Saturday, January 16, 2010
Breaking up the workday
Trail conditions were too good to pass up this week. A bit of planning, and I managed to take a few hours midday during the work week to visit Windblown ski area in New Ipswich. I packed both skis and snowshoes, but I decided when I arrived to stick with the snowshoes.
A little piece of the Wapack Trail passes through the property, and I started there, heading to little Stony Top. That's one of southern NH's easiest-to-reach grand views. The packed-powder trail had a fresh dusting from the night before, and I had the trail to myself. This not-for-skiers sign is posted at Stony Top where the Wapack heads south, just before a short-but-steepish (and narrow) stretch.
I veered off the Wapack before it started up Barrett Mountain so I could stay on flatter snowshoe trails. I was the only one on the property in snowshoes, apparently, and the woods were as peaceful as they ever get. A few skiers were on the ski trails, and I was welcome on those as long as I stayed out of the set tracks. About an hour & a half of meandering through the woods on the trails was all I could manage, but it was a great hour & a half.
Windblown welcomes hikers when the ski area is closed, but when there's snow on the ground, they very sensibly expect me to pay for a trail pass and wear snowshoes instead of barebooting it. I'm glad to oblige.