No announcement yet.

The Ramblings of an XC Noob

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • #16
    Day 10 & 6: Dewey Mountain 1/28/23

    Dewey has been one of those places that I've been meaning to check out. It's just been in the back of the mind. I saw an ad for the ski area the other day and decided that we'd make the trip out to Snakey Lake and give it a go.

    I'm glad that we did. Dewey is freaking awesome! There are trails for all skill levels including a Black Diamond trail that goes up and down the summit.
    We had no intention of hitting the Black Diamonds but we hit all of the green trails an a section of a blue trail. I thought Cookie Monster was an awesome trail with a wicked cool descent at the end with just the right amount of turns involved. We ate a quick lunch in the lovely lodge before going back out and hitting some more powder. Most people there seemed really chatty and friendly.
    This was a great experience and I encourage everyone to check out this little gem. It's a ball.

    Day 11 & 7: Two Tales of Whiteface 1/29/23

    Pokey's Adventure:

    Today during ski lessons we practiced turning and stopping after the lessons I skied for some more then we had lunch with my dads friend Brad.
    Brad and I went down the hill and he fell and it was really funny. Snow had been coming down heavy then turned into rain which messed up the trails and slowed me down a bit. But overall it was a good trip and I'm excited for next week.

    Sun Dogg's Adventure

    After Pokey's ski at the ski center, we drove to the Whiteface toll booth. She was pooped from skiing and chose to sit in the car and listened to the radio. While it was raining on the other side of the mountain, it was still snowing here. I popped on my skis and made my way uphill. It was nice and easy moving on the way up as I followed a snowmobile track. A pair of skiers whizzed down as I made my ascent. It didn't take long before I arrived at the half mile sign where I stopped, turned around, and let 'er rip. It was a lot of fun flying down the road. I was back to the toll booth in about 2 mins. This was my first time skiing any of the road and I definitely look forward to skiing more of it next time.

    Click image for larger version  Name:	20230129_143531.jpg Views:	2 Size:	12.1 KB ID:	520547 Click image for larger version  Name:	20230129_152702.jpg Views:	2 Size:	14.9 KB ID:	520548


    • #17
      Day 12: Thrall 1/30/23

      I've been to the Trall Dam once. I thought it was a neat peak into the past... and, a total tick paradise.

      I determined that this could be a good place to pop by in Winter... And, figured why not today?

      In hindsight, I wish that I chose a different location.

      I parked at the Western trailhead. Got out, walked over to the trail and noted that snowmobiles were allowed on the main trails here. I put on my skis and tried to follow the snowmobile tracks.

      In my limited experience, I have found that there are four types of snowmobile trails. A snowmobile track on fresh snow is fine. A fresh snowmobile track on a number of types of snow is welcomed. A snowmobile track that has seen a few inches of snow fall on it is awesome.

      A snowmobile track that freezes over is an XC-skier's nightmare (correct me if I'm wrong on that).

      And, the latter is what I dealt with for much of this ski. It was a game of gambit.

      The main trail is an old road. It had been broken by a number of snowmobiles. But, had frozen over since their appearance.

      I was hugging a small slice of snow to the sides of their tracks while descending a large hill. Near the bottom of the hill, there was no choice but to get on the frozen snowmobile track.


      I made it to the site of the former dam and continued a bit further before making a "loop turn."

      I finally found a trail that I could take back to the car. No snowmobile tracks... or anything. Tired and banged up... I ended up breaking trail through some unfavorable conditions.

      Arriving back at the parking lot, I noticed a trail that's off limits to snowmobiles It looked a bit wider than the trail I had skied back to my car. I followed it for a few minutes before opting to turn around. I was wet and didn't feel like more trail breaking. Spent.


      • FlyFishingandBeer
        FlyFishingandBeer commented
        Editing a comment
        A snowmobile track that has frozen over sucks. A snowmobile track that has not yet frozen over is almost as good as groomed snow. in the winter of 20/21 when the world went crazy I spend the winter mostly solo skiing the Thousand Islands... which can be dangerous but is also absolutely gorgeous. I found that my best skiing was to follow the snowmobile tracks from the caretakers who go out in the morning to check on their clients' island properties.

        Note: if anyone ever feels like getting into this as a hobby, you want to get all your skiing done in the morning and be off the river by about lunch time. Conditions get sketchy in the afternoon.

