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#42640 - 01/18/09 04:33 AM Recommendations for easy/intermediate x-c loops
Jannette Offline

Cliffmama
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 10/03/00
Posts: 2225
Loc: Gardiner, NY
Any recommendations for a 4-5 mile x-c ski loop around here, easy, but with some hills so it's not too boring...
I want to go with the kids, they're competent, but don't have too much experience. Undercliff/Overcliff is too boring - something mostly easy but with a few hills to make it fun. I haven't x-c skiied around here in 15 years, and it seems like most of the loops are more miles than I think the kids are ready for. So any suggestions welcome. Mohonk Preserve is preferred since we're already members, but we'll fork up the money if the best choices are in Minnewaska or the Mtn House property.

Jannette

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#42649 - 01/18/09 10:44 PM Re: Recommendations for easy/intermediate x-c loops [Re: Jannette]
Rickster Offline
old hand

Registered: 10/16/07
Posts: 845
Loc: Orange Cty, NY
Go to Preserve's Spring Farm entrance and ski any combination of loops from there. Or enter at Mohonk Gatehouse on Mtn Rest Rd. Gentle terrain, open meadows, nice views of Bonticou or the Catskills when the sky clears. Go over to the hotel's golf course and let fly with some short powder runs on their super mellow hills/knolls. Enjoy. RC

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#42651 - 01/19/09 01:03 AM Re: Recommendations for easy/intermediate x-c loops [Re: Jannette]
Mike Rawdon Offline

Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 11/29/99
Posts: 4276
Loc: Poughkeepsie
It might be a bit more than 5 miles, but the Upper Awosting-Castle Point Carriageway loop at Minnewaska is pretty nice. Well groomed and in great condition as of today (7" new). And no fee!

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#42653 - 01/19/09 01:12 AM Re: Recommendations for easy/intermediate x-c loops [Re: Mike Rawdon]
phlan Offline

Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/11/00
Posts: 2778
Loc: Gardiner, NY
yeah what RC said but I'd recommend starting at the gatehouse. they charge 4 bucks at the mohonk gatehouse. out by bonticou it's beautiful. the awosting castle point loop might be a bit much for your girls jannette, but do it with them when they are ready... it's so spectacular. conditions were indeed great this weekend.
so i ski patrolled at minne yesterday. two pairs of hikers coming up as we're coming down from castle point. asked them politely please could they turn back as they apparently could not read the signs. one pair of women listened and complied. the other couple was not so lucky. they kept walking.

had to call out airstrikes on them. those predator drones work pretty good. they got vaporized of course, but i can't look anymore it's a little disturbing. maybe from now on i should tell these people in advance what kind of heat i'm packing.
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#42656 - 01/19/09 03:14 AM Re: Recommendations for easy/intermediate x-c loops [Re: Jannette]
Jannette Offline

Cliffmama
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 10/03/00
Posts: 2225
Loc: Gardiner, NY
Today my daughter Jasmine and I did a loop from the Mohonk Mtn House gatehouse parking lot - we crossed the street to the golf course side and skiied Bonticou Road towards Bonticou Crag, then Spring Farm Road going back towards the gatehouse. The very last bit of Spring Farm Road from the maintenance buildings to the bridge had been plowed, so we were edging along the steep shoulder of the road, which was no fun. It was very pretty out and conditions were great, however, the trail was a bit too boring for my daughter, and it seemed all we ever did was gradual uphills but never got any rewarding fun downhill in return. It may have been OK for my 11 year old (who didn't come today), but my 14 year old was disappointed. I guess we need a little more challenge to keep her interest.
Any other ideas for next time?

Jannette

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#42668 - 01/19/09 04:22 PM Re: Recommendations for easy/intermediate x-c loops [Re: Jannette]
pedestrian Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 08/05/02
Posts: 2244
Loc: a heavily fortified bunker!
Forest Drive has a nice double-pole schuss. It's at the Skytpop area. Maybe a few more miles than you'd wanted if you start from West Trapps, but your 14 year old should be to handle that.

Out over or undercliff
Down right on Oak Road (correct name?) first right after crossing Rhododendron Bridge

Uphill on ungroomed powder on a little hiking trail (first left turn, I think), to the loop at the bottom of the first big Forest Drive hill.

