Thursday, January 14, 2010

XC Skiing - Cole Hill State Forest

Since I'm leading a Schenectady ADK ski trip to Cole Hill S.F. on Saturday, I wanted to pre-ski it and make sure conditions were OK for an outing there. This forest is located in western Albany County, in the so-called "hill towns", just south of Berne, about 45 minutes from home.

There are about 4-5 miles of ski trails here, and though there was adequate snow cover, every one of the ski trails had been pretty seriously compacted by snowshoe use. This made the trails faster than they might have otherwise been, and made negotiating some of the downhills a bit challenging, because of the snowshoe trench. There wasn't really enough snow (8-12") to go far off into the powder without knowing what was underneath.

Having said all that, we spent about 2 hours skiing almost all of the trails, skipping one known very steep section. It wasn't bad skiing, and parts of it were even pretty good. But with a couple of thaw/freeze cycles expected over the next day or two, the compacted trails may be a bit crunchy and treacherous by Saturday. We'll be checking out another alternative on Friday, and may move this trip elsewhere until there's better snow here.

No comments:

Post a Comment