It is spring skiing time. Saturday was filled with chores, so Sunday we headed north. Our hopes for a beautiful day on Mt Washington were dashed by forecasted 100mph winds. We needed something sheltered and in the trees. We were also trying to meet up with a friend on a split board, so we needed a monotonically rising trail. After Tyson finished vetoing most of my suggestions, the only one left was Doublehead.
At the Jackson parking lot where we met Cheri, it was brisk. Skinning up the trail was loud with a solid crust. The few folks skiing down commented it was survival skiing. Another group had stayed the night at the cabin, but only had cross country skis. They walked part of the way out.
At the top, we enjoyed the view of Mt Washington and then plopped ourselves down in a nice sunny windless pocket with a view of Maine. We proceeded to enjoy a generously lazy lunch. We were joined by another couple with the same idea of dragging their feet while the sun swung around and melted the trail. A group of three arrived a while later and reported that the trail was still crusty. That group had a bit more character and threatened to talk about the Affordable Care Act to liven things up.
Finally we decided we had better get going. As soon as we left our sunny enclave, the snow hardened and turned crunchy. The first section of the trail was kind of crummy. It was mostly still solid with a patch here and there that had softened. Between the snow conditions and lack of practice, I skittered gracelessly down the trail feeling like my tele skills had abandoned me. Then the woods opened up and the trail turned south. Here the sun had worked its magic. I still felt like my tele skills were gone, but I had time to analyze my technique rather than just worrying about not sliding into the next tree.
At the bottom of the nice steep section, we lightened our packs and headed back up. We did not go all the way back up, just enough to be fun. My analysis from the previous run said I needed to move farther forward and more actively initiate the turn. I applied several techniques I know to achieve that, and had a fun second ride down. I enjoyed it so much, I did not even stop to take many photos.
From there it was an easy run out. We had three detours for stream crossings which we saw far enough in advance to handle easily. Back at the cars, we changed into t-shirts and enjoyed the sun. Spring skiing has definitely arrived.