Strange Trip
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Denis - DCSki Supporter
February 25, 2007
Member since 07/12/2004 🔗
2,234 posts
Well, the skiing was great on Sat. 2/24 but it was a strange trip. I left home after work on 2/23 to drive as far as Seneca Rocks, stay overnight and get an early start this morning. The strangeness began in Moorefield;

1. I am always very careful to observe posted speed limits in cities and towns, no matter how low they may be. Thus I was surprised when a state trooper turned on his blue light behind me in Moorefield while I was going < 25 mph. I stopped, rolled down the window and told him I was certain I was within the speed limit. He said that he was stopping me for having a headlight out and wanted my license and registration. My glove compartment is full of paper. I found the 5 previous year's registrations but not this year, which probably IS IN THERE someplace. I told him I was a law abiding citizen and hadn't been stopped for anything for at least 5 years; it's probably more like 10. So he wrote me up for the headlight and for not having a valid registration in my possession, written however as a warning. He delayed me about 40 minutes for this whole process. When I got to my motel the office was dark, closed, and locked. I finally raised somebody to check me in, or I would have been SOL in the middle of nowhere. Either there is not enough crime in WV or they have decided that it is a good idea to harass people with out-of-state plates bringing business into the state in winter.

2. I took a single ride at CV ski area and went into the backcountry. The powder was lighter and faster than last weekend, but still great. After a couple runs on the north side of Weiss Knob I decided to try the south side, more remote and normally untracked but more subject to sun effects, but with a 9AM temp. of 4 deg. I thought it would be fine. The first 5 turns were, but then crust. I took falls on the first couple of crust turns then began to figure it out. Then I heard a snap and my right binding lost its spring resistance to heel lift. I finished the run, thinking the heel piece had popped off and found instead that the cable had broken; I'd have to walk out about a mile. Without skis to distribute my weight the crust broke through on every step and I sunk down to mid thigh. This is exhausting and I stopped to try to think of a better way. I had some extra webbing with fastex buckles and rigged it to hold my heel in the toepiece, not very well, it fell off a few times but I was able to skin back up. Not wanting to push it with the makeshift repair, I kept the skins on to descend the steepish pitch slowly and reach the traverse back to Canaan Valley ski area.

3. I asked at the patrol shack if I could ride the lift down. Answer - no, nobody can ride down but they'd take me in a toboggan. (I wonder how the liftees get down after their shift.) WTH, I got in the sled and went down like a log. I have seen many ski patrollers in the mid Atlantic whose ski ability would make me crawl down rather than take a sled ride, perhaps they were trainees. These two were very good, although their speed scared the bejeezus out of me at first. Perhaps it's having your head a foot off the snow that makes it seem so fast. It was my first and I hope last sled ride.

4. Why is my backside so wet? I do sweat a lot under the pack but not this much. Answer, the hydration bladder in the pack had sprung a leak. Everything inside was soaked. By now it was sunny, 35 deg. and felt like 60. I drove over to Whitegrass for lunch and an afternoon of skiing without pack, jacket, or gloves. To my surprise there was no breakable crust in the lower elevations and many many descents with boot top deep powder. T skied all over and the woods in particular were as good as I have experienced.

All things considered an excellent although strange trip. I am going to have to devise repair startegies and carry the necessary materials for any foreseeable binding failures. Depending on temperature, snow depth, distance to get out, and time until dark, walking out can be life threatening.
fishnski
February 25, 2007
Member since 03/27/2005 🔗
3,530 posts
WOW..AAA should post a speed trap warning heading into that town like they do down in "High way robbery" places like Waldo,fl! Duck Tape...don't leave home without it ...Sounds a little risky heading further out during a heavy snowpack time period. I head offshore or up the cape fear river or anywhere else that I boat knowing that if I run into trouble all I have to do is call Seatow...You couldn't even call Whitegrass for a rescue attemt because of 0 cell phone service up there. Maybe those stronger mini Walkie talkies would be in order. Leave one with a liftee maybe....It could have been worse. Could you see down to the "other Valley' when you were on the southside of Weiss?
yellowsnow
February 25, 2007
Member since 12/15/2005 🔗
271 posts
Speedtrap? I thought the stop was for a headlight out.
How is that harassment of an out-of-stater?
Sorry, but I just don't see it!
pagamony - DCSki Supporter
February 25, 2007
Member since 02/23/2005 🔗
844 posts
Ummmm, Denis, did you consult your astrology before you headed out? you got some bad kharma from somewhere. I mean that just doesn't all happen on the same trip.

