Wednesday, December 29, 2010
I had some magical days skiing up in Canaan. I love skiing from the front door of the Icebox, seeing what trails have been tracked in, searching for deer and bear tracks and listening for nuthatches and chickadees. I was sad when Ruby wouldn't go with me. I know the snow sticks to her paws some, but maybe she doesn't love it as much as she used to and maybe with her bad vision its scary. She was content to sit on the couch.
The skiing at White Grass was awesome. Big giant thanks to Chip, his staff and his volunteers who clear the glades so tele crazies can ski fast through the trees. Little Wing, Jack Frost Glades, Robert's Woods, Blade Runner, Steeps of Baldy, Cathedral Woods, Sauna Holla, Flatrock Bowl, Anita Steeps, The Nose, etc. So many woods, so much snow. I'm psyched that my leg is feeling better than last year for making turns. It still gets wobbly, but now I'm turning with more confidence. Plus, getting to ski with some of the legends of Canaan who can make good turns on the lightest of gear stokes me up. Seeing Charlie and TP shred the woods with skimpy stuff reminds me its technique. But I was stoked about my set up...Karhu 10th Mountain Skis, Rottefella 3 pins with risers, Asolo Snowfields and Black Diamond Traverse poles. This is a White Grass classic set up and you'll see lots of folks ripping on variations of this. I still don't see the need for plastic boots on this terrain, but to each his own. I will say that the better skier you are, but more you should experiment with light gear. Its a great challenge.
I love making turns, but also love sweating going fast uphill and the best thing for that for me is skate skis. I have some fast Atomic Beta Skates that I like to put on for ultimate glide. It gets kinda old slogging around on backcountry skis, so when you put on fast, skinny skis, its like going for a fast road ride. But technique counts for a lot as well as grooming. I was lucky enough to get to follow Lester in the Piston Bully going up Three Mile trail. Perfect fresh packed powder. It felt good. I'm no nordic snob, so I think White Grass has the best of all worlds down pat.
Also, consider taking a lesson to improve your technique and thus increase your fun. Morgan Chase teaches tele lessons to kids as well as to adults, look him up the next time you are at White Grass.