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  • Butt slides on snow?

    We all know the rules on post holeing. But what is the etiquette on down hill butt slides on a nice stretch of trail?

    Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk


  • #2
    Like everything, you're going to see differences of opinion on this topic!

    Comment


    • #3
      Not sure if it's been talked about here, but you can find some lengthy debates on it from past years over at VFTT.

      Obviously there are a couple issues around it.

      Individual pro / com: It's faster and easier than walking down (especially if using a sled); There is an increased risk of injury (especially if ill-advisedly wearing crampons).

      Interaction with others: Mostly con. No benefits to others. Cons: slight risk of a collision; also sliding can "smooth out" and sometimes eliminate existing snow steps that have formed on the trail, making it more work for walkers who are not sliding (this is the principle complaint that is voiced about sliding).

      All said, certainly not the issue that post-holing can be. But probably not something to be completely laughed off, either - worthy of discussion.

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      • #4
        Depending on who you ask, it's either it's the best thing since sliced bread and the only reason to hike in winter...Or it's the most dangerous activity known to humankind and anyone who does it even once will 100% die and destroy the trail 50x worse than post holing.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by t46psk View Post
          Depending on who you ask, it's either it's the best thing since sliced bread and the only reason to hike in winter...Or it's the most dangerous activity known to humankind and anyone who does it even once will 100% die and destroy the trail 50x worse than post holing.
          You can certainly find those voices, especially if you search old threads over on VFTT.

          But I think most peoples' opinions will be somewhere in the middle. My opinion is that there are places that are great for sliding, and places that are not so great for it. And like all activities, sliding can be practiced safely or unsafely. A lot depends on the conditions, as well. I've done it a bit, but I don't have a really strong opinion about it either way.

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          • #6
            I carry a butt sled in winter time on the back of the pack. Unfortunately, unless there is a lot of snow, I usually find it's not worth the effort. Hoping for deep snow this year to give it a go.

            Comment


            • FlyFishingandBeer
              FlyFishingandBeer commented
              Editing a comment
              I have one of those little ultra light butt sleds and no longer carry it. Its not worth the harassment I get from Rangers when they see me with it and ask me not to use it. According to the ones who have talked to me about it, they drastically increase instances of people breaking their legs just above their boot cuffs.

          • #7
            Originally posted by t46psk View Post
            Depending on who you ask, it's either it's the best thing since sliced bread and the only reason to hike in winter...Or it's the most dangerous activity known to humankind and anyone who does it even once will 100% die and destroy the trail 50x worse than post holing.
            Full discloser I have butt slid. I suggest avoiding doing it on narrow paths. I find it helpful to get down Allen Slide.

            I do not like snowshoeing down a fresh butt slide track. Grip is not good and the track is a bowl and the snowshoes are never 'level'.
            The worst was a time descending Marshall following a pair of hikers that butt slid every opportunity. Awful.

            I think it was when Neil did the winter 46. The request was out there to not butt slide when he was about to go through. I climbed Seymour the day before. I glissaded. As you know Seymour is steep and a good candidate. Glissading was fun too and it leaves a 'level' track.

            Don

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            • #8
              As a 58 year old kid who still butt slides at most every opportunity, I have to admit that I was injured once doing it. I've never injured anyone else. I do know of 2 others that have been injured doing it. Like any other winter 'sport' you need to do it properly. I am not going to teach a class about it right now, but knowing how to turn, slow down, and stop are important. Sound familiar?

              My 'equipment' varies from my pants, to various plastic devices I have employed, I think I own 3 different ones right now. My favorite is the 'spoon' you can get at EMS and other places. It's light and easy to use, with a big handle you can grasp with mittens on.

              And yes, it smooths out the trail some. But I suspect the skiers would like that! The smoothing depends on the condition of the snow. I would say anyone with the proper gear would not find 'smoothed' trails to be a big issue.

              This reminds me, I should dredge up my butt slide rating facts and figures!
              Tom Rankin - 5444W "In the depths of Summer, I finally learned that there lay within me an invincible Winter"

              Proud Member #0003 of ADKHP Foundation
              Volunteer Balsam Lake Mountain
              Past President Catskill 3500 Club
              CEO Views And Brews!

              Trail maintainer for the Dry Brook Ridge trail from Mill Brook Road to just past the Lean-to

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              • #9
                Originally posted by TFR View Post

                "....And yes, it smooths out the trail some. But I suspect the skiers would like that! "
                Sorry Tom, I suspect if you were to poll skiers, you'd find that many would not. As the trail gets steeper, and narrower, skiers will appreciate a more uniform snow surface without the "luge run" down the middle of the trail. When slaloming back and forth from trail side to trail side that narrower slick course down the fall line makes for some treacherous terrain changes.
                That said, many skiers recognize we're in the minority, and we deal with the conditions as best we can.

                Except of course, the @%#^&* post holes.


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                • #10

                  When I started alpine skiing, a lift-operator told me to "Leave some snow for others!"

                  I didn't understand his little joke until someone explained newbies use the 'snowplow position' for turning and braking. It scrapes off the fluffy stuff desired by more experienced skiers. It's an exaggeration of course because you'd need an army of beginners to strip the slope. Plus advanced skiers can avoid beginner runs and choose one that's free of snowplowing newbies.

                  The lift-operator's quip came to mind the first time I had the misfortune of following in the wake of a butt-slider whose azz stripped off the fluffy stuff and exposed the underlying ice (on the steepest sections, of course). Thanks for nothing, pal!

                  Unlike in skiing, you don't need an army of butt-sliders to expose the icy base, often just one or two will do the trick. Plus snowshoers can't choose another 'run' that's free of butt-sliders.

                  Smoothing? I call bullsh-t. Butt-sliding gouges the trail and leaves a U-shaped channel in its wake (with exposed ice, given the right conditions). An azz-wide luge-run is unappreciated by snowshoers and skiers alike.

                  Faster? Nope. I've followed butt-sliders and invariably caught up to them by the time they're picking themselves up and dusting off snow. Plus there's no time-savings if a queue forms at the top of a slope to allow each butt-slider to descend separately. Equally unappreciated by snowshoers and skiers is the obligation to wait in the queue ... or for the yard-sale at the base of the slope to disappear. Butt-sliders also run the risk of using their tailbone to discover a hidden, unyielding obstruction.

                  Upside is it's a short thrilling ride. Downside is it can degrade the trail for other modes of travel.

                  Upside is perceived as outweighing the downside so it's unlikely the activity will wane. Besides, butt-sliders are descending the peak so the trail's condition behind them is rarely a concern (to them).
                  Looking for Views!

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                  • Makwa
                    Makwa commented
                    Editing a comment
                    "Butt-sliders also run the risk of using their tailbone to discover a hidden, unyielding obstruction."

                    Yep... I can tell you about tailbone injuries. Though my injury was not from a hidden obstruction, an unintentional buttslide at the top of Big Slide two winters ago got me going fast enough to catch air over a small bump and then directly down on the ice on the tailbone. OUCH!!! I walked gingerly for the next few months and it still hurts almost two years later when I ride the stationary bike or sit on a metal folding chair. So I won't be doing much buttsliding in the future unless by accident. Be careful.
                    Last edited by Makwa; 11-27-2017, 02:34 PM.

                • #11
                  you can count me in among those who are not a fan of butt sliding for all of the reasons already listed. judging from the posts i have seen on the aspiring fb page i suspect i / we are in the minority.

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