Midweek miscellany

Today has a mixed bag of items: conditions and forecast, a podcast shout-out, and a new page I’ve added to the site.

The usual business

Snow depth indicates the White Mountains got the best out of the last storm, which wasn’t as big as we might have hoped for. But it was good enough to keep a lot of places in business, and some skiers off the streets and out of trouble.

State of the touring centers‘ is updated (a bit late). It’s pretty much the same as Sunday. The warming trend starting today will probably mean Minnewaska, Mohonk, and High Point trails won’t be in great shape by Friday.

The better news is that a mild storm system will come through the region on Saturday. Admittedly, the downstate region might not get enough snow to freshen the trails, but at least the forecast isn’t just totally calling for rain, like two weeks ago. Stay tuned.

For your listening pleasure

Do you train or measure your workouts with an HR monitor? Former Canadian elite skier Devon Kershaw participates in a podcast for FasterSkier, and last week he answered some questions from regular people. In the episode link below, he takes up questions like: should you measure race performance in real time? What kind of workouts do elite athletes need most when on tour?

I also loved hearing Kershaw ‘waxing poetic’ about Rode Multigrade Violet kickwax. I’m going to get a tin next time I need to order ski prep supplies. FWIW, Caldwell Sport derides Violet Multigrade as a ‘tourist’ wax, but otherwise finds the brand very useful to have in the wax box. It’s also one of the premier shops for hand-picked race skis.

Listen to the FasterSkier podcast: The Devon Kershaw Show.

Neglect of Backcountry skiing

For some time I’ve been interested in improving my technique a notch or three above the self-taught sloppiness I’d acquired over the decades. I’m still working at it (and having fun), so I’ve prioritized skiing on tracks over touring and breaking trail.

My focus resulted in a sort of averted gaze from off-piste cross-country skiing. The seminar I did last fall highlighted there was a lot to catch up on, so I started by making a page on Types of skis/skiing to classify and distinguish equipment.

Today I’m following up with Backcountry ski trails, including info on getting started and finding guides or groups. Check it out, and if I’ve made an error or omission, please leave a comment.

Thanks for reading.

Thin but solid cover

Mohonk Jan. 20

Beautiful day today- cool but sunny, and a slight breeze. Mohonk groomed but the base was too thin for making tracks. You could sometimes feel solid ground with pole tips but not with the ski bases unless you took a digger or went off-piste. I suspect it was much the same on Upper Awosting at Minnewaska, and at High Point.

If I could pick any option I’d be heading north for a nice midweek stay-and-ski. All that snow up there and nobody on vacation! But you get what you get and you don’t get upset.

Sunday 1/19 snow report

Summary: There’s no doubt that conditions are thin on the trails closest to NYC, but there is skiing to be had. Best bets are Mohonk and High Point:

“After checking in with the staff they felt that the Upper Awosting trail (Green) held the most snow. The rest of the trails that they attempted to groom had rocks showing through and bare spots”

Conditions at Minnewaska State Park (via mhvxcs Google group)

“We will  roll the trails for classic skiing, and the roller will leave tracks. There is not enough snow for skate skiing.  The trails with a thick layer of wood chip rquire little snow to ski, and the areas of the trail system with grass should also be acceptable.”

High Point trail conditions (via website)

“Fresh powder, thin coverage Outer trails ungroomed”

Mohonk Mountain House ski conditions (via website)

That said, much better skiing is easily findable for just another hour or so of driving. Canterbury Farm is reporting good skiing, as are Notchview and Prospect Mountain. Pineridge and Northfield is open again after a long hiatus.

Here’s a daytrip range snow depth graphic:

The difference between Mohonk and Minnewaska today are partly in the reporting interpretation, and some relating to trail surface (Mohonk dirt trail vs. Minnewaska carriage road gravel/dirt). Same for High Point.

Across the larger region there’s a pattern I saw last year, in that much better skiing is found at the touring centers that can hold onto a base; even a minimal base of ice is a much better starting point than bare ground.

The usual update has been made to ‘State of the touring centers‘, with the Word including the amount of new snow since yesterday. BETA has not reported since yesterday, but I’d assume backcountry skiing is much better. Here’s the regional snow depth graphic:

Despite a warming trend starting Thursday, areas like Notchview, Prospect Mountain, and Brattleboro will probably be able to hang onto skiable trail through the end of the week.

Happy skiing!