Whitegrass on Downhill Gear?
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7 users
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scootertig
January 6, 2010
Member since 02/19/2006 🔗
365 posts
I keep seeing the recommendations to head to Whitegrass, but I think a lot of the people there are on tele or xc gear. What sort of hurt would I be in for if I went with my normal downhill, on-piste oriented gear?

aaron
appskiah
January 6, 2010
Member since 09/16/2006 🔗
88 posts
technically, you could rent snowshoes and hoof it - so long as you have a backpack with ski straps. just stay to the side of the trails hiking up. i don't know if non-free heels are looked down at WG...but you'd probably be ok
Denis - DCSki Supporter
January 6, 2010
Member since 07/12/2004 🔗
2,198 posts
Post holing is frowned upon, but anything else is OK. Snowshoes up and alpine skis down is fine. It is overgunning the problem but if it floats your boat it's OK. I have seen people on big fat AT set ups with skins. I have often used skins and occasionally used fat skis but with tele bindings.
chaga
January 6, 2010
Member since 11/24/2009 🔗
587 posts
downhill gear is welcome, as are snowboards, but just not practical unless you wanna ski the main slope up and down. (which is a nice 600' vert and nicely steep at the top) Its more about ski this glade, traverse a bit, ski another, climb a bit, hit a sweet trail, etc. There are a few big descent lines possible from the top of bald knob but a free heel will get you around much much more efficiently. Oh... and don't think just because you have a free heel means you have to make tele turns...you can make alpine turns if you so choose...you dont need a locked heel to make alpine turns.

best part is an area use pass is only $12 now thru the end of season, guaranteed no lift lines or your money back smile

wgo
January 7, 2010
Member since 02/10/2004 🔗
1,336 posts
I've used alpine gear in the past at whitegrass (w/climbing skins and the tops of my boots unbuckled on the ascent) and I can vouch for what chaga said - that pretty much restricts you to the first 600 ft of vert. Having said that, it's a pretty sweet 600 ft (there are some nice woods on both sides of the main slope).

Interesting point about making alpine turns in free-heel gear - seems like that would take some getting used to, no? I'll definitely have to try that the next time I am out there - does Chip rent touring gear or just XC stuff?
KeithT
January 7, 2010
Member since 11/17/2008 🔗
383 posts
I had an old pair of Karhu (Kodiaks I think)--pretty skinny 215s with only a 3/4 edge thru the kick zone. Used to go night skiing at Wisp after a day of nordic around DCL. I would do about 5 or so tele turns and then I would get lazy and make parallel turns and stem turns and hockey stops with them on FG at Wisp. But I was limited to the two green runs (pre North Camp). Point is I am not that good of a skier and certainly was not back then, and these skis were designed for BC at best, and had little trouble making these skis go where I wanted them to.

Aaron-rent some nordic gear at WG and try it out, best of both worlds.
Denis - DCSki Supporter
January 7, 2010
Member since 07/12/2004 🔗
2,198 posts
Chip rents pretty much the full spectrum of free heel gear except for the super fat. Plenty of skis in his fleet are as turny and beefy as the average alpine skier is using.

My dirty little secret is that I parallel about half the time at ski areas and even passed my alpine instructors exam on free heels. However the tele feels so good in powder that I mostly tele in the backcountry.
chaga
January 7, 2010
Member since 11/24/2009 🔗
587 posts
make sure you specify you want the backcountry rentals if you go, and specify u want the karhu 10th mountains or guides. both are shaped for turnyness and kinda wide, but still have the climbing scales on em (waxless) and cable tele bindings. You will get the garmont excursion touring boot with it which is a plastic 2 buckle boot. Pretty light setup compared to downhill gear but perfect for backcountry touring. of course the nnnbc xc gear is even lighter. if you end up being able to ski good on nnnbc gear (im still tryin) you will absolutely rip when you go back and put on the heavier downhill gear smile
scootertig
January 7, 2010
Member since 02/19/2006 🔗
365 posts
I was just coming back here to ask if they rent the gear I'd need, and it looks like that's been answered!

Would I be OK to be like Nike and "just do it"? Or is the learning curve such that I'd end up ruining a day tooling around on my own?

I've developed a serious urge to get out there and try this...


aaron
Denis - DCSki Supporter
January 7, 2010
Member since 07/12/2004 🔗
2,198 posts
I'd go to WG and rent stuff from Chip, take it to Canaan, where they have a nice beginner slope with its own dedicated lift and spend the first day doing all your alpine techniques. You need to find your centering and balance on free heels. After you are comfortable making free heel parallel turns on moderate slopes, take a tele lesson. This might be the same afternoon or the next time out. You will "hit the wall" very quickly without the support of a locked heel. Everybody wants to just step into the skis and make tele turns right away. I think it is better to go this way.
KeithT
January 7, 2010
Member since 11/17/2008 🔗
383 posts
Anyone have a recommendation for a good tele instructor at Whitetail??
camp
January 8, 2010
Member since 01/30/2005 🔗
592 posts
Originally Posted By: KeithT
Anyone have a recommendation for a good tele instructor at Whitetail??
They don't have one in their ski school. They've had one or two "tele clinics" in recent years where outside instructors came in for the day.

I live near Whitetail, I could possibly arrange to work a session with you.
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