Although it hasn't been the snowiest winter on record, we're still experiencing full winter conditions high in the mountains. With the 4 day storm from 2 weeks ago came 52 inches of new snow in places and has brought snow depths at the huts to well above average. Today's snow stake at Carter measured 67 inches while Hermit Lake is still taking the lead at 75 inches. Because of all this snow, I recently made a trip up to Lonesome Lake Hut to help the caretaker, Dave Weston, with some heavy snow removal.
I decided to ski the trail knowing there was a lot of fresh snow higher up and I thought it would be a challenging and fun ski down, which it turned out to be. After about a 40 minute climb up the Lonesome Lake Trail, I skied across the frozen lake and found Dave hard at work shoveling the stairs that had collected deep wind blown drifts.
Because we were both fairly tired at this point from our early morning work out, we went inside for a quick snack of freshly made donuts. These weren't the kind from the local Dunkin Donuts or Crispy Cream, these were the ones much like the lumber jacks made 100 years ago when the White Mountains were being heavily logged and that is why the recipe for them is called "Lumber Camp Donuts."
After our snack, we went back outside to continue the shoveling. First, we shoveled off the roof of the bathroom which had collected over three feet of snow in sections and it needed to come down. Using some improvised techniques, we were able to get the heavy load off safely. Of course, all the snow on the roof ended up on the walkway so we had to shovel that as well. We then moved on to the propane platform, the basement door, the stairs and the porches hoping that the wind wouldn't blow it all back during the night. After about 3 hours of shoveling and trudging around in waste deep snow, I packed up my stuff and Dave joined me for a ski across the lake and down the trail.
Even with a few feet of snow on the trail, it's a difficult challenge to maneuver through the tight trees that line the winding path. The added cushion of the fresh snow was nice to have and although it took a while for us to finally get that big winter storm, I'm glad it came and hopefully there will be more to come.