When there is fresh snow nearby, my preference is always to pull out my XC skis. Snowshoes can wait for less than stellar snow conditions. The Saturday snow storm didn't quite deliver the forecast amount of 8-9" of snow at my house. We ended up with about 5". Nice for golf course skiing, but not so good in the woods.
Saturday (pre-storm) we took a hike to Haystack Mountain in Pawlet, VT. This hike is a great bang for the buck 1.6 mile hike to a fantastic summit. Two hours round trip for a view that can't be beat.
Sunday, with skiable snow lacking at my house, I went to the Corinth Reservoir Rec Trails. The snow depth was fine, but the temperature got up to about 34 degrees and the snow was sticking to my skis on the uphill.
Today, with the bonus day off for MLK, I headed to Manchester, VT to explore the Prospect Rock trail; a new trail for me. It was much colder; 10 degrees at the start and 20 degrees at the finish. There was also more snow; about 8" at the start (1000' elevation) and about 12" up at 2000'.
It was a great day and great trail trail to use my Altai Hoc 125cm "ski-shoes". I call them ski-shoes because they are really a snowshoe alternate for many types of terrain.
This trail is an old road with a continuous moderate grade. The Prospect Rock viewpoint is about 1.6 miles up the trail with close to a 1000' vertical gain. I walked right up the trail in the skis with no slippage. There is a mohair strip built into the middle half of the ski that works well for climbing.
|The Prospect Rock Trail (the old Rootville Road)|
There is a short 200' long spur trail on the right that takes you to Prospect Rock. It is easy to miss, so watch for it.
|Rev on Prospect Rock|
|Mount Equinox and the Manchester Valley from Prospect Rock|
Fortunately, if you miss it, you quickly come to a gate with a sign attached that says you may have missed it!
|It might be better to have a good sign at the Prospect Rock turnoff.|
Rev and I were really enjoying the snow. This route was going to be a great slide down back to the car!
The old road levels out shortly after Prospect Rock and continues for another mile before coming to the junction of the Appalachian Trail/Long Trail with the trail to Douglas Shelter and Little Mud Pond. I headed for the shelter, which I reached at the 3.1 mile mark.
|The only bridge on the route.|
|Hot chocolate and snacks at the lean-to, while sitting in the sunshine!|
|Yes, Rev got snacks too...|
|And she's ready to continue.|
I decided to continue on to Little Mud Pond. The trail didn't quite go to the pond, so I bushwhacked to the pond, which looked more like a vly.
Next I decided to bushwhack around the south end of the pond and head east until I hit the Long Trail. Once there, I headed north on the LT until I returned to the earlier junction where I had split for the lean-to.
Lastly, I skied the flat portion of the old Rootville Road and then had a quick glide for the last 1.8 miles or so back to the car. Awesome !
Ski Distance: 10 miles
Ski Time: 4.5 hours, including stops
Vertical Gain: ~1650'
|The route (the loop was done counter-clockwise).|