Tuesday, February 28, 2023
Saturday, February 25, 2023
I enjoyed some of the best snowshoeing of the season on a cold, windy day when the ridges were shrouded in fog until late in the afternoon. With temperatures on either side of ten degrees F, the 6" of new snow was powdery and a joy to break trail in. Road conditions were slick in the morning, so I stayed close to home and wandered up into the Flume Brook valley, exploring some old logging roads up on the south slope of Mt. Liberty. The entire day was spent in open hardwood or birch forest.
Knowing there was a rock-solid snow base in the woods, I opted for a bushwhack approach to the middle of the Flume Brook valley, ascending through the woods from the tourist path above the Flume to the Flume Slide Trail. On my way up I stopped for a look at Avalanche Falls at the top of the Flume.
There was an ice climbing lesson in progress below.
On the wall.
The half-mile bushwhack from the Flume path to the Flume Slide Trail was a moderate ascent through 100% open hardwoods. As expected, off-trail conditions were excellent, with the new powder atop a hard base of crust.
There are some large sugar maples and yellow birches on this slope. This may be the champion maple of the valley.
The valley section of Flume Slide Trail is a wonderful snowshoeing route. For much of the half-mile or so that I was on it, I followed a line of critter tracks.
Eventually the tracks veered off into a tangle of fallen branches. Perhaps it was a member of the weasel family on the hunt.
Sweet snowshoeing, had the whole valley to myself this day.