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  1. #1
    Elitest thrill junkie
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    Riders of the Crust

    Who says that skiers get to have all the backcountry fun?Riders of the Crust-17966603_1420097901382007_4731134665867129904_o.jpg
    Riders of the Crust-img_3138s.jpgRiders of the Crust-img_3117s.jpgRiders of the Crust-img_3130s.jpgRiders of the Crust-img_3079s.jpgRiders of the Crust-img_3060s.jpgRiders of the Crust-17951964_10155831104047908_598512603683188098_n.jpgRiders of the Crust-17966556_1420095548048909_8213481429434080130_o.jpg
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  2. #2
    E=mtb2
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    Beautiful pics!

    Fun times!

  3. #3
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    Moar:Riders of the Crust-17904113_10155831103632908_1682455122058159476_n.jpgRiders of the Crust-17990454_1420096451382152_2126024862196347350_o.jpgRiders of the Crust-17973570_1420098348048629_8825025195811234244_o.jpgRiders of the Crust-17904354_10155831104222908_9082824647964396675_n.jpgRiders of the Crust-17973510_1420097774715353_8913660265027457979_o.jpgRiders of the Crust-17973496_1420098708048593_708657753002308784_o.jpgRiders of the Crust-17972288_1420097124715418_160365093805523343_o.jpgRiders of the Crust-17973892_1420097054715425_7170466681178609261_o.jpgRiders of the Crust-17972060_1420095391382258_5763366632990320014_o.jpgRiders of the Crust-17917235_1420094808048983_3541317255883648781_o.jpgRiders of the Crust-17990656_1420097704715360_4822395985773723548_o.jpg
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  4. #4
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    Envy.

    We've had a warm winter and very little snow. The fatbike is pining.
    As little bike as possible, as silent as possible.
    Latitude: 57º36' Highlands, Scotland

  5. #5
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    Nice pictures. Looks like fun.

    Is there a bigger range of snow conditions that you can ride on a bike compared to skis? I can definitely picture being able to ride softer deeper corn snow than would be fun to ski. It has been a long time since I was a full time skier, but I remember that when the snow was still too frozen you could still get an edge in but you would get beat up so bad from the snow being rough that it was better to wait for softer snow. Seems like fat tires would take care of that part also and really extend the range of conditions you could ride in both directions.

  6. #6
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    Turnagain Crust was on all weekend.

    I didn't take as many pictures but the wife had a blast. Riders of the Crust-crust-small.jpg
    Riders of the Crust-crust-turnagain-small.jpg
    ptarmigan hardcore

  7. #7
    Elitest thrill junkie
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    Quote Originally Posted by Welnic View Post
    Nice pictures. Looks like fun.

    Is there a bigger range of snow conditions that you can ride on a bike compared to skis? I can definitely picture being able to ride softer deeper corn snow than would be fun to ski. It has been a long time since I was a full time skier, but I remember that when the snow was still too frozen you could still get an edge in but you would get beat up so bad from the snow being rough that it was better to wait for softer snow. Seems like fat tires would take care of that part also and really extend the range of conditions you could ride in both directions.
    I wouldn't say it's a "bigger range" of snow conditions, it's a pretty darn small range in reality, the riding is done by about 11am as the sun makes everything soggy and you start punching through or slipping. With as much sun as we get (now to around 10pm), the stuff just bakes and "resets" itself when it freezes again overnight. Get out on the trails by 6-7am, and it's great. Basically, this late in the season, the snow has compressed so much and the sun has backed it so much that during the clear cold nights, it forms a nice hard packed surface. No roots or rocks though, so there's not any small bumps to jar you. As I explain below, there is a little "give" to it.

    The one pic that I posted above of my "ski tracks" coming down the hill was pretty slow, that was one of the few places we were sinking in. There was some wind-blown/packed up higher and occasionally we'd sink into it. I could have still gone a lot faster downhill if I didn't make my "tracks", but it was fun to do so. I'd say 99.99% of the ride was the relatively hard crust. You get a little bit of give at the top where the crystals aren't as dense, which is where your traction comes from, so it's not like being on rock or an actual hard surface. In fact, as you can see in the pictures, we were able to "huck" some pretty neat stuff, including lots that didn't make it into the pictures because we were just hauling a$$ downhill and hitting everything in sight. Due to the terrain in these mountains, all sorts of little halfpipes, bumps with transitions on the backside, little cornice drops and other features abound. So you air down and you can get pretty darn aggressive and just rip it. Heck, I should have lowered my seatpost but I totally forgot

    It's also amazing because the stuff is like slickrock, in that you get massive off-camber traction for crazy traverses and can go "straight up" stuff that in the winter on packed snow trails you'd never have a chance on.

    There's an amazing amount of freedom with this kind of riding. It's about the most pure "freeriding" I can think of, where you can go almost anywhere and take any line.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  8. #8
    Elitest thrill junkie
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    And nice pics Co-opski! I felt like a kid in a candy store coming down this stuff, just so ridiculously fun.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  9. #9
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    Thanks for the pics, no crust this year in Southern NH. Will try harder, travel farther next year.

