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| | |-+  Feb 10, 2008, The Roof, Vermont
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Author Topic: Feb 10, 2008, The Roof, Vermont  (Read 2436 times)

Posts: 513

Feb 10, 2008, The Roof, Vermont
« on: 02/11/08, 05:43 PM »

I rec'd this TR from my brother and asked him permission to post it as I thought it was hysterical, and I also wanted to hear of other "building descents". 

On a side note, as an underscore on some of the negative feelings posted as of late on this site, my brother has lost interest in posting on his own local site due to some of the bad vibe some jackii have as well as yahoos trying to find his "rather not share" skiing areas, gleaned from his Internet posts, even disguised posts. You, my friends, should feel honored that I trust this forum (to an extent) enough to share - see what the world is missing?


Day 36
Feb 10, 2008
Superlatives Fail Me

The tricky move was the transfer from the top of the ladder onto the 45
degree slope of the roof. At that corner of the house the ground was only
10 feet or so away, but when you're standing on the top rung of a ladder
climbing through two feet of snow accumulated on the steep slope, the
gutter is at your feet and the ground is a healthy 15 feet away. The three
feet plus of snow on the ground made me feel better about the whole deal.
I sort of thought the roof would avalanche as one as soon as I climbed up
onto it, but it didn't budge and the last three inches of snow nearest the
roofing shingles was pretty dense slushy snow that I could get a boot toe
to bite into.
"This might actually work." I thought to myself as I climbed up the roof
with the A board. At the roof's ridge I made a shelf and stood up on the
board to strap in- a surreal experience. Sort of like riding a bicycle in
your living room- a surprising juxtaposition of location and activity that
bring both into high relief.
Kirsten stood out by the shed with Oia and filmed the event. I'd been
talking about snowboarding the roof for 9 years. Only in 2001 did it ever
seem like a good idea. But with another half foot of snow today and two
feet the last two days, the conditions approached epic. I wasn't about to
let the chance go by again.
Then it was snowboarding time and you know what? That darn roof was good!
It became just another snow slope with mandatory air at the bottom and I
enjoyed it so much… I went back up and did it again.

Yesterday I skied Elevator with knee deep super pow on a solid three to
seven foot base. Superlatives fail me.

This morning I skied the NE Bowls of [name withheld], pretty close to the
original Powderwheelies line, chewing on raw cocoa- a bitter nut-like
"trail mix". You could taste the essence of chocolate for sure, but also
pure caffeine and a bitter aftertaste that became highly addictive.
I rookied my drink back at the car- too stoned to see, you see, and had
nothing else to eat. Soon I could see Inca tribesman marching across the
jungle munching handfuls of the stuff and buzzing along stimulated to all
high heaven- I thought crazed thoughts. The powder wheelies and shouting
powered me all the way home. And on to my roof.

* Roofies4.jpg (54.82 KB, 270x405 - viewed 773 times.)
Erick Heyl

Posts: 73

Re: Feb 10, 2008, The Roof, Vermont
« Reply #1 on: 02/11/08, 08:14 PM »

Yep, that's a unique facet of vt snowriding.  My buddies and I thought jumping down different levels of a burned-out building on a hillside by the 3rd branch of the White River was a pretty good expression of snowboarding.    Stationary-12foot drop-flat landing-stop. snowboardings fun!

Back in the saddle again...

Posts: 513

Re: Feb 10, 2008, The Roof, Vermont
« Reply #2 on: 02/12/08, 10:17 PM »

My most memorable ski descent of the "odd" was of the Mt Beacon Incline Railway line in Beacon, New York, in 1996. 

I was living in upstate NY at the time in the lovely village of Beacon, just north of West Point.  From the downtown main street (as it was) one's eyes were drawn to the mountain overlooking town, the mountain from which the town got its name.  Smack dab in the middle of the face was the remnants of an old cable railway line that shot straight up from the end of main street 1,500 VF to a crumbling foundation.  The sad remnants of a former glorious attraction, the Mt Beacon Incline Railway, the "Eight Wonder of the World".

