Ski Touring As Far As You Can
I had the funnest ski outing today. A friend and I went and skied a few hours on a picturesque local hiking trail that I'd never skied before. It was quite glorious. I feel basically as tired, satisfied and challenged as when I've done big ski marathons. All it took was a short drive to a fun, really long, unknown local trail. What a blast!
I could easily see doing this for much more of a day. It makes me wonder how far one could readily ski in a day, on a challenging unknown trail.
We did about one-third of the Waterloo-Pinckney hiking trail in SE Michigan. It's a rolling trail in old glacier territory, with mixed hardwoods, pines and fields, and ponds, creeks, and swamps.
It gradually became very sunny. Perfect snow. 20F. Just gorgeous. I couldn't hardly make myself quit. We took a couple snack stops. When we called it a day we got dry clothes on and went and got a beer in the local town of Chelsea. When we went our separate ways it was still sunny out and I just had to go back out for another hour further out on that trail! I couldn't quit! Maybe it was just the sun that did it. I couldn't get enough.
I found it a challenge to figure out how to dress right for the wide range of conditions (open and fairly windy and also sheltered forest) and also what food supplies to bring. It turns out that we figured just right for 3 hours.
Also, I can see how stopping for photos and rewaxing can really cost you a lot of miles. It's easy to mess up a good rhythm with even brief stops. I remember the same challenge in bike touring. I suppose it might be best to plan on stopping 10 min's per hour. It takes thinking ahead to make sure you get all errands done in those 10 min's to not hold up the group.
The whole trail is 36 miles and it seems like it would take about 8 hours to complete.
Here's a link to maps: http://www.waterloopinckneytrail.org/
I suppose a rucksack with twice as much food/water supply and a dry shirt and hat would do the trick. Possibly a fannypack is all you'd need.
We don't have much snow but it's been cold so we've been milking as much fun from it as we can. There were ski-biting stones on some downhills.