Very Snowy February

Posted on February 13, 2017 by Chris Lumens in hiking, skiing.

After not really doing much of anything all through January and the beginning of February, I was thinking this would end up being like winter 2016. What little snow we got last winter disappeared between warmups and rain. That’s how this winter started, too. However on February 9 we got a dump of about 15" at home, followed by another 8" or 9" on February 13. In between those two storms, there wasn’t enough time to get out and do anything big but I was able to spend some time in parks near my house. Here’s some quick cell phone pictures.

Before we could even get out of the house on Thursday, we had to shovel out one door way and snow blow the driveway. It took both Sarah and me working to get it done, and it took two passes on the entire driveway just to get it clear. There was a whole lot of snow.

After taking off work a little early on Friday, I was able to get out and ski a loop around Grater Woods, a park right across the street from me. I’d snowshoed there and ridden my mountain bike plenty of times but never gone skiing. I took my Madshus Annums with 75mm bindings and boots. While I followed in someone’s ski and snowshoe tracks the whole day, it wasn’t very consolidated and my fat skis did well.

Here, I was trying to show how deep the snow was but it didn’t really work out. I’m pretty sure my right ski is under the snow, though. It’s still an interesting picture of my shadow.

These last two pictures show the top and bottom of the one really good hill. The one from the top does a better job of showing how steep it was. I hit my high speed of 12.5 mph here.

It snowed again Saturday morning and was threatening more for Saturday evening so I didn’t have time to drive anywhere. I decided to just go snowshoeing at Horse Hill, another park in town that I’ve hiked and biked plenty of times before. I was hoping to get lucky and be able to do some trail breaking.

Heading out on the loop and up to Blodgett Hill I was in a very well defined track. But coming down from the summit on the Outer Ledges trail quickly got me to unbroken trail. There’s a blue blaze on a tree in the middle of this picture.

From there I took parts of the loop and various other trails up to Horse Hill. These trails were all very well packed out. I wouldn’t break trail any more the rest of the day.

I doubled back from Horse Hill, dodged around it on the east side, and decided to not go all the way around the park on the loop. I took a shortcut back to the loop at the powerlines and followed the loop clockwise back towards the parking lot.

It was getting cold so I wanted to be done, but I also wanted to get a little more climbing in. So I went back over Blodgett Hill, picked up a beer bottle someone had stuck on a tree branch, and hiked down the way I’d come in. It wasn’t a big hike, but it was a fun couple days playing in the snow.