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Fire-Road Skiing

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 

As a quick background; I've only skied once DH and once XC. Although I would like to consider myself an advanced beginner cool.gif 'cause I'm that good.

 

Anyway, I am an unemployed student gettin' ready for college. That's one of the main reasons I got into skiing in the first place because you can get so much out of it for a very low cost. Compared to motorcycling (which is my other hobby).

 

 

So one of the downsides to not having a job is not having money (believe it or not!) I simply can't go and pay $100 for gas, food, tickets, etc. for a couple days of a skiing.

 

That said, there is this "fire road" (if you're not familiar with the term, it basically means a small two lane dirt road into the mountains. Think "firetruck accessible") roughly a mile from my house. In the winter it's closed off about half way up to vehicles, so generally no one goes up there at all when there's snow.

 

This road is also at a decent downwards angle, and on skis you could probably get going at an enjoyable cruising speed.

 

 

So my plan is to tie my skis to my scooter (already done, it works perfect), take a full 3 minute drive over to the bottom, hike up for maybe 20-30 minutes and ski down.

 

 

Anyone think this is a good idea? It'll get about 6-10" of snow before I'd consider going. And I know as a fact that it's not illegal by any means whatsoever.

 

 

What do you think?

post #2 of 27
Thread Starter 

As a quick background; I've only skied once DH and once XC. Although I would like to consider myself an advanced beginner cool.gif 'cause I'm that good.

 

Anyway, I am an unemployed student gettin' ready for college. That's one of the main reasons I got into skiing in the first place because you can get so much out of it for a very low cost. Compared to motorcycling (which is my other hobby).

 

 

So one of the downsides to not having a job is not having money (believe it or not!) I simply can't go and pay $100 for gas, food, tickets, etc. for a couple days of a skiing.

 

That said, there is this "fire road" (if you're not familiar with the term, it basically means a small two lane dirt road into the mountains. Think "firetruck accessible") roughly a mile from my house. In the winter it's closed off about half way up to vehicles, so generally no one goes up there at all when there's snow.

 

This road is also at a decent downwards angle, and on skis you could probably get going at an enjoyable cruising speed.

 

 

So my plan is to tie my skis to my scooter (already done, it works perfect), take a full 3 minute drive over to the bottom, hike up for maybe 20-30 minutes and ski down.

 

 

Anyone think this is a good idea? It'll get about 6-10" of snow before I'd consider going. And I know as a fact that it's not illegal by any means whatsoever.

 

 

What do you think?

post #3 of 27

 

Go over to the backcountry and xc forum and have a look at what people just like you are doing with backcountry & nordic touring gear. 

 

The biggest problem with skiing fire roads is that walkers leave boot track.     Go for it.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by twistedkeys View Post

As a quick background; I've only skied once DH and once XC. Although I would like to consider myself an advanced beginner cool.gif 'cause I'm that good.

 

Anyway, I am an unemployed student gettin' ready for college. That's one of the main reasons I got into skiing in the first place because you can get so much out of it for a very low cost. Compared to motorcycling (which is my other hobby).

 

 

So one of the downsides to not having a job is not having money (believe it or not!) I simply can't go and pay $100 for gas, food, tickets, etc. for a couple days of a skiing.

 

That said, there is this "fire road" (if you're not familiar with the term, it basically means a small two lane dirt road into the mountains. Think "firetruck accessible") roughly a mile from my house. In the winter it's closed off about half way up to vehicles, so generally no one goes up there at all when there's snow.

 

This road is also at a decent downwards angle, and on skis you could probably get going at an enjoyable cruising speed.

 

 

So my plan is to tie my skis to my scooter (already done, it works perfect), take a full 3 minute drive over to the bottom, hike up for maybe 20-30 minutes and ski down.

 

 

Anyone think this is a good idea? It'll get about 6-10" of snow before I'd consider going. And I know as a fact that it's not illegal by any means whatsoever.

 

 

What do you think?



 

post #4 of 27

I think it's a good idea, but if you consider yourself an advanced beginner, you might want to make sure you are able to handle your skis in soft snow first. 

post #5 of 27

.

post #6 of 27

go for it.

