Conditions are good as of today. The breakdown is the roads and trails are in great shape including the trail to Hodges. Most people, including me wouldn’t bother trying to pick our way to the very top as the snow is not there but getting to the last shoulder is easy going….even two up. The cutovers need more snow but you can get around. The bogs are in great shape but could use some powder in places to soften the ride. With the exception of 9 Mile Bog though, if you are breaking your own path the there is maybe 8 inches of powder. The ice is much better since Tuesdays rain. Saw lots of riders today, more than I have seen in a long time. Broke the trail up Hodges Pass today. A few stucks with some machines but the challenge was fun. Stopped on the second pond but with the right crowd and machines there is enough snow to keep going. Saw 4 lonely caribou on 9 Mile today. Most of the animals have moved off to avoid the cold. Now I keep hearing a lot of rain for this area for the next few days but I just checked the forecast and I am only seeing 10mm in the morning and only 2mm for the rest of the day….then cold again. We don’t need this rain now but if that’s it it wont do any damage. Lets hope that’s it! As for the picture of the lady on the ground, she was a casualty of being a passenger of mine. Two up was proving difficult for some getting over the first climb at Hodges Pass. I offered to go back down and bring her up. I guess she didn’t have much to hold onto lol. Of course I had to get a snap before helping her up…..a good sport!
Archive for the ‘Winter Trip Reports’ Category
The snow has been piling up and settling so you can go pretty well anywhere you want now. The very top of Hodges would be difficult as the snow has been blowing off so there would be some picking around to get there. Had a group of somewhat novice riders out yesterday with two rentals. It was an easy day for me and always a pleasure to introduce people to the pleasure of riding. Needless to say they had a ball. As usual saw a few caribou but this time right at the base of Hodges. Not the first time I saw boos here but rare. I am sure the cold is driving them down from 9 mile bog. Also in yesterdays news was the river backed up farther than I have ever seen it before. Look out Badger if this cold weather keeps up! I took a couple snaps to post. The picture taken showing the ice upon the deck way leading to the fireplace was taken at ground level. If I had been standing you would see that the ice is nearly as high as the top of the light pole along shore. I would estimate that the ice is 30 feet thick at least! Not far off usual but higher for sure. Like I said in November…..looks like a good old fashioned winter so get your sleds out!
The rain did a lot more damage than I thought it would. Just took a dart on quad up the ridge access road. There was some bare and snow covered sections. Although the snow covered sections were improving as I drove in it is not worth the ride. I spoke to a friend on the way out who had done the loop the day before. He said much the same. He did say there from just above cornfield to about half way around Ridge Road there was tons but once again getting there is not worth the hassle. Perfect conditions for a 12 Elan! Speaking of which I am looking for a 12 Elan for my kids if anyone out there knows for one LOL. Stay tuned for updates.
Only 4 days riding so far this year and all the old aches and pains are back! I just cant ride along….I have to be rippin along looking for trouble. That’s what its all about for me LOL. Anyways, another awesome day on the snow. Chris Tuck and I headed in well before lunch “lookin for trouble”. I think I was more the instigator there…sorry Chris, but I hope you had fun anyways LOL. Conditions are the same. Although the snow is settling more each day, when you get closer to Hodges it is still dry deep powder and snowing fairly regularly. We took our time going up today and ripped up some side roads and found some nice tight treed hill climbing…..lots of fun and no trouble to find many routes up the hills. Met up with the Caine’s Gang…..(that’s what I am going to call them for now on) about half way out. From what I can see on Tom Caine’s Facebook, they had a great day. We decided to head on out….I have to learn to pace myself as I ride like this most everyday and lots of winter left….especially this year. Exiting early start!
Had a beautiful day riding here in Central. Still no power here at the chalets….no better way to pass the time waiting! We went around the other side of Hodges this time to check conditions. 9 Mile bog is good to go however the larger ponds are not frozen and the smaller ones are likely not safe. Its hard to tell what’s deep and what’s not with these smaller holes so best to avoid or rip. Still some grass and shrubs showing in windswept areas but plenty snow to move quickly in any direction. As usual around the edges there is plenty snow for carving and jumping. The road on the way in has a few spots where there is not much snow and others that has several feet depending on exposure to wind. Down at the chalets it was hovering around zero but up on 9 Mile and Ridge Road there was plenty of snow blowing around reducing visibility but making some nice powder. Group of riders coming from Gander and maybe a couple from the West coming out tomorrow….not a tour….just going for a rip. Should get some good pics to share. The picture of the fellow (my brother) standing on the stones was taken last week on a quad trip to the Gaff Quarry…very neat place. From what I understand the Gaff Topsails are buried so I hope to get there sometime this week.
