Tuesday, February 2, 2010

XC Skiing - Rockwood State Forest

Today was a day of surprises. We were originally planning to drive to Tug Hill to ski on the BREIA trails there, since Tug Hill always has deep snow. Just before it was time to start the 2-hour drive, I re-read the note at the top of that last link, and realized it applied to exactly the trails we were planning to ski on. Wish they'd bothered to call them the "Egypt Road Trails", as they do everywhere else! So those trails would not be open until after 2:00pm - not gonna work. The other BREIA sections weren't as desirable for other reasons, so we needed to go somewhere else.

So we set our sights instead on Piseco, and the "Foxy Brown Loop", a 6-mile ungroomed trail near the Piseco Airport. It was about the same driving time, and about the same current snow conditions, so seemed an acceptable alternative. On the way, we had to pass by Rockwood State Forest, another place we ski often, about half the driving time away, but to which we hadn't yet been this low-snow year. Conditions looked better than we expected, so we decided to give it a try.

Many of the trails here had been "groomed" (rolled) and/or snowmobiled in the past, so were hard-packed and firm. But there was about an inch of fresh unskied powder on top, and it made for some pretty good skiing. There was over a foot of very firm snow in the woods, and a couple of ungroomed trails I skied had plenty of powder on top for control, although they were definitely faster than usual.

We hadn't expected to be skiing here today, or even anytime soon, after the recent thaw and rains. But there's no warm weather in the forecast, and there may even be an inch or two of snow off and on, so this could provide some good skiing "close" to home in the weeks to come.

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