Tuesday, January 8, 2013

XC Skiing - Saratoga Spa State Park

Every winter, the Environmental Clearinghouse (ECOS) holds Tuesday morning ski trips to various places in the local area.  Most of these locations are decided on the fly a few days before, based on snow conditions and some pre-scouting by volunteers.  But the first trip every year begins at the warming hut at Saratoga Spa State Park, and adjourns there afterwards for hot drinks, snacks and socializing.  Today was the day for that trip, and the kickoff of the season.

The day dawned very cold and clear, and we were a little concerned that the previously thawed snow might be a little icy on the park's golf course, where tracks are set around a total of a 4-mile course.  The 40+ attendees split into three groups (fast, moderate, and not-so-fast), and headed off in several different directions from the warming hut.  Holly joined the moderate group, and I joined the fast group, doing the entire 4+ miles, at a pretty good clip.

Our route in orange
The tracks were hard and fast, even icy in spots, but there was just enough grip to get a good kick/glide going, and once your speed was up, it stayed up.  Golf course skiing is not my favorite, but being able to fly along like this is a real treat sometimes.  Our group covered the route in under two hours, including regrouping time, and then we all got back together at the warming for the apres-ski snacks and a roaring fire.

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