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Old 10-06-2015, 02:47 PM   #141
randy savage
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I have to say I agree the tent sites are few and far between at times! luckily there was no one out there when we went in late august if its busy time of the year it could def be an issue! my buddy actually carried the hammock tent and it was interesting trying to find 4 trees to tie off to lined up perfect for it to work, not sure he ever really got it set up right but somehow he managed! I would highly recommend dog pond as there is a 16 foot john boat with paddles there to take out and man it is gorgeous! Curtis pond site is ok and the 3 spots on olmstead pond were awesome as well, if its a lean to you want hit olmstead or cowhorn pond as they are the only 2 other then off the trail at high falls that fall in line of the hike, hope this helps let me know how your trip goes I love that area!
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Old 11-26-2021, 02:07 PM   #142
MaximusFunk24
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I'm planning out a CL50 ski trip for the spring. Does anyone have any insight on the likelihood of the more remote stretches of trail being broken, at least periodically, by spring? Need to decide between a "probably will be" and a "highly unlikely" ski for flotation.
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Old 11-26-2021, 07:54 PM   #143
montcalm
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I hadn't thought about Chairrock's point, but if I were going to do this in early Spring (I assume), I wouldn't put out the possibility that you'll get snowed on. I'd take trailbreaking skis - also with the weight of a pack I'd assume I'd be moving slow anyway.


I'd also assume if you push too late, you aren't going to have consistent snow.


I know the BC ski touring in the spring I've done has been pretty variable - sometimes deep, deep mush that you want the absolute widest ski possible, and other times icy, refrozen crud or breakable crust, in which case skinny touring skis don't work well either. There's always the possibility that you'll have a nice, solid supportive base with a creamy top layer, but that isn't the norm IME.

Last edited by montcalm; 11-26-2021 at 08:55 PM..
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Old 11-26-2021, 11:24 PM   #144
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Thanks, knowing that it probably will be slow going is kind of a bummer. I think I will do a long day trip of the short leg between wanakena and CL first to preview what the conditions will be like. If I still do the rest, it will probably be earlier than I was planning, even if there's less daylight.
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Old 11-27-2021, 11:16 AM   #145
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I bet everything on the west side of the lake to High Falls will be broken out, they are pretty well used ski trails. I've never skied the Peavine Swamp trail, but the truck trail to High Falls is incredibly flat. It can be skied pretty quickly - probably 2hrs from Wanakena to HF assuming it hasn't dumped and not been broken out.

After that is where I assume you're going to have trouble. I bet that section from HF to Curtis Pond on the south side of the lake gets very little use in the winter.

Also be aware, you're probably going to be out for 5 days doing this. The weather is going to change.

If you do go for it, maybe plan on doing it as an out-back if the going gets too tough after HF. You'll be able to bail and ski back through your own tracks by the end of your third day if you're whooped and make it back without much sweat.

It'd be a LONG day, but you could probably ski from Cranberry village to HF in one day, then have a few days to figure out if you're going to be able to make it from there or if you need to bail.
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Old 11-29-2021, 07:49 AM   #146
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Yeah, I'd expect slow going on the south and east sides of the lake- as slow even as maybe 5 miles per day. You're likely going to be dealing with incredibly deep, unbroken snow along much (if not most) of the CL50.

I agree that Peavine Swamp has the best chance of being broken out, as it is accessible and also designated for ski use. I think old railroad grade to High Falls will certainly be broken out at least partway, although I'm not as sure that it will likely be broken out all the way to the falls.

I would also think very carefully about the exact timing of your trip. Too late and you're risking being out in a melt... Which could strand you behind raging melt waters in streams that any other time of year are mere trickles. I would also want to do this trip early enough that I was confident that the frozen surface of Cranberry Lake could still provide an escape route if needed.

On the plus side, going later in the season means longer days, which will help you psychologically in addition to giving you more daylight to put in trail miles.

