snowshoeing after the blizzard - boston exurbs

4:27 p.m. on February 10, 2013 (EST)
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with my trip to the mountains of New Hampshire foiled by the storm, i settled for a couple days of snowshoeing and hiking about an hour outside boston.  when i arrived, the ground was basically clear.  spent a healthy couple of hours hiking while the snow was starting to fall on Friday afternoon, but it was basically an inch or two on top of dirt - nothing to photograph, but nice with no one but my brother in law to share the trail.

a day and a half later, it took me two and a half hours to clear my parents' driveway with a snow blower.  i pulled out a measuring tape and leaned it against the snow, slightly drifted.  in truth, they got about 2 feet of snow, with drifts as deep as 3 feet:



with snow still flurrying down on saturday, i walked to a local farm and snowshoed around some untracked powder.  it was tiring - very fluffy, postholing 12-18 inches.  not very hilly, just kind of rolling.  i was on my own and didn't see a soul. 


i think the last time i saw this much untracked powder was in Jackson Hole, downhill skiing.  a lot of this farm (Steele Farm in Boxborough) is open, but it has some trails through the woods.  Maybe 6-7 miles if you cycle through all the trails.  it was gusty, 25-35.  a fair bit of snow blowing around.


today, the snow was a little more packed down when my brother in law and i set out for some different trails through the woods.  these are all within minutes of their house - i'm jealous.  still barely tracked or untracked today.


much warmer and very little breeze, so i was in base layers and gaiters.  still hard work when we were making our own tracks.  saw deer and coyote tracks, but no wildlife. 


these are my relic snowshoes - purchased in 1984.  on their 3d set of bindings, but otherwise in great shape.  great float, 9 x 34. 

can't say i'm happy we didn't head into the mountains - we missed a spectacular day up there today.  couldn't be helped, and i can't exactly complain about having time to bash around in this much snow.



4:39 p.m. on February 10, 2013 (EST)
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My trip was a disaster, one of my buddies left his crampons at home. He thought his microspikes were enough, they werent, he slid down into the rest of us. I got two good puncture wounds on my right hand, and a couple of broken bones in the.same hand. The guy between him an I, smashed my hand between a rock and his crampons. One tooth went all the way thru my hand the other almost. Im sorry your trip got ruined, but you made the best of it. I watched the snow from the er, not a fun night. Great pics, I might try to snowshoe a little tmrw, still throbbin pretty bad today.

6:27 p.m. on February 10, 2013 (EST)
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OUCH. Sorry to hear that.

The whites had an advisory against backcountry travel this weekend, and that freaked my wife out. We would have been fine - the claws on those snowshoes are steel and as long as my crampons, and the wind scoured the snow off the heights anyway.

but, turning back earned a lot of goodwill. Maybe a return later this month, maybe a traverse this summer.

7:02 p.m. on February 10, 2013 (EST)
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Happy wife, happy life. It was a lot of snow, but it wasnt as windy as they predicted, plus it was nice and cold so the snow was fluffy and dry, as you know from postholin that virgin snow. Im goin stir crazy, im goin out tmrw if it kills me. I got new snowshoes two xmas's ago, and this is the first real snow we have had in two winters, so im goin, period.

8:52 p.m. on February 10, 2013 (EST)
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Bad news, hotdogman! Thank your stars it wasn't worse, but that sounds nasty.

I am also looking forward to putting on the snowshoes. Four feet...and counting. Drifts two or three times that. You know how those big storms roll through "the East Coast" and then the news coverage switches to the big clean-up? Right, well, while you're doing that, we're where those storms go. And stall. And get stronger. Winds around 100k and that's not the gusts. Awesome.

10:12 a.m. on February 11, 2013 (EST)
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Lovely snow, Leadbelly! We only got one dusting of 2" this winter in the Chattanooga area, so I am envious. 

It is a shame you didn't get up on the mountain, but shoeing over gorgeous woods and pastures certainly has it's own charm.

10:14 a.m. on February 11, 2013 (EST)
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Hotdogman, that REALLY bites! So sorry for your ruined trip and painful injuries. Hope you mend quickly!

June 26, 2019
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