Sunday, February 5, 2017

Waterville Valley Full Perimeter

Last winter was a dud for Nordic skiers. This year, conditions are much closer to normal. Waterville finally opened up the last of their trails this week. This allowed the full perimeter of the Nordic ski trail system to be skied.

The perimeter is not for the gravity challenged. It is all climbing punctuated with brief descents, my kind of activity! It got pretty cold overnight, so some of the terrain was a bit abrasive and slow. Other areas that were groomed overnight skied very nicely.

I contemplated if one water bottle would be enough as my friend Arvid and I pushed off. In no time I was sweating profusely climbing Drakes and Fletchers. Arvid and I split ways as I hit the roller coasters of Criterion, which kept the body core temp elevated.

Crossing the golf course, I only had to remove skis three times. I continued up Swazeytown/Beanbender. Beanbender up is never easy and is twice the slog in anything but fast granular. Upon reaching the summit of Snows, I reached for my first drink. No water bottle! Panic set in. I was already in hydration deficit and was only one third of the way around. I had to ski over Cascade before getting back down for any chance of finding water. Will I have to abort? I didn't crash. I surmised it must have fallen out when removing skis crossing golf course.

The Cascade/Livermore descent was fabulous, much faster snow, perfectly groomed. I reached the Livermore parking lot hoping to find lots of people to increase my probability of finding a trail angel. The WV ticket box attendant had no water to share. I looped through the parking lot and found a couple just ready to ski. They had a liter of water for me! I was most grateful and thanks again if you read this.

The Moose Run/Wicked Easy lollipop is kind of ho-hum skiing. Get into a nice groove, get it done. Upper Osceola skied well, screaming fast coming back down.

The full perimeter has a number of one-way trails that pretty much forces you to ski it counter-clockwise. This means Tripoli Rd comes last. It skied much slower than Livermore and put me in death march territory. I never saw another skier on Tripoli. It wasn't all downhill back though. Still had that little nuisance of a climb Pipeline to hit.

The loop runs about 45km with 1375m (4500ft) of climbing. I've done it a number of times now, taking me about 3.2hrs this time. A great day on snow!

Full perimeter profile. 45km, about 1375m (4511ft) of climbing, in 3.2hrs.

No crowds on Super Bowl Sunday. Photo by Arvid Skogsholm.

The Osceolas from Bob's Lookout.  Photo by Arvid Skogsholm.

A real winter in the Whites. Photo by Arvid Skogsholm.

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