    • #18

      Pokey Moonshine's Day 8 - Whiteface:

      Today during ski lessons we practiced going up some decent size hills called "whales" which are made by the snow machine then we worked on hockey stopping then turning some more we went up the ski lift a couple times then went down the bobcat, loon, moose and the flying squirrel trail. After the lessons I went on the coyote trail and practiced some more on the bumps and turning once or twice.

      Sun Dogg's Day 13 - Whiteface Road

      After Pokey's ski, we stopped at the Little Supermarket to get some sandwiches. Check this place out.
      We ate them at the dam, and then drove to the Whiteface tollbooth. Like last Sunday, Pokey was skied out. But, I threw on my skis and began the trek upwards. I wasn't sure how far I'd go. But, I determined that I must go a little farther than last week. I made my way past the half mile sign. I kept going. It was windy and the snow was slick as a result of the recent deep freeze. I passed the first lookout and paused in the vicinity of the mile marker. As mentioned, the conditions were fast... I went fast.
      I was pleased that I was able to make a nice stop about 2/3 of my way down... I was going fast.
      The rest of the way back to the tollbooth was a pleasant ski. I'm glad that we both had a good day today.


      • #19
        Ski Days 14 & 9: Quinn Mountain - The Outer Loop

        I am pretty stoked to be writing this TR. There's a bit going on right now in regards to new trails on private land being opened to the public in Peru. But, one went without an any sort of announcement until the day it opened (this past Saturday).

        This afternoon, I saw a post shared by a friend announcing the opening of the Quinn Mountain Outer Loop. The original was made by Outerspace. They're apparently a small private campground with a number of recreational opportunities.

        "The Outer Loop - Come snowshoe, cross country ski, walk or hike our 1.3 mile loop on top of Quinn Mountain."

        A 5-10 minute drive from home? I was instantly sold on checking it out. When I got home from work, I told Pokey "we're going to ski a brand new place, here in town."

        We drove up the mountain, the road became single lane with signs directing us to the trailhead.

        We pulled in and put on our skis. There is a register, it was just drilled into the tree within the past few days by judging the shavings on the ground. We signed in. No one had signed in before us. I also signed a waiver. Inside of the register is also a copy of the trail map and rules.

        Saturday had been so cold that I'm not shocked that one may have missed the announcement. Not surprised if someone had missed the announcement on Sunday either.

        As we skied on to the trail, it was clear that we were making the first tracks "ever."
        We were the first ones to sign in and ski this newly opened trail.

        It was groomed (no track) on Saturday (possibly Friday). The trail was very slick and frosty for much of the ski as the trail is on the Northern face of the mountain.

        The stick of this lollipop loop was an enjoyable ski with a fun little hill or two in there. We passed a frozen pond and a small view of Terry Mountain (which is notable for it's large antenna).

        Soon, we arrived at the loop split and opted to go counterclockwise and climb up for a short bit before hitting a stretch of fun little hills and flats. We stopped, laughed and took pictures of a Subaru that was on the side of the trail... An obvious victim of a muddin' disaster!

        The trail skirts the summit of Quinn Mountain, and that's OK. Because the fun picks up! There's a bunch of great hills along this stretch and a viewpoint towards Lake Champlain and the Green Mountains of Vermont.

        We came across a long downhill stretch. Dusk was in full force and I hadn't yet turned on my headlamp. So, a little ways down, I pulled over to the side of the trail and stopped. I was trying to figure out where the curves were. As I was on the lookout, Pokey skied down and passed me.

        "Adios," she said.

        She had evidently figured this thing out immediately or did a great job of faking it and pulling it off. She made her way down the big hill... and after witnessing, I followed her route.

        What followed was a series of fun downhills.

        Soon, we were back at the lollipop stick and began to make our way back to the car. With the colors fading, we enjoyed a pleasant ski. At one point, Pokey was pointing and yelling at me. When I caught up to her, she pointed out an old logging truck covered in snow.

        "How did we miss that?" I asked.

        "Because, we came down that hill," Pokey said while nodding towards it.

        "Oh... That makes sense," I said.

        A few minutes later, we were back at the trailhead. I checked us out at the register and dropped the first buck in the donation box.

        This was a great ski in some tough conditions on a brand new trail. Being the first two members of the public to check it out after it's official opening is pretty cool with us.
        With or without that distinction, we'll gladly tell you that this is a really fun little ski with some great hills thrown in there.

        Quinn Mountain has a bit of everything thrown in there. Enjoy it!

