DCUL Impromptu Valentineís XC Ski, White Mountains, NH

Posted by Joffrey Peters on

Alan Dixon, and his wife Alison were in New Hampshire for some cross-country skiing over the Presidentís Day long-weekend. Annie and I (Beast Mode) were up also, and had ditched all notions of ice climbing given the extremely cold and windy forecasts, so met up with them on Saturday, Valentineís Day for some cross-country skiing at Bretton Woods, in the front yard of the classic Mount Washington Hotel. We enjoyed some balmy ~5F weather with a steady winds, ensuring that out on the golf course, we would maintain sub-zero wind chill.

Annie and I took off shortly after arriving. Alan and Alison were already skiing, and the plan was to meet for lunch. The skis they gave us were rather awful (perhaps the cold snow had something to do with that). Sloppy binding rigidity meant no edge control, and the scales seemed to slow us from forward propagation about as effectively as they helped us scale hills. That is to say, the skis were bad at both. At least they gave us some símores ingredients, and noted that there would be fires set up at a few locations around the ski area where you could make your símores.

Without map consultation, Annie and I took off, and after braving the fierce wind and cold across the golf course, made it to the protection of the woods, where we could more easily avoid frostbite. We followed red Cupid arrows to find a fire pit with a rather sad-looking fire, and a cold-looking man attending. We decided not to stop and pressed on, eventually skiing about 10 km, and following Alan back into the warmth of the lodge.

I brought some home-made truffles to share in good Valentineís day spirit. After a cozy time in the lodge, and chatting about this, that, and the other vapor-barrier liner or backpacking trip, Alan, Annie, and I hit the trail, with Alison preferring to enjoy a book by the fire - it was well deserved, considering she skied about 60 km over the weekend.

Out on the golf course again, the wind whipped our faces, and dropped our hands numbed dangerously. The moment we rounded a bend into the woods, we began to warm again, and had a pleasant time from then on. We decided on a loop of a little over 10 km. We worked our way up along a river, passing some frozen, and snow covered falls, which probably would be more spectacular in the liquid state. Making short work of a ďblack diamondĒ section, we passed a warming yurt, and then it was downhill most of the way back, allowing us to pass a number of strugglers/stragglers, and make it back to the lodge shortly after the 4 pm trail closure time.

All fingers were preserved, I donít think any of us got frost nip even on our exposed bits, and we had a good time enjoying skiing in the New Hampshire woods. I will definitely have to rent a skate setup sometime when itís not so brutally cold, so I can fly around on the trails. Definitely a nice trip, and it was nice to meet up with some other outdoorsy folks from the DMV.

Joffrey Peters posted on

A few photos at: https://plus.google.com/photos/111285452910043264873/albums/6117014679642357521

Alan posted on

A really nice ski with you and Annie. It's always a bit warmer skiing with company. [b]And your truffles at lunch were excellent--best chocolate of the trip. [/b]Looking forward to getting out with you and Annie again on some future trips!