There are two parking lots named Chiwawa. One is off the Chiwawa Valley Road and is for sled dogs. The other off of Chiwawa Loop Road is for xc skiiers. It was a small group for this Mountaineer XC ski trip; just four of us total. We began at about 10:30am on the groomed xc ski trail across the street from the parking lot called the See N Ski. It is a lollipop trail with gentling rolling hills and parallels of the Wenatchee River. The snow had not let up from earlier that morning and the soft flakes created a winter wonderland. See N Ski is the most popular trail in the Chiwawa Sno-Park (because it is groomed unlike the others), but we did not see many people. Not many folks visit this sno-park. They tend to cluster at Lake Wenatchee and Leavenworth tracks. The snow was soft and powdery like the Rocky Mountain type and felt great under our skis unlike the wet heavy snow that had fallen the previous week.

After completing the See N Ski we crossed back to the parking lot and took the Squirrel Run Trail. Another Mountaineer we had run into on the first trail joined us since we were so willing to cut track. Squirrel Run and the longer Flying Loop (which intersects park of Squirrel Run) are both ungroomed xc ski trails well marked by Blue Blazes on the trees. Sometimes we floated easily over the snow… other times we sunk. And sometimes one foot sunk and the other floated! The trail had not been used in a long time so Ken, the trip leader, broke the track which made things easier for us in back. The split off Flying Loop to the Squirrel Run is well signed  so there is little chance of mixing things up. Immediately after the junction the trail crosses a snow bridge over the creek. It is not a difficult crossing, but caution should be taken. The trail parallels the road for several km and then turns into the woods to create a small lollipop before turning back. By this time it was getting late and the temperature had dropped. Eric and I had eating our last food and noon so we were starving (this is why it is bad to pack for trips at 4am… you make stupid decisions). Nevertheless, we arrived back at the trailhead at around 5:15pm. Squrriel Run was reported to be 4km… but I had about 8km.

Exhausted we all headed to Coles Corner to the 59er Diner where Eric consumed his Italian Scramble in a huge hurry! A wonderful day of off and on track xc! Ten miles total.

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