        Click image for larger version

Name:	20230206_165504.jpg
Views:	239
Size:	11.8 KB
ID:	520717


        • FlyFishingandBeer
          FlyFishingandBeer commented
          Editing a comment
          Give her another year or two of making her turns at Whiteface you you won't have a chance in hell at keeping up with her!

        • Learning The Trails
          Learning The Trails commented
          Editing a comment
          @flyfishingandbeer maybe a few more weeks and I don't stand the chance.

      • #20
        Ski Day 15: Sharp Bridge to East Mill Flow 2/10/23

        We had gone through another big melt since my previous TR. My yard was grass.
        I drove south to Sharp Bridge in search of snow... And, thankfully found it!

        I've mentioned many times on here that I love Sharp Bridge. I've hiked the East Mill Flow Trail many times in Summer. It was Pokey's first trail. That's always meant something to me.
        Skiing this thing was a bucketlist item.

        I skied to the trail register, realized that I forgot to lock my car, skied back, locked it and skied back to the register. It was warm and I quickly worked up a sweat. I unzipped my coat and proceeded along. It was really nice to see the Little Schroon surrounded by snow. Conditions were totally a mixed bag. Sometimes the going was easy, there were moments it was icy and fast, as well as periods of breaking trail. There was a hill on the way to East Mill Flow and one on the return where I took off my skis and walked down because most of the trail was effectively a stream.

        Speaking of water, there were a few times where I'd be skiing along and my skis would sink through the snow and my boots were engulfed in water. This ski was a very mixed bag and a lot of work. I was pleased when I arrived at the Flow but surprised that the bridge had been removed. I took a few pictures and gulped down a Starry before turning around. The return ski went much quicker as I followed my tracks.

        I would have loved to hit this trail under better conditions but had a good time nonetheless and am happy to have checked the Sharp Bridg to East Mill Flow trail off the list.

        Ski Day 16 & 10: Dewey Mountain 2/11/23

        We had a Winter Carnival plan. Perhaps unconventional. But, that's how we carnival. We headed out to Saranac Lake with our eyes set on Dewey Mountain. We got a little later start than planned, but that was beneficial. The parade was finishing up as we got to town. This was a good thing, if we had been here any earlier, we'd have no way around it. We arrived at Dewey. As expected, it was dead. Everyone was in town partying. Conditions were icy and fast. But, we enjoyed some really good skiing. We tried out the blue trails as well this time and they were A LOT of fun. Pokey said to me that she "kinda likes this place more than Cascade." And, I totally get that. Dewey is freaking awesome. After our ski, we ran over to the Adirondack Carousel for a few rides before heading downtown and checking out the rotting Ice Palace (actually this year it was an Ice Coliseum). This was a very full and fun day in Snakey Lake and a fun way to "carnival."

        Pokey's Ski Day 11: Whiteface 2/12/23

        Pokey may have had the weather day of the year in terms of a warm ski day at the Face. She had a great lesson. Afterwards, she continued to ski all of the Bear Den trails with friends. She was having fun. And, she looked great. After a few hours of "free ski," she mentioned that she wished she could go over to the "main mountain." So, I began texting all of my friends with season passes to see if any of them were there and willing to take her for a run at Whiteface proper. My buddy Brad replied from the summit. 20 minutes later, he met with us at the lodge and chatted for us for a bit. He told me he was "honored" that I trusted him to take her to the main mountain to ski the trails for the first time. They did one big run and just based off of what she told me, Pokey learned more off of that run than she did in her lesson. She also learned why it's called Iceface. She ended up skiing for over 6 hours. So, I was in no mood to do an XC run down the road. We instead opted for a great sandwich from the Little Supermarket and eating them at the Jay covered bridge.

        (Sorry that I wrote this TR, Pokey is unavailable ATM).

        Ski Day 17: Quinn Mountain 2/13/23

        I returned to Quinn with hopes that there might be some snow on the ground. Only six others had signed into this new trail after me in the two weeks that had passed. Two of them were in the process of hiking out. Which means two of the other four barebooted the trails on a very warm day. Their prints had turned into ice postholes. Not "icey," just ice. In fact the entire trail was ice. I skied to the loop split and decided it wasn't worth getting hurt for ice and turned around. Arriving back at the trailhead, I realized the main road leads to two State Trailheads. So, I skied about a half mile of it's ice before calling it quits for good. Not a great ski. But, I guess not the worst either...


