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Thread: Spring Riding?

  1. #1

    Default Spring Riding?

    I've had a great (two) years of Alaska riding being a transplant from mostly trail riding in Michigan. Now that we are in sloppy season, I know the trails will hold up for a while but what about off trail? How is it to ride? Do any of you all do any spring riding off trail? I have ridden a bunch in P-ville but with 5-6 feet of melting snow is it just a stuck-fest? Is it worth it to go to P-ville - Cantwell? I'm staying off most steep stuff with the increased avi-risk but a lot of good riding would presumably be up high? Anyone still riding Turnagain, the bowls up and over? I'm sure Eureka will be a touch colder and hold up. For those of you that have been around what are your experiences?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Member AKsummit's Avatar
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    This year low elevation riding off-trail "Spring" riding is going to be fantastic in the afternoon to evening (when it softens)...if your mountain riding it takes some more knowledge of slope aspects and conditions to be safe. "Typically" south facing slopes are more dangerous in the afternoon than north facing do to the sun and wind loaded snow pack.
    If you are just riding "Off Trail" in established areas, (PV, Reka ) and such you will have no probs....beware of opening water though.
    This year you are going to have more low elevation riding available than in the last 10 years, I predict....Depending on the overnight temps from now on.
    The short answer is, it is good still and will be for awhile yet, so get out and enjoy the daylight...doesn't get dark now until 9PM and growing daily.
    Boondocking & Bowls of Deep Fresh Powder !
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    Member Erik in AK's Avatar
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    Lower elevation areas, out of the wind that get some sun will be good for quite some time.

    Rode the Peter's Hills today. The snow was dense and lightly crusted i.e. Hero Snow. Up high it was windblown and choppy (hard-soft-hard-soft). The lee slopes and gullies were soft. Avy danger was low.
    If cave men had been trophy hunters the Wooly Mammoth would be alive today

  4. #4
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    after riding caribou hills this weekend, i can say, unless omething crazy happens, i am done! snow was fantastic unit about 5 pm, then the bottom fell out, snow was ROTTEN to the ground, tree wells were soft all day. though the weather is fantastic i do not think the snow will last all that much longer, grab any of the days you can, cleaning and tuning rods this week instead of wrenching here

  5. #5
    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
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    snow up north in the ak range is still good, i'm sure we've got at least 3 more weeks of good stuff.not melting much at all yet...
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  6. #6
    Member Arcticmayhem's Avatar
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    I went riding yesterday and the snow was AMAZING!!! It was dense and sticky all the way down and the traction was unbelievable. I could climb just about any hill that could hold snow on it. Hills that I normally would only be able to put a high mark halfway up, I was still gaining speed until I had to turn around where it turned into a cliff base. Boondocking was easy and I could take my time to pick my lines, even up hill. It was a bit heavier to get unstuck so you might need a little more muscle in some situations. The snow was so dense, that you really had to pick your landings when jumping. Flat landings hurt a bit because the machine just stayed on top without cratering into the powder like normal. Have fun and be safe, and wear light clothing. I got back home and my jacket was soaked with sweat, but I didn't have any more layers to take off.

  7. #7

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    Thanks for the replies.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Arcticmayhem View Post
    I went riding yesterday and the snow was AMAZING!!! It was dense and sticky all the way down and the traction was unbelievable. I could climb just about any hill that could hold snow on it. Hills that I normally would only be able to put a high mark halfway up, I was still gaining speed until I had to turn around where it turned into a cliff base. Boondocking was easy and I could take my time to pick my lines, even up hill. It was a bit heavier to get unstuck so you might need a little more muscle in some situations. The snow was so dense, that you really had to pick your landings when jumping. Flat landings hurt a bit because the machine just stayed on top without cratering into the powder like normal. Have fun and be safe, and wear light clothing. I got back home and my jacket was soaked with sweat, but I didn't have any more layers to take off.
    Where did you go?

  9. #9
    Member Arcticmayhem's Avatar
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    Well I can't tell you exactly where I went or everybody will want to go there, and then there won't be any good snow left for me, but I can tell you that I took the Glenn Hwy to get there. My secret places aren't necessarily better than the more popular places, they are just more convenient for me to ride. The snow has been amazing everywhere this year. Everyone I have talked to has said the same about Petersville, Willow, Eureka, Paxon, Turnagain, and every other popular destination.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Arcticmayhem View Post
    Well I can't tell you exactly where I went or everybody will want to go there, and then there won't be any good snow left for me, but I can tell you that I took the Glenn Hwy to get there. My secret places aren't necessarily better than the more popular places, they are just more convenient for me to ride. The snow has been amazing everywhere this year. Everyone I have talked to has said the same about Petersville, Willow, Eureka, Paxon, Turnagain, and every other popular destination.
    I was not trying to obtain your secret spot. A general "Petersville" or "Eureka" would have sufficed. The snow has been amazing but it's changing fast.

