Several Sundays ago I went out on the Jackson Ski Touring Foundation trails. I actually had an objective which was much more convoluted than just taking a ski. Being a red-line hiker,
I had noted that the Bald Land hiking trail corresponded with Jackson's
Bald Land skiing trail UNTIL the last 1/2 mile of the hiking trail.
Having been out there before and having never noted where the hiking
trail leaves off of the skiing trail, I wanted to discover the
intersection and snowshoe the remaining hiking portion. Well it turned
out it was too great a goal for this out-of-shape skier but I DID find
the trail and had a terrific day! I skied up the Bald Land Trail to just beyond the
intersection with the Scenic Overview and found the intersection I was
looking for. An old woods road went off of the ski trail to the right
and was completely buried in snow! After skiing uphill for
the several miles to get there, I just wasn't up for switching to my snowshoes. In skiing back down the slope I
found that it's been long enough from the last time I skied that I had
to have a talk with every single muscle group in my core and legs to
get them to shape up, perform and keep me upright on my skies, but after
several rather pathetic falls, I got it together and had a wonderful
mile long downhill run!
|Bald Land Ski Trail at Jackson Ski Touring on February 2|
This past Sunday on February 9th I went out to the same area but this time I had decided to ski exclusively. Wednesday the 5th we had received a good covering of new snow and I wanted to improve my ski performance from the previous week! What a day!!! 20 degrees and blue skies! I wish I'd brought my camera to show you guys the sun dappled evergreen forests and vivid vistas I enjoyed! This time I began skiing on the Windy Acres trail which lead me out to the Bald Land Trail. I skied out past the hiking trail of the week before, descended the other side of the ridge, climbed another slope and finally had to stop when the trail switched from "intermediate" to "difficult" (It was VERY obvious!). On the way back I took in the complete side trail to the Scenic Vista as well. There were plenty of folks out there but it wasn't crowded and my performance did increase substantially so that I could actually achieve that wonderful peaceful feeling of being out in the woods! (And I only fell twice!) Ski conditions on this day were phenomenal! I could climb, turn, and descend with ease, utilizing the edges of my backcountry skis for braking, turning, and control. There was no ice visible and the snow was well packed and well groomed!
Next Sunday I plan to return once again but this time with the snowshoes to actually explore the unexplored and un-tracked Bald Land hiking trail!!! There is definitely a foot of snow plus on it at this point so I will actually even need the snowshoes!
|Glen Boulder over Joe Dodge Lodge on the morning of February 11! Check out all that snow!!!|
Skiers and snowshoers both have adopted a hard lesson in the wake of climate change...basically, if it snows, get out there quickly and often! You just don't know how long it's going to last and next week might be too late! That said, we are all happy as clams (or snow shoe hares maybe?) in the Whites right now! It's too early to be doing a lot in Tuckerman Ravine but folks have been traipsing up to ski the Sherburne and Gulf of Slides on a regular basis, finding the skiing as fun on the ungroomed as I did on the groomed this past week! We have 29 inches of snow here at Pinkham and there is 32 inches at the base of Tuckerman's so it's great coverage!
Keep Bald Land in mind if thinking
about coming up to stay in the the Joe Dodge Lodge!!!
Jackson Ski Touring Foundation has a rich history and variety of cross country ski trails and they are only 15 minutes south of us! There are a number of wonderful networks here in the
valley as well that offer ski and stay packages with lodging here at the Joe Dodge Lodge! Look into Great Glen Trails for cross country skiing and Wildcat and Attitash for downhill skiing! And be sure to keep our wonderful backcountry free access ski
trails in mind! We have a great AMC map which highlights all the backcountry offerings and a number of them leave from the front door right here at Pinkham Notch!
Bald Land Trail is found on AMC Map #5 for the Carter Range and is listed in AMC's White Mountain Guide. Before you come be sure to check out the current weather conditions at the Mount Washington Observatory and if heading into the Ravines, check out the Avalanche Report as well! We're hearing rumors of more snow to come on Thursday! (Here's hoping!!!)
Be sure to give us a call to reserve your stay either here at Joe Dodge Lodge or the Highland Center and as always give us a call at the Front Desk at
Pinkham Notch for further questions or information. The AMC also offers
and hosts clinics and group trips for snowshoeing, ice
climbing, avalanche certifications and winter mountaineering. All of
our programs for the '13/'14 season can be found on our Activities and Events Page. For
any general questions, conditions information, or trail advice, please
feel free to contact us here at the Pinkham Notch Visitor Center front
desk. We are available by phone at (603) 466-2721 every day from 6:30
AM to 9:00 PM or by email at email@example.com. To make reservations at AMC Lodges and Huts, please call (603)466-2727 available Monday through Saturday 9am-5pm. We also offer ski and stay packages at our Joe Dodge Lodge and the Highland Center.
Happy Winter Adventuring!
Backcountry Information Specialist
AMC Pinkham Notch Visitor Center
Labels: alpine skiing, avalanche reports, Joe Dodge Lodge, New Hampshire, Pinkham Notch, ski and stay packages, Ski Trails, skiing, snowshoeing, Tuckerman Ravine, White Mountains, XC Ski