Some days it pays to go see what the skiing conditions really are. Saturday’s forecast was for warm and sunny. However, this trip was scheduled for Sunday. Sunday’s forecast had been to start in the low 20’s with some snow, then gradual warming through the day until it transitioned to rain sometime in the afternoon.
Our group of 6 met in the AMC Cardigan Lodge boot room, reviewed our options and then headed out to see what the day would bring. During the hike up the Holt trail, I poked at the snow on the sides of the trail. It had a pretty good crust from the previous day’s warm temperatures. On a positive note, it had started snowing at a pretty good clip while we were in the boot room.
About and hour and 40 minutes later we reached the tree line and the old fire warden’s cabin. There we found the wind howling and the air feeling bitter cold. Not much threat of rain yet. The group decided that this was far enough; the view of the snow falling through the trees was more pleasant than that of the snow blowing horizontally while losing feeling in our fingers. A split boarder had climbed past us just before the tree line. We saw him headed up from the cabin as we arrived. He returned in a short few minutes, having reached the same conclusion we did.
We deskinned in what little shelter the back side of the cabin offered and headed back down the Clark trail to the Alexandria. Once back on the ski trail, we all had a good rip in the new snow. What was 1 to 2 inches of fresh snow at the top of the Alexandria was 3+ inches at the bottom.
We re-skinned and headed up the Kimball ski trail. There we found a couple nice spots for tree skiing. The second set of trees with a more northerly aspect had collected a good 5 to 6 inches of fresh powder on top of the already great base, making for conditions that required the entire group to take a second lap before heading back.
Some of the group had hoped to be able to leave by 3:00. We returned to the parking lot at 2:45.