Posts Tagged ‘wolf run cabin’

The last ski trip of the season..

Monday, April 4th, 2011

A week after the Whites 100, I headed back out to the same area for a nice, mellow two night trip, this time on skis. I have not spent a lot of time on skis this year, instead focasing on biking, so I had been looking forward to some good quality spent gliding effortlessly over the snow (vs pushing the bike though the warm mush). Heike, Ms Marsh, Tom, and I headed out of town on a warm and sunny day, and after 60 miles or so of driving, left the trail head at mile 57 of the Eliot highway at around noon. The skiing was fantastic, and the weather was perfect, clear and sunny. Our plan was to spend the first night at Wolf Run Cabin, then head to Caribou Bluff cabin via Windy Gap, and then head back out to the mile 57 trail head. The first day was a fairly mellow 23 mile ski though burned spruce forests..

open tussock fields..

..and eventually across Beaver Creek and to Wolf Run cabin.
There were lots of wolf tracks on Beaver Creek. Perhaps the cabin was aptly named..

We spent the evening eating, goofing off, and generally enjoying being out in the wilderness. In the morning we headed out on our way to Caribou Bluff cabin, a leisurely 20 mile ski. The snow was very fast making for pleasant skiing and the views were fantastic!

A mile or so before reaching Windy Gap we were treated to views of Windy Arch.

The high point of the day was a flat ridge top with a wonderful view of the surrounding mountains.

After dropping down to Fossil Creek we stopped at Windy Gap cabin where a party of snowmachiners were just getting ready to leave. Heike used her “Super German” powers to snag a couple of beers from them, and hung out for a while in the warm cabin sipping beer. Eventually the beer was consumed and we headed back out on the trail and continued on to Caribou Bluff. This section of trail was very fun, with unbelievable fast snow and wonderful weather. Heike was skating and with the wide smooth trails she disappeared down the trail like a bullet. Eventually I arrived at the cabin, a little toasted from all the sun and the (single – I am a lightweight) beer.

The evening was spent goofing off, reading magazines, and talking. The cabin had a fairly new copy of Velo News which with its lycra clad roadies provided some strange but interesting reading. Others found the copy of US Magazine or the New Scientist to their tastes. Its amazing how much sun we have now, and how bright and warm it is. Remus, alas, had to satisfy himself with a raw hide chew.

This cabin is in a truly beautiful location and I really enjoy spending time here.

After lots of eating and socializing ( sometimes it appears that trips are just a chance to eat junk food without guilt) we hit the sack, and in the morning headed back out to the parking lot. The ski out was fairly uneventful, but scenic. Just after leaving Carabou Bluff we passed a partially eaten moose.

It appeared that the moose was killed by wolves, though someone had placed cut logs around it, as if to arrange seating around it.

Strange, but perhaps they were watching the Ravens, as the snow was covered with their tracks. Remus required some convincing that the moose was not one giant dog treat laid out for his munching pleasure. The rest of the way out was pretty uneventful, mellow ski out. I had not done enough skiing this year, so my feet got a bit tore up by the time we reached the parking lot, but nothing too major.

It was a fantastic trip and a great way to end the ski season. It was fun enough to make me question spending so much time on the snow bike. Almost…

A big thanks to Heike, Tom, and Ms Marsh for making this trip happen – it was a great way to wrap up the season.

A trip to Wolf Run

Sunday, January 24th, 2010

On a fine Sunday I escaped civilization with Nancy’s blessing (Nancy is the world’s most understanding wife!), and joined Tom and Marsh off for a overnight trip in the White Mountains NRA. Our destination was Wolf Run cabin, about a 60 mile drive and 23 mile ski. We arrived at the parking lot and were welcomed by nippy -20f at the trail head but things warmed up quick as the sun rose. The trail into Wolf Run is a mix of rolling hills, black spruce spruce swamp, and open tussock fields. This was also the first trip in the White Mountains were I only saw human powered transport – we passed one biker and six or so skiers. Quite impressive!

The first 5 miles or so of the Colorado Creek Trail had fresh snow machine tracks, but these turned off the main trail and headed off in a different direction. We were left to follow the some super large “fat bike” tracks, apparently running the new Surly “Larry” tire.

We later learned this biker was the legendary Jeff Oatley on a 60 mile day trip, going from the Colorado Creek trail head to the Wickersham dome trail head. Wow!
The trail winds though black spruce forest that burned circa 2005, and is quite scenic. The trail has a completely different feel now after the burn and is much more open and has better views. On the downside it is now much more exposed and can drift in.

Just before the junction with the Big Bend trail, the trail crosses a huge wind blown open field, and the views really open up, with fantastic views of the White Mountains.

The wind can really blow though this section, and it was moderately windy on the way in, and calm on the way out. Fortunately it was very sunny when we travelled though this section and now that the sun is high enough on the horizon to give significant warmth, it was quite warm. From this point on there is a gradual decent to Beaver Creek. The trail has wonderful views of the surrounding hills and mountains – this area is super scenic. The trail crosses several huge wind blow tussock fields.

The tussock fields had small sastruga that were quite fun too ski on. Sometime this area gets really immense sastruga that are almost waist high, but alas we don’t have enough snow for that currently.

We eventually reached Beaver Creek, and we quickly learned why there had been little snow machine traffic up to this point – there was not much snow and the tussock tops were quite exposed, which would make for a bumpy and rough ride. After a two miles of roughish trail we reached the cabin. Hurrah! The previous visitors had left a huge wood supply, and we had a fire going quickly, and soon the cabin was toasty warm.
Tom had a bit of a binding failure, and had to come inside with the ski still attached.

After a large dinner and most of a turtle cake, we hit the sack for a early departure.

Morning arrived quickly, and after a large breakfast of pancakes, bacon, and the remainder of the turtle cake, we were off!

Remus got an extra special treat – kibble soaked in bacon drippings. Yum, yum!

The view from the cabin in the morning was spectacular!

The ski out was relitively uneventful, though a lot warmer as the it was fairly calm and very sunny. Spring is wonderful!

Pictures follow for the photo inclined..

Snack time on the trail:

Wolf Run cabin, in the glow of the sunrise:

It was really strange to follow bike tracks for most of the ski in. I don’t believe I have ever done that before.. After a while one of my legs started getting strangely sore, which eventually realized was because I was skiing with one ski on the bike tracks, and one in the 1″ of fresh snow.. I then started switching back and forth, changing which ski was in the powder – much better!

Remus had a blast on this trip. Between running back and forth checking on the humans and checking out all the sents on the trail, he was a busy and happy dog.

I was happy to see even the super biker had to walk occasionally (but rarely – he is quite the biking juggernaut!).

The burned trees were very stark looking.

Tom took his new sled setup on this trip. It appeared
to work quite well for him, though it added a bit of drag. It worked well for Marsh too:

More photos here.