I know I’ve said it before already, but ski conditions, weather etc. were fantastic today, best day of the winter so far!
I suggested to Markus we do a long one-way sky with a car shuffle. We would leave a car on Hewitt Street, and one down on Cowbell Lake, by the Severn River. With no wind in the forecast and bright sunshine we decided it best to start at Cowbell and ski northerly to Hewitt.
We had our packs on at 9:30AM. Our start required a long steep wooded climb up from Cowbell. We just carried our skis and walked up until the snow, and terrain became more “ski-friendly” Good solid base with a few cm of soft snow on top … just perfect! Ponds and ridges just went on and on. The open rocky areas had connecting patches of snow and easy to ski on. Ponds were narrow enough that the recent newer snow didn’t get blown off.
I had to watch my one ski with the broken edge as it was beginning to stick out further, and of course … open towards the front!. Unfortunately, while dropping onto a marsh it got caught on an alder stem and ripped out about 2 inches. I was able to wedge it back in, but knew it would keep protruding out. Later in the day we just stopped, I took off the ski and bent out the edge with the plan to try and cleanly break it off right at the edge of where it appeared still tight to the ski. I was pleased that it didn’t take much coaxing, it snapped off like glass right where I hoped it would. Save it for later repair. Now I could keep on skiing without being pre-occupied with avoiding more "edge collisions”.
We decided to keep skiing up to and across Kahshe Lake and have a later lunch. The ski up Kahshe would be almost 5 km, most of it poling on skating rink-like ice. Best to get it over with first, rather than having to deal with it after a relaxing lunch.
Lunch was by a beaverdam along a chain of ponds, nicely sheltere, and in full sun. Temperatures were quite balmy. We had already discarded warm hats, and gloves earlier. Sitting in the warm sun, and with almost no wind, and the sound of running water and melting snow was pure bliss! (and with some hot apple cider with rum courtesy of Markus)
Our afternoon route was a more familiar one, again following ponds and ridges. We may have picked more ridges than ponds as the icy snow on the way up, and on top was now becoming a soft corn snow. We meandered around somewhat, stopping at a few lookouts for pictures eventually reaching Cornall Lake. From here, up through the ponds to the north, across the pipeline and eventually out onto Hewitt Street … and it was exactly 4PM.
What an amazing day! There may still be more before the snow thins out, and the ice gets too unsafe.
A link to pictures, videos, and a map of the route