Wednesday, January 6, 2010

XC Skiing - Clapper Hollow State Forest

Today, Holly and I got together with some friends and went skiing in Clapper Hollow State Forest, in southwestern Schoharie County, about an hour from home.

The forest is above 2000', and got a lot of lake effect snow in the past week or so. It's also on my list to scout out for the new edition of "Ski Tips" being published by ECOS, as our committee begins the winter ski trail map verification process. None of us had ever skied here before, and were pleasantly surprised by the snow, the terrain, and especially by the well-marked trails that matched our existing map very well. There are about 8 miles of trails here, and we probably skied 5-6 miles of them today, breaking trail in 1 foot of new powder for most of it.

We stopped for lunch on the leeward side of a leanto by a frozen pond, but quickly chilled in the 10-degree temperatures, so continued on. Eventually, we got to retrace our tracks downhill back to the cars after about 3 hours of skiing, and all agreed that this was definitely a place deserving of a return visit.

On the way home, on NY10 south of Summit, our front left tire went flat. We pulled over into not the best place, but were at least off the road. Not really relishing the thought of changing that tire myself in the cold conditions, we decided to have Holly call AAA and see how long they would be to get to us. Hearing "30 minutes", we decided to wait it out. The rest of the group squeezed into the other car and headed for home, and we eventually saw a tow truck appear after 45-60 minutes. The driver was very pleasant, and made a quick change getting us on our way again, albeit at 50 mph max on a donut spare. We ultimately got home about 90 minutes later than we would have otherwise, so not a bad day all things considered.

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