Start/end/time 7:55 – 3:45 7:05 (+:30 waiting for food drop)
Distance/ascent/pace 20.1 +1031/-1137 2.6 mph
Food & water 2L; 2 millennium & mainstay; Spanish rice (nasty!)
A cold start to a long day started with a double breakfast for me. Oatmeal and eggs washed down with 3 cups of tea to round out a 600 calorie jumpstart. I had pre-waxed my skis after dinner and cake with special green expecting temps around zero. The actual air temp was -10* with a light breeze from the NW.
I was smarter today with my hydration – bite valve tucked in my shirt and back drain the tube after each drink eliminated all icing issues. Trail conditions were good, well for a snowmobile trail. Typical of sled-heads, the first 2 or 3 ride straight down the trail and leave a nice ski surface…. Except the guy in the back is bored and slaloms back and forth for miles and miles… to make it worse, he has these super deep grooves in his front skis that are impossible to deal with on XC’s…. You either follow his track back and forth or look for untracked snow and break you own trail…. I did that for 2 miles just for a break.
|Downstream view of Trout Brook|
So, where was the food drop? We looked about but no sign….. uggg! We had to wait… and wait….and wait some more. Eventually Andy’s sled could be heard in the distance. Not too late ~ about 45 minutes…. Not to bad. We divvy up the rations and head the last 2 miles to South Branch pond.
Forecast for tomorrow had been for rain and sleet but the Rangers said it changed to 6” snow with strong gusty wind… We’d be smart to get an early start.
|Sunset on North Traveler from South Branch Pond|