2.11.2007

Backcountry skiing: More Little River State Park


When I lived in Burlington I spent a fair amount of time hiking around Colchester Pond and Indian Brook reservoir. This small patch of woods was close to my home and hence it was very easy to get there.

Now that I have moved to Waterbury Little River State Park is playing a similar role except that it is a much larger and wilder patch of land and is also now very close to where I live.

Saturday I went over to the park with my backcountry skis (shaped skis with fishscales for climbing and metal edges, and heavy touring boots). I am still very inept on this gear and cannot do a tele turn to save my life (which, skiing in the woods, this could be literally true). Umiak Outfitters in Stowe is holding an intro tele clinic on February 25 and I may attend though it's quite expensive.

It was a great day to be out in the woods, not too cold and with intermittent heavy snow showers. The ice on the reservoir is thick enough now that fishermen are driving their trucks out on the ice. I wish I stopped to take a photo of one old guy out on the ice fishing who was nonchalantly cooling a bottle of beer in a snowbank as I skied by. The total trip distance was about 7.5 miles and getting back down from the high point (about 1500 ft) to the level of the reservoir (about 600 ft) tested my skiing abilities to the limit, descending a steep and narrow trail that lost a lot of elevation in a hurry.

Just some images from the trip:

The trail is an old road lined with abandoned farms.

A cloudburst of heavy snow. Five minutes later, the sun came out.

Part of the trail followed a snowmobile trail. The riders were polite but it kind of sucks to be out in the wilderness and to be surrounded by noisy (it sounded like a pack of Harleys), smelly machines.

Images of an abandoned cemetery. This area was farmed in the 19th century but the farms are all abandoned and the forest has reclaimed the land. Decrepit apple trees and cellar holes mark the sites of the old homesteads.

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