This from the Mt Beacon Incline Railway Restoration Society:

"It was a feat of engineering genius in its time, and ran for nearly 75 years, carrying millions of riders to a height that rendered one of the most spectacular views of the Hudson River valley. It was the Mt. Beacon Incline Railway and the pride of Beacon New York. Travelers would arrive by steam boat on the Hudson River, disembark at Newburgh NY, and board a ferry to Beacon on the opposite shore. There, a trolley would wind through the city on its way to the waiting incline railway at the base of Mt. Beacon. Then they would experience the thrill of climbing at a 65% grade, the steepest incline rail in existence, as it clanked its way to the 1,540 feet summit offering a breathtaking 75 mile panoramic view."

It was January and we were experiencing one of the best winters for NE in years.  We were slammed at the end of December with a couple of good storms, leaving 20" on the ground.  I told myself I could start skiing the abandoned ski area trails off Mt Beacon (whose trails culminated at the foundation of the old Incline Railway) if we got another foot - and then the "Blizzard of 96" hits dumping another 22" on top of the two feet already on the ground.  And it kept snowing.  It was the first time I ever had to shovel off a roof in a house that I lived in for fear of collapse.  After I shoveled the roof I jumped off it into the lawn to the applause of my housemates.  I did it again, of course.

Four feet of Northeast snow is a lot of snow.  It makes just about everything skiable.  Just about everything.  I looked up at that Incline and knew I had to ski it.

The fall beforehand I had spent quite a bit of time running up and down Mt Beacon, training and clearing deadfall along the old ski trails.  I grew to know the mountain pretty well.  Still, it was very intimidating looking down the line for the first time with my snowboard on.  Holy cow, I couldn't believe I was even contemplating this.  It was kind of like looking down an escalator with skis on - you know it will work, but it just doesn't feel right.

The first couple of turns off the Incline foundation eased me into the ordeal, and calmed my nerves.  Then brush closed in on either side of the rail line, leaving a body width opening just wide enough to accept a turn.  But there was no more room for more than that.  I therefore kept my speed up and cranked as tight a turn as I could in the knee deep fluff.

After 100 feet the brush fell away and the face opened up as I entered the mature forest below.  This is where the real business began.  At the top the rail line was flush with the ground and while steep, did not seem exposed.  That changed very fast as I charged down the center of the railroad track and I started "crossing the bridge".

Almost from the top to midway down the mountain the railway line was raised from the ground, bridging over an especially steep section.  Here the ground fell away on both sides of me, sometime more than 20 feet on either side.  I couldn't help but think of "Stand By Me" and the four kids running across the railroad bridge with the train behind them.  Picture it: there's me, making three foot wide turns down the edge of this steep pyramid, snow flying over the sides with each turn (train in hot pursuit).  It was unbelievable.  I knew I couldn't stop along the track as there just wasn't enough room and I was nervous there wasn't enough snow to keep from hitting the ties (one of which was sticking straight out of the snow at an irregular angle, reminding me of the dangerous folly I was undertaking).  I jumped over the errant railroad tie and charged the rest of the bridge in one long ride, finally jumping off near the bottom where I knew I could duck into some righteous glade skiing back toward the ski trails.

My mind was having a hard time comprehending what I had just done.


I talked a buddy into skiing the line once more, a few days later, and after that the snow on the rail line became way too dicey.

But for a couple of weeks you could see my tracks from downtown Beacon.   

* incline_railway11111.jpg (20 KB, 235x356 - viewed 535 times.)

* MtBeaconInclinedRR1111.JPG (62.55 KB, 600x372 - viewed 521 times.)

* incline2222.JPG (20.09 KB, 375x237 - viewed 513 times.)
« Last Edit: 02/12/08, 10:21 PM by MW88888888 » Logged

Posts: 443

Re: Feb 10, 2008, The Roof, Vermont
« Reply #3 on: 02/13/08, 10:28 AM »

My story:

Back in Roundup, Montana:

My brother and I were really itching for some when a snow storm dropped 1" of wet stuff that accumulated only on grass, we went around town stealing snow by rolling it up into 200lb balls which we deposited in the back of our pickup truck.  An hour or so of collecting snow from neighbors yards and two hours of depositing the snow on a 50yrd slope complete with a kicker, yielded at least 2 hours of butt-scratching, core-shot fun.  Powder magazine applauded the effort (our pictures were sent in) but we never got published.  

It WAS epic.  Epically boney.  We in Montana were accostomed to fun with scarcity.  

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