  10. #10
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    That looks awesome! We had some great crust days here in upstate Ny this winter but I was waiting on some parts for my fatty build up so i missed the crust window.

    Thanks for posting. I imagine this type of riding being (one of) the best reason to own a fat bike!

  11. #11
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    Is that a gopro on your bars in first pic? Let's see some vid!

  12. #12
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    Our ski resort closes this weekend, might do some dawn patrolling on the fatty

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kirkerik View Post
    Is that a gopro on your bars in first pic? Let's see some vid!
    No, I forgot the SD card so I left the GoPro in the car. I tried to ride it again the following weekend to get the video, but it was too warm and crust season was over! Needs to get down into the 20s or so at night with compacted snow baked sun. There are several weeks where this is possible, but outside of that it doesn't work. Still, well worth it.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  14. #14
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    Yeah! Looks like a blast! Maybe the next best thing would be riding frozen creeks but hard to top the wide open crust!

  15. #15
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    Crust time in CNY

    Well we have had some warm days and some snow-melting rain. Most of the snow is now gone everywhere except higher up in the forested hills. I have been closely watching the evening temps and monitoring the snow conditions for potential CRUST! Got out on some yesterday morning! Woot!

    Float on top everywhere, smooth rolling FUN!

    Riders of the Crust-img_5019.jpgRiders of the Crust-img_5017.jpg

    I was running about 2 psi front, 3 psi rear
    Studded Dillinger 4/5 For Sale

    The tires are the things on your bike that make contact w the trail

  16. #16
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    Yup...we've been doing it around town now for a while, but I think the backcountry is going to be good in the next week or two. It's always a short window, but it's well worth it to get out there! Fun just to be able to ride whatever direction you want!
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  17. #17
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    We were out Friday as it was colder. Crust was rideable for normal sized people all day.

    About a 4 hr gap that not even bud or lou could help mid day, maybe 5.05 would have helped but whe the crust is good the world is your playground.

    Alaska this time of year is epic, crust ride from dawn till crust breaks, head to coast for midday to mid afternoon, then epic sunsets around 9 all the way home.

    Did see some paw prints.... so there is that variable now.

  18. #18
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    Ya know, the same conditions can be found in the Cascades and Sierras, it’s called corn snow, bc skiers harvest the corn by getting up early while it’s frozen firm, skinning up, then “spreading the cream cheese” on the way down.

    With studs and a well planned route, this is totally doable starting in the next month.

  19. #19
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    Perfect crust conditions last week in the Tahoe area, had two days of rain on snow followed up by 13 hours of freezing overnight temps.

    Riders of the Crust-img_8319.jpg

    Riders of the Crust-30441314_2042233189138981_5752102038557163520_o-1-.jpg

    Riders of the Crust-30515740_2042233852472248_3479621433355665408_o.jpg

    Riders of the Crust-30412638_2042233919138908_724525759808405504_o.jpg

  20. #20
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    Did you lose the dog on the way down?

  21. #21
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    Lake Superior crust....
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Riders of the Crust-30594281_1600932363359233_1372384713543281318_n.jpg  


  22. #22
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    Crust riding is probably the most "fun" I have on a bike. It's amazing, go anywhere ride in areas you can't normally walk...

    So much fun.

    Riders of the Crust-fat_snake.jpg

  23. #23
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    Rule number one of crust club: Tell everyone where it is.

  24. #24
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    Rock holding up bike on crust.

    Riders of the Crust-img_20180417_083830988.jpg

    There is still good crust to be had, but ride early.
    Latitude 61

  25. #25
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    Big envy...looks AWESOME. I remember ONE ride years ago here in CT when there was deep snow followed by rain and a sudden cold snap. We get crust all the time but this was different. It was like the entire forest was paved with a strong HARD crust and orange peel surface. You could ride anywhere and it wasn't glassy slippery so you could get good traction. This was before fat bikes...we were on old school mid 90's XC bikes with 26 X 1.95 tires. No trails needed...will never forget that day.
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  26. #26
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    Glad other people are getting out and doing it. Seems like I may miss the season here in AK, it just has been real warm and stuff has been melting like crazy, those days where it was warm in the day and then cold overnight seem to be in the past now, unless we get lucky and something changes. The few days that may have been ideal were in the middle of the work week or the same day I did the DH race I posted in the daily fatbike thread
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

    You're turning black metallic.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by ddoh View Post
    Did you lose the dog on the way down?
    Ha, nope she was loving the conditions also

    Riders of the Crust-30411799_2042233539138946_7284523318680485888_o-1-.jpg

    Riders of the Crust-30411625_2042232592472374_5201308277102608384_o.jpg

    sturge, yes there was a texture on the snow I've never quite experienced before and super grippy, had some mighty fine crust days before but nothing quite like this.

    Jayem that blows, last couple springs have been tough around here also, seems like just as we are prime for a corn cycle, things warm up and we dont quite get the firm consolidated snow in the am, looks like next week we are setting up for warm days and cold nights though here in Tahoe, so I'll be getting up early at least one day before skiing to ride, gotta pretty much be heading up at sunrise though.

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