Section 2, Harriman Dam to Lind Lane Jan 4, 2013
The forecast was for -19F overnight, but it was above zero by 11am when twelve of us set off from Harriman Dam, so the planned late departure paid off. We had about 8″ of fluff on top of a minimal base. There were a number of new blowdowns since our work last month, oh well. One big mess was across the VAST 9 trail, looked like it had pretty completely blocked the trail for snowmobiles, but one machine managed to get past it.
We followed someone else’s tracks on the ‘no smowmobiles’ part of the trail. The drop and climb at Graves Brook had enough cover that everyone managed it with skis on. We had a short lunch break at Wilder Brook. The right turn N of Wilder Brook (with prominent arrow, the leaders were following the tracks of others and not watching for blazes, I guess) was missed by everyone except the sweep, but they ended up back on the trail shortly.
We had snowmobile tracks to Medburyville, a nice gradual descent. At Medburyville we almost had one skier use the bailout car, but she (and five others) opted for the roadwalk on the next section, since we didn’t know if the beaver dam would be crossable. The short steep descent from Medburyville was best done by sidestepping due to thin base. The dam was crossable, although not trivial, an earlier group had obviously gotten wet skis.
We regrouped at the short road walk, then all sidestepped down to the river again, and enjoyed Steve and Rita’s (father-daughter who were with us) mowing of this section in November. One wide wet section caused the scrapers to come out for about half the group. I think Stephen and Lynne were the first ones to ever ski the short reroute that they helped cut in November, it was almost nice enough for a yo-yo, but I had my long straight skis and passed on the temptation. Getting around Searsburg Station was also skied by everyone, despite the thin cover. The water crossings were not a problem. We had to look out for flying slush on the short Rt 9 road walk. I saved my faceplant for the last few yards getting down to the cars, about 3:30pm.
– Sam Bartlett