Saturday, March 21, 2009

Rite of Spring

Today was the first full day of spring*, which seemed an obvious choice to ski Pineland in order to give thanks to the various gods and godessess of snow and winter, and especially my arch enemy, the goddess of Gloucester Hill, after all, she let me escape with only a fleshwound this year. Oak Hill was fabulous. Lots and lots of snow in there - only the entrance and exit are bare. Gloucester Hill was a wee bit frozen, but she let me by so I snapped a photo of us. She looks quite tame in the photo, but that's her magic. The Campus loop was also quite good and worth a visit. Except the cloverleaf (or hilltop) - the last two leaflets were glare ice on the downhill and and uphill with a little bare ground at the bottom. Forget the cloverleaf no matter how good the first downhill looks. The River Valley loop was divine but will be gone soon. Ski it tomorrow or wait 'till December. The Valley Farm loop was mixed. Most of it was quite good but the hills following the end of the Hemlocks were glare ice on the downhills and bare ground on the uphills. Except the last climb exiting the Valley Farm, which was glare ice going up. All of this was skied between 1:30 and 3:30, so much of the ice in the segments with open canopy from the deciduous trees had softened up. I'm pretty sure most of Pineland would have been deadly this morning.
Total Distance - 20.5K
Total Time - 1:56:15
Number of stops to take pictures: 4
Number of stops to unbind and hike across roads: 5 (the Valley Farm Road was open)
Number of stopes to unbind and walk down hill of glare ice: 2

*the vernal equinox was yesterday at 7:44 EST

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