Highland Mountain's 1st Annual Winter Woolly Fat Bike Fest - Video

Feb 21, 2017
by Highland Mountain Bike Park  
Views: 6,912    Faves: 9    Comments: 1

Fat bikers live on mountain biking's fringe. That's what makes the sport and its participants great. You have to be a little bit off to think riding bikes in the winter, on a powder day, in subzero temps is a good idea.

Highland Mountain Bike Park assembled 400 of fat biking's most adventurous riders on Saturday, February 11th for the first annual Winter Woolly! New England's first ever lift accessed fat bike event. Those in attendance were some of the most dedicated riders, driving from as far as five hours away! Their reward, loose and deep lift laps.

Early morning conditions were challenging, to say the least! A week prior, the park's hard packed trails were running as well as their summertime prime. Hero snow, as we called it. Out of left field, Ol' Man Winter lobbed a powdery curve ball our way.

Highland Owner Mark Hayes dusts off the chairs after firing up the lift for the first time in months. Photo Jeb Wallace-Brodeur
Highland owner Mark Hayes dusts off the chairs after firing up the lift for the first time in months.

Highland presents well under a blanket of snow. Photo Jeffrey Henson
Highland presents well under a blanket of snow.

Here they come Photo Jeb Wallace-Brodeur
Here they come.

Fat bike lift lines reunion Photo Jeb Wallace-Brodeur
Fat bike lift lines reunion.

No one seemed deterred by this. The lift was packed with smiling faces. From the lift ride, riders watched on as some on bikes below made clever maneuvers down the trails. Others less familiar with the hardship of fat bikes tumbled their way down the mountain. Lucky, epic fails were greeted with two and a half feet of powdery pillows to the face and a good laugh.

Another grinning rider obviously suffering from some sort of fat bike mania Photo Jeb Wallace-Brodeur
Another grinning rider obviously suffering from some sort of fat bike mania.

By 11:00 am the bar was packed with folks telling heroic survival stories. Rumor was the trails were improving as traffic pushed the tapering snowfall to the sides of a widening rut. By race time there was a mega-rut that was running fairly smooth...in some spots.

Noon arrived and Tom from Highland Trails emerged with a new weapon. If the snow wouldn't pack he'd plow it. Tom had worked all morning fabricating a drag-plow to go behind his snowmobile. Only at Highland!

By midafternoon, the crew had cleared two of the primary trails down to the original snow bed surface. With added traction and ruts removed the pace quickened to "foot out flat out".

By day's end the riding was so good that, as the lift spun its last, folks were begging for more.

"When are you going to open again?!" Was the resounding question of the day.

Soon fellow fringe fat bikers. Soon!

Aaaaaaaannnnndddd..... Poof Photo Ryan THibault
Aaaaaaaannnnndddd..... Poof.

Painless Photo Ryan Thibault

Every rider in attendance had a Woolly moment like this Photo Jeb Wallace-Brodeur
Every rider in attendance had a Woolly moment like this.

Chairlift fatbikes f yeah Photo Ryan Thibault
Chairlift + fat bikes = f yeah.

Motley crew Photo Ryan Thibault
Motley crew.

Groomer squadron thanks to Tilton-Northfield Snowmobile Club. Photo Jeb Wallace-Brodeur
Groomer squadron, thanks to Tilton-Northfield Arch Trail Travelers snowmobile club!

Mark Hayes hands on Photo Jeb Wallace-Brodeur
Mark Hayes, hands on.

What this hell is a Winter Woolly Photo Jeb Wallace-Brodeur
What this hell is a Winter Woolly?

Vendor party garden Photo Jeb Wallace-Brodeur
Vendor party garden.

Brooke Skatchard brought a fleet of bikes equipped with his Fatbike Skis. He also won the race by almost a minute on a four minute course. These things rip
Brooke Skatchard brought a fleet of bikes equipped with his Fat Bike Skis. He also won the race by almost a minute (on a four-minute course). These things rip!

Some racers didn t fare as well as others Photo Jeb Wallace-Brodeur
Some racers didn't fare as well as others.

Late day trails were running sweet Photo Jeb Wallace-Brodeur
Late day trails were running sweet.

5.2 tires get the hook. Photo Jeb Wallace-Brodeur
5.2" tires get the hook.

Clif took over the mid-mountain shack for the day. Thanks for the bites ladies Photo Jeb Wallace-Brodeur
Clif took over the mid-mountain shack for the day. Thanks for the bites ladies!

