The Crooked Canes Journal

Viewing 3 of 76 - 2017


Berlin Mountain ~ Jan 5, 2017

Journal entry by Ghost Writer For Shelly Nevard

Dawn on Berlin Mountain day greeted Ghost Writer with the sound of wind, a view through the skylight of thick clouds, a thermometer that read 23 degrees, thoughts that I don't really want to go and "What is it about Shelly and Berlin Mountain?" All this on the heels of a near 40 degree day with lots of rain. "Bring snowshoes AND spikes" the email said. Snowshoes. Really? Almost put the snowshoes away before leaving and added crampons to the mounting pile of gear I thought I might need. Little did Ghost Writer know......

The ride to Petersburg had its ups and downs with one rare view but mostly signs portending a pretty lousy day in the woods. For most of the ride there was no snow except rotten remnants of snowbanks begging thoughts of a trail surface alternating between ice and rocks then dirt and rocks from beginning to end. The first surprise, after acknowledgement of an expected windy grey day, greeted us at the trail head: enough snow to require some thought and experimenting to determine whether snowshoes or spikes would be the preferred foot gear on the crunchy, post-holed snow with a just wee touch of fresh on top. Snowshoes seemed like the best choice, so that's how we started off.

The trail, at first flat soon became steep, the pitch welcome in that we were out of the wind and quickly warming up. As we gained elevation the terrain flattened, became rolling and views of the valley below presented themselves along with a bit of ice on trees. It was pretty and the constant sound of snowshoes crunching became sporadically punctuated by the sound of shutters clicking. There were still surprises ahead....

"It was pretty" soon became "Wow!" as sun began to shine and we traveled on finding more and more ice on trees that transformed scraggly woods punctuated frequently by open areas and glades into a magical wonderland of pleasantly glistening ice tinkling on moving boughs. Adding to our glee was a single snowmobile track which made the walking significantly easier.

Arriving at an expansive summit clearing with plenty of terrific photo ops, we ooh'd and awe'd for a very short time before retreating to a grove of spruce for lunch. 130 fingers quickly got cold and soon we were bounding down the trail, glad to be moving, generating welcome heat and marveling at stunning scenes nature had surprised us with. The trail now quite smooth from our upward passage, over half of the group changed from snowshoes and spikes for the trip down.

Two thirds or so of the way down, an option was to leave the trail we'd come up on and "take a run" down a ski area, Mount Raimer, first opened in 1962 and closed for good in 1980, though still a popular (and somewhat maintained) venue for back country skiers. The five who trekked over the top and to the bottom via old trails were treated to delightful views on a gentle, smooth ribbon of old trail leading to the base of old Mount Raimer and the trail head.

This was one of those outings on which Mother Nature gave many of us serious doubts about whether or not to go but ultimately treated us all abundantly well.

Thanks so much for a great day to first time Outing Leader Shelly and her followers Mark, Lenore, Jack, Linda, Ray, Joy, Joanne, Gail, Cathy, Lynn, Claudia, Peter and the ephemeral Ghost Writer.

1/6/17 - joy munro added 14 photos.

1/7/17 - RayB Bouchard added 10 photos. 1/8/17 - Wanderer . added 11 photos.

47 photos

An eagle on a deer carcass. Two adults departed when we stopped; one juvenile smugly stays put as its sibling takes off.

TA-DA! Here we are!

Lenore takes in the first good view of our goal in the distance.

Buds encased in ice

More buds, more ice.

"The Abominable Whatever" searches for his smiley face after being stirred from a nap.

Rondack Nanook Ray closes in on another masterpiece.

Iced brush near the summit.

Four Canes at the summit of Berlin Mountain.

Visible from the summit, part of a wind farm to the east of Berlin Mountain.

Joy peeks into the spruce lunch grotto.

Old ski trail on Raimer Mountain.

the hill - added by joy

Joanne on the hill: she looked up and said, "this is like climbing Everest!" I don't think anyone would disagree with her. - added by joy

taking a break on the trail to admire the icy beauty. - added by joy

the trees we were admiring - added by joy

sun through the branches - added by joy

tracks of a fox - added by joy

our destination: Berlin Mt - added by joy

at the top - added by joy

Greylock to the south east - added by joy

To the east:Hoosac Wind Project wind turbines - added by joy

frozen tree - added by joy

southern view - added by joy

lunch in the grove - added by joy

lunch in the grove 2 - added by joy

A snowmobile had previously packed down the trail all the way to the summit. Perhaps it was an illegal joy ride, or maybe it was an emergency evacuation. We may never know. - added by RayB

Kurt provided the scientific name for the scale like crud on the tree before I could even pull out my fungus ID manual. I believe he referred to the genus & species as Deerbarfus americanus. I've tried Googling the name without much luck. - added by RayB

An icy scene on the way to the summit. - added by RayB

Gail's characteristic warm smile was a nice contrast to all the cold icicles. - added by RayB

Kurt & Peter chatting during a break. - added by RayB

Lenore in the middle of a winter wonderland. - added by RayB

Kurt hamming it up with Claudia. - added by RayB

An eerie, yet beautiful scene near the summit of Berlin Mt. - added by RayB

Everything on the summit was fully encapsulated in ice, even the twigs and pebbles on the bedrock. - added by RayB

I didn't think I had enough time to stop and take a picture of the 4 Bald Eagles on my way to the trailhead in the AM, but fortune smiled on me; there was still one bird feeding on the deer carcass when I drove by on my way home. - added by RayB

Is this the real Kurt, our trails ambassador - composed, stoic ....? - added by Wanderer

.... or is this the Kurt we all know? - sorry - I am at a loss of words and that almost never happens! - added by Wanderer

Cathy and Gail enjoying the beautiful surroundings - that's Jack coming up behind them - added by Wanderer

Just another pretty picture of the ice encapsulated trees on top of Berlin Mt - added by Wanderer

Fire ring at the summit of Berlin Mt with Mt Greylock on the horizon - added by Wanderer

Frozen grasses and brush amongst the evergreens - added by Wanderer

Ray and Jack emerging from a winter wonderland - added by Wanderer

How the landscape changed with just a few feet in descent - no ice! - added by Wanderer

Remains of one of the ski lifts of the Petersburg Pass Ski Area - closed in 1980 - added by Wanderer

Kurt in a perfect ski tuck position - now all he needs to do is put on some skis and face downhill! - added by Wanderer

Claudia and Shelly near the end of our adventure - added by Wanderer

Viewing 3 of 76 - 2017


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