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Old 03-04-2021, 04:22 PM   #1
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Ski/Snowshoe Triathlon Loop of Flowed Lands (3-3-21)

After a fun loop of Johns Pond last Sat, I went on a more challenging loop w my Adk buddy Elliot yesterday. Started at Mt Adams/Allen access TH, skied in the 5.5+ miles to the Flowed Lands (red trail) junction. 4” new powder over solid snowshoe track made very solid by the many groups doing Allen this winter. From there we skied the red trail another 1/2 mile til the trail starts climbing and we began event two of the triathlon - tying our skis on our packs we snowshoed a very long and challenging 2.3 miles through 90% unconsolidated 4 feet of snow. At times, as the trail paralleled the Opalescent gorge, the huge amount of powder that slid down from above made the trail banked like the Monza Speedway which only added to the difficulty of taking each struggling step forward. We tied our skis deliberately low on our packs to minimize the amount of hunching over we had to do so the tips cleared the many heavily laden branches that bridged the trail. Never did see Hanging Spear Falls and even if we had the time and energy to go look for it we would’ve needed 150 feet of 9 mm rope to safely rappel down the very steep and icy gorge to get a look. There was no sound of water whatsoever everything was frozen tight. Weary and soaked to the skin we arrived at frozen Flowed Lands with the low hanging clouds offering a 50% view of Avalanche Pass. Switched back to skis and changed into drier clothes at the leanto on the blue trail to Upper Works and began Event #3, the descent. We have both skied this route six or seven times though not in the last 20 years. There was 5” fresh powder over a snowshoe track with 12-15” mounds of snow forming the “walls” of the track. The descent was damn good, with the option of making quick step turns to stay in the track or when needed on the first curvy runs, we could let one ski do a stem christie over the track border. Reached Upper works exhilarated and skied the 3/4 mile on the road back to our car. I doubt many people will follow but if you like those kinds of triathlons go for it

Last edited by 50something; 03-04-2021 at 11:06 PM.. Reason: Add pics
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Old 03-04-2021, 11:12 PM   #2
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Few pics of trip

#1: Skiing in on the trail (toward Allen).
#2: Snowshoe trailbreak up toward Flowed Lands
#3: On Flowed Lands (Colden/Avalanche Pass in background)
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