Lake George

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

Sunday, January 31, 2016

XC Ski - Wilson Pond - Blue Ridge Wilderness - 1/30/16

With this January being what it is, we had to do a little traveling to find some snow worthy of using our cross country skis.  Saturday found Leesa and I in Blue Mountain Lake.  We chose the Cascade Pond Trail (#55 on the National Geographic Northville/Raquette Lake map #744).

Roadside signage
We parked on the shoulder of County Route 19, but we could have driven into the parking area.  We first skied the short distance to the small picnic area on the west side of Lake Durant, then we started down the Cascade Pond trail.

Trailhead sign for the Cascade Pond Trail.

Sign at the picnic area on Lake Durant

Blue Mountain from Lake Durant

Bridge between Rock Pond and Lake Durant
We crossed the bridge shown above and then started the uphill ski towards Cascade Pond. Unfortunately the trail had rocks that weren't covered by snow.  We decided it wouldn't be worth the climb becuase it would be tough to ski down.  We turned around after 1.4 miles and made our way back to the car.

We came up with Plan B which was to drive a couple miles west and try the Wilson Pond Trail (trail # 57). This turned out to be a better option.  There seemed to be a little more snow, plus there were fewer rocks and obstacles on the trail.

Spring on the south side of Loon Brook 

This was Leesa's first day out on skis this winter.  She skied along with me until we were about a half mile from Wilson Pond, at which time she decided she was ready to turn around.  She told me to go on ahead and see the pond and lean-to and she'd see me back at the car.

Wilson Pond

The island on Wilson Pond.

We had been following the snowshoe tracks of two guys who had signed in ahead of us.  As I came over the last rise before the pond and lean-to, I could smell smoke in the distance.  I suspected that the two guys were camping at the lean-to and they had a fire going.  I soon found that I was correct. As my dog Rev and I approached, we saw them tending a campfire at the lean-to and having some coffee.  

Wilson Pond lean-to.

Wilson Pond lean-to in use.

I chatted with the two guys for a few minutes, then headed back to try and catch up to Leesa.

Some blue skies arriving...

The sun came out as I was skiing back, and it was nice to see.  The temperature remained in the 20's so skiing was good.

I made it back to the car just as Leesa was unlocking the car.  Perfect timing.

XC Ski Stats:
Trail Distance:  5.8 miles
Ski Time:  3 hours
Total Vertical Gain:  ~700'

The routes

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