Wednesday, February 16, 2011

XC Skiing - John Pond

Holly got cheated out of some of the best skiing of the season with a bum knee, and now that we've had some thawing and refreezing, skiing near home is no good at all. Today, we took a chance that conditions would still be at least OK further north, and skied into John Pond, near Indian Lake in the Adirondacks. It's about a 5-6 mile round trip, depending whose mileage you believe, and it's normally a novice trip with gently undulating hills.

We arrived at the trailhead to find a snowshoe trench that was hard-packed and fast after a thaw/refreeze earlier this week. There was just a little loose snow in the trench that made kicking and gliding possible, so we decided to give it a go. We followed an old road for a while, passing this marshy area with some minor peaks in the background.

Leaving the road, we began to encounter more and slightly steeper uphills, and wondered what they'd be like going downhill on the way out. We arrived at the leanto at John Pond in good time, and looked across the pond to these interesting cliffs.

The trip out was exciting, to say the least. The normally tame downhills were lightning fast, and controlling speed was difficult since we were skiing in a packed trench. I think today would have easily been rated "intermediate" on this fairly easy trip under normal conditions. We arrived at the car with only minor mishaps (Holly - 0, Me - 1), and hoped we'd be getting some fresh snow again soon. More thawing/freezing coming in the days ahead, and skiing will be iffy until we get some new powder.

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