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Sugarloaf parking lot scene was bleak yesterday (Friday) morning - all the
new snow seemed to have settled significantly and/or blown away
considerably.  We (i.e., lurker friend from Maine plus me) considered just
a nordic tour on the golf course but the Th website pics gave us hope.
Sure enough, a few hundred vert of skinning on Tote Road revealed a whole
different world.  Conditions steadily improved as we climbed higher,
eventually switching over to the utility-line/vehicle road, which then
becomes a regular trail.
But as the temps got colder, winds stronger, and snowpack firmer, we
concurred that going to the summit was not necessary.  Unfortunately, I
ended up far in the lead as my friend stopped for various clothing
adjustment fiddling, so with nobody to remind me of my earlier sensible
sentiment, I soon found myself at the summit.
And what a crazily cold and windy summit!  If the summit is like that in
October, what about January?!?
Skied down to within a few hundred vert of the base (i.e., where the cover
got thin), then skinned back up to several hundred vert shy of the summit
(i.e., where the cover was very deep yet very firm), for a total vert count
a bit under 4k.
Overall, pretty much an average New England backcountry skiing tour (given
that we had rock skis) . . . but an above-average way to start off the
season!

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