After days of combing the internets, I found a write up that claimed to be the only way to bleed the Grumbler's un-bleedable transmission. I followed it, and miracle of miracles, the Grumbler was fixed! I can finally partake in the recreational burning of fossil fuels again.
Taking advantage of my regained mobility, I headed to Laurel Mountain on Saturday. The FDMoD stayed home, because the novelty of hiking through the snow next to my bike has worn off. On the short drive to the wilderness I thought I would be alone on my mountain, but when I arrived there were a dozen big trucks with snowmobile trailers in the parking lot.
(caught unaware by a shorter than expected self timer)
I strapped on my snowshoes in the parking lot. "Ready for some fun?" asked a snowmobiler through his curly handle bar mustache. "Hells yeah I am."
Leaving the parking lot, I started the hike up Quarry Run Trail. The snowmobiles did a great job of packing the trail down for me, so I was able to keep a good pace going up the mountain.
The brapping snowmobile engines detracted from the "alone in the woods" feeling, but they made such a great trail that I didn't mind.
I climbed for an hour and 15 minutes before I reached the top. Once on the summit, I surveyed the scene with my best Eastwood face.
I took off my snowshoes, unloaded the skis gear from my pack, and prepared for the ride down. (short skis were not the best choice. but they're sooo much funner)
I had to skate down the top part of the trail, but once I reached the steep section, it got a little hairy.
The bottom part of quarry run is steep. And it was close in speed to a ski resort run because the snowmobiles had essentially groomed the trail. But unlike a resort, there is no room to make turns, because the trail is only as wide as a snowmobile. I did my best to make little cuts down the slope without falling off the side of the hill. As I neared the end, the run was peppered with little rhythm sections and jumps that were a blast to hit even with my minimal (non-existent) jumping skills.
The whole descent took me 15 minutes, and I must say that a free 15 minute ski run in WPA is a win and a half.