After a two week break, I skied last Sunday (March 13), and I got out again on Thursday, and today. The spring sunshine is melting the snow even though the temperatures are still mainly below the freezing point. The ski season may be ending, although a cold spell and a few millimeters of new powder (or klister) could extend it.
It was colder last Sunday, around -7 to -10 C. I went to Bird’s Hill and I skied on the Esker trail to Griffith’s Hill, around Chickadee and then Aspen back to the stable. The tracks were rough – not having been groomed lately, but the new powder made for a good glide. I hadn’t taken the front end of Esker trail before – it has a few subtle climbs and some long runs at a slight downhill angle that allow a fast glide and some double-pole work.
It was warmer on Thursday – around -3 C as I recall – I applied a blue wax. The tracks had been set since Thursday, and were in wonderful shape. I did the Lime Kiln trail and I had a great time in the near-spring air, gliding smoothly. The ring road in the park was melting nicely. The patches of packed snow on the road was mainly gone and the shoulders were largely clear, except in areas that were still shaded by the trees or blown in. Thursday night turned into a St. Patrick’s day celebration with Mike and Steve.
Today it was warmer. the forecast had been for a high of -1 C and it may have been even warmer. I got by with a red kick wax and without klister but the track was getting icy in some spots. It was a fast, good glide but it had the characteristic hiss and chatter of ice in places. I took the Esker trail to the hill, went around Chickadee, and did the back loop of Bluestem back to the stable for a total of about 13.5 or 14 k. A tall young woman passed me sometime past the warming hut on the back loop as I was sipping water. I caught her at the top of a rise as she paused I I stayed ahead for a while, and she passed me when I paused again. She had a very steady efficient glide, and it was good to have someone to set a pace.
The roads have improved. I checked the south side of the ring road, and the shoulders on both sides were clear except in one stretch where the wind has blown drifts off the fields over the plow ridges onto the shoulder. I counted 8 cyclists riding in the Park today. When the boys were sampling dark ale and Bushmills on Thursday, we contemplated a ride today and decided to save it for Easter. If the temperature is in today’s range and it doesn’t snow this week, the bikes will be on the road.