Just another life-threatening day on the Catamount Trail!
We had a nice breakfast at Cup ‘n Saucer, then met at Zoar Adventure Center (this has been the best meeting place so far) to sort out the pre-key-swap. The temperature was -6F, but at least it was supposed to get warmer. Everyone was prepared with extra layers, neck warmers, heat packs, etc. Both groups (seven southbound, twelve northbound) had to break trail until we met about mid-day. At the back of the pack there was a nice knee deep tracked out soft trough.
Sam and Deb had a side trip to Deb’s bail-out car at the East Branch Trailhead, but there was no key left with the car so we skied back and kept going north. When we met the SBers, Deb got her key and skied back and out to her car (this 0.4 miles is pretty easy and the new bridges make this bail out option pretty useful (if you have car keys). Sheri turned around with the SBers and got the most mileage award for the day. The woods were beautiful, the river edges were a bit blowy and snowy and cold. Snow was too deep for turns except on the steepest bits. A few of us saw very fresh moose tracks, and older tracks were abundant. By the time (2:15) the NBers topped out at Somerset Dam it was a balmy 4F. Except for one backslider falling into a brook it was a pretty uneventful and beautiful, blue-sky day. Fifteen of us met at the Anchor for more fun, food and conversation post skiing. We had planned to go to the Bennington Gluttonyfest and Extravaganza, hosted by Jim and Chickie Goodine, but Jim contracted the flu and decided not to share his bounty with everyone.
Get well soon Jim!
Tuesday will be a tropical 15F! For Thursday Andrew says “If anyone in the group needs encouragement, let them know that the total distance is only 9.8 miles, or 7.2 miles if they bail out at N Brookwood Rd.”