, and it can be a real slog on pavement or hardpack.
I snuck out for some early winter riding in the Green Mountain National Forest. I had visions of a larger loop – but after sliding around on the hardpack / ice (primarily going downhill) from last nights sleet / rain I cut it short at about 15 miles. Steam Mill, Natural Turnpike, and a bit of exploring down the road to Spark’s Landing.
The Krampus is fast becoming my favorite bike… it just feels right in so many situations. I can’t wait to get my dyno light back from warranty, and if I had warmer gear I’d be planning some winter bikepacking trips. The Knards did admirable in the snow – but the frozen sort of iced hardpack was a bit unnerving. They wash out in deeper snow, but roll really well on hardpack and the snow that gets trampled on dirt roads. They can’t compare to a Nate on the Pugsley for grip, but the Nate cannot compare to the Knard for nice rolling. I’m hoping the Maxxis Chronicles become available in the spring stateside – they look like a good mud / slop / snow tire for 29+ and for general trail riding. The Knard would be a gt to for forest road / dirt road / tame single track bikepacking.