After a mild spell with heavy rains I was still optimistic that we could ski today. Around 8:00 PM last night the rain turned to ice pellets and wet snow, and the temperature was now dropping below the freezing mark … fingers crossed. Morning dawned clear and cold, temperatures were around minus 15, and there was fresh snow, maybe 3 cm. Hmmm … I had to check things out right away. A short walk into the forest behind the house to see how the base was. The cold temperatures had done their thing, I could walk on top of the foot or so deep base without breaking through, and there was more fresh snow than during our last thaw/freeze. Things looked good! Regarding the pond ice … well we would have to see …
Graham was ready to leave Toronto on a moments notice, and after a short conversation was packing up the car. Elaine Robbins and Markus were both free to go as well. An afternoon ski was the plan. Once Graham had arrived, and we had eaten some lunch we set off, picked up Elaine and met Markus up at the Hardy Lake parking lot. The sun was shining brightly, but temperatures hadn’t budged much. There was a strong north wind, but it had eased somewhat from the “gales” earlier in the morning.
Ski conditions were great, fast, but comfortable. There was enough new snow to cushion the frozen base. Ice on the ponds and marshes was good, but caution was needed when entering the area from the north shores. The ribbon of open water in the sun-exposed areas had frozen over, but not solid enough for a skier, unless you moved fast. I expect this issue to be less problematic, even by tomorrow. Given the speed of the freeze-up, I was surprised at how tight everything actually was.
The afternoon was spent crossing ponds and marshes, and following rock ridges enjoying the “blissful” conditions. We almost lost track of time, but with the sun getting lower in the sky realized we just couldn’t keep on going. Time to loop back and ski to the car before it got dark.
Another great afternoon ski, hoping for more of the same tomorrow!
A link to pictures, videos, and a map of the route