Saturday, February 5, 2011

Kancamagus Brook Ski Trail

We'd heard from several people that the Kancamagus Brook Ski Trail near Waterville Valley, NH might have been "destroyed" by the 2009 ice storm, but apparently volunteer trail crews have been out and done a fantastic job because on our 9.5 mile backcountry ski trek today we really only ever had to go around two large blowdowns, and step over maybe 2 smaller ones. 

Winter fashion shoot. This was along the Greeley Ponds Trail portion. 

This shot shows what a good portion of the lower part of the Kancamagus Brook Ski Trail is like, for maybe the first mile after it leaves the Greeley Ponds Trail. You climb occasional steeper pitches, then ascend smoothly along gentle grades like this one. Just off to the left is a steep drop to the brook itself. 

The steep bit. There's one short section about half a mile up from the junction with the Greeley Ponds Trail where the route suddenly stops going straight above the ravine and veers steeply right up the slope to the left. L: This is looking back down as Sarah herringbones up it like a pro. It's really freakin' tiring to climb this way! R: The gang makes its way upward. 

L: Alex in heavy snow on one of the hairpin turns. 
R: a brief reprieve from climbing near the top of the trail. 

Processing note: I did very little to the top part of the right image, but brought the curve WAY down in the middle for the track itself, in order to bring out some of the detail there.


L: Paul, Karen, and Alex near the height-of-land and top of the climb on the Kancamagus Brook Ski Trail. Mt. Osceola looms behind them in the background. R: Karen Langley at the height-of-land. 

Becky ventures out onto one of the frozen bogs near Livermore Pass at the top of the Kancamagus Brook Ski Trail. This is about 6 miles into the trek, and at the top of all the climbing. She and I and one other of our group had gotten up super early and done the Winter Wild #2 hill climb at Ragged Mountain that morning (I forgot my skins!). Needless to say, we were pretty tired by this point.

About a minute after this, I was just skiing along minding my own business and to my sincere surprise I suddenly sunk up to my waist in a soft snow spot, dunking both my exposed camera and exposed hands. How to get chilly fast!

 

swift descent along Livermore Road

Group shot (minus me) as it starts snowing near the end of our 9.5 mile backcountry ski loop of the Kancamagus Brook Trail in the White Mountains. L to R: Ryan, Sarah, Jeff, Becky, Alex, Arielle, Kimball, Karen, and Paul. This was about halfway down the descent of Livermore Rd, near Waterville Valley, NH.

gear note: I had fallen over with my camera into deep snow at least two times by this point (lost a couple of action shots on the steeper part of the descent to fogged over lens).

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