Last edited by DSettahr; 11-29-2021 at 10:11 AM..
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Old 11-29-2021, 08:40 AM   #147
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DSettahr View Post
I would also want to do this trip early enough that I was confident that the frozen surface of Cranberry Lake could still provide an escape route if needed.
I'm not sure how that might play out either. It could be just as miserable breaking trail over the lake, maybe worse if there is slush underneath the snow.

Sometimes, with skiing, as I said before, your best escape route is to ski back through your own tracks, because you can often go twice the speed. It helps to have multiple skiers though, because even one push through certain snow e.g. crusts will not be enough to pick up much speed/reduce effort. I'm not sure this a trip that should be tackled solo.

Wanakena Tracks on FB would be a good source for the west side of the lake, as they are local and ski the trails regularly. I think you'll likely have good luck from CL to HF.

In fact I was thinking it might be best to go CCW and see how far you make it. I'm not so familiar with these trails, but some were snowmobile trails, although perhaps abandoned for that use. Even so, skiing in rutted up, refrozen snowmobile tracks is not fun or easy. Anyway, if you might have a better idea of the actual conditions you will encounter, whereas on the west side it'll likely be easy sailing out to HF.

Last edited by montcalm; 11-29-2021 at 10:09 AM..
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Old 11-29-2021, 10:10 AM   #148
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Yeah, it's a good point that the lake, even if safely frozen, might not necessarily be easy going. But still worth keeping in mind, IMO- there's a few situations in which it might be the easiest route out of the backcountry. If there's a big dump of fresh snow, for example- retracing your tracks might not be an option.

And while the surface might not necessarily be super conducive to skiing, wind should generally at least keep the snow from accumulating to significant depths. But on that same note... trying to cross the lake during high winds could be a positively brutal experience with little chance of respite once you're out in the middle of the lake.

I think in general terms, the most important recommendation is to be flexible. Have contingency plans, carry extra food/fuel, etc. When I did sections of the NPT in winter that were of similar length, I think this is what helped us succeed the most- and this included even having the food and fuel to afford a zero day when the weather did not cooperate (rain and wet snow).
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Old 11-29-2021, 10:18 AM   #149
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Yeah - no doubt. I would want the lake ice available for snow machine rescue though, as pointed out in the first reply. I hadn't considered that, but there's a chance you're exhausted, injured and/or out of food on the far side of the lake, then it's a good idea to have that as an option. That lake is big - in a canoe in fair conditions it takes a long time to get from CL to the far reaches like Chair Rock Flow. It might take a full day to escape that way.

Another thing I didn't consider - because I don't ski overnight... but yes, snow, especially a big overnight dump could really leave you stranded way, way out.

Not an easy trip for sure.
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Old 11-29-2021, 06:55 PM   #150
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About a dozen years ago it took us 7 hours to go from Wanakena to High Falls... the short way. We were breaking trail in snow so deep we would see ocassional trail markers peeking out of the snow. We were on snowshoes though, not skis.
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Old 11-29-2021, 07:39 PM   #151
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Not to get into much debate about skis vs snowshoes, but at times skis can be great, at other times they are a liability.

When I skied out there it had recently snowed and the trail was not broken, but it had been earlier in the season. It was ideal conditions - a few inches of fluff over a supportive base. We also met a snowshoer with a pack coming from HF - I assume he did a loop from Janacks Landing and didn't do the whole CL50, but I didn't ask him.

As soon as I read this question I thought about one early spring ski I did not quite around Cascade Lake. It was easy going on the south side but trail breaking stopped short of the falls. I decided to push on to see if I could do the loop but was bogged down by the deepest glop I've ever experienced. Later on, before I turned around, I got caught up trying to get around a downed tree, took off a ski and quickly post holed 3' straight down to where I could see leaves. Ski back on immediately.

I went about 1/4 mile or so in 2 hours before I turned back and skied back to my car in less time than I messed around.

I had traditional, long skinny XC skis. Great for the broken trail, terrible for the unbroken.

Anyway, I wasn't in any real danger but this was a sobering experience of how quickly things can go wrong on skis, especially the wrong skis. Doing that for days with a heavy, multiday pack would certainly be a recipe for disaster.
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