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Old 12-26-2016, 05:35 PM   #1
Bob K
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Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Saratoga County, NY
Posts: 525
Speed control needed on slippery snow 12/26/16

I skied the northern section of the headwaters of the East Sacandaga Creek today Monday 12/26/16. Snow cover was thin and all snow transformed (no longer powder), but no crust or ice in the woods.

With both slick snow and thin cover, numerous speed control techniques were helpful to avoid problems. Fortunately, skiing off the side of the trail into unbroken snow was reasonably effective where the trail was wide enough. Other methods used today included the pole drag, bush grab, accidental tree hug, step turn, rapid fire multi-step step turn, and the “oh $#!^, one legged, too late” step turn. Controlled falls also employed. Oh yea, and one stretch walking down (I am a senior skier & unashamed).

It was great to get out and saw no one once in the woods. My daughters did skate skiing at the Garnet Hill XC center and reported well groomed, though quick trails. A few trails were track set (more in the works I was told) but surely not good for classical and undoubtedly tough waxing (they saw some frustrated folks). Some expected new snow will help that. Ten degrees when I started at 9:30, and never shed a layer. Happy to have used toe & hand warmers.

The Siamese Ponds wilderness section from Garnet Hill (1950 ft elevation) up to Wm Blake pond, and then for .5 miles east of the pond had frequent obstacles (rocks & roots, and only a few bare spots). Pond skiing perfect. Once near the height of land, better snow cover (10”) and a nice ski to the Vly. Trail to Botheration pond broken out to the south.

Reportedly, the entire Botheration loop is skiable – though with numerous thin spots. A sign once in the wilderness indicates that 2 bridges are out, one over the E Br, about 1 mile SE of Old Farm Clearing, and another over the 13th Lake inlet stream (trail to Hour & Puffer W of main line & S of lake). The former reportedly has a useable ice bridge crossing a bit downstream. I recall from the past, that the latter crossing isn’t wide or problematic unless recent rain.

With the conditions, I would only recommend the steeper sections for committed skiers with experience. I had waxless touring 3-pin but wish I had taken my rock skis (also waxless). Metal edge touring would be perfect.

Looking forward to hearing from others!
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