Tuesday, March 8, 2011

XC Skiing - Charleston State Forest

It was another sunny blue-sky day after the recent storm, and there's rain coming in later tomorrow. So it was pretty much a must to get in some more skiing today. Holly and I went to Charleston State Forest, in nearby Montgomery County, which got a significant dump of snow in this week's storm. We parked at the large pull-off on NY-30A, signed the register, and headed down the road.

Although the snow-laden trees were beautiful against the blue sky, there was 24-30" of unbroken, unskied snow on the ground ahead of us.

These were tough conditions for a party of only two, and we soon realized that we wouldn't be completing either the Upper Loop or the Lower Loop accessible from this location. Once we reached the end of the road, where the two loops diverge, there was no longer any question of that. The snow was deep and heavy, and trail breaking was somewhat exhausting.

Recognizing that the trip back out would be much easier, and being gluttons for punishment, we threw in a side trip, also unbroken, to a couple of small ponds on the near end of the Lower Loop (see map). From there back to the car was a much easier trip, though mostly uphill.

Reaching the car, I thought I must have dropped my hat somewhere, probably at the ponds. So we geared up and started back in, back down a now very nice gentle downhill. Partway there, I realized the hat wasn't missing at all (duh!), and we turned around and headed back out. This unnecessary trip turned out to be the best skiing of the day, following our earlier tracks.

Tomorrow could be one more day of decent snow, and then the rains come once again.

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