New Game: Flat Light

Spanky and I went out x-c skiing this afternoon. In the fresh powder (boot-deep, about 8" on top of a 4" more-or-less frozen, crusty base) we worked hard making new tracks even though the terrain is gently rolling in Danville. The snow in the woods was deep enough to cover sticks and roots (4-6") and in the meadows was deep enough to cover the grasses left over from summer's end. Lots of white. We waited for the forecasted lull, which came as scheduled, but it started snowing pretty hard towards the end of our trek. We got back around 3pm, drenched in sweat.

The sky was heavily overcast and it was snowing pretty hard, although there was no wind. Visibility was not bad, maybe 1/4 mile, but in the very flat grey twilight of the afternoon and with the snow falling steadily, open rolling meadows had no visual cues other than grey. The map at right is about 2mi square (click pic to zoom). On the way back (see the light green route) we had trouble seeing what was up and what was down, so we played a game I now call "Flat Light" - which downhill skiers are familiar with (skiing in flat-grey light where you can't see bumps or contours and everything is a surprise). We worked our way back and across the meadows sometimes being pulled downhill by gravity and other times climbing little knolls but really having no clue what was coming. It was a good time.

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