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Old 01-31-2017, 12:15 PM   #1
Nehasane
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Post-holing

Skied to OK Slip Falls last week on 15" of snow. Only saw 3 other people - all bare-booting! The word needs to get out, so here's a video from ADK to watch:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HelzHAP0g0s

From NYSDEC:
"Snowshoes or Skis: The use of snowshoes or skies is strongly encouraged wherever snow depths exceed 8 inches. The use of snowshoes or skis prevents "post-holing" (deep footprints in the snow), avoids injuries, and eases travel on snow-covered trails. Post-holing makes trails more difficult and more hazardous for others to use."
http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/7865.html
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Old 01-31-2017, 02:05 PM   #2
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Good video!

FWIW, this drama repeats itself every winter. Skiers hate oblivious snowshoers, who ruin their tracks, and both hate clueless bare-booters who ruin everything.

The word needs to get out (like this video) but its unlikely to be heard by all ... or heeded. Even in the Eastern High Peaks Wilderness Area (EHPWA), where snowshoes are mandatory when there's 8"+ of snow, people bare-boot.

Over the last few winters I've met winter hikers in the EHPWA without snowshoes. I usually just politely remind them that they're mandatory and you can be fined for lacking them. No reason to make a fuss about it; just the facts.

I recently met a couple in the Loj's parking area who inquired if they were truly mandatory (I guess they saw the sign at the trailhead). I confirmed they were and explained they ran the risk of a $250 fine if caught by a DEC Ranger.

I suggested they rent snowshoes at the HPIC (the ADK Loj's High Peaks Information Center). They wandered off in the direction of the HPIC (currently in a large tent due to renovations). Minutes later I saw them heading to the trailhead, without snowshoes. So it goes.
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Old 01-31-2017, 02:28 PM   #3
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Good video!

FWIW, this drama repeats itself every winter. Skiers hate oblivious snowshoers, who ruin their tracks,
I've never had a problem with a skier. Whenever I've met one, it's been a cordial greeting; I guess they're happy I'm wearing shoes. BTW, I ski, too, and have never had a problem with a snowshoer.
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Old 01-31-2017, 02:35 PM   #4
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Here's the beef. YOU CAN still ski in a snowshoe rut. It may not be as pleasant as ski tracks but it's not (always*) dangerous.

Post holes can be dangerous to skiers AND snowshoes (and other postholers). Reasons for this should be obvious and the issue is usually not right after but when we get a thaw or rain and freeze where they turn into death traps. You cannot predict when that will happen when you are making holes. So think of the future and other users.

Now that dangerous bit has never really affected me, but I can certainly assert that skiing over postholes makes getting traction with your skis difficult. The traction mechanism on the ski relies on contact with the snow, and when you lose bits of that, and are supported by the rest of the ski, you slip... and it sucks. It's tiring and annoying.



*Sometimes descending a snowshoe luge run is friggin' scary
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Old 01-31-2017, 03:53 PM   #5
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My dog twisted her wrist in a frozen post hole once, causing her to limp pretty bad while we were a few miles in. This happened while following a snowmobile trail, but like Montcalm mentioned, the weather had warmed a bit and a group of two or three bare-booters had been post holing along the snowmobile tracks, then it got cold again & things froze up, literally leaving 8-10 inch pot-holes along the trail.
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Old 02-01-2017, 01:09 PM   #6
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I know you folks are talking back-country but this is a major problem at community/municipal trails too. I ski after work at Coles Woods in Glens Falls and the Lake George Rec Park. A friend of mine is a volunteer at Coles Woods and no matter what they do people continue to walk the trails as they think it's an entitlement. I also ski the snowmobile trails in Hogtown and see hikers headed to Sleeping Beauty all the time in boots (sometimes sneakers) DEC does their best to get the word out. Some just don't get the message, are naive, or simply ignore it.
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Old 02-01-2017, 01:34 PM   #7
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FWIW, this drama repeats itself every winter. Skiers hate oblivious snowshoers, who ruin their tracks, and both hate clueless bare-booters who ruin everything.
Well, maybe I'm speaking only for myself, but I don't hate snowshoers on a ski trail at all. It's the backcountry, I'm not expecting groomed, set tracks. Anybody who packs a nice even trail is welcome. I've even been known to express thanks for following a snowmobile track at times, rather than having to break the trail myself!
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Old 02-01-2017, 06:34 PM   #8
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Yeah but how will you feel if I snowshoe over your ski tracks on the Jackrabbit Ski Trail?
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Old 02-01-2017, 08:13 PM   #9
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I live just a mile from sections of the Albany Pine Bush...miles and miles of trails and rolling hills. I gave up trying to ski there, the trails are constantly boot tracked and post holed (when there's enough snow to actually post hole) and often covered in dog doo.
My X-C skis are too skinny and soft to tolerate the mottled surfaces.

