Day 1 - Shin Pond to South Branch Pond ~ 10 miles ~ 4-5 hours
We all got in late the night before to the Mt. Chase Lodge. I have stayed here three times and Rick and Sara always are gracious hosts and provide us with a comfortable stay and a hearty pre-trip breakfast. It is also pretty awesome that Rick takes care of the shuttle for us. Thanks again guys.
|The crew at Mt. Chase Lodge|
|John and I skiing on the park tote road|
|South Branch Pond Bunkhouse|
This was my favorite day, a nice long ski with some climbing, a gorgeous day, and great people to hang with. Towards the middle of the ski, the snow began to fall in these big fat flakes and it felt like you were inside of a giant snow globe.
|South Branch Pond|
|South Branch Pond...I like this picture because you can see everyone skiing.|
|Department store snow|
|Russell Pond -inside the snow globe|
|Scott with the beer he carried 20 miles. Now that is dedication.|
Day 3 - Layover day at Russell Pond - skied ~ 6 or so miles
I love Russell Pond. It is one of my favorite winter places.
|Russell Pond Bunkhouse|
|Sunrise on Russell Pond|
|Katahdin - check out the wind on top|
This was a burly day, I would say that it was great training for Ironman Lake Placid (only 169 days away!) because it was super tough work and you had to push beyond being tired. I really loved this day even though it was hard.
We got out to Wassataquoik Lake fairly quickly because we had broken the trail out the previous day. The wind wasn't howling quite so bad as the day before, so we were all feeling pretty smart. We bundled up and made the crossing.
|I am pretty sure Wassataquoik means F-ing cold in Abenaki|
|One of the many climbs out of Wassataquoik Lake|
We ate quickly to keep from getting cold and got moving again. We reached Center Pond around 5 or so, just as twilight began to drop in on us. When we got there, we found that our buddies had come and broken the last 4 miles of trail all the way to Center Pond for us. That was so clutch for us I can't explain it, let me just say, we were really excited.
|Center Pond, happy to see the trail was broken out|
|It was so good, it deserves 2 pictures.|
When we arrived at the camp, we were all beat. Our friends had the camp nice and warm and were really happy to see us. They said they really thought we weren't going to make it given how awful the conditions were, thinking we would end up in bivouacking near the lean-to. We swapped stories as we made a quick dinner, it was great to see Ben and Charlie, let me tell you. They looked as tired as we did. Needless to say, we all went to bed after dinner.
Day 5 - Nesowadnehunk Campground to Abol Bridge - 16 miles - 6 hours
I think we all woke up a little tired at the Nesowadnehunk cabin. We had heard that snow was predicted for the area by noon and when we looked out the window, it had already started falling. We got our stuff packed pretty quickly and headed back out for the 16 mile ski to our cars.
I don't have a lot to say about the ski, except if anyone tells you it is all downhill from Abol Campground, they are lying.
We were all stoked to get to the cars and get some dry clothes on and start the trek home through the newly fallen snow. As always, this was a great crew, everyone stayed positive and kept their heads when things got hard, and we laughed so much my belly still hurts.