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Backcountry skiing the Amish way starts with a bike ride

marzNC

Angel Diva
#1
Having spent multiple summers at a family camp at a small resort in Amish country in northern Indiana, I was surprised to come across an article about backcountry skiing with "Amish" in the title. The woman who wrote the article had a very unusual experience in Montana a few years ago. A good read on many levels.

Jan. 3, 2020 (originally published Nov 2019), Powder magazine
Why the Amish are Montana’s Most Devoted Backcountry Skiers
The community in the Mission Range is bonded by faith
https://www.powder.com/stories/features/why-the-amish-are-montanas-most-devoted-backcountry-skiers/
 

SarahXC

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#2
I read this article in hard copy (on the plane to a ski trip... how times have changed!) last year and throughly enjoyed it. Definitely unique perspectives on skiing, life and priorities.
 

Rainbow Jenny

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#3
BC skiing starts with a bike ride... I sure remember June last year with @Pequenita.

We snow camped at the southern entrance of Volcanic Lassen National Park with a group of her friends (who have become my friends subsequently, thanks to her) for two nights. Looking at Strava entries, the uphill bike ride was 7 miles, 1,770 ft, then skin up 1,560 ft (500 ft short of summit) when snow was getting pretty heavy from sun exposure. we then decided to transition and descended with a few fun turns. Two women in our group without bikes actually walked up the 7 miles on paved road (not yet open to vehicle traffic) in their boots. They started much earlier in the dark, were in better cardiovascular shape, reached the top, then skied down past us. However, we rolled down the road with our bikes past them at the end.

It was a major highlight of my lifetime ski days, not so much for the snow condition but for the camaraderie and the beauty of nature. I cannot wait to do it again.

CE1BD128-FA87-427E-864D-1B6DF1D75180_1_201_a.jpeg 68BD18A5-B401-41AD-9B71-2047FF19C622_1_201_a.jpeg 9A7E0BA2-FF25-4FEC-A10F-D6F5FD0E2799.jpeg 5E3C9AEB-0E4F-4093-B6F7-845129A17928.jpeg
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
#5
It was a major highlight of my lifetime ski days, not so much for the snow condition but for the camaraderie and the beauty of nature. I cannot wait to do it again.
Thanks for sharing the pics!

Have been to Lassen once when my daughter was about 4. She had a ball sliding down a snow bank that was still there in mid-August.
 

Rainbow Jenny

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#6
I’m sorry, did you say they walked 7 miles, uphill, in their ski boots?
Well, now I’m not sure if they brought extra shoes with them... although touring boots are much lighter with grippy sole and walk mode, so it’s conceivable. Yeah, it would make more sense if the two gals walked 14 miles roundtrip in sneakers/hiking shoes. Good point, @Jenny, I've only walked a mile or two on pavement with touring boots.

I biked uphill for about 2 hours with a pair of Keen-like sandals, I see Pequenita in sneakers in the photo. Then I biked down in my touring boots (see photo), knowing it would be quick, just 20 minutes. I think most in our group changed back into their sneakers for the downhill.

And I must also acknowledge Pequenita for taking 1 or 2 of the 4 photos.
 
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Jenny

Angel Diva
#8
I've never been in touring boots, but I’ve seen them once. Even a mile or two seems impressive. I just wanted to make sure I was picturing the right thing, cuz I just hate walking any distance at all from the car to the hill in my boots.
 

Pequenita

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#9
I’m sorry, did you say they walked 7 miles, uphill, in their ski boots?
They were so far ahead of us, due to an earlier start, that I can't remember what they did. I know that they took a cutoff on the way up, which they would have had to ski tour, but walking on pavement in touring boots for even a few miles would have been annoying. I think it was 5 miles up a paved but closed-to-vehicular-traffic road to the trailhead, then up whatever distance from there to where it was skiable. I was too slow to catch good conditions - huge rollerballs were coming down when I transitioned, and I didn't even try for the summit.

It was really hard to get off my bike with the skis strapped on like that. I actually fell sideways in the parking lot onto the pavement!

In any case, it was a really fun trip!
 

Rainbow Jenny

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
#11
Maybe there wasn’t even any fun turn in that condition..boy, was I relieved to finally stop going uphill and not have to suck air so hard.

My beginner’s error with snow camping was not bringing the proper tent stakes. Snow melted couple inches around the tent during day hours. The little aluminum ones didn’t cut it, you need the big yellow plastic ones!!! But rocks or extra plastic tent stakes would mysteriously appear... then I discovered my “camp angel” Cheryl has been helping me all along. It was really cool to pack up my tent Sunday afternoon and see the clear delineation of a 5 inch snow platform. Had no idea how well my 3 season tent insulated snow from the sun!

There was the early arrival to the campsite buried in ten feet of snow. Although parking lot was well-plowed, we had to dig steps up to the top. Then we also dug out the picnic table. Shovels for avalanche safety came most handy!

Rain...arrived shortly after we returned to the campground with our bikes Matt had the foresight to bring and set up a canopy for us to huddle and still enjoy apres! We watched the dark clouds roll in/out, then a rainbow appeared. FUN TIME!
:dancing:
 

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