Serene View From Hermit Lake

A Christmas Day Skin

Your alarm wakes you up at 8 am.  It’s snowing lightly.  On another Christmas morning, maybe you head downstairs and open presents, but not this day.  You make a quick cup of coffee, and eat some sticky oatmeal.  Soon you’re on the road with your favorite tunes playing.

The light winter storm doesn’t slow you down, and the next thing you know, you’re parked and unloading at a familiar place.

You exchange a Merry Christmas with a few families as you gear up and put your skins on.  When the ranger at the lodge mentions fresh tracks, your heart jumps.

There are a few groups milling about as you click into your skis and leave the trailhead.  You’re immediately greeted by pristine wintry views.

You don’t want to stop, and you don’t have to.  Your skin track trails off behind you as you ascend.

You pass others who are of a similar mind this Christmas day, and before you know it, you’ve reached your destination.  It’s calm, even here, up higher towards the bowl.  You transition, preparing for descent.

As you approach the ski trail, you see your present, just waiting for you.  The Sherburne trail is untouched, with several inches of this mornings light snow.

You grin as you ski down, spraying snow with tight turns.

Merry Christmas.

With my family still living in The Netherlands for the holidays, I had Christmas Day to myself.  The Sherburne had 4″ of fresh snow, which I think was a pretty good Christmas present, especially on the heels of the 22″ storm we caught at Jay Peak.  I still need to get Dynafit bindings, so I was on last years touring set-up.  I’m not the fastest at skinning, but for my own personal records, or those who are curious: I made it up to Hojos in 1:20, the first one to set a track since the snow, though not the first one up the trail.  10 minutes later I was refueled, de-skinned, and had de-iced my bindings while chatting with the caretaker.

My curiosity got the best of me and I hiked up into the bowl to the lunch rocks to scope it out.  25 minutes after I left Hermit Lake I was at the lunch rocks, the first person to arrive in the bowl for the day. It was very calm, and quiet. The bowl is shaping up, though I expect it will change as there was more new snow last night.

Though my knowledge of snow science is rudimentary, I dug down to check out the layers.  Beneath the new snow there was a variable thickness firm crust, and then 5-6 more crusts beneath that.  The layer immediately under the first crust was fairly unconsolidated.

Enjoy the photos of the bowl!

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