Tuesday, December 30, 2008

December runoff

The quality of all the fresh snow that's fallen over the last few weeks has deteriorated a bunch the last couple of days. Case in point - I went over to Clarks trail this afternoon looking forward to snowshoeing up some deep snow (deep = more burn in the legs and lungs), but instead, hiked all the way top without even putting the snowshoes on. The trail has had some decent traffic since last time I was out on it, which is great, but this warm weather we've had the last few days has put a nice layer of ice/crust on the top so it's more prime for your trail running shoes than it is for the snowshoes.

Instead of going back down Clarks I headed down the fire road to see if the wading would be better on the Ghost Falls trail on the way down. The crust was strong enough that even on the fire road, where there had been minimal traffic, you still float on the top without snowshoes (snow depth looked to be 12-18 inches below the crust).

Ended up throwing the snowshoes on to go down Ghost, moreso for the traction on the icy downhill parts than necessity to stay on top of the snow. Got down to the falls and they were running pretty strong for December, lot's of snow melting over the last couple of days. We need a fresh layer.

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