From here, one can optionally go down the schuss on Forest Drive (the one which goes north along the base of skytop cliffs), then turn around and come back up.
Back out towards the Preserve and down the main drag - Old Minnewaska Road towards Rhododendron Bridge. This is a nice snowplow downhill, marked in the winter with "Black Diamonds" for XC skiers but you don't need to know how to do anything more than snowplow.

This is definitely more miles, but I don't have many other suggestions. Your 14 year old can probably handle it. The Castle Point loop does have some nice downhills, but nothing as steep or technical as the Minnewaska Road snowplow descent.


Edited by pedestrian (01/19/09 04:24 PM)

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#42703 - 01/21/09 01:20 AM Minnewaska thread drift [Re: phlan]
Mike Rawdon Offline

Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 11/29/99
Posts: 4276
Loc: Poughkeepsie
 Originally Posted By: phlan

so i ski patrolled at minne yesterday. two pairs of hikers coming up as we're coming down from castle point. asked them politely please could they turn back as they apparently could not read the signs. one pair of women listened and complied. the other couple was not so lucky. they kept walking.


Please elaborate. What signs did they not heed? Is booting on the trails prohibited a la the High Peaks?

I was at Minne two days ago and found the signage to be ambiguous and vague to the point of being useless. Starting up from the lower lot (following fresh ski tracks; I know that doesn't constitute an "open trail" in the Park's eyes. But the Lower Aw. Carriageway has been cleared of the ice storm damage, yet is not listed on the list of available trails). Anyway, starting up from the lower lot, a big sign said Park Closed. Nonsense! There's numerous paper signs at the entrance booth explaining all of what's open, the fee situation etc. Only after we hit the green trail did we see a sign explaining that the LA Carriageway was closed. Or did it refer to the CW around the lake? I don't know. Regardless, people were out having a good time on skis and snowshoes. No one got hurt, no endangered species were eradicated, no invasive weeds were introduced, and AFAIK no one was arrested for not playing by the rules.

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#42710 - 01/21/09 02:21 PM Re: Minnewaska thread drift [Re: Mike Rawdon]
phlan Offline

Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/11/00
Posts: 2778
Loc: Gardiner, NY
the main thing is the park rule that boot hiking is not allowed on groomed ski trails - it is a matter of safety, among other things, both to the skiers and others. yes, like in the high peaks except there the rangers will actually make you fill in your post holes if they catch you.

seems to me the signs are pretty clear, but if there is any doubt then you can always ask someone.

some people also think that pets are allowed on groomed ski trails. they are not. some people also think anything is fair game as long as they are not going in the classical straight track. not. on "skier groomed" trails that are not machine groomed, like out toward Millbrook and other places, it's pretty much anything goes as far as I know.

if you think common courtesy and respect for other users of the park, it's not that difficult to understand.

*currently the only "machine groomed" trails are lower awosting and around castle point.


Edited by phlan (01/22/09 02:16 AM)
Edit Reason: clarification
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#42742 - 01/22/09 05:32 PM Re: Minnewaska thread drift [Re: phlan]
affix Offline
stranger

Registered: 01/22/09
Posts: 4
Hello All.

was browsing through here and was also curious if I could get some opinions on a nice tour...

Im mainly looking for some excercise w/ some Big downhills...aka making a few free-heel turns if possible. (Need to train for some big touring in UTAH and dont wanna drive to the Daks. Really just need the miles)...Im also fine with lapping a nice hill if there the grade is worth it.

Is Minnewaska the place? Ive never been and have no idea where to even begin!

THanks for any help!


Edited by affix (01/22/09 05:35 PM)

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#42751 - 01/22/09 11:14 PM Re: Minnewaska thread drift [Re: affix]
Rickster Offline
old hand

Registered: 10/16/07
Posts: 845
Loc: Orange Cty, NY
Affix,
Check recent posts on the Skiing (Downhill) forum here for suggestions, directions and other beta. You should find just what you want not far away in the Catskills. There's more snow as well. Bellearye allows freeheelers to earn their turns free of charge. Skin up the shoulders of Deer Run Trail, along the Ridge Trail and down the piste of your choice, repeat. RC

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