Thursday, January 28, 2010

Winter is Proof that God Loves Us

Winter is my favorite time of year. I don't care what you say about Summer. Summer is for Jersey Shore Guidos and all you seasonally depressed vitamin D addicts. Me, I'm different. The way most people feel about Summer is the way I feel about my one true love and seasonal mistress, Winter. And there are others like me. Well, at least one other. Andrew Howard. He might even love winter more than I do. 

While Brett and I beat our selfs silly all summer long riding and running in circles, Andy WAITS. He sits inside, alone, in a dark room eating ho hos and surfing the internet. The ho hos pad his belly for those long winter nights. The dark room helps him hone his bat like senses, preparing him for low light backcountry navigation in the darkest depths of winter. And he surfs the internet (no not for porn) but to carefully pinpoint, log, and track amazing backcountry destinations to earn our precious (and free) turns each year. Kuddos to you Andy. The world needs more intentionally fat people who don't just use the internet for porn. And the world needs more people who love winter.

If you feel like Andy and I do, share this blog with all your friends. In all likelihood they don't feel the same way. It's never too late to be reborn into our new religion. Only you can help save a soul today.

Happy turn-earning all you acolytes. 

An AT Setup for less than $100!!

I recently came across a couple of deals on Ebay, that combined, can get you on your way into the backcountry for less than the price of two days of skiing at Stowe.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


So you're an accomplished resort skier that is thinking of taking your first backcountry ski trip.  What kind of gear do you need to get started?

Meet Rudy.  Like in the movie, Rudy is shorter and lighter than average, but consistently performs beyond expectations.  He can also take repeated beatings and keep on going.  Rudy is my first backcountry setup.

                                      Yeah.. I'm only 172cm tall.  You have a problem with that?

Saturday, January 23, 2010

-Trip Report- Carter Notch: Being a Fat, Out of Shape Sweaty Mess Sucks (January 2008)

Carter Notch I- January 2008

My first backcountry ski trip was a debacle.  Gered and I attempted to ski up to Carter Notch, where our AMC hut reservations were waiting.

The post-trip box score would have read something like this:

Working against us:
1. Late start.
2. Overambitious plan.
3. Overdressed.
4. Kitchen sink in the backpack
5. Poor map reading skills
6. Wax....what's that for?
7. Ridiculously uneven trail

Working for us:
1. Enthusiasm

Did I also mention that I was completely out of shape.  I still hadn't found something to do in the "shoulder season" between mountain biking and skiing... well except for X-Box  and eating that is.

Enthusiasm and an extra pair of boots for the snowshoes.  Really?

It was no match.. Winter had it's way with us, and spit us out exhausted and defeated.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Welcome to Noreaster Backcountry

One day you're sitting on the chair lift. Freezing your ass off as some gas powered turbine engine powers you to the top of the mountain where you can study the trail map and navigate your way down the green, blue and black dots to the bottom. You notice that patch of trees to the left. A little voice chimes in "c'mon... just jump in there. Do a few turns and pop out."

Now that wasn't so bad. It was kinda fun actually. Congratulations! You've just tried glade skiing: the gateway drug to a whole new addiction that awaits.

Or maybe you're cruising the wide open gravel roads of the Middlesex Fells or Blue Hills and suddenly you see a shoulder-width trail diverging to the right. You dive in, testing the front suspension on that bike you bought at REI.

Oh! This is singletrack. The trees are whipping by like you're flying through the forests of Endor.

Your glades get bigger, the roads get further away, and the next thing you know, you're huffing up some hiking trail at six in the morning with a winter sleeping bag in your pack to try and ski a 30 degree slide that you noticed from the highway. Or maybe it's midnight and the flood light on your bike reveals roots, boulders and an occasional porcupine as you rocket your way down a glorified streambed to find the trail back to your car.

Where the hell are you?

Welcome.  You've found your way to the Noreaster Backcountry.