Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Snowshoeing - ECOS weekly XC ski outing

Every winter, ECOS holds a weekly Tuesday morning XC ski outing at a local nature preserve or state forest.  This year, responsibility for finding skiable snow nearby is rotating among several different leaders, and this week was my turn.  Not looking good.

Over the weekend, I drove quite a few miles visiting 6-8 possible areas, but only one looked at all promising on paper.  So, on Sunday, friends (and co-leader) Roy, Sue, and I headed to Rockwood State Forest, west of Johnstown, uncertain of what we'd find.  Online snow maps implied 4-6" of old snow and an inch or two of new snow on top, and that's basically what we found.  We skied for about 90 minutes, testing a few of the smaller hills, but found conditions pretty slick and fast.  Knowing the makeup of the group we'd be leading, we recommended a snowshoe trip here on Tuesday instead of skiing.  And today was the day.

The day dawned sunny and seasonable, with temps around 20F and no wind, a perfect day to be out.  A total of 12-13 of us wandered the forest for about 2 hours, testing some of the bigger hills on snowshoes, and being glad we weren't on skis.

There's now some talk of a snowstorm later this week, and with this being the only nearby location with any snow base left, we'll be watching this storm closely and hoping for a return visit here when the snow is better.  4-6" of additional snow would make some very nice skiing here, so fingers are crossed.

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