Archive for the ‘Winter Trip Reports’ Category

Family Ride

Sunday, November 24th, 2013

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.DSC01236DSC01239DSC01247DSC01256DSC01264DSC01260

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November 22 and awesome riding

Saturday, November 23rd, 2013

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.

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She’s gone by!

Sunday, May 5th, 2013

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!

Last Day

Hodges Ride April 22

Monday, April 22nd, 2013

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.

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Hodges Ski/Seadooing

Saturday, April 20th, 2013

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. 

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Hodges Report

Friday, April 19th, 2013

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.

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Hodges Testimonial from Saturday

Monday, April 15th, 2013

I have been in St. Johns all weekend missing the riding.   I expect to get in around on Wednesday after a days catch-up.  Meanwhile, I thought I would post a few pics and some testimonial from this past weekend.

“Hey Paul,
Just wanted to let you know we had an absolute blast this past weekend.  The conditions on Saturday was the best day riding we had all year.  Here’s a few pics that sum it up!
As hard as it is to do, the sleds are now being stored…… see you in the raft in August!
Des”

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Hodges just keeps getting better!

Thursday, April 11th, 2013

Just got out from an afternoon trip with two chalet clients and my new ridin buddy Keith.  It snowed pretty much the whole time we were in there, meanwhile it was clear skies at the chalets.  Not the best day for pics with the snowfall and dim light but I got a few good ones worth sharing.  We tackled a pretty steep and gnarly run tonight.  It took us up a narrow line up to the base of a curtain waterfall.  You really had to hold your edge at the top to move along to the nearest line down.  Without reverse we would have slid uncontrolled into the trees.  A guy on a riding course I took in the Lewis Hills taught me that one.  It works wonders and I use it a lot!  You can stop on pretty much any slope and certainly needed it today.  Pictures never do justice though!  I’d say we will be good to go until very late April.  I won’t be posting any conditions blogs until Tuesday as we are at the Glacier Tradeshow this weekend.  If your around…..drop over for a chat.

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Awesome Hill Climbing Today!

Sunday, April 7th, 2013

Well we will all sleep tonight after several hours of aggressive riding in the hills and I have no idea how many stucks.  We were a bit discouraged on the way in as it was cold and the snow was not softening at all.  I had hopes though that at the higher elevations the 8 inches or snow that fell yesterday was still dry and soft.  I was right!  Conditions we perfect….nor hard at all.  We had a blast!  A group from Gander joined us for the day who were here last week.  He couldn’t wait to get back…see his post http://www.westernsnoriders.com/wsrforum/showthread.php?2716-Hodges-Hill-Seeing-what-Central-has-to-offer!!!  with lots of great pics from last week.  The only difference is a fair bit more snow since those pics were taken.  Keith Peyton from GFW was with us as well.  He is an awesome rider who usually traveled west but I’d say he will spend a lot more time into Hodges now.  Nice having you today Keith! 

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Update on Hodges

Saturday, April 6th, 2013

Just getting out from a Hodges trip.  It is amazing how just an hour ago, 15 kilometers away we were in a snow storm with high winds and 8 inches of dense powder.  Here at the chalets right now it looks like I should be storing the machine for the season.  Its also amazing how many people I know who already have their sleds stored and summarized.  For those of you who do not we have our annual April offering – snow or your money back until the 15th, guaranteed or your money back.  For the last 6 years we have had some of our best rides in mid to late April.   I did not take any pictures today because it was too stormy but we have more snow now than the last post.  I am hearing the same is true for the West Coast…lotsa snow so keep sledding!