Sunday, March 04, 2007

Chasin' down winter

I'm not ready to give up the snow just yet. And with things coming up the next 2 weekends that don't involve skiing or biking, I knew I had to get on it today, as it was probably my last chance of the winter for x-c skiing. I opted for another place I'd always wanted to try, Laurel Mountain, a PA State Park, and now abandoned ski area. It's adjacent to miles and miles of ridgetop backcountry ski and mountain bike trails, in Speedgoat country. I'd done the 33-mile mountain bike race, the Laurel Classic about 15 years ago here, and knew of the potential. Especially the winter potential after the ski area shut down. This was also a much shorter drive than White Grass, and after leaving Chambersburg before 0530, I was at the trailhead about 2 hours later, and the first car in the lot.

This was a solo trip, since one of my potential ski partners is skiing the Sawtooths and Tetons right now, another is nursing a new (hopefully temporary) knee injury, and many others have already gotten their road game on. No matter, there are no friends on powder days anyway right? And that's just what this was. It started snowing at Fort Loudoun just 20 minutes away, and was a decent squall going over Sideling Hill. The snow quit for a couple counties, and picked up again when I hit the Allegheny tunnel area. Kept snowing all the way in, and squalled on and off with sunbursts all day.

breaking trail to the goods

my favorite kind of Closed sign

The goods; a bit icy under the fresh, and a lot had been windblown off, but certainly still worth skiing. The singletrack trails were also fun to ski on the skinnier sticks, and look like they'd be cool on bikes too.

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