        • #21
          Ski Day 18: Sharp Bridge Campground 2/18/23

          I had a few things to do near North Hudson on Saturday morning. Figured, why not check out Sharp Bridge and see if it's skiable? I had no intentions of skiing the trail. I knew that thing would be toast. But, from the looks of it a week before, no one had been through the campground in weeks. My guesstimation worked out. There was 8-12' of hardpack throughout the campground and no one had been there in quite some time. I made my own tracks throughout the campground on mostly icy surfaces. Enjoying over two hours of skiing under blue skies was nice. I just wish the conditions were better.

          Ski Day 19: Dewey Mountain 2/20/23

          My buddy Don and I had been planning on night skiing the Tupper Lake Groomed Trails (under the lights) for almost a year. He lives in Utica and enjoys Tupper Lake. So, it's served as a good town for us to meet up at in recent years. This was a meetup that we were both looking forward to. Realizing that it's been a bleak Winter, we agreed to do something else if the trails were closed.

          I was driving through Bloomingdale when Don called me. He was in Tupper and the trails were closed. We had some backup plans to hike but I thought quickly and said "I'm five minutes away from Dewey Mountain. Lemme stop by there and see if they're open."

          I pulled into Dewey and walked up to the lodge. They were open. Looking at the trails from the lodge, it was obvious that they were really icy.

          I called Don back and told him that Dewey was open. He told me he was on his way.

          Fifteen minutes later, we were chatting in the parking lot and getting our gear together. We brought everything up to the lodge and "checked in." It was a different guy working than my previous two times here and he was very chatty (in a good way).

          Don has only experienced the "warming huts" of the Western Adirondacks and was quite impressed with the lodge.

          "Wait til ya see the trails," I said.

          Within minutes, we we on them with me leading the way. We were essentially skiing on a layer of ice with some slush on top.

          Nevertheless, we skied for a good two hours. Despite the shotty conditions, we had a great time. We'd ski for a bit before stopping and sharing a few stories before ripping it down the mountain.
          I was feeling great and skiing really well, all things considered.

          I said, "I've been skiing so much crud lately, that when we finally get a decent dump, I'll probably look like I know what I'm doing out here," to a laugh.

          We took a 45 minute break for dinner before returning to the trails. It was impressive what Mother Nature did in that time. She doubled down and made the trails straight up ice with zero slush on top. The skiing got turned up a few notches as we glided under the lights. The slush was now ice as well. But that didn't prevent us from having a good one. It was fast. It was really icy. But, it was a ton of fun.

          Dewey certainly wasn't Plan A... But, for a last minute plan B... It couldn't be beat.

          Dewey FTW again.


          • #22
            Ski Night 20: Wickham Marsh East 2/24/23

            We finally got some snow.

            I drove over to Wickham Marsh to see if any of the trailheads were plowed after dinner tonight. The Southern one wasn't but the Eastern one was.

            It was in the single digits as I popped my skis on. This was a fairly short ski (just over a mile). My body temp stayed neutral the entire time (nice). Not much of note other than some decent gliding. Finally hit 20 on the season.


            • #23
              Ski Day 21: Warrensburg Hiking & Nordic Ski Trail System and Gibbons Golf Course, Warrensburg 2-25-23

              I had tickets for last night's moe. show at the Palace in Albany.
              Figured that it would be cool to stop somewhere during the drive and get in a little skiing in at some place other than the Northern Adirondacks.
              So, I messaged the Forum's very own Makwa and asked him if he knew of any trails "close to the Northway that might make a nice, easy ski?"

              He shot back a few suggestions which I now have in my mental rolodex. I ultimately ended up checking one of them out.

              I stopped by Gibbons Golf Course and noted that the gate was closed. I drove a quarter of a mile north on 9 and found a State Parking lot. It was marked as the Warrensburg Hiking and Nordic Ski Trail System. I hopped out of the car, popped into my skis and looked at the trailhead map. I skied down to the Hudson River and took a left and made my way towards the golf course. Once there, I skied a long loop around Gibbons. Despite being marked as "Skis only," there was plenty of evidence of booters following and stomping out the ski tracks.

              I made my own track, Conditions were'nt the greatest. But, there were some nice views through the flurries that kept spirits up.

              I haven't recreated in the South-Eastern section of the Adirondacks much in recent years (aside from a little fishing). This was a nice change up. Thanks again Makwa for the suggestion.

