Thursday, November 6, 2008

Rocktober in the Adirondacks

After a spate of recent storms, the trip reports are coming in from all over the country. Last week, the Northeast caught an early Arctic blast, and the storm was especially gracious to the skiers of the Adirondacks in New York. Karhu rep Mike Kaz seized the opportunity to run out for early season XCD turns at Whiteface…

Rock-Tober 29th 2008

"After a few days on the road clinicing I received a phone call from my wife. "Did you hear how much snow we are supposed to get? Feet. I've blocked out my schedule in the morning to get the kids to school so you can get an early start up to the mountain." I knew I married the right woman! I raced home from Buffalo Tueday night through snow squalls and wind arriving at 11pm. I was up and out the door by 7am to head to Whiteface Mountain for a solo tour up the Toll Road on the backside and get some early season turns.

An annual tradition for the local ski crew, the Whiteface Toll road ascends a gentle 8-9% grade for 5 miles and takes you within 300 vert of the summit. A quick hike sans skis gets you a 360-degree view of the Adirondack Mountains. Not today though!

At the Toll Road gate there was anywhere from 6-10" of packed and blowing snow, but quickly as I toured up on my XCD Guides, accumulations looked to be more like 12-14" in places and even deeper (thigh high) in wind-drifted corners.

It was VERY windy and cold. It felt more like late January than October. I reached the upper slide of the road-side shots and it almost looked skiable. I packed my skis, threw on my crampons and booted up the shot to give it a look. Bottom half was fine, but we still needed a bit more up top to make it go. I'll give'r another time.

Near the top of the slide, a little bushwacking through to the top of the road, then on to the summit.

Back off the summit, skis on and down I go through a solid base and boot-top powder. Not a bad way to spend a Wednesday morning. As I skied down, at least a dozen or more Adirondackers were on their way up for some October stoke. Welcome Ski Season!"

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