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Old 01-09-2019, 01:15 PM   #1
ItsjustJoe
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Winter Ski Trip

Hi everyone, planning on doing a BC ski trip the second weekend of February. The game plan is to hike in from the Garden and camp near JBL. Planning on pulling a pulk with most of our gear and wanted to get everyone's take on whether or not that was a good idea (vs. carrying everything on my back) and/ or which trails would be better suited for pulling a sled (Phelps Trail vs. Southside Trail).

Also looking for any recommendations on good ski lines. Planning to hit Bennie's Root Canal and any additional info on that or other nearby areas would be greatly appreciated!
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Old 01-09-2019, 02:26 PM   #2
DSettahr
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IMO- pulks work best when used to supplement (and lessen) pack weight, rather then when used to replace pack weight entirely. A small pulk with maybe a third of your personal gear (and the rest in your pack) is going to be more comfortable overall than just a small day pack with a large, heavily laden pulk with most of your gear. If a trail is well broken out, then you can get away with a bit more gear in the pulk and less in your pack, but again, I think that you still don't want the pulk to completely replace your pack.

I absolutely would not want to pull a single pulk with combined gear belonging to multiple group members (as your post seems to suggest is your plan). Even if you were switching off pulling responsibilities between group members, that still sounds just plain torturous.

If you're constructing it from scratch, remember also to run the ropes through PVC pipes, and to cross the pipes before strapping the pulk to you or your pack. This will prevent the pulk from catching up to you and hitting your calves on the downhills (or from swinging out far to the sides, as will happen if they poles are not crossed).

The South Side Trail into JBL is not well traveled any time of the year. In winter, I think there is a good chance that you'd be breaking trail. It's also officially been closed/abandoned by the DEC, so it's not well maintained (and I think there are some washed out stretches). And lastly, there's no bridge at the downstream crossing of Johns Brook, and the crossing there can be tricky if there water is up. In any case, I think you're best off avoiding it entirely in favor of the Phelps Trail, which gets regular use even in winter and has a high likelihood of being broken out unless you're hiking in/out immediately after a major storm.

Generally, the Phelps Trail is decent for pulling a pulk at least as far as Bushnell Falls. There are a few steep but short sections of the trail, and a couple of narrow bridges that the pulk might not stay on top of very well. But overall, it's not a hard snowshoe in with a pulk (or even on skis if you've some experience). Beyond Bushnell Falls, the trails get steeper and it would be harder going with a pulk.

Is this your first visit to the High Peaks in winter (or even first visit period)? Remember that you must use snowshoes or skis at all times when the snow is more than 8 inches deep. Also, campfires are prohibited as well (the High Peaks get so much use that there simply isn't enough dead and down wood to sustain fires if they were allowed).

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Last edited by DSettahr; 01-09-2019 at 09:07 PM..
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Old 01-10-2019, 02:51 PM   #3
2505
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ItsjustJoe View Post
Hi everyone, planning on doing a BC ski trip the second weekend of February. The game plan is to hike in from the Garden and camp near JBL. Planning on pulling a pulk with most of our gear and wanted to get everyone's take on whether or not that was a good idea (vs. carrying everything on my back) and/ or which trails would be better suited for pulling a sled (Phelps Trail vs. Southside Trail).

Also looking for any recommendations on good ski lines. Planning to hit Bennie's Root Canal and any additional info on that or other nearby areas would be greatly appreciated!
Phelps definitely better, though I'd think a pulk would be a real PITA unless you are experienced using one. And snow is now deep-this storm has hit the hills pretty solidly.
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