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Snow, water, mice and moose tracks

Posted Tuesday, December 27, 2022
— Backcountry skiing, Cross-country skiing
Mice tracks in the foreground and Nordic skier in the background

Mice or vole tracks in the foreground and the Skimeister in the background.

Looking down at a pair of red skis crossing a partially frozen stream

We got practice crossing water hazards — including tiptoeing across this partially frozen stream.

Pair of red skis next to a rather deep moose track

We followed moose tracks for a distance.

Nordic skier navigates past leaves and a stream

Lots of navigating around damp spots with leaves and many partially frozen streams. The deer were doing the same!

The Skimeister and I took advantage of the long holiday weekend to explore the snow conditions in the woods in Bolton, Vermont.

Between 1,400 and 1,800 feet in elevation, we came across about five to 10 inches of snow. Lots of rocks and weeds poked through the snow, and many water hazards presented themselves.

We took our light backcountry skis on mellow, low-angle trails in the woods so that we could navigate the low-snow conditions.

Crossing partially frozen streams is always interesting. When you are out for a ski, of course, you really need to keep your feet dry. You also need to keep your skis out of wet spots and water. If you get the skis wet and the water freezes, it's a real pain to try to scrape the skis clean again. If you don't scrape, the ski will drag in the snow for the rest of the ski tour!

Over the years we've gotten good at hopping or lunging across streams. I stand sideways to the water and find good footing. I put a pole on each side of the stream. Then I take a wide step with the first ski to get it on the other side. I rock side to side to let momentum help me push off the second ski and get it across the stream — hopefully without dipping my tips or tails in the water!

It felt great to get out into the woods and see moose, deer and mouse / vole tracks. I was really hoping to see that moose ... from a distance!

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