Best brain bucket award goes to... this guy Photo Jeb Wallace-Brodeur
Best brain bucket award goes to... this guy.

Just like summer only more clothes Photo Jeb Wallace-Brodeur
Just like summer, only more clothes.

Lil Ide says ski pants are for sissies Photo Jeb Wallace-Brodeur
Lil Ide says ski pants are for sissies.

The Woolliest man in fatbiking Mike Mansmann. Photo Ryan Thibault
The Woolliest man in fat biking, Mike Mansmann, in hot pursuit Max Shredley.

As the proverb states what drags gets dirty Photo Jeffrey Henson
As the proverb states: "what drags gets dirty!"

MENTIONS: @Highland-Mountain-Bike-Park / @jebcas


  • 39 0
 I like the FSR and Fox stickers on the rigid specialized
  • 4 0
 The blindfold is sick too.
  • 16 0
 The ski bikes were riding at warp speed while the rest of us slid around and dug furrows through the powder with our bodies Smile seriously more smiles for more miles than I've seen in all the years I've been riding highland. Riding cats paw was a slow mo version of the summer versionSmile
  • 13 0
  • 6 0
 Highland Mountain Bike Park Best in the USA!
  • 10 0
 Gotta give fat bikes credit - one event that brings out the TLD pajama pants right next to some dude in jeans. I guess we can all get along...
  • 11 0
 it's not a skiing in New England without seeing a few dudes skiing in jeans, preferably with an early model Patriots jacket.... looks like Highland is keeping the tradition going strong. Place rocks, best all welcoming vibe you can ask for.
  • 9 0
 Single greatest place I've ever been.
  • 8 0
 There is talk about doing something similar up here. Hope it happens.
  • 7 0
 That fat bike ski bike is a brilliant idea. You could corner way faster with the edges of those skis
  • 13 1
 cheatings more like it, needs two wheels to be a bicycle.
  • 5 0
 @whitebullit: yah it is kinda cheating but im not talking about for a race. im talking about just having fun
  • 5 0
 That guy was ripping it up.
  • 3 0
 www.fatbikeskis.com for the video. Do they make boost compatible? Smile
  • 2 1
 @bikeordie2772: in that case, agreed
  • 4 0
 Hey @Thustlewhumber: Brooke here. Thanks for the props. Yeah it will be boost compatible! Axle adapters will be available for 20mm x 110 and 15mm x 100, 110, and 150. Possibly a Lefty and QR version too. Sorting out the production details now. Pre-orders for next fall will be starting very soon!
  • 10 0
 Who would have thought- skis work better in snow than bike tires. Wonder if you could just ski without the bike part?
  • 1 0
 @bikesonsnow: How does it pedal? without the centrifical force of the front wheel does it want to flop over at slow speed? Or is this like the DH version of a fat bike? looks like fun..
  • 1 0
 @brownstone: It pedals really well. Took a long time to sort out the right configuration to make that happen, but it feels like a stable mountain bike when pedaling. Then it's more like riding a proper DH bike on the downhills. Makes the snow feel like perfect dirt!
  • 6 0
 I F-ing love Highland........ I wish I could have gone. I won't rush it, but I'll be there next year.
  • 5 0
 This looked awesome! Great to see Highland offering something new and very fun!
  • 2 0
 After trying my hand at fat biking in Canmore, Alberta I can attest that riding in powder is super challenging but such a laugh! I would love to give this a go, great way to cure that biking itch in the winter.
  • 5 1
 So. Many. Fatties. Can't. Hold. Myself. Back.
  • 3 0
 This is awesome. Highland is the best
  • 4 1
 The whole event looks really phat.
  • 3 0
 This looks like a total blast!!!
  • 3 0
 Looks awesome. Wish more resorts would do this one once or twice a year.
  • 2 0
 As someone who lives in an area where it snows hard this is seriously cool, I hope it catches on in more places.
  • 3 0
 I'm surprised Highland is MTB dedicated and doesn't run winter ops.
  • 1 0
 i got my kona WO pimped out last year and we've barely seen any snow down here. gotta get north next year, i guess.
  • 2 0
 This looks like so much fun!
  • 5 5
 Fat bikes, just another bike fad. Wait..........
  • 4 5
 This is such a cool event and looks sick but honestly f*ck snow. #brownpowmatters
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