Winter Trip to the Adirondacks

This page has some fairly old photos, and black and whites at that. The trip happened in January of '98. Steve and Rick let a winter trip to the Adirondacks in New York. The trip included a few brave women form the MIT Track Team, as well as several seasoned Outing Club veterans. Most of us did not know what exactly to expect from such a winter cross country skiing trip, especially in the cold and snowy weather. I was anxious to see if I had learned much since that fateful winter trip when I spend the whole night shivering in the tent. I did, but as I recently fund another person on that trip did have the experience.

 Peek-a-boo; guess who? - A sunny, cold afternoon welcomed us after a three-four hour drive. Getting there is half the fun, with a car full of people just waiting to release some energy in the outdoors. Most can't wait to hit the trail on their skis, and spend the time in the car reviewing their skiing skills in deep sleep. At the trail head, six foot high snow banks and a deep snow cover greeted us. This being a rather long trip in harsh conditions, most of us spent some time at the trail head reviewing their gear and packing it all into packs. Even in these low temperatures - 15 F - skiing generates quite enough heat that thick clothing provides a portable sauna. Snowmobile tracks pervade these woods, but the huge park swallows all the visitors, and run-ins with the motorized outdoor men are infrequent.

Base Camp - That evening after sundown we reached our campsite on an open patch under the stars. I did try to take a picture at night, but having no experience with either night photography or cold weather camera handling, I aborted the effort with fingers frozen stiff, completely fogged viewfinder, and what turned out to be hopelessly blurred pictures. The night passed quietly, comfortably on the soft bed of snow and foam pads. A bright sunny and cold morning found us asleep and hardly willing to give up our warm cocoons. I can't remember who was the person to get up first, but I would not have managed it without the smell of their hot chocolate pervading the tent...

We tried a our luck at doing a loop on the woods, some fifteen miles in total length. Leaving the big packs at the tents, we proceeded to ski through the woods, soon leaving behind the snow mobile trails in favor of paths less traveled. Those of us with little cross country ski experience found the downhill sections of the trip quite exciting, and spent some time trying various descent methods. Some were more successful than others.
 Quite a few of the rivers were still running, or at least running enough to melt the snow above them. The trail was well enough developed that many of the streams had simple bridge crossings. Julie and Stephanie generally took advantage of those...

 ... but Robin decided that she wanted another challenge. Our hike ended early as we decided to turn around without completing the loop, thus returning to camp before nightfall. Which was as well, as the temperatures plummeted again, and we huddled in our sleeping bags to wait out the cold night.

Actually, this trip was a turning point of sorts for me. For the first time I slept soundly and comfortably in the winter in a tent, dealing with the cold weather rather than cursing and submitting to it. The confidence has not left me since, and made winter a LOT more pleasant....well, it is my home page, so I can put in my own plugs.

I thought I'd include a photo of Steve, just because the trip was his idea.

We made it back to Boston three days and two nights after leaving. No digits were missing, and no one was sick, but we were all still glad to be back.


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