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Ice hounding

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Here in Bozeman people live for skiing powder. Many of them won't bother going up to Bridger Bowl unless there's been 6" of new snow.

I love powder but I get excited by various other types of snow, also. For the most part my fellow Bozemanites humor me when I'm all hyped up about skiing crud or crud turning to moguls. They took it in stride when I spent a recent bonus on some T-Power Viper X's because I wanted a ski just for skiing the great moguls we get around here.

The past couple days I've seem to have lost them though. I have been getting blank stares & terse comments for some recent statements. In fact I feel I might as well have confessed to devil worship or something (though they probably have higher regard for that than what I was talking about).

Anyway, we had a recent warm spell followed by a cold spell with no snow. That means the mountain will be icy & I'm actually looking forward to skiing in icy conditions tomorrow. I have been ogling my Salomon Equipe Axe Series skis, my designated ice skis. I am fantasizing about the feel you get when you set your edge just right on an icy groomed run.

Sure, I'd prefer to be skiing on 8" of powder that had fallen on the previous day's 6". But since we aren't getting any powder the ice will be a nice change of pace. I probably should note that I'm talking Montana ice which you can set an edge in with properly tuned equipment & proper technique. I wouldn't want to ski it all the time but a couple times of year is a nice change of pace. Is there anyone else out there that shares my demented condition? (I knew a lot of skiers, mostly ex-racers, in Oregon that did but I haven't found anyone in these parts.)
post #2 of 7
Don't worry you got it right. Take it as it comes. Maybe you want to have a look at your edges and tune them accordingly. Some other guy in this forum (forgot who it was) has put together info about waxing and edge tuning: http://www.lacyslatherworks.com/how_..._your_skis.htm
Normally, edgers come with info about angle adjustments as well.
Also - despite all the tech talk about skis and stuff in here, i bet most have the attitude that you can ride on any ski's in any conditions provided they got edges. Having the latest and greatest equipment in the nicest conditions is just an "add-on" to an already great activity.
post #3 of 7
Rio, good thing you clarified the difference between "Montana ice" and true ice. I'm always telling folks "that's not ice, you can't see through it!"

I know what you mean. When it gets "icy" at LT, people head for the lodge, especially the boarders. The mountain becomes less crowded than its already-uncrowded state, and those of us who like hardpack can rip to our hearts' content.

I think people here are spoiled that way. They are so used to soft snow. I hear the same complaints about crud and cut-up, though not as negative as those about "ice."

I definitely prefer softer snow, but I'm not about to go avoiding some hardpack simply because it's a wee bit harder to hold an edge.
post #4 of 7
You'd a loved today's conditions in Northern Michigan then. Warm and wet yesterday, overnight temps in the 20's. The stuff they groomed damp last night just a glistening even though there was no sunlight today.

Perfect for my old pal who always says, "trust no snow you can not hear."
post #5 of 7
I had two pair of those Equipe Axe Series skis and they loved the Ice. I ski primarily in the east so I was able to flatten a couple pair in one season. They just love spead and they don't put up a fight.
post #6 of 7
Having grown up a bamboo chaser on the E coast, I too enjoy ice. In fact, I prefer it to many other conditions. I get great satisfaction out of carving a turn on stuff that's difficult to even walk on.
post #7 of 7
Like most areas in the west, my Tahoe pass resort has been very icy since it rained last Sunday. Yesterday, Saturday, I skied it for the first time since then and it was pretty frozen. Anything off the groomers or skier tracked areas were impossible. Pretty much the off trail crud remains sculpted in the frozen state of things the day after it rained. Of course these sort of conditions occur occasionally mid winter and more frequently in the spring when a cold air mass moves in after warm conditions.

Arriving at leisurely 10am, I chose to see how difficult our main bump run would be for me early in the day before edge scraping would smooth things out. There are 920 vertical feet of bumps between 32% and 71% gradient. It starts out steep for a short ways, terraces a bit, drops briefly, terraces again, then drops steeply for a long mid section pitch before moderating in a lower grade run out. I usually ski from the top down to somewhere in the steep mid section before having to rest. Usually stop two or three times. They groomed part of the top last week (!@#$) so it wasn't as difficult as it could have been.

So I made two back to back three stop runs but was able to cope only because I am so used to skiing bumps that I easily get good body and ski position at the transition from one bump to the next. I was usually able to control my speed by hopping back and forth across the fall line lightly and skidding off speed against the awkward rattling bumps. But I took a number of unexpected rides when my edging collapsed into skids. It often wasn't at all pretty as I certainly had to modify my technique. I tried another run late in the afternoon and it was still pretty ugly. You can have it Rio, haha! The areas where skiers had smoothed out the morning frozen chunks were skiable but I could not say I enjoyed the effort as it was an awkward gorilla effort.

Spend most of the day skiing steep winch groomed run about 50% gradient which had lots of sloughing snow piled up between hard flat slabs. The heavy sugary grooming snow was like bad manmade. I'd sharpened my edges a bit but my mid fats skis aren't really a good choice for this stuff and skidded frequently on the usual long flat slab sections whenever the pitch was steep enough and the snow hard enough. Overall I had an enjoyable day and it was educational for the experience of tough icy conditions. In any case I probably won't bother to go back until this frozen rain layer is well buried. -dave
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