On our last day out skiing I mentioned it was the best day of the season so far … well ... today beat it!
Beautiful sunny day, warm temperatures, a good snow base, and no wind!. Ice conditions were amazing as well, we could still ski right up the middle of streams with rock solid ice! (although by late afternoon there were some soft areas forming) Plus 8 today, felt more like summer! Well maybe not quite … although it was preferable to stop in the shade for water breaks to cool down.
Again, Markus was ready for more adventure. Today we went east over to Houseys Rapids Road. We found a small cleared area to park the car, right at the entrance of Towbridge Road, southwest of RIley Lake. Off skiing by 9:30AM. Snow conditions were frozen rock hard, with fast conditions in exposed areas. We were surprised to still find soft recent soft snow on top of the ice on many of the ponds. It appeared that there was more snow overall in this area, the base seemed to be deeper than other areas recently skied. We skied south towards the Black River before meandering westward through a group of ponds. Some high rocks became too tempting to pass by, so our route became modified to take in some climbing and ridge skiing.
While skiing down the pond furthest to the southeast the silence was suddenly broken by loud barking, sounding more like savage guard dogs … then a view of a nice new home overlooking the pond. Oops, probably private area, fortunately the excited dogs were tied up, or atleast i appeared so. A hasty retreat out of there was a priority for the short term.
A few zigzags through ajoining ponds and we were now skiing northerly up through a major wetland system. The Trans-Canada Trail runs up through this area. We had recently crossed it and were now following the systems to the west of it. We skied through a beautiful lake, passing a nice cliff with a flat top, maybe a perfect lunch spot. It was one ridge west of another similar cliff where, while hiking the main trail with Elaine, Judy and Graham we had stopped for lunch. We had the luxury of a nice bench to sit on that trip. We chose the other cliff today, it providing a more unobstructed view of the lake.
I brought beer today to have with our lunch, as the weather now didn’t require us to be totally bundled up … a sign that maybe winter is coming to an end! The hot Apple cider and spiced rum was also on the menu, brought my Markus. Relaxing in the sun was getting addictive, however we had more skiing to take in for the afternoon. We packed up and headed off, paying a visit to the other cliff, and the bench.
The afternoon was fantastic, with warm temperatures and softening snow. We kept getting distracted by more amazing scenery, and ultimately found ourselves skiing more to the west. In our was a major rift, requiring a steep descent, as well as a steep climb if we were we to continue further west. The thought was … lets connect with some previous routes to the west, and we can then loop back through some other new ponds to the north.
The rest of the day was spent navigating a route back towards the car, however we, again, got tempted by some interesting relief to the west, again altering our route to check it out. Well … when we rounded a corner we came across another site of some “recreational agriculture”. You never know what you might come across in the back-country! More great skiing, and we finally came across our tracks from the morning, although they were barely visible. The, back to the car by 4PM … again.
Amazing day! Can it get any better, probably not, in fact with the upcoming weather, good skiing may require some extensive searching. Fingers crossed …
A link to pictures, virdeo, and a map of the route