Lake George

Lake George
Lake George - from Tongue Mtn Range - 11/11/2011

Sunday, February 22, 2015

XC Ski - Tirrell Pond - Blue Mountain Wild Forest - 2/22/15

Many years ago, the Northville Placid Trail from Route 28 to Tirrell Pond was the very first xc ski trip I ever did in the Adirondacks.  I won't say when this was, but suffice to say, it was a long time ago.  I hadn't been back since until today, when my wife Leesa and I took the same trip.  Tirrell Pond has a bit of history to it, and there used to be quite a few buildings there.  None of them remain.  Only 2 lean-tos grace the shores of Tirrell Pond now.

There is a parking pulloff on Route 28/30 and a trailhead sign marking the start of the trail.  It was 20 degrees when we started out and temps were predicted to rise to 30 degrees, the warmest day in a month.  It was also supposed to be cloudy all day, but we were blessed with a lot of sunshine.

Tirrell has 2 "L's, but the distances were good 

No one had been on the trail since last nights 2" of snow, and that was all that was covering a nice base; perfect for xc skiing.  The snow was nice and powdery until the strong sun caused the snow to stick a little to our skis.  We stopped about 2 miles in to scrape the bottoms and add a little glide wax. We were fine after that.  

Conditions couldn't be better

Rev led the way
We were surprised that we didn't see another person all day.  With the perfect conditions that existed, we expected to see people out and about.  The recent snowshoe tracks that we followed early on, turned around after about 2.5 miles.  After that, we had to work a little had to ski through about 6" of snow on top of the old base.  

When we reached the pond, I saw an outhouse on our left, but I missed the sign on our right indicating the direction of the O'Neil lean-to (it is located in a different area then when I was last here).

We started skiing north along the west side of the pond and we skied out onto the frozen surface when we got the chance.  The wind was blowing south along the pond so we re-entered the woods to head towards the Tirrell lean-to at the NW corner of the pond. 

Tirrell Mountain from Tirrell Pond

At the lean-to, we stopped for some food and hot chocolate.  For the return trip, we went out on the pond to ski south the length of the pond with the wind at our backs.  The sun was still out and it was a joy to be out on the frozen pond.

Tirrell lean-to ... and Rev struggling to walk in the unconsolidated snow

Tirrell lean-to

Looking south along the pond 

Rev out on the pond waiting for us

Leesa enjoyed the unexpected sunshine and warmer weather 

Once we got to the south end, I went to take a look at the O' Neil lean-to while Leesa got a head start on the trail back.

Looking north towards Tirrell Pond from the outlet

the O'Neil lean-to

An artist has been at work...

We had been poking along during the day, but it was time to "make tracks" and head back to the car. There were two nice long glides that aided our progress.  In any case, it was 4 PM when we got back, but we both thoroughly enjoyed the day.  There probably won't be too many more in this winter season.

Heading out...

The old sign almost blends in with the tree

O'Neil Flow

Ski Stats:
Ski Distance:  9.5 miles
Ski Time:  5 hours
Total Vertical Gain:  ~700'

The route and corresponding elevation profile

The route on the Nat Geo map

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