    I went to Petersville yesterday, rode out to Lunchbox and beyond. The snow was so set up like concrete you could run any sled, any brand and not got stuck all day. Even with the afternoon temps the snow didn't have much give. I might be willing to venture out to find good conditions but with what Attachment 58792Attachment 58793I experienced I'd rather save my gas money. Fun ride to be sure, I just miss the pow.

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    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    We actually found some powder between Alpine Creek Lodge and Maclaren Lodge. I bet there's still a minimum of a week of good riding out there. I'm headed out again on Thursday night.
    Bunny Boots and Bearcats: Utility Sled Mayhem

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    Member EagleRiverDee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AKDoug View Post
    We actually found some powder between Alpine Creek Lodge and Maclaren Lodge. I bet there's still a minimum of a week of good riding out there. I'm headed out again on Thursday night.
    We're headed up to Alpine Creek Lodge Tuesday morning for 3 days- do you mind sharing where you found the good snow?
    "If snowmachiners would adopt the habits of riding one at a time and not parking at the base of avalanche prone slopes, the number of fatalities would likely be whittled by at least a third, if not by half." ~ Jill Fredston, in the book Snowstruck, In The Grip Of Avalanches.

  13. #13
    Member Erik in AK's Avatar
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    Dee, when you leave the lodge head east. About 7 miles later the powder will be obvious.
    If cave men had been trophy hunters the Wooly Mammoth would be alive today

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    Member TWB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EagleRiverDee View Post
    We're headed up to Alpine Creek Lodge Tuesday morning for 3 days- do you mind sharing where you found the good snow?
    Is Claude gonna be in town?
    We do not go to the green woods and crystal waters to rough it, we go to smooth it. We get it rough enough at home; in towns and cities; in shops, offices, stores, banks anywhere that we may be placed

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    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    He's going to be there all week. Claude and I are considering an expedition to ride over to Arctic Man on Friday. Right now, that's the plan. Dee, the directions Eric gave are correct.
    Bunny Boots and Bearcats: Utility Sled Mayhem

  16. #16
    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    Whoops...overbooked myself. I have to teach a firearm safety class to the elementary school on Friday, so I won't be at Arctic Man. Still probably head up the ACL for some bear hunting on Saturday.
    Bunny Boots and Bearcats: Utility Sled Mayhem

  17. #17
    Member EagleRiverDee's Avatar
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    Thanks for the directions on the good snow, guys. This is our first trip to Alpine Creek Lodge, and my first ever on the Denali Highway so I'm stoked. We had already made our plans before they announced a possible Friday ride to Arctic Man and we are leaving the lodge Thursday so we won't be on that ride. I've heard great things about the Lodge and the hospitality there so I know we'll have a good time, and right now it looks like the weather plans to cooperate. Hopefully the snow sticks around a few more days at least.
    "If snowmachiners would adopt the habits of riding one at a time and not parking at the base of avalanche prone slopes, the number of fatalities would likely be whittled by at least a third, if not by half." ~ Jill Fredston, in the book Snowstruck, In The Grip Of Avalanches.

  18. #18
    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
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    its still winter out at the lodge Dee, head east till you see no more tracks turn right or left and wrap a rubber band on the thottle and open your mean and just yell for a few hours...go once and you'll be back next year. Snow is set up pretty good you can go anywhere, if its not soft enough for you head down to the south into the timber and you'll find softer snow, but the low spots should still be pretty good. we haven't had any really warm melts as of yet, temps hoovering around 30-34 during the heat of the day.
    roads a good ride in, bring your own gas in if you can, that'll help them out alot...or just bring what you can.
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  19. #19
    Member EagleRiverDee's Avatar
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    Thanks, Brwnbr- we are bringing in 17 gallons but probably will need to buy a little while we're there too. I'm glad to know it's not quite as far along into spring up there as it is here!
    "If snowmachiners would adopt the habits of riding one at a time and not parking at the base of avalanche prone slopes, the number of fatalities would likely be whittled by at least a third, if not by half." ~ Jill Fredston, in the book Snowstruck, In The Grip Of Avalanches.

  20. #20
    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
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    no prob dee, its a step back in the calendar going north....
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