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18 Jan 2020 11:49 AM | Anonymous

Finally Some Sunshine!

It was minus 25 early this morning in Muskoka, but winds were calm. We were planning another ski day today, 3 of us from Gravenhurst, and 2 from Toronto. The area between Kahshe Lake and the Severn River would be our destination, starting off at the Muskoka Tourism Centre on Highway 11.

Conditions, again, looked fantastic! There was a little more fresh snow here, on top of a solid base, however, a bit thinner than up in Gravenhurst. The base covered up the rocks underneath, bit still required us skiing around any downed trees … and there were many! During the late summer of 2018 a very violent thunderstorm swept through this area spawning what looked like a downburst, or straight-line winds, as well as some isolated tornadoes (evident from the several large trees snapped off part way up their trunks) We had to make some detours to avoid the mess.

We glided across the marshes, and beaver ponds with ease, never encountering any slush. Moose, deer and coyote tracks were everywhere, as were otter slides, however there were no “photo-ops” In one spot a moose appeared to venture too close to a beaverdam, breaking through the ice, leaving a large open hole.

We enjoyed our lunch in a sunny, and mostly sheltered spot overlooking a small lake. A layer of high cloud could be seen moving towards us, the first signs of what might be a significant storm for the weekend. Lunch was short, even though none of us felt the cold, however, we had a potentially long route ahead of us … best not to get too comfortable!

We took a route towards the south, eventually reaching Bailey Lake, our turning point. We skied some challenging terrain, however all made it through without too many complaints. The last portion put us on an ATV track, a good route for a group starting to feel fatigue, after a long day.

Once back at our cars, I discovered my car key battery was dead, and without any obvious spot to use the manual key, I had to call Janice, who came down with my spare key. Thank you!!

A great day exploring the outdoors! Thank you as well Markus, for sending me the video last night showing where the hidden manual key slot was, and how to access it! Hopefully we will not need it on future outings!


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