Saturday, April 11, 2009

Cross country skiing at Brainard Lake

Laurel and I went cross country skiing today in the Brainard Lake area. We skied up the road and the CMC Ski Trail to the Brainard cabin, but it was closed. We stopped there for lunch anyway.

After lunch we started up the Beaver Creek trail which leads to the summit of Mt. Audubon. It didn't take long to get to a familiar vista:

August, 2008:
April, 2009:

We only got a mile and a half up the trail before deciding if we went any further the way back would be too difficult for our skill and ski gear. The way down had some nice hills -- the first time down this one I chickened out and fell before going over the ridge, so I was psyched to not fall the second time around:

The only other time I've been on XC skis was probably 5 years ago, so I was pretty spastic all day. I did OK... aside from a handful of falls, a face-first encounter with a tree, and a few shoulder tweaks.

The views were great. It was overcast most of the day but warm. The sun came out a few times. Even though the snow was melting and conditions weren't always great, there was still a lot of snow (see stop sign at right).

On the way back we skied the Little Raven trail to the Lefthand Reservoir road. The trail was mostly uphill but we got some really nice runs down the road. There were a few places I was able to get air off a few bumps (GPS said top speed was 20 MPH). It was nice to finally get some speed and be able to control the skis.

By the end of the day we had skied just under 10 miles (map).

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