ski poaching..........Soap Box
Seeking powder is part of winter. There is no hope at my ski hill for real snow. The only way i can do so, is by having trails cleared in the woods. Some close to the ski hills, others, on totally deserted peeks. Out East, people have been cleaning trails during the fall for ages. When you explore the woods near a ski hill, you will find previous attempts to have the ultimate spot. It makes for a good physical training before winter.
Some of you may think it is not worth it, but believe me, some days, it is the best powder on earth! We only have dry powder during the cold months, and you may find yourself in front of a virgin trail with a meter of new snow that hasn't been skied all winter. Sounds too good to be true? It's not! You have to follow certain rules. After 10 years of ski poaching out East, here are my golden rules:
1. Never divulge your spot to a Ski patroller or a ski store clerk!
(if you do, you can be sure you will not see virgin powder for the whole winter. It will become tracked out faster then you can say 'powderwhore')
2. Never post your trail entrance position on internet
(thank you captain obvious!!)
3. Never flag the entrance of a trail
(if you do, it as to be done indirectly and not obvious)
4. Do not overski a trail
(let the snow rest for a least a week if you want a virgin track everytime. You need more than one trail)
5. Never flag or brag about someone else's trail
(they worked hard to clear it, so you have to respect their commitment. Lots of my trails are now useless because of people that flagged the entrance)
6. Do not use gaz or electric tools to clean the trail
(best way to get in trouble and for other people to spot you. A portable handsaw is all you need)
7. Always wear a ski helmet to shred
(it saved my melon lots of times with all the tree limbs flying in my face)
8. Enter your trail when it snows or when it's windy
(best way for the tracks to disappear and hide the entrance)
9. Always go down where you skinned
(that way, no fallen trees will surprise you)
10. Always wait for the first ice crust of the season to start skiing the woods
(if you don't, you will have roots and bent down trees hiding)
11. Enter your trail like a hunting Sioux
(this is perhaps the best trick i can give you. Going directly to the entrance is a dead giveway. You might as well put a entrance sign. Go in a Zig Zag through difficult terrain)
12. Don't clear the first 50-100 feets of trail
(it makes it a lot harder for others to find the entrance)
Not only will you learn the art of following the best lines but also you will use every terrain feature to your advantage. Fallen trees are jumps. You only have to clear the limbs. Boulders become jumps as well. Creeks become trails easily. I have seen more wildlife while clearing the trails than any other time. I've seen wolfs, deers, and moose. A great powder stash is like a good fishing spot, as soon as everyone knows were it is, it's over.
Be safe, and enjoy the wild wild snow of ski poaching!