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Backcountry ski tour in the middle of no-where
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Tjaard Breeuwer
(Tjaard) - MLife

Locale: Minnesota, USA
Backcountry ski tour in the middle of no-where on 03/11/2010 19:48:22 MST Print View

The title refers to the fact that this trip is not in a mountain range, national or state park or even entirely in a national forest, there are no trails, it's just nowhere in particular but out the back door of my mother-in-law who had kindly offered to babysit our daughter for the weekend.
We had a good look at the satellite images on google earth and my wife tried to recall family trips from 15 years ago to come up with this route.
This was around Melrude, in northern Minnesota, up Paleface Creek through Morcom lake if there's anyone from the area reading this.

It was great to see we could get the solitude and adventure of off-trail travel right out the backdoor, you don't always have to go somewhere exotic.

We skied on the creeks most of the time, unless they were open, then we hacked through the grass and alder of the swamp.

We carried the packs on the sled most of the time except for the final pull through the tiny creek back down to Berg Lake, where the snow was soft and there was a lot of bushwacking.
- This is one of the innumerable beaver lodges, with it's stash of branches stuck in the mud under water. -

The weather was gorgeous, kindly agreeing to rain only while we slept. We were a bit overdressed at night, since it never got below freezing, contrary to the forecast of 18F lows.cooktarp take down

Edited by Tjaard on 03/12/2010 13:18:34 MST.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Backcountry ski tour in the middle of no-where on 03/11/2010 22:44:48 MST Print View

You know, that looks like a lot of Australian ski touring ... grass showing through. But, it IS ski touring!

What bindings? NNN-BC? SNS?


Tjaard Breeuwer
(Tjaard) - MLife

Locale: Minnesota, USA
ski-TOURING on 03/12/2010 13:13:02 MST Print View

Hi Roger,

Actually this was a pretty good snow year, there is about 20 cm of corn snow there, it's just hammocks of marsh grass/reeds sticking up. but yeah, definitely more 'touring' than 'skiing' on those sections. I still have to figure out the right wax for the grass ;-)

Those are Fisher S-Bounds, 99mm tip -69mm waist with waxless base.

The bindings are SNS backcountry. They are a little wimpy for such a wide and curvy ski, and the boots even more so. I wanted to mount AT bindings for use with climbing boots but the didn't fit. These tall boots were from some misguided attempt at multi-sport from Salomon. They are too tall for good striding but too soft for good turning. They were however extremely cheap and have served the purpose of getting out in the deep snow well.

Sam Haraldson
(sharalds) - MLife

Locale: Gallatin Range
Backcountry ski tour in the middle of no-where on 03/12/2010 14:14:27 MST Print View

Yay for Minnesota ski-touring reports. Thanks for sharing!

Tjaard Breeuwer
(Tjaard) - MLife

Locale: Minnesota, USA
All done on 03/17/2010 08:13:11 MDT Print View

Full melt out now, I was hoping it would stay longer.