31 January 2007

The Moulton Journal: new snow, frosty day

Well, it's not much, but we did get about one inch of new snow in a lazy little front that moved through overnight. But on top of Paul's good grooming job last weekend, even an inch is sweet.

Skied alone this morning, although RTD is back home. She's on antibiotics, gut soothing meds, and some special food for dogs in "GI distress." Vet suggested she rest a day or two, though RTD did not agree with the suggestion.

Though it was cold this morning -- about 0 deg F -- the Moulton Road was slick with that new snow over the packed snow & ice. Rick Rossi drove up just ahead of me, and we both paused near the parking lot to watch the moose calf. I haven't seen the mother moose for some weeks, and suspect that she drove the calf off to be on its own and she is in some lower, better habitat. The calf seems a little forlorn, and not at all bothered by being watched and photographed from two hundred feet away. Unlike many moose, which are uncomfortable at being watched until they find ridiculous security by hiding their head in some willows (even though the large body is plainly visible).

Too cold for much speed this morning. Should have had green wax, but the extra blue that was already on just had to do. With a little fresh snow and new, warm choppers & liners, life was good even at a slow pace. And it was nice to have the extra grip for climbing Buzzy.

Out from Buzzy, around Yankee Boy, and down Big Nipper/Widow Maker. The bottom of this latter run is in a hole. It is very sheltered from wind, but the cold air settles in and it can be 10 deg F colder than the rest of the hill. I paused to drink some Gatorade and study the tendrils of frost growing from my wool sweater as perspiration meets frigid air.

Crosscountry skiers fall in love with the physics of snow: the way it grabs and slows a ski as the temperature approaches 0 deg F; the way snow friction decreases to a minimum at about 28 deg F; and even the way snow at 32 deg F, in contact with warmer air, it sticks and clings horribly to everything but the most dreaded klister. I like the feel of frost on my beard and -- when it's very cold, say -20 deg F or so -- the way a thin layer of ice coats your eyes especially on the downhill runs.

On the way out, I stopped to admire the original little cabin that was part of The Moulton Dairy. Paul Sawyer owned and used it until recently, when it passed to the hands of a local physician. Sure hope some restoration is planned. It would be a shame to lose this historical monument.

And, another pic of the Pintler Wilderness, a view I never tire of. From East & West Goat Peaks on the far left to Mt Haggin on the right, as I view the Pintler peaks they conjure memories of backpacking trips past and hopes of new ones to come.

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