 

Around here, the forestry roads are lined with thick timber. So the animals seem to use the roads a lot to get around. This usually results in a road that is "tracked out" and quite sporting to ski down. Dodging the piles of shit and post holes aka hoof prints. Especially at lower elevations when the snow tends to be variable.

 

I am skeptical that you'll find a road steep enough for anything more than slow cruising speeds. With any fresh snow you'll probably end up searching for speed.

 

If I was in your position I would invest in a a proper touring gear, and get a bus pass.  Plenty of good touring spots up LCC. and it won't break the bank.

 

post #7 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by surfacehoar View Post

go for it.

 

Around here, the forestry roads are lined with thick timber. So the animals seem to use the roads a lot to get around. This usually results in a road that is "tracked out" and quite sporting to ski down. Dodging the piles of shit and post holes aka hoof prints. Especially at lower elevations when the snow tends to be variable.

 

I am skeptical that you'll find a road steep enough for anything more than slow cruising speeds. With any fresh snow you'll probably end up searching for speed.

 

If I was in your position I would invest in a a proper touring gear, and get a bus pass.  Plenty of good touring spots up LCC. and it won't break the bank.

 

 

Yeah, I also forgot to mention it's REALLY curvy ski.gif also the only animals I've ever seen up there were squirrels and small rabbits.

 

And yes I would do that too, but as I said I don't have a job, nor is there a bus system (which sucks...).


 

post #8 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cantunamunch View Post

 

Go over to the backcountry and xc forum and have a look at what people just like you are doing with backcountry & nordic touring gear. 

 

The biggest problem with skiing fire roads is that walkers leave boot track.     Go for it.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by twistedkeys View Post

As a quick background; I've only skied once DH and once XC. Although I would like to consider myself an advanced beginner cool.gif 'cause I'm that good.

 

Anyway, I am an unemployed student gettin' ready for college. That's one of the main reasons I got into skiing in the first place because you can get so much out of it for a very low cost. Compared to motorcycling (which is my other hobby).

 

 

So one of the downsides to not having a job is not having money (believe it or not!) I simply can't go and pay $100 for gas, food, tickets, etc. for a couple days of a skiing.

 

That said, there is this "fire road" (if you're not familiar with the term, it basically means a small two lane dirt road into the mountains. Think "firetruck accessible") roughly a mile from my house. In the winter it's closed off about half way up to vehicles, so generally no one goes up there at all when there's snow.

 

This road is also at a decent downwards angle, and on skis you could probably get going at an enjoyable cruising speed.

 

 

So my plan is to tie my skis to my scooter (already done, it works perfect), take a full 3 minute drive over to the bottom, hike up for maybe 20-30 minutes and ski down.

 

 

Anyone think this is a good idea? It'll get about 6-10" of snow before I'd consider going. And I know as a fact that it's not illegal by any means whatsoever.

 

 

What do you think?



 


Cool thanks! And people aren't manly enough to hike/horse/ski/ride that road when it gets snowy, so I have it all to myself biggrin.gif

 

post #9 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LiveJazz View Post

I think it's a good idea, but if you consider yourself an advanced beginner, you might want to make sure you are able to handle your skis in soft snow first. 



How would I go about that?

post #10 of 27

Sure, why not? Never hurts to try (unless you get yourself lost, frozen, buried in deep snow – just don't do any of those things).

 

I wonder if your college has any ski clubs? You will probably also be able to purchase a ski pass at a student rate, which usually are quite reasonable.

 

Ski club + student rate + financial aid = profit!

post #11 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Toecutter View Post

Sure, why not? Never hurts to try (unless you get yourself lost, frozen, buried in deep snow – just don't do any of those things).

 

I wonder if your college has any ski clubs? You will probably also be able to purchase a ski pass at a student rate, which usually are quite reasonable.

 

Ski club + student rate + financial aid = profit!



The main reason I'm asking is because I get that "Well, ehhhhh...." when I ask long time locals about skiing it. I kind of get the impression that they just go to resorts just because they can.

