Thursday, March 24, 2011

Yea!, boo!, yea! and on let's bring on some spring

Looks like the Sonot 50K will start and finish downtown on the river--and cover all of Birch Hill trails--for the first time since 2007. So that's a big yea!

Add to that, the trails should be fast. We've had an endless high pressure system in the Interior and days have been getting warm (30s) while the nights have been cold (single digits above or colder). Look for winners to be in the low 2:10s. Yea!

Most of the high use trails at Birch look pretty good. Firm and fast, favoring the skiers with good balance and it doesn't hurt to have a decent engine with all those big hills. Yea!

Some of side trails could have used a lot more work after the big storm we had in February. Moilanen's Meadow was punchy--on Tuesday my poles punched through the crust on almost every plant. A light V2 works best, and I might use medium-sized pole baskets. I heard that Outhouse was in similar shape, and North 40/Black Cross loops were in real rough shape a couple weeks ago. So that makes about 14k of fair to poor trail conditions. So that nets neither a yea or a boo. A meh, instead.

They are closing Birch Hill's main lodge on the 27th. Big Boo! for that. They could keep it open another week or two.

The next two or three weeks actually are the best times of the year to ski, but this is when everyone seems to abandon ship. Trail grooming continues, but more at the whim of the groomers. Sort of a simultaneous yea! & boo!

That said, the Borough/NSCF groomers are awesome and have done a great job this year. Yea!

I'm forward looking to the Sonot, and starting to bounce back from the Oosik. Yea!

Moreso than in years past, I'm looking forward to the end of winter. This has been a long one. Yea! for spring, but perhaps boo! for me and staking any claim to being a hard core.


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