Saturday, January 22, 2011

XC Skiing - Clapper Hollow State Forest

Despite the frigid temperatures expected today, I went ahead with a ski trip I was leading for Schenectady ADK to Clapper Hollow State Forest, in southwestern Schoharie County, about an hour from home. With 8 signups, I couldn't be a wimp and cancel the trip, so away we went.

It was about 13F when we left Schenectady, but we were expecting to be in single digits all day down in the hills, with double-digit negative windchills. As it turned out, it was 9F at the trailhead, with brilliant sunshine and no wind, a beautiful morning, and much warmer less cold than we expected.

We skied the first hour uphill to the leanto and took a short snack break in the warm sun. Then we continued on and skied some other trails atop the hill before returning downhill to the cars, having done the large figure-8 above entirely counterclockwise. We were out for about 3 hours and were never cold. Aside from the one retraced strip in the center, we were breaking trail for the whole 5 miles or so in nearly a foot of fresh powder, with some icy crust underneath. My only regret is that my camera battery was dead and I couldn't take any pictures. The snow-covered pines were gorgeous against the bright blue sky. Spectacular day, and much less severe cold than expected.

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