Apparently no one has told Mother Nature that it is, in fact, springtime. The local cross country ski area must have groomed ‘for the last time’ at least 3 times now. We were keen on a camping trip this past weekend, and were pondering the possibility of breaking the kayaks out for the first time this year, but when the forecast once again started predicting heavy snow for Friday.
So much for paddling.
However, much as we are ready for spring, we’ll continue to take advantage of the snow while it’s here, so we opted instead for a quick ski trip north of the city. There is a great cross country ski area not far away that is closed for the season, which means we had free range of the trails, dog and all, so we decided to do a trip in that area.
We met for some friends for breakfast, and were on the trails shortly before 11. Took a few minutes to figure out a good route at the first junction.
This is one character that will be disappointed to see winter come to an end.
The first hour or so of skiing was actually quite miserable. The phrase ‘Death March’ was thrown around quite a bit. The temperature was hovering just around zero, which results in zero glide. Basically walking on skis. Skis with a thick layer of snow sticking to the bottom. Fun. To make things even better, Mike was having a mega blister problem, so we took a break to doctor him up with duct tape. While the boys fixed him up, I entertained myself taking pictures.
Looking forward to spring, but still happy to be on the trail
Gotta stay hydrated!
Didn’t take long before we were on the move again.
Our first destination was the King Mountain hut for lunch. Considering how awful the skiing was, we were in no hurry to leave, so we made a fire and had a nice, leisurely lunch.
King Mountain Hut
It was snowing quite a bit when we arrived, obscuring the spectacular view.
The long lunch was a smart move because by the time we left it had warmed up enough that we had good glide again, so the skiing was great. As an added bonus it had also cleared up, so we got to enjoy the view before we left. The cabin overlooks the Algoma highlands area, with Lake Superior in the distance.
Mike wasn’t staying overnight, so he headed back after lunch, and Conor, Craig and I carried on. A short while later we arrived at another hut. This one was just built last summer, and is gorgeous.
Our boots and clothes were damp, so we took a break to light a fire and dry some gear.
It was a bit too hot for our cold-weather specialist, so he hung out outside.
Outside looking in
We continued our cabin-and-scenic-vista tour by skiing the Robertson Cliffs trail. Another spectacular view!
After skiing the Robertson trail it was time to set up for the night.
The next morning we hit the trail once more. It was nice skiing, so the plan was to finish before lunch, i.e., before it warmed up so much that the skiing became miserable once again. That plan sort of worked – it warmed up quite fast, so there were a few minutes of stickiness, but the sun was out and it quickly warmed up enough that sticking wasn’t an issue (it’s only when the temperature hovers right around freezing that it’s a problem).
There is still tons of snow in the bush. It felt like mid-February (on a good snow year!).
Hard to believe it’s mid-April!
We turned it into a hut-to-hut-to-hut trip by stopping at a third warming cabin for a mid-morning break.
After our break we explored the trails a bit more, and got back to the trailhead shortly before noon. It was a great weekend, but hopefully the next trip I write about won’t involve snow!