But yeah you'd think SNOW college would have a freakin' ski club! But the closest resort is an hour and a half away, with no bus system whatsoever, and it's a small community college. So, no they don't have one rolleyes.gif

post #12 of 27

I grew up skiing down driveways in Alaska, which are very similar to the fireroads in the mountains around here.  It was good fun :)

 

The one thing I would be worried about it uphill traffic, around blind corners specifically.  Hikers and wild animals have a way of just jumping out at you when you are taking corners at speed, the best approach is to just slow way down. 

 

Since you are a student I would second Toecutter's advice.  When I was in school all the local resorts, Lake Tahoe, had student discounts.  Everything from cheap season passes to $10 Fridays.  Another option to look into is a skiing class, we had one which went up to the mountain every Friday, you even got free lessons out of it!  The best part was skiing on Friday without skipping class and not having to pay for life tickets since my financial aid covered tuition :)

post #13 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Toecutter View Post

Sure, why not? Never hurts to try (unless you get yourself lost, frozen, buried in deep snow – just don't do any of those things).

 

I wonder if your college has any ski clubs? You will probably also be able to purchase a ski pass at a student rate, which usually are quite reasonable.

 

Ski club + student rate + financial aid = profit!


I guess it would go back to Toecutter's advice of spending a bit of time in a controlled environment (ie a ski area, maybe in a lesson), on a pow day if possible, just to get the feel. It can be hard to turn in soft/deep snow if you are using the wrong technique. But, if that isn't an option for you, you'd probably be fine. 

 

post #14 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by twistedkeys View Post



The main reason I'm asking is because I get that "Well, ehhhhh...." when I ask long time locals about skiing it. I kind of get the impression that they just go to resorts just because they can.

But yeah you'd think SNOW college would have a freakin' ski club! But the closest resort is an hour and a half away, with no bus system whatsoever, and it's a small community college. So, no they don't have one rolleyes.gif

 

I smell an opportunity for you to start to ski club. When I was in undergrad and grad school, I started mountain a biking club because there were none. At the undergraduate level I was able to apply for and receive money from the intramural sports fund to help pay for stuff. Maybe you could do something similar? It would be a nice resume builder.
 

 


Edited by Toecutter - 12/14/11 at 7:32pm
post #15 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Toecutter View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by twistedkeys View Post



The main reason I'm asking is because I get that "Well, ehhhhh...." when I ask long time locals about skiing it. I kind of get the impression that they just go to resorts just because they can.

But yeah you'd think SNOW college would have a freakin' ski club! But the closest resort is an hour and a half away, with no bus system whatsoever, and it's a small community college. So, no they don't have one rolleyes.gif

 

I smell an opportunity for you to start to ski club. When I was in undergrad and grad school, I started mountain biking club because there were none. At the undergraduate level I was able to apply for and receive money from the intramural sports fund to help pay for stuff. Maybe you could do something similar? It would be a nice resume builder.
 

 


Good idea. I'm going to ask around and see what I can do. The only problems that I could think of is that 1. it's sort of a conflict of interest. 2. we're not the main school, we're a secondary one to the other Snow college that's a little farther north (same clubs). 3. there's literally no public transport system for......250 miles.

 

But regardless it doesn't hurt to look into it 

 

post #16 of 27
I say go do it, just not alone. Spray paint "skiers ahead" on snow if worries about uphill traffic. If walking up, stick to side. Steps naturally form with a few passages (gets easier each time). Skinning up way easier. Roads are not steep, wide open, good place to practice. Later you'll look for chutes between the curves in the road...taking turns towing buddy back up road. Search on backcountry safety. Seriously.

I'd really recommend using a buddy's truck instead of scooter.
post #17 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by hoody View Post

I say go do it, just not alone. Spray paint "skiers ahead" on snow if worries about uphill traffic. If walking up, stick to side. Steps naturally form with a few passages (gets easier each time). Skinning up way easier. Roads are not steep, wide open, good place to practice. Later you'll look for chutes between the curves in the road...taking turns towing buddy back up road. Search on backcountry safety. Seriously.
I'd really recommend using a buddy's truck instead of scooter.


