Trail Run long 5:07:53  25.0 mi (12:19 / mi) +521m 11:34 / mi
I wanted to go on a trail run. Alex wanted to go on a trail run before her 50 miler in two weeks. With the weather (20˚, 100 mph winds) the Pemi Loop was out. But I came up with the idea of a low Pemi loop around Thoreau Falls and Shoal Pond trails, a lot of running I'd never done before. Should be mostly runnable, low enough to not be too icy. And the option to come back via Zeacliff and the Bonds or Thirteen Falls if the weather cooperated.
Of course, it was snowing before we got to the trailhead. Mostly light snow during the run, some accumulation higher up. Trails were damp but not soaked (except Shoal Pond Trail, which is kind of a stream/swamp in places). 10-11s up to Thoreau Falls Trail and then a super-sketchy bridge across, although Alex and I decided we weighted as much as one person so we didn't have to obey the weight limit. Hopefully this bridge will be replaced when it fails (soon); otherwise the Thoreau Falls trail would be impassable from both ends during any wet weather. It was beautiful and snowy along TFT, with some trickier sections away from the river.
Then we got to Thoreau Falls. It was gorgeous: the river running, snow in the air and hanging on the trees. We had seen one person in the first mile or so and otherwise had the first footprints. Of course, we had to cross whatever branch of the Pemi that is (the northeastnortheast or something). This proved difficult with Alex taking a leap to what we hoped was grippy granite on the other side. It was, and we made it up to the Ethan Pond Trail.
No footprints there, either, and a couple inches of snow accumulated on the bridge. Then a jaunt to Shoal Pond where the trail became … wet. Our feet got wet and we were both warming up having layered up, and I was eating a sandwich, but the trail got a bit better down towards Stillwater. Then it was a 9-mile hop skip and jump back to the car.
A little sorer but no worse for wear. Total of two other people out there, and we were likely the only people on any of these trails today, and possibly all weekend. A very respectable 12.5 MPG (miles per goofer).