Summer on a Shoestring


A Frozen Shoestring
February 17, 2013, 9:21 pm
Filed under: Recreation, Winter

With much joy I can report there are no black-flies or mosquitoes out in the stands today.  Of course it was a bit windy, gusting over 2o and a bit cold, somewhere around -10C.  Such conditions will deter even the mightiest of pesky biting bugs or so I have heard.  After spending so much time through summer and fall my curiosity got the best of me.  I had to see at least some of the MELNHE stands under cover of snow.

Skier climbing a steep snow hill

Where are we headed? Name that stand.

A solo trip would not be a good idea so I recruited Sean, volunteer on the leaf litter decomposition experiment and assistant emptier of baskets for the fall basket collection.  Somehow, he hasn’t learned yet that I have a few crazy ideas and agreed to join the expedition.

Skiing up Bear Notch Rd. in winter was rather pleasant.  Most often the gusts were above us as the road cuts across the terrain.  Local snowmobile enthusiasts groom the road so the snow was in near perfect condition.  With all the blowing and some falling snow, there was little to look at along the way save for the trees at hand.  I did notice a number of areas still exposed bare from the previous melting events, now frozen solid.

Given all the melting from rain and warm weather recently I was surprised at the overall depth of the snow in the woods.  Nearly one meter in places. The snowpack left by the Nor’easter last weekend had added some good depth.  The result was that no corner posts were visible.  Ok, we didn’t look that hard, but the obvious ones were buried and the plot signs were at about DBH or lower.  Skiing in the woods is always fun and I love the open spaces between big trees. Skiing through tight trees is also fun (read “hair-raising”) but I had never experienced young stand skiing before, glad I had eye protection on!

In the woods

Name that stand?

Skiing down the road was pleasant although less so then the trip up.  The exertion of the climb had kept me warm earlier, not so for the downhill.  Each stop along the way I had to shake my hands out to get the blood back but that is typical for the Whites this time of year.  Getting out into the woods in winter means cold fingers and toes.  But since I can type this out I guess I recovered just fine!

-Rick

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