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Frozen granular cross-country skiing after the rain, thaw and freeze

When you pass a stream, the frozen banks give you the idea that there's still a lot of snow.

Skiing into the sun on Picnic loop. With a peek over to Camel's Hump.

Shiny snow in the woods; frozen granular on the groomed trails.

I went to ski at about 2,100 feet in the northern Green Mountains today.

First, the good news: There's still a deep snowpack!

Now, the bad news: The top layer is frozen solid. In fact, it shines in the sun. You can see the frozen tracks of skiers and riders who had been in the woods recently.

With today's wind, I decided to cross-country ski. I knew I would want to go somewhere where they had groomed the trails. Bolton Valley Nordic Center was the place for me this morning. They had groomed this morning on a couple of their trails: Broadway, World Cup and Picnic. The groomer had churned up the snow and it made for a frozen granular skiing surface.

It was fast and noisy skiing with my waxless cross-country skis. But luckily I know how to make turns and check my speed — even on skinny skis. So I tooled around the groomed trails in the bright sunshine. I only passed a few other people, some Chickadees and a red squirrel.

I hadn't been on the Picnic loop in a few years and found it was pretty fun. You start downhill with twists and turns and then climb back up to the Nordic center. The climb back wasn't as rough as I thought it would be.

Thank goodness for sunshine and grooming machines!

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