I got out yesterday after we got 12" of new, dense powder. The base was pretty much non-existant in exposed areas, rain took care of that. In the woods, most of the base was soggy or slushy. It gave no support whatsoever.
We tried to get out Monday afternoon after about 6" had fallen. It went OK in the fields & the higher spots in the woods, but we got into slush in the low lying spots in the woods. After another 6" of snow over Monday night, W/temperatures in the single digits, the slush froze in the exposed spots & the fine powder got a little wind packed in the fields. The depth of the powder was enough to bridge the slush in the sheltered spots.
I got out yesterday morning about 9:00 AM to break the 4 miles of trails on my property. W/my Rossignol EVO Glades, it would have taken me 4 trips to pack in the trails & the 1st 2-3 would have been miserable as the narrow skis would have broken through on the 1st pass & slipped off the packed ridge on the next few trips until 4 or 5 passes had been made. W/the Epochs, the flexible 99mm wide shovel tips of the skis would ride right up over the top of the snow & the wide tails kept me from sinking more than about 4" into the powder. It was a workout, but not a miserable slog like I used to experience on my narrower skis.
Even W/the cables left off the Voile 3-pin bindings , I found that the profile of the Epochs did not tend to slip off the packed ridge of the track. I think the wide track packed by the tips gave a bit more of a stable base for the somewhat narrower tails. By the 2nd pass I was even getting some glide in the open spots. The snow in the woods was a bit looser & still needed some packing on the 2nd pass. The lateral instability I found in shallow powder disappeared. These skis where really in their element now.
I got 2 complete passes in yesterday, I'm looking forward to some fast K&G when I head out after this post. These skis are definately the ticket for off the groomed track.
New England States, NY and anyplace else east of the Mississippi
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