As far as snowshoe tracks, any packing of the trails at all only helps my X-C skis to glide farther, so I'm cool with that.

Alpine Touring or backcountry is another issue entirely.
2 years ago, a very good snow year, a buddy and I were skinning up a favorite backcountry ski spot, and a clearly under dressed family was trudging up the skin track. My buddy and I tried to impress upon them that they should have snowshoes or skis, since they were sinking to their waists with every step. By the looks on their faces, and their faces, we could tell they did not understand a single word. They were 600 ft into the climb and struggling, and no doubt would struggle just the same on the way down. They were in their own private hell, and deserved to be.
We just shrugged and skinned on up, didn't really matter. Our skis easily bridged all of the post holes, and it was just a skin track.
Would it have been a problem if they post holed down our favorite runs? Probably not.
After all, if we couldn't negotiate around a series of post holes, we probably shouldn't be backcountry skiing!!
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Old 02-01-2017, 09:02 PM   #10
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Yeah but how will you feel if I snowshoe over your ski tracks on the Jackrabbit Ski Trail?
I can't speak for anyone else, but I wouldn't be shoeing the Jackrabbit. Nor would I shoe the ski trail to Indian Falls, Avalanche Lake or Wright Peak. They are labeled ski trails and I would respect that.
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Old 02-01-2017, 11:02 PM   #11
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Jackrabbit is used year-round by hikers. It's the shortest route to McKenzie and Haystack (part of the Saranac 6). The road is wide enough for hikers (snowshoers) to avoid the ski tracks ... if you know well enough to do that (and some folks don't).

Bare-booting on Jackrabbit's ski trails is definitely unappreciated!
http://www.adirondackalmanack.com/20...bit-trail.html
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Old 02-02-2017, 09:54 AM   #12
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Yes, it is nice when snowshoers avoid an existing ski track. But to be fair that assumes the skier who made the first track stayed to one side of the trail so that later snowshoers didn't have to frequently change sides to stay out of the ski track. I also have tried to tamp down this periodic debate by observing that if snowshoers have gone first, the skiers will most of the time use the snowshoe track and not make their own track.

In the situation like the roads in the Pine Barrens, communicate to other skiers to make the initial ski track a far to one side of the road as possible. After that has been trashed by the walkers it will be the easiest place to walk. Then make a ski track on the other side of the road - it just might not get trashed.
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Old 02-02-2017, 10:00 AM   #13
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I sprained my ankle pretty good in a post hole on Bennett Hill (in Clarksville, NY) the other day. Fresh snow had covered up a footprint in the icy snow buried beneath and I didn't see it.

A few years ago, while snowshoeing at Clark Reservation State Park, I came across a section of trail that had been obliterated by post holers. A group had gone down the trail through about 8 inches of snow without snowshoes, and the snow had later partially solidified due to a thaw and refreezing. I gave up about 20 feet down the trail; it was just too sketchy.

It's hard to explain to clueless hikers why post holing is important to avoid, because if we're going to be honest with ourselves, most of the time it doesn't do any lasting detrimental damage to the snowpack and the only issue is the wasted energy spent by the post holers themselves. But when it does create hazardous conditions, it can leave behind a trail that is dangerous for anyone to traverse, regardless of whether they have proper footwear or not.
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Old 02-02-2017, 12:07 PM   #14
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This subject is getting the attention which it so well deserves. The only problem is getting the word out to the uninitiated. I don't think that FORUM users have to be educated and the ADK video at the beginning of the thread widens the net, a bit. Unfortunately, the post holers are probably ignorant to begin with and are likely to stay that way. For the life of me, I can't figure out why people who bare boot do it more than once because of the frustration and exertion involved.
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Old 02-02-2017, 12:24 PM   #15
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Never underestimate the power of ignorance and determination.

Add in lack of regard for human suffering and you can accomplish almost anything...
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