Monday, January 5, 2009

New England Report

I spent a couple days in New England visiting home. The snow wasn't great, but I was able to ski most days. Weston was in good, snowmaking shape, and Jackson was good too. I spent some time running up the trail to Carter Hut, which was snowy but with good traction, and an easy hour run (with ski poles).

I hadn't skied Jackson in a couple years, but it's still quite a bit of fun. The first evening, after visiting the hut, I skied their homologated race course, which is rather challenging. I strode it, and there are some steeper hills, and some fun corners. They put a lot of money in to the course, one wonders if they are angling to host a major race (nationals) in the coming years. The next morning we all skied the East Pasture loop, with its nice 1000 foot climb (something we assuredly don't see in Midwest) and to make it interesting I would ski most of the hills three times as my folks skied them once. I even got carded—er—had my ticket checked, and having left it in my other jacket, didn't have it on me. Whoops. My parents vouched for me, and had theirs. On the way down I took most of the hills at top speed, snowplowing a couple times, and on the last major one almost wiped out, so I skied back to the corner to watch the carnage, and all three came snowplowing through. The striding, however, was excellent.

In the evening, I went and double poled up and down the Ellis River Trail. 8k each way, excellent tracks, an easy gradient. It was a blast. I started out in the light and by the time I was back it was dark and I was shooting along—downhill—on my headlamp. An hour of double poling along a beautiful, gurgling river with mountains. Again, not something you see much in the Midwest. Of course, there's no Birkie Trail in the Midwest, or good skiing near a major city.

Then it was a night hike up to Carter—hitting the notch with 5 degree temperatures and howling winds. I didn't have a hat on, thanks to my Midwestern training.

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