Winter of 2021 was a great snow year that provided days upon days of powder over your knees.
Being an avid backcountry and alpine skier, all enthusiasts know that to get to the to best places to ski are by snowmobile, a friend's snowmobile, or a stranger taking pity on you to tow you ON a snowmobile.
February 7th 2021, Saturday morning Carlisle and I woke up to seize the day and be creative than other backcountry skiers and riders without a snowmobile. We rented two QuietKat Apex’s with a 1000 watt mid-drive motor. Treaded Fat tire wheels, a full 16AH battery and our packs loaded with our skies, we drove to Edison Sno Park.
Two people, two massive fat tire e-bikes and one dog. We were ready to approach Kwol Butte. The conditions did snow at a higher elevation by three for four inches. While gearing up, Edison sno park had packed down with layers of crystallized snow with a fresh soft blanket on top. It is about six miles from the sno park to the base of Kwoll Butte. Boots on, packs on, we mounted the big machines and took off. We gaged our battery levels to be on the lowest mode. Riding in 20 degree temps can affect the lithium batteries and drain them quicker than average temps of 60 degrees or higher. We pedaled up, averaging a speed of 5.5 mph, riding about 1,135ft of elevation gain until the snow got too deep for the e-bike wheels spun out. 4.21 miles within 45 minutes was definitely faster than skinning/ walking in from Edison sno park.
We stashed the bikes, slapped our skis on and finished the 1.50 miles into Kwol Butte. Skiing some incredible deep powder and having first tracks of the day. I would call it a success.
After skiing a couple laps on Kwol- started our approach back to the car. We found our e-bikes and transitioned into bike mode from ski mode.
We didn’t need much battery use since gravity did most of the work. Whooping and hollering on the way down with our dog Jax, running alongside us. It was an amazing adventure.
For this kind of experience, renting the bike the day before, making sure the batteries are charged, getting up to the starting point early are very key things to pay attention to.
It took us a total of 5-6 hours all said and done. So go with a plan and be prepared to adapt if conditions are not suitable for e-bikes.
Highly recommend getting outside, exploring and enjoying the snow!