              Of course, you all want to know how the moe. concert was... It was a classic. A great setlist with a number of guest appearances. I ran into many old friends and shared a few good laughs. It was a wicked awesome show.

              Click image for larger version

Name:	20230225_154357.jpg
Views:	197
Size:	8.3 KB
ID:	521077 Click image for larger version

Name:	20230225_235708.jpg
Views:	190
Size:	16.8 KB
ID:	521078


              • #24
                Ski Day 22 & 12: Quinn Mountain 2/27/23

                I mentioned it before, but I am totally jazzed that this trail has been opened to the public.
                It's a really nice ski with the right conditions. Today, we were treated with some good stuff. Only two people had been here since my last appearance and they hiked before the most recent dump last week.

                Pokey and I were looking at some really nice, ungroomed goodness in front of us.


                Nice Kick'n'glide time.

                We arrived at the loop split and opted to go clockwise this time. This actually meant that we did a bit of climbing. But, the snow was perfect for it.

                We climbed to the high point of trail and then easily worked our way down.

                We semi-joked that it was a likely fate that our hard earned tracks would likely be destroyed possibly within minutes upon us leaving the parking lot.

                As a result, Pokey and I are gonna see if we can reap the benefits of our trail breaking at Quinn tomorrow (Tues 2/28/23) before the Sun sets.

                Fingers crossed for no booters.

                Click image for larger version  Name:	20230227_151314.jpg Views:	2 Size:	10.0 KB ID:	521102


                • #25
                  Ski Night 23 & 13: Quinn Mountain 2/28/23

                  As I mentioned in the last bit of my previous TR, Pokey and I were hopeful to get back to Quinn before our tracks were destroyed. She was actually the loudest voice in this. She did not want our track to be wrecked.

                  Over night and into this AM, we received a few inches of snow.

                  After school and work, we shot over to Quinn and enjoyed the best conditions of the season (thus far).The light snowfall on our tracks from yesterday were an absolute joy to ski. This was the stuff! I wish we had more time to do a few loop laps. But, that was not the case. We only had time for one loop on this lollipop. And, we made it a good one.

                  Despite only getting one loop lap in:

                  Finally! Some wonderful (cooperative) snow!


                  (Plz snow, stick around for a few days).

                  To note, we went clockwise on the loop yesterday and counter-clockwise today. If conditions aren't the greatest, go clockwise at the loop. If conditions are decent/good/great then go counterclockwise.

                  What do I know? I'm a skiing noob.

                  It's not the longest or fanciest ski... But, it's right there in our town and it's fun.

                  And, it's a "noob."
                  Like us.

                  Click image for larger version

Name:	20230228_173032.jpg
Views:	164
Size:	7.9 KB
ID:	521128


                  • Makwa
                    Makwa commented
                    Editing a comment
                    I'm pretty sure that counterclockwise loops always are faster too. Something to do with turning back time.

                  • Learning The Trails
                    Learning The Trails commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Makwa 100% that has something to do with Cher.

                  • Makwa
                    Makwa commented
                    Editing a comment
                    I "Believe" you.

                • #26
                  Day 24 & 14: Thrall Dam(mit) 3/4/23

                  Thrall Dam is a place that I want to like. But, go back and read my previous TR in this thread and my initial thread where I walked a little of it in Spring and got bit up by ticks.
                  Would the third time be the charm?
                  Well for starters, it wasn't our first choice for the day. It became a last second backup plan as a trailhead was inaccessible. We arrived at the park trailhead on Route 9 and had no problem getting in (more on that later). We were ready, so it was only a matter of minutes before we had our skis on and were on the trails.

                  We skied down to the remains of the dam (the current site of a beaver dam... Isn't it funny that they figure this whole damming thing out better than humans?).

                  We skied up the hill on the other side of the stream and hopped on the Lewis Trail. We had been following snowmobile tracks up until this point. I assumed we were hitting the ungroomed lottery.

                  We didn't.

                  Not saying this trail was terrible at all. There were a number of moments where everything looked like it was from a postcard. Also, a number of old logging roads that look like some fun "side trip" downhills. But, there was quite a bit of sticky snow. Pokey was having a tough time with it. Her skis are probably due for a quick wax.

                  We reached a junction and jumped on the Inez Trail to make our way back to the car. We arrived at a scenic bridge and crossed it. What followed was the longest line of switchback that I've ever seen (remember bicycles are allowed on this trail). It was one after the other. This went on forever. I'm not joking. It was brutal.

