Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Ready for roadies!

Spring is here - on occasion - and the road biking up the Canyon is primo right now. The snow is clear from Lamoille Highway up to the "official" closure just past Pete's Corner, somewhat more than 6 miles one-way. It's melting out quickly above the closure, and as of today you can get a passenger vehicle up to Terminal Cancer (if you're a skier) or Dead Snag (if you're a climber). The road to the Scout Camp is melted out... the snow starts just past the main lodge, currently, but if you want to skin or snowshoe higher you're going to enjoy either a good bushwhack or an annoying creek crossing. There is a fair bit of wet slide activity on the climber's right wall, so if you're going to stay right of the creek be cognizant of time and temperature.

I have to say that the new, improved road is a lot of fun on a road bike. You can certainly tell where they switched from new pavement to a chip-seal job over the old pavement... that said, it's very rideable and a HUGE improvement over the crumbling piece o' crap we've "enjoyed" in recent years. If you're up there on a bike, be aware that the downhill lane has quite a bit of rock and gravel in it along the Narrows... control your speed and be ready to swerve into the left lane.

The Secret-Lamoille trail is clear but muddy. We're supposed to have rain/snow again this weekend, so it may be a few more days before it dries out and stays dry for the season. All the rest of the trails up there are still under many feet of snow.

If you're going to be heading up climbing, be aware that tick season is here in full force. Fortunately it doesn't last long, but you're likely to end up with more than a few of them if you're out there playing in the brush right now.