Saturday, February 7, 2009

XC Skiing - Stony Pond Trail

The trailhead to Stony Pond is northwest of Minerva, NY, on NY28N. It's about a 2-mile ski into the pond and its leanto, and another mile to Little Sherman and Big Sherman Ponds from there.

The snow was deep and powdery, but the trail was well-packed, and it took us just under an hour to ski the generally uphill but rolling route to the pond. All brook crossings were both frozen and buried, so it was never a problem getting across them.

At the leanto, we met "Bernie's Yurt People", a group of 10 who had come in from the other direction and had skied/snowshoed across the pond to the leanto. They were staying in rented yurts at the southern end of the trail, about 4 miles beyond the leanto and beyond the other two ponds. We started off across the pond in that direction, hoping to get to Little Sherman Pond.

At the south end of Stony Pond, there was a steep section up from Stony and down to Little Sherman, so we stopped at that point and had lunch before heading back across the pond to the leanto.

On our way out, there were many interesting downhill runs. We met two other groups, one on skis headed in, and another on snowshoes headed back out. In that second group were our friends John and Mike, a father/son team who had often helped us in the past with our annual trail maintenance. It was a popular trail today, and a small world!

All told, we skied about 5 miles on one of the warmer days we've seen of late.

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