Has the slush improved?

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Has the slush improved?

Postby brucelamo » Sun Jan 18, 2009 9:52 pm

I plan to head out on a winter camping trip the second weekend of Feb. I prefer to ski, but skiing with a pack or pulling a sled through slush can be painfully slow. Has the recent cold weather eliminated some or all of the slush? Potential starting points are Sawbill, Clearwater or Saganaga.
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Re: Has the slush improved?

Postby 3 dog knight » Wed Jan 28, 2009 12:41 am

Just returned 1/26/09 after this past weekend's trip. We went in at Fall lake as we used a dogsled and 3 Pulks. We ran into a Wintergreen staff member in the parking lot who told us about a Customer who barely stepped off the trail and fell through the ice! We stayed ON the trails!!! We didn't experience ANY slush...but then it was somewhere around -25 F on Friday night. Our tent was too big and our stove too small, so between stoking the stove we got little sleep. The trails we used (including the 4 mile portage) were being used by Dog Sledders and were solid, although they did drift over some due to the high winds. They were so solid that I pulled a Pulk in my sno-paks with no problem. Others tried skis and snowshoes...but I don't think they were needed!

I'd strongly suggest you apply a really good glide wax to your Pulk's bottom surface to get it to slide as easy as possible.
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Re: Has the slush improved?

Postby finnbay » Wed Jan 28, 2009 9:21 am

Glad your trip went well. Problems you mentioned are easily fixed for your next trip. Waxing your pulk is a good idea. We started bringing a small canvas tent and a wood stove the last few years I winter camped and it was heaven. We'd also bring a small lantern and we'd play cribbage until a reasonable bed time like 9:00. Otherwise, with minus 25 we'd be crawling into our sleeping bags at 6:00! There is current around Mile Island on Fall Lake and I've seen bad ice there many winters, and know of more than one person who has fallen through. Did you stay on Hoist Bay? Any fishing?
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
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And that has made all the difference.

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Re: Has the slush improved?

Postby 3 dog knight » Fri Jan 30, 2009 5:45 pm

finnbay,
Honestly, we got such a late start and the Pulks were going so hard that we ended up (at sunset) finding the first campsite that got us out of the wind, etc. We ended up on a dinky little mudhole...that had a nice bank of trees (and firewood) around it! All a good learning experience. Next time I rent a smaller tent and attempt to go under slightly warmer conditions. It boggles the mind that the Beargrease mushers were running thru probably around -30 and lower temps all night long in some cases!

We augered a few holes in the ice but quickly found how shallow the "lake" was and packed it in. Next time we wil be much smarter...and wiser (not necessarily the same thing!) I'm thinking of trying to mount a couple of UHMW strips ski-track wide on the pulks to see it we can minimize the drag surface and maximize the glide. I reckon IF we taper them well at the front and rear-load the pulks they will slide along okay. I'm also thinking about relocating my pulk/sled attachment point from the top as Ed B. (SkiPulk.com) suggests to the underside like the Granite Gear Pulk. I'm hoping the lowered attachment point will tend to pull the nose up and over things more easily and hopefully further minimize drag? With 3 "Pulkers" we many even develop a nice little track?
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Re: Has the slush improved?

Postby finnbay » Fri Jan 30, 2009 5:50 pm

3-dog

Wonder which mudhole you were on. There are actually a couple of small lakes in that area that are pretty shallow, but good northern lakes.

Your observation about the attachment point on the pulk is a good one. My first was attached on top and constantly dug into the snow. My second had a lower attachment point and it made a world of difference.

Here's a photo of me and the best pulk I built. Used this for many years and dozens of trips. I think you can see the low attach point in this photo:

Image

By the way, this is on Moose Lake on my way to Wind Bay on Basswood.
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

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