by Dirk and Justin
Sunday, January 7th, 2018
As we drove up the snow-covered path to Green Woodlands, the thermometer in the car read a frigid three degrees Fahrenheit. This was with the sun shining high in the sky as it was 12:30pm. After we parked the car, we hesitated to get out and brave the icy air. Yet after the sub-zero temperatures in Canada, we told ourselves this was mild. We grabbed our skis and jogged over to the trailhead. Popping on our race skis, we headed out to warm up with some others. The snow squeaked under the skis and caused them to stop short on the glide phase. We shuffled back and forth between the trailhead and the Black Bog trail and the parking lot a few times before convening and heading out on the trails.
We skied slowly up the Black Bog trail as a big group, chatting and trying to stay warm in the frigid, icy air. We talked about the exciting news that Jessie Diggins got 3rd in the Tour de Ski the day before. The very persistent cold temperature had made the new snow very slow, and loud as our skis slowly glided along. The bright sun felt good on our backs warming us as we climbed the hills. We zipped down the back side and then cut over to do the short version of the Smart’s Mountain loop. The snow piled heavily on the tree branches, weighing them down low, where they glistened in the afternoon sun. On the downhills, the wind whipped our faces and froze our tears. We stopped for a quick second at a trail junction but then planned on going to the next warming hut far a snack and drink in the sun. When we finally stopped at the warming hut on wheels, the quick break and snack was a welcome relief yet the sun was hidden behind the only cloud in the sky. We then skied down toward the Carriage trail but decided to head back because we had been out for plenty of time. We passed many families and dogs out embracing the cold and having fun in the perfect snow. Everyone was ready to be done as we glided down the last hills on the Black Bog trail. We worked our way back to the parking lot and dispersed into our separate cars for the ride home. I was glad to put on some warm layers and enjoy hot tea for the ride home.