I don't want to hijack the thread but I'm curious...in touring rivers...how often do you encounter slush and what are your top three overnight river ski tours?
To clarify, we ski on trails that more or less follow rivers. Generally don't ski on the rivers, per se. Never the less, yes, slush and water are an issue in the recurring stream crossings. Water or slush can easily ice up either "no-wax" scales or kick wax. I've developed a pretty good stomp and slide technique to clear the skis, but tossing a pole in teh snow and sliding skis back and forth on the pole is some times called for. Or, take the skis off and scrape the ice off with the other ski as a last resort.
Older no-wax skis sometimes need to be touched up with a torch to burn off the p-tex "feathers" that trail off of worn scales and collect water and of course, treating them with kick wax (brush with a stiff brush when it's still warm and soft) or F4 paste works too.
We live in Boston and most of my tours are in the Whites. Some favorites include:
- Numerous locations off of either Wilderness Trail or East Side Trail out of the Lincoln Woods trail head on the Kank. I cried when they removed the old suspension bridge, as that made a nice loop.
- The Hitchcock Loop: Enter on Hitchcock trail, head northish on Cedar Brook up and over height of land, down to East Side trail and exit at Lincoln Woods.
- The eastern end of the Upper Nanamacomuk trail. Anything in along the Rob Brook forest service road. The old Rob Brook trail if you can find it! These are all accessed from the Rob Brook/Nanacomuk trail head on the southern end of Bear Notch Road.
- And end-end trip. Lilly Pond east on Upper Nanamacomuk to Sawyer River Trail to Sawyer Pond Trail to Sawyer Pond. South on Sawyer Pond to Birch Hill area and east along ski-doo trail to Rob Brook Road and out to Bear Notch. Can also be done as an in/out trip along Rob Brook Road.
- Rocky Branch from Jericho Road. The first mile and half stinks due to the road skiing and the trip is complicated by the bridge being out now.
- Tunnel Brook ponds from the southern end of Tunnel Brook trail.
All of these trips have great camping opportunities. Once you get comfortable with a trucker's hitch and dead fall anchor technique, you can reliaably through down a tent anywhere it's flat enough to sleep.
I think East Side Trail is a great place to start. Relatively easy skiing once you get past the dog walker crowd (who insist on walking in the ski tracks). Easy tenting at the tent sight area. Enough regular foot traffic that if you really mess up, there's a bit of chance of getting some help. Much better than screwing up in a more remote place like, say, the middle of the Upper Nana.
I think the eastern end of the Upper Nana is a really stunning spot. Its on my short list of places I like to return to and continue to explore.