First ski of the season at Birch Hill

With the temperature at 33 deg F, I was shocked to see the snow depth in the Birch Hill parking lot go well above my ankles. Joanna and I had made the right choice of bringing our no-wax classical skis as the snow pack was HEAVY as the 0.49″ of precipitation on Saturday amounted to only 2.8″ of snow at the airport.

I had been worried about having enough kick in the above freezing temperatures, however, kick was not a problem. Grabby glide and downed trees and branches were the challenges on our lovely first ski of the season.

Skiing my first km of the season on snow–all photos by Joanna Fox

After skiing around the relay loop, we’d warmed up enough to make our first snow angels of the season. However, the snow was so heavy that it was a real strength workout to make a snow angel:

Mom’s first snow angel of the season in fast setting concrete–video by Joanna Fox
Joanna snow angel step 1
Snow angel step 2
Okay, how do I get up out of this?

We did ski the entire Tower loop in a record time of just 1 hour and 10 minutes! However, we were shaking the snow off trees leaning over the trail and picking up branches.

Here are two trees downed over a power line on the Tower loop:

and here’s a downed tree on the Tower just beyond the G-1 cutoff:

Downed tree on the tower just beyond the G-1 cutoff

We actually did make it all the way to the top of the Tower and took the requisite selfie:

Selfie at the top of the Tower Loop.

We also made a little snowman for the sign. That thermometer said it was only 30 deg but that was hopeful not real.

Coming down the tower was more fun for Joanna with fishscale skis than with my multi-grip, rubberized no-wax skis. Joanna has provided the caption for this video writing: “It’s the longest, steepest, fastest downhill coming out of Tower! Who’d have known it could be done so slowly!?” Anything’s possible with the right gear and determination.

Mom blazes down the Tower loop downhill avoiding the padded light pole.

Here’s hoping that the NWS is wrong and temperatures don’t increase to the 40s this week. Because it was an absolutely lovely morning to be out on the trails. The stadium was shrouded with fog as we finished our 3.79 km maiden ski of the season.