                  It had just gotten dark and we weren't exactly sure how far from the car we were... Until we heard the revs of snowmobile and could smell it's gas fumes.

                  We were back to the car within a few minutes.

                  Soon, we were happily making our way out of the trailhead and my car couldn't get past the plow berm. I backed up, hopped out, grabbed the shovel and began scraping.
                  I was tired.

                  Within minutes, a dude on an ATV with a plow comes flying down the mountain across the street and pulls up to me. Said he'd help. This guy plowed everything and helped us get out of the trailhead. He got us out. I offered him a few bucks cash for the gas and he flat out refused it. He was just happy to help. It restored a little faith in mankind.

                  This wasn't a strikeout... maybe a balk. It certainly was not the most fun ski...Some nice vistas.
                  Nevertheless, it ended well.

                  Day 15: Whiteface 3/5/23 - TR by Pokey Moonshine

                  On Sunday I went to Whiteface for ski club we went on the face lift and skied on some of the easier trails and got familiar with the main mountain. After the lesson I skied a trail then my grandpa and his friend showed up to take me back on the main mountain and we did a blue trail which I did pretty good on. Then we did some green trails and headed back to the bear den area then did flying squirrel then we were done for the day.


                  • #27
                    Ski Day 25: Whiteface Road 3/5/23

                    After Pokey, Grandpa and Jim were done skiing at the Face, we all grabbed sandwiches in Wilmington. Jim & my Dad both remarked how impressed with Pokey's (downhill) skiing after only five lessons. Afterwards, they hopped in their car and made their way to Albany. We drove to the toll house. Pokey was skied out again. I skied a mile up again and let 'er rip down again. Conditions were perfect.

                    Ski Day 26: Whiteface Road: 3/6/23

                    I decided to go back to the Whiteface Highway again and see if I could capture the perfect conditions of the previous day. It was a bluebird day. No wind... Unless you were on the road.
                    It looked as if 100 skiers had shown up and skied since 3:30 PM Sunday. In exposed places of the road, the wind had blown everything off. So, a beautiful day with some conditions to take into consideration. I skied up to the Pumphouse and took much too short of a break before turning around and skiing down.


                    • #28
                      Ski Day 27: Hardy Road Trails (Beaver Brook Tract), Wilmington 3/10/23

                      This trail system was recommended by friends. On paper, it looks like an exciting network. I'd just like some better conditions to explore. That said, this place seems nice and I def wanna come back on a better day,

                      I pulled into the parking area. There's BETA trails on both sides of the street. The other side of the street had a much, much smaller berm. So, I opted to head over there first. I skied to the scenic Beaver Meadow Overlook and followed the post holed trail to to "Double Time." I followed it to the Safe Bet junction and opted to turn around. I was set on climbing the 4.5' berm and seeing if things were better on the other side of the street.

                      And, they were! No signs of any postholers. Things were still very icy on the very narrow trails here. At least they weren't destroyed. I skied he Coniferous and Lost Farm Loops. Both were scenic and showed numerous signs of a healthy eco system.

                      If ice wasn't such a factor, I would've explored more. Definitely wanna come back with some fresh powder.


                      • #29
                        Ski Day 28 &16: Mount Van Hoevenberg 3/11/23

                        Van Hoe has been a bucketlist place to go in the last year and change since I got my skis. We didn't hit it last season. But, it was on for this season.

                        Until a day before, I didn't realize that the NCAA 20k Finals were being held that day. We've explored quite a bit of Van Hoe before.. But, never have been in the lodge before. We both commented on how nice it was.

                        We put on our gear in the "locker room," and were directed to ski across the bridge on the second floor (as to not interfere with the races).

                        The bridge was fairly crowded. We didn't put our skis on until we crossed.

                        An employee, whom it was tough to understand what he was saying - but, was extremely nice directed us towards an underpass which led us to the Brookside (Blue Trail). I have a good idea of Blue Trails at places like Cascade and Dewey. But, were Van Hoe blue Trails something of a different nature?

                        Yes and no.

                        They were big descents. We could see where the trail made sharp turns and questioned what laid beyond our sightline. Brookside starts right out with a big drop.

                        "You go first," said Pokey.

                        "Oh, OK. Put this one on me!" I replied with a laugh.