I wanted to ask, to know the trails up there, are you using a trailmap from Whitegrass, Canaan, or some other source? Also, the Tline snow report shows 17km of tails, but I've never seen a map of it and I've only seen that one trail over to Weiss. Are those trails something you can do on conventional XC gear. Well, its raining small pets here so I might as well type in a bunch of lame questions. I guess the real question is this - say I am at Timberline with a group of people but want to get onto some trails, what to do ?
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Denis - DCSki Supporter
February 25, 2007
Member since 07/12/2004 🔗
2,234 posts
Quote:

Speedtrap? I thought the stop was for a headlight out.
How is that harassment of an out-of-stater?
Sorry, but I just don't see it!




It isn't, if they treat everyone the same, but they don't. I have seen many cars with a headlight out in WV and a great many with misalligned headlights which momentarily blind on oncoming driver. I've also seen a lot of speeding but never seen anyone else stopped for any of these things. In truth I probably should have waited a few days to cool off before writing that, but I do think it was excessive.
fishnski
February 25, 2007
Member since 03/27/2005 🔗
3,530 posts
Hasn't this town been mentioned many times on DC ski posts as a speed trap? One of those towns scattered across the good ole USA that need to have their cops wear sombreros & to just stop you at the city line & tell you...Senor for 50 pesos you can pass thru with NOOOoo problem!...Highway Robbery & unneccesary harrasment...Abuse of power..
The Colonel - DCSki Supporter
February 25, 2007
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
3,107 posts
Actually, the WV town most mentioned as a speed trap here on DCSki is Wardensville. Brad is always reminding us to take it easy through and anywhere near Wardensville.
The Colonel
Bumps
February 25, 2007
Member since 12/29/2004 🔗
538 posts
I agree a strange but good weekend.
1. warning only; 2. was able to get into a room sounds like you got a late start regardless of a nice chat with one of the boys in blue; 3. Snap was a bindng and not an ankle(that was my first thought reading your post); 4. Ski patrol didn't make you walk down the mountain; 5. Water bladder pick a relatively warm day to burst.
I think you must be living right.
queenoftheslopes
February 25, 2007
Member since 11/15/2004 🔗
143 posts
Glad to hear you alright. My first thought was something else when I read that you heard something snap. (glad you are OK). At least you have a good story to tell.
Denis - DCSki Supporter
February 26, 2007
Member since 07/12/2004 🔗
2,234 posts
Quote:

I wanted to ask, to know the trails up there, are you using a trailmap from Whitegrass, Canaan, or some other source? Also, the Tline snow report shows 17km of tails, but I've never seen a map of it and I've only seen that one trail over to Weiss. Are those trails something you can do on conventional XC gear. Well, its raining small pets here so I might as well type in a bunch of lame questions. I guess the real question is this - say I am at Timberline with a group of people but want to get onto some trails, what to do ?




There are a bunch of maps here,
http://www.whitegrass.com/about.html
However they frustrate me and I am pretty good with maps. Something about the maps and the actual layout of the land confuses me and I can't put my finger on it. It is probably best to learn the layout one small piece at a time. That's what I have done, although I don't have the whole thing down pat yet.

There are only 2 ways I know of to get to Weiss Knob, ski up from Whitegrass, or take the lift at Canaan and then the trail to the pipeline. I always try to be unobtrusive when entering that trail. However on Sat it had enough tracks to be pretty obvious and skinning out with my makeshift repair binding I met a father and son who had obviously no idea where they were; they had just followed tracks from Canaan. The son was about 10 on a snowboard; the Dad was clueless but loyally trying to follow his boy to keep him out of trouble. I told them how to link up with the Timber Run trail. I hope they got out OK but I also kind of hope that they had a hard enough time that they won't be tempted to go in there again. It IS backcountry and if you go in there YOU ARE ON YOUR OWN. Those without the skills and acceptance of the code - get yourself in, get yourself out - should not be there. I also told them not to posthole the trail but they had no idea what I was talking about.

I have only skied from Whitegrass to Timberline once, on the Timberline trail. It is flat and easy skiing but with some low spots where my bases iced up. It is also a couple of country miles, probably 2 - 2.5 but seems longer. I never did make it all the way to TL but came out on the overflow parking lot. Supposedly the TL trail comes out on TL's Winterset (or whatever they named that new run), but I couldn't find it. I don't think I could find the trail from Timberline's downhill trails. Maybe someone else can help.
tgd
February 27, 2007
Member since 07/15/2004 🔗
585 posts
There are a couple trails off Forest Road 80 that head into the Wildlife Refuge and towards Whitegrass. I believe they are Blackbird Wing and Cabin Mountain Trail shown on this map:

