Jan. 25 we skied Balsam Lake Mtn up the northerly approach from the Arkville side.
As expected the trail was broken out by snowshoers, making the skin up to the fire tower far easier than our last time up there. The northerly approach is much nicer for skiing than the 1.85mile trail from Quaker Clearing. You'd use the same north route to the summit avoiding the very steep south trail to the summit. Additionally, the ice laden trees found elsewhere in the Cats are not a problem this year. We had a fine run down. We started the day with a run over to Graham as well, but found the trail nearly covered in blowdown and ice crusted trees, forcing us to crawl, schlog and grovel our way to the top. If this trail ever saw some love and attention, it would be a fine ski tour as well. Conditions are very good on and off trail and will only get better with tomorrow's snow fall. RC