I threw out my original plans for Sunday with Benoît. We needed an easier day for Isaac. There’s lots of backcountry skiing up around Pinkham Notch, but not much of it easy. Jackson, though, has lots of fun groomed trails. So we went back there.
We stayed overnight in Gorham. I checked for a B&B in Jackson proper, but every time I look, they are booked, expensive, have impossible web sites, or don’t allow young kids. So Gorham on a budget it was.
Sunday, Jackson’s trails page raved about their conditions, especially the Prospect Farm area. They reported they groomed it overnight. It seemed repetitive to go back to the same trails as we had skied the night prior. But I wanted to make it to Hall’s Ledge. Tyson wanted to GPS more trails for Open Street Maps. And, from what Benoît and I saw on Dana Place trail, there was much less snow at lower elevations.
It was sunny and warm. The Jackson groomer had smoothed out all the ruts and tracks from the previous day. The parking lot and the first overflow lot were full. The second overflow had room. On the ski up, Tyson had fun showing me Isaac’s tracks off the side of the trail from the previous evening. We crossed several people pulling pulks and I thought to myself “In a few years you’ll be standing where I am.”
We were standing, or leisurely sauntering up the Wildcat Valley trail. We didn’t make it to Hall’s Ledge for lunch. We only made it to the orchard. There, we discovered to our dismay that we had left half the lunch in the hotel fridge. The orchard was reminiscent of the low angle birch glade on Saturday — widely spaced trees and not very steep. After lunch Isaac asked “Can we stop here and ski?” I told him he could do one run and then I wanted to continue up. He disappeared through the trees and over the hill. A while later, his head popped back up over the hill grinning.
As the sun heated up the snow and the trail steepened, Benoît started having trouble sticking. He had forgotten his wax kit at home, but assumed it wouldn’t be a problem since I usually ski on waxable skis too. Unfortunately for him, Tyson and I were on our scaled skis. Our scaled skis are more suitable for the Wildcat Valley descent because they are shorter and turn easier. But also, out of practicality I’ve started using the scaled skis more to get the family out the door faster. Benoît bought blue wax at the touring center which worked in the morning. The snow was now too warm for blue. So I pulled out my emergency stick-all +3F wax. It seemed to work. Benoît went up the hill better.
We stopped at Halls Ledge for hot chocolate. Since last I was there, the trees have grown into the view of Mt Washington. It’s still a pleasant spot. Plenty of other groups stopped too, including two bare booters who said, “The view is so nice. It’s our favorite spot to relax. We come here every Sunday.” I wasn’t sure how to respond I was so shocked someone came every week to ruin a groomed skiing trail by hiking on it.
The ski back down and out was quick and fun. We arrived at the car in time for an early dinner. It was a good end to the weekend. Though Isaac did comment, “that’s enough skiing for me. Let’s go kayaking in Maine.”
So, anyone know where to find a 4 year old size dry suit?