Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Mount Van Hoevenberg: 12/29/2009

Beth and I headed up to Mount Van Hoevenberg in Lake Placid to meet friends for a day of cross country skiing. Mount Van Hoevenberg is well known for its Olympic heritage, and it continues to host one of the best touring centers in the East, with excellent grooming over an interesting network of looped trails. Six to eight inches of recent snow made coverage excellent, although the snow was so cold and dry that it made for slower ski conditions than I prefer.

Cold trees, fresh snow

These photos may not convey a lot of adrenaline, but if you think cross country skiing is “boring,“ strap on a pair of skating skis or classic racers and take your choice of the East Mountain Loop, Ladies 5K, or Porter Mountain Loops. Try to stay in the set tracks as you scream down the hills, banking your skis just slightly against the walls of the tracks through the turns.

As it turned out, this was one of the coldest days of the winter, with a high temperature around zero in Lake Placid. Although we were able to stay comfortable for most of the day, by late afternoon I was having trouble staying warm, no matter how hard I skied. Curious to find out what the skiing was like at Gore today, I logged on to one of the forums in the evening and found out that all of the lifts had been on wind hold the entire day.

Those Adirondack chairs look comfortable, but on a sub-zero December afternoon, no takers.

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