Tuesday, February 28, 2012

XC Skiing - Best skiing of the year

This was a sweet, sweet day outside. Holly and I finally bit the bullet and drove a couple of hours to find some snow. And find it we did, on the Northville-Lake Placid Trail south of Lake Durant, near Blue Mountain Lake, NY. We've adopted this section of the NPT as ADK Trail Stewards for the past 18 years, but rarely get in here in the winter. It's a very nice ski trip, mostly a gentle uphill on the way in, and a gentle downhill most of the way out. Today, instead of making our usual trip to Stephens Pond on the NPT, we took a side trail to Cascade Pond, since Holly had never been there before.

After passing though the state campground and getting an initial climb out of the way, we found ourselves on a previously broken ski trail, with about a 10-12" firm base and a couple of inches of new powder. The sun was bright and the skiing was fantastic.

Leaving the NPT after about 2.7 miles, the side trail leading 0.9 miles to Cascade Pond had not been recently broken. Still, breaking trail in 6-8" of soft snow wasn't exactly a hardship. Arriving at Cascade Pond, we had lunch at the leanto after enjoying the bright sunny view of the pond.

Chilling rapidly, it was a quick lunch, and then we turned around to enjoy the downhill run back to the car. None of the pitches were exactly steep, but there was enough slope to get a good kick/glide going and a couple of short twisty sections that made the turning fun. The shadows were lengthening and the track turning crunchy in spots as we returned to the car.

What happens with this next storm remains to be seen. All snow would be wonderful, but it doesn't appear to be in the cards, at least not locally. But the southern Adirondacks might get a good dump, and that would open up some possibilities closer to home than this trip. It might be nice to finally have some winter, but only time will tell how long it will last.

No comments:

Post a Comment