Just got back from an awesome night ride into Hodges. November 22 and I would have to say its one of the best times I ever had carving! The snow here at the chalets is 8 inches at the deepest. Just a short ways in it is 3 feet and in much deeper in places. Being a night ride and first ride of the season we stuck to the road first but it wasn’t long before we started swing down into the ditches. We were not well prepared as we thought it would be an easy road ride just to say we did it. No shovel, rope or bungee. But all three would have come in handy tonight! I lost count of how many times we got stuck. Mostly hopping out of the deep snow to carve in the opposite direction and landing on too sharp of an angle and going down on our side. What a riot! Keith Peyton was with me as well as my little guy Jack. Pretty hard carving with a 7 year old on the front but he is used to it and cheered me on for full action! I have a few pics posted here I took with my camera but the best pics are still on Keith’s iPhone. I will post his tomorrow when I get them. We do have two chalets left tomorrow night but we haven’t got power back yet so availability is not for sure. Supposed to have power by 5:30. However, if you ware willing to do the drive load em up and come on out for a rip! You will be amazed at the amount of snow! If you haven’t seen the November issue of Sledworthy with the Jan 5th cover shot taken on Hodges check it out but there is much more snow here now than then.
It’s a sad day for me. I drove to the snow line today but barely made it through the mud on a 4×4 quad to get there. I am sure there is still awesome riding in the hills but I am not willing to drive through so much mud to get there. Although I am looking forward to getting out on the river again I am sad to be putting my sled away. Some friends and I have plans for Taylors Brook next weekend but by the look at what’s going on there weather wise it is doubtful….maybe Lewis Hills. The same thing happens every year….we plan to go to the West Coast when the season is done here by that always ends up being the same weekend. The season is always the same with the exception of an earlier start over West for some areas. This year at Hodges the season really started with decent riding on the day before New Years. Although we were riding since the 22cnd of December. Its always been a difficult task convincing people not only how much snow is so close to the chalets even when there is nothing on the highway but equally as difficult convincing people of the quality of technical riding here. The truth is I look for the same kind of terrain on the West Coast and as soon as I find it I see no need to go any further in. For those of you who never rode with me I like steep hill climbing between trees, jumps and drops (although not too high LOL). Fortunately this April , I managed to convince some diehard West coast riders to allow me to show them around. They loved it and have been returning and spreading the word ever since. I also had some Sledworthy crew here for the first weekend in January. The evening of the 4th a few of them arrived early and questioned the fact that there was only a few inches here at the chalets. Later that weekend they admitted to having discussed leaving and heading further West…thinking there was no snow here. The next day were were able to pick our way to the other side of the highway on machine. Within 4 km, one of them got stuck in powder on the side of the road! We were not even to the snow yet! Needless to say they will never doubt my blog again. For those of you who continue to drive by assuming we don’t have snow on the side of the highway you are missing out! In only 41/2 hours from the Avalon you can getting ready to ride the fun stuff. You can dart into the powder from the chalets in 20 minutes! It so close you can come out to the chalets for lunch! Not knocking the West coast as I love to ride there too. The riding is awesome there and I always have a great time if conditions are good. The number of trailers full of sleds passing by the chalets all winter is astounding! Now we are already busy from the last two weeks of January until late March already. But we have some of our best riding, particularly weather wise during late March and April….always! Thanks so much to all of you who came out this winter and we will see you next year. By the way, I expect there will be at least one riding course based at the chalets next year. If you would like to increase the fun factor in sledding, I strongly suggest you take one. Thanks to Sledworthy and Rugged Edge, you no longer have to leave to get professional riding lessons. My sled is not yet winterized and I already long for next winter!
Awesome ride again today. Met up with Tom Caines et al in Cornfield. A group was in this morning, rode in the road we use a short ways, got frustrated with seeing dirt and came back out. They then drove in Cornfield and got their truck stuck in the mud. We met one of them while unloading. He said it was just as well to load up and go home….no snow. Boy was he wrong. What a day we had! Some sections of dirt to get to the snow….big deal! Doesn’t hurt a thing! I have never replaced a pair of skis or a track in my life….at least not from being worn out from traveling a bit of dirt. The pics tell it all! No, my feet are not touching the ground in that picture. I had to come out around 5:30 due to commitments but the boys stayed in until dark.
What a day! Kinda rainy a few times but for the most part it was a jersey day on the sleds. Snow took a cutting though but still lots in the hills. The bogs were cut down to scrambling along the edges by later today. By the end of tomorrow I’d sat all the brooks will be wide and high so if you want to get into Hodges you have to like skipping water…which I do! For the most part the roads are still excellent going with a few bad patches here and there. We ain’t done yet but will see if we get cut-off from the snow this week. Had a nice boil-up today considering the weather.
A great day on Hodges today! Had a group of 6 in from Marystown who were looking for one thing….play! My new riding buddy Keith was with us as well. It was pretty cold here last night and never warmed up today. In fact it snowed pretty steadily all day. Most areas into the higher area saw about 4 inches. The result was harder than prefered conditions. Not ice by any stretch but just not soft. The good thing about it was that we could go anywhere. That is until we got to the North East side of the hill which is usually the lee side. Here there was plenty soft snow and with that….lots of stucks. Keith and I found a new line that brought us up to the base of a the cliff on a steep slope and down the other side. It was nice! I am taking the same group in tomorrow and its is going to be an awesome day with 16 degrees in the forecast! I fear the warm temps the next couple days might cut us off from the snow though. If it like the past 7 years since I have been doing tours up there, our season ended abruptly around the 20th of April with a slew of extremely warm days that cut us off. I hope not! We are heading to the Gaff on Monday.