Tuesday, April 3, 2012

White Mountains ski trip

After having "a hard week" at work, we decided to enjoy outdoors again. So on Friday morning we packed the car with skiis, poles, ski boots, a pulk and backpacks carrying enough supplies for one night trip to the White Mountains National Recreational Area that includes one million acres (over 400 000 hectares) and 250 miles (400 kms) of trails for skiing, dog sleds, snow mobiles and so on.

We drove first 25 miles to Fairbanks and then 28 miles towards north to a parking lot where one of the trails began. It was early in the morning and the sky was grey. But headed forward hoping to see the actual white mountains ahead.

Julien took the 25 kg pulk first and Piia skied with a backpack.

The trail went up and down, left and right and was very exciting to ski in. The biggest downhills (that could be a couple of hundreds of meters long) Julien slid sitting in the pulka hoping not to crash the trees and Piia just barely stayed up with the skis.

Little by little the sun came out and we saw amazing view of mountain range ahead.


And some overflows...

After a while Julien decided to pack the skiis and continue by foot, the hard packed trail was perfect for that. And he was actually as fast as Piia with skiis, since she was too lazy to wax and occasionally went backwards more than forwards. After 11 miles of going it was lunch time. Bread and cheese, of course.

Next thing to do was to climb to a cabin. Piia took the pulk and ended up dragging everything else than Julien and our camera. Just to show the Finnish attitude and guts.

Video to prove it, with truthful subtitles... :D

After Piia packed the skiis and walked as well. The landscape up in the cabin speaks for itself. :D 
Was worth it!

The Grey Jays were very interested in us and very tame.

After having a drink brake we decided to have a little adventure, and try to find a connecting trail to a shelter that we knew was about one mile away from the cabin. No chance. In forest snow was up until our waist at some points and with the heavy gear we decided to just go back the way we came and set a tent nearer the parking lot.

Going down should be easier than going up... But it depends on the way you go... :D

After 8 miles of skiing/walking back we found a good spot for a tent and decided to sleep there. The hot soup helped to feel warmer and we also prepared hot bottles so keep inside the sleeping bags. The night wasn't very cold and we both got quite good sleep. It was quiet for sure.

In the morning we packed the gear and skied the last 4 miles back to the car on fresh snow cover on the trail and more snowing little by little. Nice morning wake up :).

We had still race to watch in Pleasant valley the same day so we just headed home continue the day from that.

Last but not least, video from this day :). Enjoy!

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