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Thread: Hats off to you guys up north!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Halifax, VT.
    Posts
    779

    Default Hats off to you guys up north!

    I've been fighting my way through 3+ feet of snow for quite a while running lines and now tapping. Some days are better on snowshoes and some days I'm better off trudging through it but compared to what I'm accustomed to around here (So. Vt.) every day STINKS! I'm in darn good shape for my age and I generally accept hard work as a challenge that needs to be overcome but this morning I headed out and there's just no way I can get any work done. There's just enough crust that I can't trudge through it and the snow is too deep to lift my snowshoes high enough to get above it(the crust). I have heard how this kind of thing is common for you guys up north and thinking about it has helped me to keep going. I'm running some pretty steep, ledgy slopes but I imagine that's what a lot of you guys deal with also. I read about how some of you get 500 or more taps in a day and its embarrassing to say that I can't even get 300 taps a day in. What's the secret. Is there a special pill or something I can take? Regardless, you have my respect.
    Sean

    2013-1st year...94 taps, 12x24 sugarhouse, home built evap. Gast 2065 pump with bender
    releaser.
    2014-30x36 sugarhouse, 2.5x10 "Jutras" evaporator, 1200+ taps on vacuum, sap brothers RO. 2 sihi 2 stage pumps, 440 gal.

    2015- 1000gph memtek RO, 3250 Taps, 1200 gallons

    2016- Modified grimm 4'x12' evaporator with auf and aof with air preheater. Home built airtight arch front. 4250 taps?

    2017- 2400gph. Lapierre RO, 10" filter press, 5000 taps

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Albion PA
    Posts
    4,922

    Default

    Sounds to me like 300 a day in those conditions is very good, and a lot of work. I applaud your efforts to make syrup.
    I haven't even drilled hole number 1 yet But starting Sat it looks like its going to break. I need to get out and do some work in my roadside sugarbush too.
    Regards,
    Chris
    Casbohm Maple and Honey
    600 roadside taps
    3x10 King, WRU, AOF and AUF
    12" SIRO Filter Press.
    2015 Ford F250 PSD sap hauler
    One Golden named Maggie Cat named Lucy
    Too many Cub Cadets
    Ford Jubilee and several Allis WD's, and IH tractors

    www.mapleandhoney.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Bristol, VT
    Posts
    1,858

    Default

    I too have been setting up a new section of tubing, re-installing/rebuilding laterals in an area we had logged, and now tapping in deep snow on snowshoes. We have some steep ledgy slopes as well and in those areas I put in a switch backing trail to the top without carrying anything. Then I run lines or tap going downhill and use the switchbacks to get back up. I find it worth the time to pack out an access trail before starting the work. Now I have trails in to all sections of the woods so I can move quick and efficiently when carrying tools and supplies.

    The other key is your snowshoes. In crust, it is key to keep the tips up and some binding styles don't work as well as others. MSR makes an awesome mountaineering snowshoe with detachable tails that does real well in all conditions. Also, in crust, it becomes even more critical to break out a trail.

    I know many swear by ATVs with tracks for deep snow, but I am a snowshoe guy. But, I also spend my summers biking and hiking, and my winters skiing and mountaineering, so I am pretty fit.
    About 750 taps on High Vac.
    2.5 x 8 Intens-O-Fire
    Airtech 3 hp LR Pump
    Springtech Elite 500 RO
    14 x 24 Timber Frame SugarHouse
    16 x 22 Sap Shed w/ 1500 gal. + 700 gal. tanks
    www.littlehogbackfarm.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Readsboro, VT
    Posts
    335

    Default

    Sean... You and I have similar weather and seasons from my memory.
    I feel your pain.
    Check this fool out...
    We live it the Green Mountain state, and that covers much of the south as well. I live on Dutch Hill, adjacent to a closed ski area! I only have 3 acres, but it is the toughest anybody could imagine. A 12% slope, with 1 stream and 3 swales to cross. My first year it was all on buckets! No snowshoes! It cost me a hernia operation in May of that year, and the other side 6 months later. The pain became quite strong hauling buckets around that year.
    Still the fool, but on good snowshoes with extensions the first pass, I have just run 3500' of laterals, and begin putting in my drops and tapping today, but just 200 or so taps. So much for retirement!
    Eric of the Greens... I Fly Solo...
    2013-15 Block arch to having it all...
    2016...320 on vacuum. 155 gravity, 90 buckets.
    All homemade equipment except Smokey Lake pans.
    2x6 arch, Electric releaser w/ Gast 1023 24" vacuum
    2x4x40 RO w/ dual 265gph Procons
    My PWS with webcam... https://www.wunderground.com/persona...READS2#history

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Readsboro, VT
    Posts
    335

