A leisurely 40 miles

I had the day off from work and decided that it would be wonderful to do a longish day ski at a leisurely pace in the Whites. I decided to ski out to a ways past Borealis and back from mile 28, as the trail was rumoured to be in pretty nice shape. Its spring break, so I expected crowds, but I was pleasantly surprised by the lack of traffic on the trails. On the way in I saw a two people skiing out from Eleazars, and two people on snow machines leaving Borealis, and the way out two parties of snow machines and a musher, but otherwise I had the place to my self. The whites are a strange place in regards to traffic – some days I run into constant snow machine traffic and other days its completely empty.
When I waxed my skis the night before, the forecast was for a nice 20f to 25f, so I waxed up with blue Powergrip. When morning came it was 0f and I was too lazy to mess with rewaxing and just left it. Amazingly the blue Powergrip lasted the entire day, with a bit of rewaxing due to icing with the overflow. The day started windy and overcast with a fast trail due to some recent mushing traffic. I made good time and zipped a long at a good clip until 13 miles or so in, when I ran into the first batch of overflow.

A short bit of double polling and I was quickly past it, and off to the next section. The overflow continued on and off for the next 5 miles or so.

Fortunately it was pretty dry and not all that intense and thus very skiable.

My first major distraction occurred when a small owl flew over me and I photo stalked it for a while.

Besides the owl, there were large number of what appeared to me to be fairly fresh caribou tracks on the trail, something that I have not see before. I spent some time scanning the nearby hills in the off chance I would see them, but alas no luck. I would love to see some winter caribou!
I reached Beaver Creek a little longer than 4 hours since leaving the parking lot, and skied on for a ways, then stopped for lunch. My lunch was a healthy handful of bear claw almond pastries – yum, yum! They had been squished together due to my poor packing, but still tasted great. Fantastic! After shoving these down, I headed back out to the parking lot. As I crossed Beaver Creek it started to snow, and the trail began to slow down. The long ski down from the first hill past Borealis is normally a long pleasant glide, but the fresh snow pretty much did away with the gliding part. Eventually I was past by a musher and things sped up again. While the musher pasted she made a comment about how it looked like Remus was really enjoying himself.

It looked like Remus was enjoying himself because he was in fact having a lot of fun. Remus loves long trips – I think in his ideal world every day would involve a 40 mile ski. Perhaps he would prefer even longer days – so long as its not too hot Remus never seems to get tired. Shortly after we past the musher we made it to the trail shelter. I had smelt a brief wiff of smoke while crossing the last bit of overflow and was quite impressed the smoke from Eleasars could blow that far.

When I reached the trail shelter, the mystery was resolved – the shelter was unoccupied but someone must have been by recently as while the fire was almost out it was roasting hot inside! Remus and I spent 20 minutes or so hanging out in the heat of the shelter, drying off and in my case adding some tar wax for a bit more glide in the new snow. Eventually we pried ourselves out of the warm and snug shelter and headed back down the trail. The rest of the ski was quite uneventful except for a funny encounter near the trail creek trail junction – there was a blue down parka in the middle of the trail. Remus was quite suspicious, and after sniffing it, gave the scary parka a wide berth. I was not sure what to do – should I leave the jacket or pack it out – but since I thought I could hear folks on the trail ahead, I scooped up the parka and continued on. After a couple of jogs in the trail, I soon saw the travellers in the distance, and was somewhat baffled as to what was going on – there appeared to be a short gnome like person who was as wide as he or she was tall, along with two others messing with something off the trail. I as I got closer things cleared up – the gnome like creature was a young boy wearing a huge adult size parka that covered him so completely only six inches or so of this legs where exposed.. The other two were trying to dig out a snow machine stuck off the side of the trail – apparently they were on an evening jaunt out of the nearby Lees cabin. After handing back their parka I gave them a hand and the snow machine was quickly back on the trail and they zoomed off down the trail. The rest of the trail went by pretty fast and I was soon back at the parking lot, hungry but none the worse for the 40 miles. The hunger was dealt with by a nice greasy burger on the way back into town – hurra! Alas not Mias quality, but it was eaten quick enough I hardly noticed. Alas, Remus had to wait until we got home for his dinner.

Tags: , , ,

Leave a Reply