                        Well, it was a really fast descent and as soon as the trail turned, it evened out and offered an easy stop. Brookside ended up being an enjoyable trail. If things hadn't been so hectic in the lodge, I would've asked for some suggested routes from the staff. Instead, we were on our own...

                        We skied a bit of the truck trail before hopping on the Three Trails Cutoff Loop. This trail also offered a great variety of downs and ups.

                        Arriving back at the underpass, we returned to the lodge to have lunch.

                        Upon leaning our skis against the wall, we noticed that two of our ADK chapter-mates were there as well! We said "Hi," and caught up. From the sounds of it, they had a great ski!

                        After lunch, we skied across an empty bridge and began skiing on the competition side taking what turned out to be a short trail that led us to a small pumphouse where we turned and faced a steep slope.

                        This time, Pokey chose to go first... And, she ripped it. A great run. I followed and enjoyed one myself. She loved it... So, we did it again.

                        After doing two blue trails and dipping our toes into the competitive trails... We finally hit the green/blue combo of Zig Zag which took us by the old 1980 "Stadium." The buildings are still there and it looks as if they are used for storage. Although, we had already seen some bigger hills and turns already... This was a pretty awesome trail as well.

                        On our way back to the lodge, we hit the competitive loop again and added a second hill and fast drop.

                        I had hoped that this would be an exciting experience. And it was.

                        Pricey? Yes. Figuring out where to go when a big event is going on? An added layer.

                        Worth it?

                        Yep. Absolutely. Van Hoe is exciting. The trails are amazing. We barely scratched the surface... But, got a good feel for the place.

                        Dang good skiing.


                        • #30
                          Pokey's Ski Day 17: Whiteface Mountain 3/12/23

                          On Sunday I went to Whiteface for my ski lessons we went on the main mountain and went on blue and green trails and practiced turning and hockey stopping some more and I can finally hockey stop. after that we took a run down the otter trail. after the lesson I tried the hoot owl glades and did pretty good although they are tough. Then I did some more runs and then I was done.

                          Pokey's Day 17 (cont.) & Sun Dog's Ski Day 29: Cobble Lookout 3/12/23

                          After Pokey's day at the Face, we grabbed lunch at the Little Supermarket and then headed towards the Whiteface Highway. But, I decided to try something else out and made a right and pulled into Cobble Lookout. In hindsight, I'm glad that I did. This is one of the easiest bang for the buck hikes in the ADK. I've been here before in Winter and seen the trail all postholed up. From the parking lot, it was clear that some snowshower(s) have taken it upon themselves to beat the trail down into a highway this year. It has been a minute since I've seen a trail broken so nicely.

                          There were a handful of other cars parked along the side of the road. But, nowhere near as many parked at the tollhouse.

                          The highway made this an easy ski. Though, I noted one tricky spot where we'd likely need to pop off our skis for a second.

                          The Cobble Lookout trail goes through an area of open/new growth forest. I saw a clear line and went off trail. I flew through a buncha baby trees. It was fun.
                          There were a few more points where I saw lines that would link us back up with the trail. We took full advantage of that. It was so rad. Awesome skiing in 2-3' of untouched snow!

                          It didn't take us long before we were at the "summit."

                          Weather was perfect. I figured we'd make a quick stop. But, we ended up hanging around for around a half hour.

                          I've always liked the view from Cobble Lookout and this was a day for the books.

                          It was a nice ski back. We followed our off trail tracks along the way.
                          We had one funny moment. I mentioned the area early in the trail that looked as if it could pose a problem on the return.

                          I arrived at it first and thought I saw a line. I went for it. Everything was going great and then I flew off tiny ledge. I landed it and then immediately put it down as I was headed for a tree (the top of my left ski hit it).

                          I popped up and hopped on the trail. I tried calling back to Pokey to tell her not to follow me and to pop off the skis.

                          It was too late.

                          She flew of the same small ledge and landed in a full split!

                          After getting around this spot, I skied over to the rock wall and spoke with an ice climber there.

                          It's only a few hundred feet from here back to the TH. This was another really fun stretch of the ski. A decent sized hill with a "long" descent leading us down back to the car. We dug it!

                          I was really shocked at how good of a ski this turned out to be. It went from "we'll give it a shot," to "Woah, this is a lot of fun!" real quick.
                          This, coupled with the prior day's ski at Van Hoe was easily the best back to back XC Ski days this year.

                          Click image for larger version

Name:	20230312_154003.jpg
Views:	105
Size:	13.7 KB
ID:	521438