Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Poke-O and Chapel Pond Ice Conditions

Heading south on I-87, The Northway, we drove by Poke-O and Chapel Pond.  There were climbers all over Poke-O and a few around Chapel Pond Canyon, but none on Chapel Pond Slabs.  We didn't stop the car to get any photos, but here are a couple videos of the conditions.  Next time I'll have to hold my phone in landscape mode to make for better viewing, but this'll have to do for now.

Monday, February 18, 2013

44.7247° N, 73.9119° W

Where: Clinton County, New York
When: February 16-17
Why: Presidents' Day Weekend
What: Troy to Plattsburgh. Plattsburgh to Chazy Highlands. Skin to the summit of Lyon Mountain and ski down. Take the ferry to VT and head to Burlington. Ferry to Plattsburgh. Back to Lyon Mountain to explore glades seen from the last descent. Drive to Lake Placid to eat and explore. Plattsburgh for the night.

Conditions? See for yourself.

Skinning up the "Old Trail".

Knee deep at the summit.


Kyle scoping out his line through the trees.

First ever cliff drop, albeit small.

Face shots!

Double dropping the pillows.

Stuck in the powder, can't complain.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Finding Nemo

It's four in the morning.  It's illegal to drive on the roads in Massachusetts.  Good thing we are heading to Vermont.  We only pass two vehicles on the road the entire hour and a half drive from Troy to Stratton Mountain, not a huge surprise.  Arriving at the mountain, we find that the "members only" parking lot is not guarded and that the door to the lodge is open even though all the lights are off, great success.  Headlamp on, boots on, skis on, skins on; off we go.  

Untouched snow all around.
I called up Stratton last night to ask about their uphill travel and before/after hours skiing policy and there were no restrictions.  The lady on the phone did recommend a trail to skin up though.  If you know the mountain, then the trail is to the right of the gondola and goes up past the houses on the right and around to the backside of the mountain.  This is green all the way, but way long as it wraps around.  Instead of taking the long way we went up Flukey's Run and took a left on to White Birch, which connected to Lower Standard and Upper Standard under the gondola.

Skinning up under the gondola.  Luckily following snowmobile tracks part of the way up.

After about an hour and a half of skinning we were at the summit and ready to ski down.  A handful of ski patrol and medic staff skied past us, but there was still plenty of fresh powder to go around.  Only having skied once before, and not on powder, it took me a few turns to get the hang of it again.  Kyle cruised down with the goal of warming up after our cold stop to take off skins and transition to ski mode.

Powder 5" to knee deep in spots.
We weren't the only ones who figured there would be good snow today.  The lines grew and the slopes got crowded, partially thanks to the gondola never opening due to high winds.  Speaking of winds, the temperature at the summit was -25F and the base was -8F, including windchill.  This warrants a stop in the lodge to put on a couple extra layers and swap out gloves for a dry pair.

As the lines grew our patience did not.  Back to skinning to scope out a trail that only has a few tracks through it.  We make it up as high as possible before the snow was so blown that exposed roots and rocks were in the way.  It was a quick run, but some of the best snow of the day.  Time to let the quads rest up.  Skiing powder isn't easy, not that I'm complaining.

Rocks up ahead, time to ski down.

Thursday, February 7, 2013


The following photos were taken on the DTU campus and in a place known as Dyrehave. Dyrehave is the grounds for the Eremitage Palace, an 18th century hunting lodge with a grand view over the low rolling hills of the land. The large park is fenced so that the deer, which walk about in large herds, can roam freely. The photos were taken with a Canon G12 and a mini-tripod, and some shots are slightly motion blurred.
Kampsax Kollegiet and the circular, roofed  bike shelters.
A snowy walkway in Kampsax Kollegiet.

The 5km ring trail around campus.

One of DTU's boiler rooms.

The view from the entrance to the main building in DTU.

The forests surrounding Eremitagesletten. The yellowish light is light pollution from nearby Lyngby.


Eremitage Palace from afar.

Eremitage Palace

The lights of Landskrona, Sweden across the North Sea from Strandvejen.

The shoreline of Øresund facing northward.
The hike on which these pictures were taken started as a spontaneous decision at 9PM and ended up being significantly longer than expected. Instead of a 5 mile walk, it became 8 miles. The route map below is only approximate.