3 ADIRONDACK THRU-TRIPS FOR SKIERS
Avalanche Pass gets all the attention when discussing thru-trips on skis but it has some problems - It is a long drive between start and finish (so it is most often done with 2 groups going in opposite directions and doing a key exchange), plus there is almost as much uphill as there is downhill. So here are some thru-trips that have a short drive/bike/walk/ski between trailheads and have much more in the way of elevation loss.
Some old trip reports:
OLD FARM-HALFWAY BROOK-RAYMOND BROOK starts at 1,800', climbs to >2,200', drops to The Vly 2,030', >2,300' on Raymond Brook trail, end at North Creek Ski Bow1,000'.
Mar 26, 14 - From Old Farm Trailhead. Gain 500' on Halfway Brook trail passing jctn to Botheration Pond then dropping over 200' to The Vly with its view of Gore Mtn. (Coyote trapping in this area - keep your dog on trail). Crossed Barton Mines Rd to Raymond Brook trail to top of pass.
Feb 11, 2015 - RAYMOND BROOK & spur to RABBIT POND, from Barton Mines Rd. Thru-trip to North Creek Ski Bowl. Ran into Steve Ovitt (retired ranger) & Ron Konowitz at the junction.
Jan 26, 09 - HALFWAY BROOK & RAYMOND BROOK TRAILS. Thru ski from Old Farm Trailhead to Rt.28. Climb over 400' on HB Trail, drop to The Vly & campsite with view of Gore. Cross Barton Mines Rd & pick up newly marked RB Trail which climbs moderately before dropping 1,200' in ~3.5 miles to Rt.28. Initial drop from height of land is steep but there is room to move & pick your best way down. Things moderate for ~2 miles, pass historic "Sled Shed" from the 30's, even some uphill. Raymond Brook in ravine to our L. Good new bridges over streams. Another steep section before Rt.28 parking area. Exhilarating! Intermediate+. 9 miles, 4 hours. 15 min. shuttle (one-way)between trailheads.
Mar 23, 14 - TIRRELL POND thru ski from Adk Museum to Lake Durant. Great skiing on 6" powder on top of 2' of base - made the skiing a bit too easy tho;) Gorgeous sunny day with temp rising into low 20's. The strong sun did make the snow a little sticky in the pm but nothing that an application of Maxiglide couldn't cure. Easy breaking trail to the pond, the 470'drop in a mile was too easy. Lunch at lean-to. Skied down middle of pond, no slush or wet spots, Blue Mtn to the W, rock face of Tirrell Mtn to the E, very scenic & a tailwind too! Northville-Placid Trail south (rolling terrain) looked like someone had skied in a couple of days ago, 1'" fresh snow in their tracks. Good view over to Snowy Mtn from O'Neill Flow. 8+ miles (skied some hills twice), 4.6 hours.
Jan 29, 12 - TIRRELL POND from the S. 20" of snow, 7" of powder on top of icy/wet base - very good skiing (a band of lake-effect snow hung over the area yesterday, got reports this morning of 5" new in Indian Lake). Northville-Placid Trail. Broke trail all the way - not too hard. A narrow log bridge (no handrail) a few feet over the outlet leads to O'Neill lean-to - I opted to ski out onto the pond (a little slush) well away from the outlet then over to the lean-to. 4.6 hours. Late day report of 10.75" new snow in Blue Mtn Lake.
Feb 15, 2019 - STONY & BARNES PONDS. Breaking trail was easy with 6" new snow on deep base, skiing was perfect, skis climbed & glided great. 2 miles to E-facing lean-to on Stony Pond (intermediate), view across the pond to Green Mtn (2,796'). Snowmobile trail that gets very little use from snowmobiles but those wide new snowmobile bridges are welcome. Picnic table built Oct 2018 was an Eagle Scout project; thunderbox (no outhouse). Cross the pond to the NE arm, Saw a beaver pulling a branch into hole in the ice. Picked up the red trail but paralleled it on beaver pond before rejoining red trail. Topped out at 2,270' then dropped 400' in the next half mile (intermediate+) to remote BP - lots of fun! Back almost the same way. 8 miles.
Feb 2, 14 - STONY POND thru ski, Rt.28N to Irishtown. 6-10" dense wettish powder on some icy base - very good skiing, did see some rocks but generally easy to miss, some icy spots near the end. Center Pond Outlet -thin ice near beaver dams, turned around before reaching Center Pond. From high point between Stony & Sherman Ponds we dropped 1,000' to Irishtown - wheeee! Falls Brook Yurts. No sign of recent snowmobile use. 7.7 miles, 3.7 hours.
Feb 10, 13 - STONY POND THRU SKI. From Rt.28N to Irishtown. Excellent conditions with good base topped with 8-10" powder. Some snowmobiles (ice fishing?) on Stony Pond & people camping in the lean-to. Crossed over to the NW corner & picked up the Hewitt Pond trail for a bit then took a R on trail to Center Pond - very steep climb & fairly steep drop to the remote pond. After an enjoyable lunch in the warm sun we followed the outlet to Stony & picked up the trail which drops steeply to Sherman Ponds, snowmobiles there too. Some uphill before enjoying 2 miles of exhilarating downhill. Not too far from Sherman the snowmobile tracks went sharp R past a camp on the L. At the sharp R the foot trail actually goes straight & was easy to miss (no markers) since it had received no recent use - this section was silky smooth, a delight. Interesting ski bench as we entered private land at Fall Brook Yurts. 930' of downhill, 8.3 miles, 5 hours.
Jan 27, 08 - STONY & CENTER PONDS thru trip ending in Irishtown. Good base with up to 8" powder - packed by snowmobile from Rt.28N to half mile S of Sherman Pond. From SE end of Stony went up Center Pond's outlet (trailless) - mostly open with 2 spots where one has to bushwhack 100-200 yds. thru woods - easier than taking the trail. Lunched at island on remote Center Pond. Back to Stony, steep up & down to Sherman Ponds, 900' drop in the last 2 miles down to Irishtown (after 1st drop the snowmobile tracks turned R thru a private inholding, bear L to stay on trail) - exhilarating. Interesting bench made of old downhill skis before last stretch run to road; rentable yurts not far from trail; icy spot after bridge over Falls Brook. 8 miles, 5.5 hrs.