There is still a LOT of snow up here. Endless winter. From yesterday, and there is more snow today (see above):
TD and I went out to check snow quality. Still very strange, unconsolidated, requiring vary careful descending. After one downhill run, we decided to go for a tour an save the hills for the inevitable corn cycle to come. We did enjoy some tree skiing on the horizontal plane:
The snow-depth-o-meter is starting to go down. But check out the picnic table!
In a previous TFTH post, I mentioned that the quantity of snow we have up here was an embarrassment of riches. I will add to that statement the corollary: karma is a bitch. Right now, the snow out the back door, and all through the local backcountry, is the consistency of partially set cement and not much fun to break trail through. While some may argue that "all snow is skiable," not all snow is worth skiing in.
Doubling back though the sludge to change the plan.
My suspicions were aroused when I observed that our 28 pound dog was postholing when I let him out to chase a squirrel. How bad could it be I thought, I have big wide skis? After a five-minute tour around the yard on the Chargers, I went back in the house, changed into the old leather lace-ups, grabbed the trusty old Catamounts and walked down our road to a local singletrack snowmobile trail. The sensible skier would have done this right away.
The dog was stoked, because he got to go on this outing.
So what we ended up doing was a very pleasant little tour through the forest, enjoying some kick and glide on a nicely undulating trail. It is good to forego the heavy gear once and a while, get back to basics and just go for a ski.
There were some signs of spring: remnants of the r&*n the other day.
And sap buckets as far as the eye could see.
But no drips today.
So, knowing that video is the new thing on the Interwebz, I made another attempt to create moving picture content. Get ready for 13 seconds of white knuckle action. During this hair-raising XC ski descent, the dog decides to stop and pee. Then I took my finger off the record button.
OMG! I am slipping. Forgot to photograph the snow-depth-o-meter chairs today. Well, it suffices to say that Blue Toes and I have been sitting in them over the last few days, enjoying afternoon cocktails in the spring sun. The snow is going fast, though much remains.
Like many ski hills, our local bump is closed but the base is deep. Around here, this means that it is time for the annual Tour de Valley. With today's tour organized on very short notice, and several of the usual suspects gone AWOL, it was just TD and I meeting up at the Secret Parking Spot.
Conveniently, the bump operator had left us a ski rack:
We used no skins today. The Charger BCs proved their worth on the up:
And the down (with no "down time" due to skins):
It was really tough fighting our way through the spring crowds:
We even suffered the indignity of having to ski up where we skied down:
And fended off wild beasts, like corn snow spiders:
And snow snakes:
Given the base depth, I am pretty confident that there will be a part two. Stay tuned!
The above-noted fresh snow, combined with some rain and warm-but-not-too-warm temps, refreshed the surfaces of the Hinterlandian corn fields to the point where we could not ignore it. Today was the weather window, so the call was made for a second Tour de Valley. Today, we were joined (albeit a bit late) by a new recruit, the jovial backwoods explorer Jeff LeChef. Jeff had some excitement whitewater canoeing yesterday, so skiing probably seemed like a tamer option for today.
There was some snow loss on the access trail. The man-made doesn't reach this far:
This was no obstacle to the all-terrain Charger BCs:
No TR from Hidden Bump is complete without the lake view. The ice is finally showing some signs of letting go:
The serious corn harvesting begins:
First pass of the corn harvesters:
After a refreshment break, there was a whole lot of tele-fiddling to do:
This corn field was starting to look a little messy, so we moved on:
And up we went, for the last down. Will there be a Part Three? We shall see: