Thursday, January 31, 2013

Trip Report- Magalloway Mountain, Part II: “The Perfect Day”

It was nine degrees Fahrenheit as we loaded our boots and packs into the cars in the early morning light.  Nine degrees. 

Justin yelled out the “going skiing” checklist that had been written by his mother and taped to his fridge for time immemorial: “Skis, boots, poles, mittens, hat, coat, scarf,….” “LUNCH!” a few of us yelled out to complete the list.  Justin was joking, but Evan exclaimed “Oh sh**!”, and ran back into the house, emerging with his boots.  First disaster averted.

(Read Part I of the Magalloway Adventure Here)

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Trip Report- Magalloway Mountain, Part I: "The Dream"

The dull brownish grey of the deer blended seamlessly with the salty sand covered snow bank in the fading light of dusk.  As our truck rounded the corner, the two deer ambled across the center line and into our lane.  Gered slammed on the brakes and slowed just  in time to allow them to leap harmlessly into the woods.  But as we crossed their path I spied a third set of eyes peering over the snow bank with a look that said only, “Hey! Wait for me guys!” Justin was not far behind us with a truck bed full of snowmobile and hurrying to catch up.  I knew what was going to happen next.

To be a lawyer is to be constantly reminded of the axiom, “The best laid schemes of mice and men often go awry.”  Despite our shortcomings, misfortunes and disappointments we continue to dream and sometimes even dare to dream big.  Let me tell you about one of the big ones.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Vote Now: Best Powder - January 2013

Can you spot Noreaster BC in this untouched sheet of cold New England powder? 

Proving once again that all the freshies are in the backcountry. Help us spread the word. 

Vote NoreasterBC for Best Powder - January 2013, New England Backcountry Magazine

View the goods and cast your vote.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Trip Report: Ascutney 12.30.12

Kick turn and a bute!

Senior citizens, while slow and dangerous behind the wheel, can still serve a purpose. In the grand scheme of generational greatness, obviously the bar was set pretty high during WW II. Slightly further down that list are pioneers, Vikings, and coming in a close 4th, the extremely badass leather ski boot generation.

These nuts have been strapping on their woodies to careen awkwardly down the neighborhood ski slope longer than most of us have been on shape skis. So pay attention next time you see a streak of blue hair whizz by and cut you off in line for the rope tow. Old people can shred too.

I've been thinking a lot about old people since our last tour to Ascutney, where Brad and I found ourselves strapping up in the West Windsor Town Forest parking lot along with notorious big mountain skier and Alaska aficionado Ben Szekely, and two Elderhostel busses full of crazy grizzled old whitebeards in leather boots and knickers.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Gear Review: EMS Divergence Pro Jacket

For about a decade, starting in the mid nineties, I lived in a fleece.  It was the most comfortable piece of clothing I owned.  It was big and black and fuzzy.  It fit loosely and made me look about twenty pounds heavier than I was.  (Which at that time was about forty pounds heavier than I am today) As I lounged on the couch in it eating chips and Oreos I was transformed into a giant teddy bear.  A giant, cuddly, adorable, crumb covered teddy bear. You see, the thing that made it so comfortable also made it collect anything and everything within five feet of my face.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Mapless Skier Found, Dead. Locals Fined.

The ski blogosphere exploded this week following news that yet another East Coast big mountain skier had wandered too far from the corduroy and gotten stuck tits-deep in a spruce pit somewhere in resort side-country. In the two week window over Christmas and New Years, Vermont search and rescue crews saved forty five skiers from a hypothermic death by their own design. And, to the dismay of local power hounds and non-skiing taxpayers alike, they were left picking up the bill.

Dick Cheney in blue jeans should pay his own SAR bill some say. Others are proud our SAR guys and gals were there to pull Yankees fans and their fat wallets out, to live and pay to ski another day.

It's a wonder that during this same time period yours truly at Noreaster BC were chided, ridiculed and scolded like schoolchildren for posting detailed maps of our recent trip report from Lincoln Gap (comments about Andy being a Masshole have since been deleted). Critics said we had committed an egregious violation of the sacred blood oath of backcountry secrecy, while our more forward thinking readership complemented us on the service we do, which saves them both time and mental anguish trying to schwak their way to popular top secret BC powder stashes.

I'd like to think that we've done a whole lot more for them though. I'd like to think that those maps, which are absolutely essential to us executing a successful BC tour, might just save your life someday.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Trip Report: The Mohawk Trail Slides

In the early morning hours of August 28, 2011, thousands of cubic yards of earth cut loose from its anchors on the slopes above the Cold River in Savoy, Massachusetts.  The saturated ground, which had already seen four inches of rain in the previous two weeks, gave way as tropical storm Irene dumped another six inches in less than eighteen hours.  The resulting avalanche of dirt, trees and rocks cut three distinct slides down the mountainside, across the road, and into the raging flood waters below.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Santos Trails And the Endless Descent Dream

Turn, pedal, descend, turn, repeat.

Every once in a while you wake up with no clue where you are, what time it is, or how the heck you got there.  Ever since my diaper wearing drill sergeant arrived in August, those moments have been occurring with more frequency than I’d like to admit.  In that split-second, when you’re perched on the precipice between the dream world and reality, both sides seem equally plausible; and equally absurd.  In those moments your brain scrambles to dissect what was the dream and what reality is awaiting you. 

Was the baby crying?  Was I skiing?  Am I in a tent on top of Lafayette?  Am I sleeping in a chair again?

As I sit here writing about my most recent adventure, I feel like I’m sitting on that divide trying to get a grip on reality.  What the heck just happened?

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Trip Report: Lincoln Gap 12.28.12

If you're anything like me you'll spend most of your workday this Friday pawing through satellite images, psychoanalyzing canopy density, speculating on tree species and forest age, tracing shadow length and slope grade, and generally looking for the perfect backcountry tour. But before you do, burn this image into your mind. This is what the world's most perfectly spaced hardwood glade looks like. From the ground up.

If, by some stroke of luck, you can actually learn to read the signs and find yourself guessing right and standing some place that looks a little like this, there's a very good chance you will be somewhere in central Vermont, just south of Lincoln Gap Road.