Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Pipestone keeps getting better

Waking so close to the trail head for the Pipestone X-C Ski Trails, it was time to give this place a try. It has been on my list of tracks to try for the two winters past, but an ideal opportunity did not present itself until today.  I snowshoed around sections of it two years ago so had a bit of an idea what Pipestone was all about.  My homework showed the tracks were just groomed yesterday too.

kiosk at the parking lot
The X-C Ski trail is on the other side of the gate, so that means you go up the stairs, open the door, pass through, close the door then down the stairs to the track.   
I began on the intermediate trail called Pipestone.
I got to hone my herringbone technique on this track.
There was loads of climbing through the forest without much scenery but that was fine, it was good to just concentrate and get all the hard work out of the way. Once at the main intersection, it was views galore for the balance of the ski.  I hung a right and aimed for Mud Lake.  It appeared no one had been on this track since it was groomed yesterday.  
on Mud Lake
view from Mud Lake
The Drummond Trail is an out and back to Mud Lake and then continues on to Pipestone Pond.  
This section of Drummond was glorious.
Pipestone Pond was so pretty.  The sun was up and felt warm and it afforded a location shadow shot.  The views were of the 360 degree kind here.  I took a little time just to breathe it all in. 
Drummond Trail circumnavigated a short section of the Pond and then veered left away from it.  I opted for this route instead of the blue square route.  I will test that section of the Pipestone Trail the next time around.  
view from opposite side of Pipestone Pond
O.K. Hector, take me home!  
I am leaning towards Hector being my favourite in this area.  It had open meadows, some nice down hills with corners and the scenery was outstanding.  The untouched snow-covered meadows with shadows was worthy of a few minutes of admiration.
view along the way
seeing the fence means nearing the finish
just about home
Today's X-C Ski was a rewarding one.  
I felt tired, fullfilled and content!
Thank you for this day!


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