Franconia Ridge

Franconia Ridge

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Hiking Up and Skiing Down

Could not make up my mind today - hiking or skiing. So I did both. I fastened my skis and boots to my backpack and headed for Pinkham Notch. Arriving at the parking lot the thermometer was reading 8 degrees with a stiff wind blowing but there was plenty of sun and blue sky. The estimated wind chill value was -10 to -15 below zero. There were plenty of people ignoring the cold and either hiking or skiing up the Tuckerman Ravine trail. I strapped on my pack with skis and took off!

The cold air felt good and the wind was somewhat blocked by the trees. But the higher I got the less help the trees were with the wind. I eventually cut over onto the Sherburne Ski trail and commenced making the transition over to skis. It turned out to be the most difficult part of the day. The temperature had dropped and the wind was howling. I stood there in knee deep snow struggling to put on my ski boots. The plastic on the boots had stiffened to the point where they were no longer pliable and it was near impossible to pry them apart enough to slip my foot in. After dogged determination I eventually got them on. I was ready to ski down!

The ski trail was well worn down and there was plenty of crust and ice. This was my first time skiing this trail and I found it to be in the intermediate-level skill range. It was an exhilarating ski down and I was soon back at the parking lot. Was almost able to ski up to my vehicle. It was a great way to spend a cold and windy Sunday afternoon!

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