Ross takes a lunch break, allowing a string of skiers to catch up with him. Photo: JR

WEATHER: More of winter. Squeaky cold.  Wind-scoured snowfields. There’s no thaw in sight.

TAPPING STATUS: Ross finished up Thursday the 21st. Chief of Operations moved on to main line work.

Main line work. Behind the chain saw lies the stump of a tree that fell over this Keystone main line. Due to the ferocious winds lately, the crew anticipates finding many more blowdowns. Photo: JR

Day Nine, where we left off: 9352

Day Ten: 9738  Grand Total

HOW’S IT RUNNING? It’s not. You have to look back to 2015 for a year when the sap didn’t run in February. Notably in 2017 and 2018 the sap ran in earnest during the entire last week of February. Chief of Operations says,”Just as you get accustomed to the new norm it flips back.”

While we wait for the first sap run, let’s catch up with readers across the country.

Rene Fleuette of Bellingham, MA writes:

Rene writes: We built our sugar house in 2010 using logs cut on our property and milled with a chainsaw – siding and all.

We are still sugaring, running about 300 taps, and like most folks that sugar, are always expanding. We are running a 2×6 Leader with AUF. Have added a Deer Run expandable RO and a Lapierre 7″ filter press.

Our season started pretty strong last Friday [Feb. 15] and we’ve boiled 750 gallons of 3% sap already. Last year we had just about 5000 gallons sap total.

We call ourselves the “ Five Saps Sugar House.” The five saps are my two sons, two son in laws and myself. Just a hobby.

[ One of the joys of sugaring is striking up friendships with regular customers. We met Rene’s father Andre in 1980. Once a year Andre Fleuette and his wife Aline drove north from Rhode Island to buy a car load of syrup (for extended family) from Nason Adams who farmed and sugared in Nebraska Valley long before us. One year Nason couldn’t fill the order and sent Andre to us.]


Nebraska Knoll maple syrup goes high. A waffle breakfast at Opa’s Hut (11,850′). Photo: SP

A few times each winter, Scott Painter and friends trek into 10th Mountain Division Huts for long weekends of backcountry skiing and camaraderie.

Scott writes: [Opa’s] hut is my favorite – second time to it for me.  It was completed Oct 2012 and reflects the collective wisdom of the 10th Mtn. Hut Association.  Awesome skiing (though avalanche-prone terrain) and a well designed and constructed hut with views that are amazing.


Clairmonde writes from the Willamette Valley in Oregon where it rarely snows: Our flowers are nestled in snow- beautiful – but strange to see Spring and Winter collide.  Photo: CH

AND LASTLY, this fiddle tune popped out of the inbox today:
Fiddler Ward Allen plays his song, Maple Sugar. (I hope ads, etc. don’t accompany it.)


One thought on “No Sap Run This February

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