Please don't spray paint the forest just because you're out playing around in it.

 

post #18 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by twistedkeys View Post


Good idea. I'm going to ask around and see what I can do. The only problems that I could think of is that 1. it's sort of a conflict of interest. 2. we're not the main school, we're a secondary one to the other Snow college that's a little farther north (same clubs). 3. there's literally no public transport system for......250 miles.

 

But regardless it doesn't hurt to look into it 

 


Good deal.  I don't know about points 1 and 2, but other students will have cars, yes?  Even if you didn't start/join a ski club you might meet some other friends who want to ski and can drive.

 

post #19 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by hoody View Post

I say go do it, just not alone. Spray paint "skiers ahead" on snow if worries about uphill traffic. If walking up, stick to side. Steps naturally form with a few passages (gets easier each time). Skinning up way easier. Roads are not steep, wide open, good place to practice. Later you'll look for chutes between the curves in the road...taking turns towing buddy back up road. Search on backcountry safety. Seriously.

I'd really recommend using a buddy's truck instead of scooter.


Yeah I probably have a willing buddy, but he's 15 and truckless rolleyes.gif

post #20 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Toecutter View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by twistedkeys View Post


Good idea. I'm going to ask around and see what I can do. The only problems that I could think of is that 1. it's sort of a conflict of interest. 2. we're not the main school, we're a secondary one to the other Snow college that's a little farther north (same clubs). 3. there's literally no public transport system for......250 miles.

 

But regardless it doesn't hurt to look into it 

 


Good deal.  I don't know about points 1 and 2, but other students will have cars, yes?  Even if you didn't start/join a ski club you might meet some other friends who want to ski and can drive.

 



Oh yeah that's right, yeah I could probably get someone to go. Again, I'll ask around smile.gif

post #21 of 27

I think it's a great idea. Just tell someone else where you're going and when you expect to be back, in case you have a problem out there.

post #22 of 27

What about power-line cuts in the forest?

 

On a related note, I have wondered about skiing down the clear-cut areas around high-tension power lines as a place to learn how to earn turns. There aren't many mountains around here with good places to hike up and ski down, but sometimes these clear-cuts go straight up the side of a ridge and are as wide as a ski run. It seems like it might be safer than going off into the trees for a "back-country" newbie.

post #23 of 27

I learned to snowboard with out riding a lift, and with out ever seeing groomed snow. Why this person couldnt not do the same is beyond me.

 

 

 

 

post #24 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeff2010 View Post

What about power-line cuts in the forest?

 

On a related note, I have wondered about skiing down the clear-cut areas around high-tension power lines as a place to learn how to earn turns. There aren't many mountains around here with good places to hike up and ski down, but sometimes these clear-cuts go straight up the side of a ridge and are as wide as a ski run. It seems like it might be safer than going off into the trees for a "back-country" newbie.



Sounds fine to me.  Just watch out for stumps and power pole support cables.

post #25 of 27

Some power companies get antsy and shirty when I play around their power line cuts.  

post #26 of 27
Thread Starter 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeff2010 View Post

What about power-line cuts in the forest?

 

On a related note, I have wondered about skiing down the clear-cut areas around high-tension power lines as a place to learn how to earn turns. There aren't many mountains around here with good places to hike up and ski down, but sometimes these clear-cuts go straight up the side of a ridge and are as wide as a ski run. It seems like it might be safer than going off into the trees for a "back-country" newbie.



Here they wouldn't care. But the place I'm talking about is not a forest by any means. It's actually redrock and sandstone. There might be some nice chutes, but if I followed the power lines I would pretty much die instantly eek.gif Actually I'm baffled at how they got them up there in the first place every time I look at them.

post #27 of 27

I'd really like to find a place near Washington DC with hike-to terrain (assuming we ever get snow this winter, of course). The closest so-called mountain to me is Sugarloaf, a mere 240m (800ft) above the surrounding plain. Maybe Shenandoah National Park or George Washington National Forest? I have done plenty of XC and am not interested in more at this time.

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