(Jan 17/10): Trail/snow conditions were good to excellent for snowshoe running on Sunday in anticipation of the Dion Frontenac Snowshoe Race next Saturday.
The snow was soft in places, but there is still so much snow in the park that it wasn't a problem. There were a few sections that had exposed rocks, roots and mud, but they were easy to avoid. Sara, EJ and I all ran the course which helped to pack it down further from where hikers (without snowshoes) had chewed up the trail a little. Sara even wore her Dion Deep Cleats (for deep snow conditions) on her snowshoes and had no problem with hitting ground.
0-2km: Excellent snow conditions. Deep snow on the wide trail. Well packed down and quite smooth.
2-4.5km: Fair to good snow conditions. This is the most technical part of the course that includes negotiating around a few rocks, roots and tree stumps. Snow is melted off of a few of the wooden bridges, but just take it easy going across and you'll be fine. The softer snow conditions over this section of the Corridor trail is now in much better shape after the 3 of us ran over it to pack it down.
4.5-5.4km: Excellent snow conditions. This section is packed down very well. The long bridge past the Big Salmon Lake boat launch still has snow on it too. This is the fastest section of the course and you'll be able to fly, even with some good rolling hills.
5.4km-7.3km: Same as first 2km, excellent snow conditions. After everyone has packed this down further at the start of the race, this section will be in exceptional shape for the final sprint to the finish.
There is always a lot more snow in the park than what is in Kingston or surrounding areas. We've had a lot of people contact us who are concerned about the conditions for the race, but we would have to get a huge melt for there to be a problem considering how good the base is right now. Worst case scenario if a big melt did occur is that we would still be running a snowshoe race, but exclude the Corridor Trail section.
The temperatures are dropping below 0C each night, and some flurries are in the forecast this week, so conditions should remain good or even improve. I expect to be running the course again later in the week and will post further updates if conditions change.
See you on race day!