http://www.whitegrass.com/downloads/WG-B-W%20topo%20--2-4-2004-email.jpg

Access from near the top of Timberline off the Upper Salamander Ski Trail, at skier's right around the first big left hand turn above the "s" curve. I can't recall how well this is marked - if marked at all. The trail off Salamander winds downhill a short distance, and hooks up with a jeep trail that runs along the backside of Timberline and becomes FR 80 after a couple miles. Turn right on the jeep trail. If is generally flat to start out and then begins heading downhill as it gets closer to FR 80. I have never skied it - but during the summer this trail is generally pretty rocky but well protected by trees on each side. Once on FR 80 the first trail appears to the left - well marked by a USFW and "No Bikes" sign - I believe this to be the Cabin Mountain Trail. The Blackbird Wing trail is further down FS80 almost to the bottom. Also marked with a sign that "To Freeland Road". FR 80 is a smooth gravel surface, not plowed. It descends steadily with little break until it reaches the Valley floor at a Stable between Timberline and Whitegrass. I have mountain biked this road and the backside of Tline many times - however, I have never traversed either of the trails towards Whitegrass because the trails are closed to bikes. You need to check at Whitegrass or the Tline ski patrol to get the lowdown on the backcountry trails over to Whitegrass.

There used to be a back country trail map available at the Tline ski school desk. You might check there too.

Tom
wvrocks
February 27, 2007
Member since 11/9/2004 🔗
262 posts
I've been wanting to start at WG one morning, ski to Canaan and ride up to the top, take the pipeline to Bald Knob, and then drop back down to WG on Powderline and some other trails, then head over to Timberline on the lower trails, ride the lift up take Sally to FS80 to Blackbird wing to 3 mile to Roundtop and down the slope back to WG again. Then have a beer. I may do it this weekend if the weather is decent.
bawalker
February 27, 2007
Member since 12/1/2003 🔗
1,547 posts
Unfortunately what Denis wrote about getting pulled over in Moorefield, is nothing new. Lately Moorefield is one of those places that has an overrun of state troopers (new office) and town cops. I've been doing work late in the evening over at Moorefield and numerous times I've seen STATE boys pulling over cars on the south side of town. In fact before reentering Moorefield by the State Farm / Rail Road Tracks, I saw a trooper make a U turn about 400 yards in front of me, wait before turning on the lights and catch up to the person and flip them on pulling the driver over around the Colts restraunt area. He was an out of stater and didn't appear to be speeding. It also had me wondering at the separation of the trooper and the vehicle that had done driven past before he even made a U turn.

The state boys have been on Corridor H pretty heavily recently. Even on the new Moorefield exit areas, if you go over 40mph, I've seen people busted on there. Anymore I just try to take back roads and other roads so as not to draw the attention of any boys in blue.
tempfishnski
February 27, 2007
Member since 09/16/2006 🔗
66 posts
Somebody needs to put a Ski Stake on the NE side of Weiss Knob....The 4460' Stake! I might do it my self if no one beats me to it....I got a statue(anybody remember that?)of myself up on MPC that measures at 4770'...its at 38"'s...Prove me wrong
tomimcmillar
February 27, 2007
Member since 11/21/2004 🔗
129 posts
Denis, sounds like you were 'paying it forward' last wknd. Gotta make a deposit into the karma bank every once in a while, ya know?

We never went out past Bald on Saturday, opted to not race all you cheatin' lift riding scoundrels out to the Weiss driftline.....instead we hit every nook and cranny on the WG frontside that I could remember, lots and lots of freshy fresh. Even got some of it on viddy: WG viddy

Also ran into a buddy late in the day with a blown out cable. He looped a leash strap/webbing around the toe bar of the binding and then under/around the toe buckle strap on his boot to keep it from pulling out, got him down off the hill.

Oh yeah, for the first time in a loooooong while, maybe ever, we also ran across a trooper on 93 just outside of Davis on the way home. Turns out that they can clock your speed while they're traveling in the opposite direction.....he let me off with a warning for 66 in a 55. Luckily, he wasn't around for the morning commute, when we were in a bit more of a hurry.
Denis - DCSki Supporter
February 27, 2007
Member since 07/12/2004 🔗
2,234 posts
Tom,

Great video. You did the right thing. The low elevation woods within easy reach of Whitegrass base lodge were the place to be on Sat. I couldn't believe how good it was there in the afternoon. I believe I skied most of the places in your video. Skied myself into total exhaustion and took an hr nap in a McD's parking lot on the way home. Sure glad that I put at least 2 pairs of skis in the car for every trip.
fishnski
February 27, 2007
Member since 03/27/2005 🔗
3,530 posts
I'm Trippin..but its a good trip!..INSPIRING...LUV that Vid!! Looks like you all had a blast making it. I see you got one of my Fav shots of the Canaan ski area & Weiss as you come over from the heights. What is that wide open area you took a shot of with a nice clump of spruce in the middle..is that the pipeline? Anyway you all, Denis included, have got my blood all pumped up again...I will have to start mixing up some back country with my Alpine skiing activities. Time to venture off the Ski areas & SEE THE WORLD!!...Thanks
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