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by GeneralStark View Post
    MSR makes an awesome mountaineering snowshoe with detachable tails that does real well in all conditions.
    Last year I invested in MSR's, and used the tails/extentions for the first time, trail blazing this year. They also have rear lifts for steep hills. I only weigh 165, but fully outfitted we increase that weight a lot! You need proper size snowshoes for this.
    Eric of the Greens... I Fly Solo...
    2013-15 Block arch to having it all...
    2016...320 on vacuum. 155 gravity, 90 buckets.
    All homemade equipment except Smokey Lake pans.
    2x6 arch, Electric releaser w/ Gast 1023 24" vacuum
    2x4x40 RO w/ dual 265gph Procons
    My PWS with webcam... https://www.wunderground.com/persona...READS2#history

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Halifax, VT.
    Posts
    779

    Default

    I just looked at some MSRs on ebay and certain ones have a pretty good (ramp?) in the front. I can definitely see how they could help. I currently have 4 pairs for different conditions and for anyone that wants to help. None of them look like that. I'll keep them in mind for next year. Its supposed to warm up in a few days so hopefully the crust will soften up a bit. I made a road up the hill with the dozer when I set this bush up and it was even a little hairy going with that. I doubt a wheeler could help me right now. My snowmobile surely wouldn't make it.
    Sean

    2013-1st year...94 taps, 12x24 sugarhouse, home built evap. Gast 2065 pump with bender
    releaser.
    2014-30x36 sugarhouse, 2.5x10 "Jutras" evaporator, 1200+ taps on vacuum, sap brothers RO. 2 sihi 2 stage pumps, 440 gal.

    2015- 1000gph memtek RO, 3250 Taps, 1200 gallons

    2016- Modified grimm 4'x12' evaporator with auf and aof with air preheater. Home built airtight arch front. 4250 taps?

    2017- 2400gph. Lapierre RO, 10" filter press, 5000 taps

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Halifax, VT.
    Posts
    779

    Default

    Double brook. It just occurred to me where you're from. Readsboro is crazy rugged terrain. I know the area pretty well as I'm not far from there myself. At least its not like some of those hills in Stamford.
    Sean

    2013-1st year...94 taps, 12x24 sugarhouse, home built evap. Gast 2065 pump with bender
    releaser.
    2014-30x36 sugarhouse, 2.5x10 "Jutras" evaporator, 1200+ taps on vacuum, sap brothers RO. 2 sihi 2 stage pumps, 440 gal.

    2015- 1000gph memtek RO, 3250 Taps, 1200 gallons

    2016- Modified grimm 4'x12' evaporator with auf and aof with air preheater. Home built airtight arch front. 4250 taps?

    2017- 2400gph. Lapierre RO, 10" filter press, 5000 taps

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Vermont
    Posts
    6

    Default

    I find that working the topographic terrain works well.... keep on the same terrain line of you taps, then work the next just below. far easier to sidehill than to ascend/descend. the new crust has really slowed things down. barely getting 150-200 taps (with complications) in on a stout day. trick for me is how i set up my gear. Carry all you may need in order to reduce trips and keep tools and fittings really handy. I wear my gear belt up around my belly so has to have every thing at hands reach. down around my waist is cumbersome. I am a fit skier type but with the extra layers in this weather, the additional clothes get in the way... i use a pair of shortish Atlas snowshoes which keep me on top reasonably well but sidehilling takes out the tip dive that comes with the uphill struggle. i recently skied on the backside of Mansfield toward Thunderbasin and those folks who tap up there are some of the toughest around... steep terrain and a ton of snow at 2800 feet! Kudos to all. its not the deepest snow year, but its the most unconsolidated year of snow in some time. good luck to all and rest those muscles. your gonna need em!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Halifax, VT.
    Posts
    779

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Sweetleaf View Post
    I find that working the topographic terrain works well.... keep on the same terrain line of you taps, then work the next just below. far easier to sidehill than to ascend/descend.
    I definitely agree with that and I'm glad you mentioned the crust. It changed everything for me. It's going to warm up over the weekend and today is shaping up to be sunny so I'll probably work around the sugarhouse or run power to my vacuum pump. As soon as the crust softens I'll head back up on the hill. Thanks all. Its encouraging to hear that others are fighting with this as well.
    Sean

    2013-1st year...94 taps, 12x24 sugarhouse, home built evap. Gast 2065 pump with bender
    releaser.
    2014-30x36 sugarhouse, 2.5x10 "Jutras" evaporator, 1200+ taps on vacuum, sap brothers RO. 2 sihi 2 stage pumps, 440 gal.

    2015- 1000gph memtek RO, 3250 Taps, 1200 gallons

    2016- Modified grimm 4'x12' evaporator with auf and aof with air preheater. Home built airtight arch front. 4250 taps?

    2017- 2400gph. Lapierre RO, 10" filter press, 5000 taps

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