Winter Epics is what we called the big GW Nat'l Forest rides we did every weekend for so many years. Nearly every Sunday, from hunting season through to spring race season, a group of us would ride somewhere in the GW. These were usually long rides, 4-7 hours or so, often cold & wet, and always rocky. The group was almost always drawn from the same pool: Jens, Glen, Mikes Capraro & Buchness, the Barrys Quigley & O'Melinn, Susans x 2, Junkins, Dan, Pooch, Andy, Nancy, and Steve (did I miss any one?).
I pretty much stopped doing these rides in 2002 when Oliver was born. At about that same time, I picked up single-speeding, and the local race scene grew significantly with the addition of the Cranky Monkey series, and a couple others held at Quantico. So most of my riding for the past 4 years was mostly short, local, and not mountainous. Rarely would I ride for more than 2 hours, except for a day in August in the Wild 100, and in Sept for the Shenandoah Mountain 100. I missed those winter epics, but I was having plenty of fun single-speeding the local stuff too, and it was usually helpful to be able to get home by noon after a ride.
Those winter epics with the big group have mostly died out for several reasons, though Mike and Susan are still out there gettin' it every chance they get. Glen moved to New Mexico > Colorado, Jens is now in New Mexico, Pooch and Susan now in Africa, Barry O had dual knee isues/surgeries, and like I said, I was out of the loop and quit scheduling those rides on the MORE calendar.
Now, I'm in Pennsylvania, and lucky for me, winter epics are every weekend, and they're just outside of town. And, like the GW, there are plenty of trails to choose from with a big group of core, committed, & interesting riders. Come take a hit.