Monday, February 8, 2010

The Snow Superbowl

Last night while watching the Superbowl, a friend said I'm so sick of this winter. I was speechless. I felt sorry for him because he only go to experience the work part of this snowstorm like shoveling, cancellations, ice. He didn't get to experience the play part of snow. As we skied around Harrisonburg from our front yard, I was happy to see people skiing along. It was mostly everyone I knew though. But I can't help but to wonder why isn't cross country skiing more poplular than it is. I mean so many more people should own skiis. Americans and Harrisonburgers can certainly afford it, but the ski culture isn't here. It hard to for me to fathom. But I'm totally biased because I love it so much. I mean this winter alone should make people want to run out and at least get some super cheapies.

Anyway, Collin's Birthday party started out the weekend with a candy and pizza party. It was fun to see him so happy and all our friends trekking over in the storm via skis, bikes, feet and four wheel drive made the house warm and steamy. Tim got a new mixer and his pizza dough has such a great consistency. A night ski evolved(of course) and this time it was in our local rockgarden!

The superbowl ski was epic. Meeting at Mr. J's as usual and then heading out in the best trucks we had. The snow was deep out to the dam, but since Reddish Knob is a mecca of big trucks and jeeps we weren't the first to have passed. We made excited turns on the dam and then set out to earn our turns climbing up the road to Reddish. We climbed for about 40 minutes and then some trucks and jeeps started coming up. I don't know how it happened , but the next thing I heard was "grab on" . We then had a joyride up the mountain. I haven't laughed this hard in a while. Joyful, childlike laughter. The sketchiness, the snow spray, the defying of gravity was awesome. I fell off one and hopped on another. It was like cold water skiing with ruts. There were some great wrecks making powdered donuts of those that lost their balance. More peals of laughter.

So since we could get up quicker, we could now go further out the ridge to Flag Pole knob where the annual picture taking spot is. Then we went to Meadow and Pond. We came down Pond and darn it was steep and tight. It was pure struggle with not picking up lightning speeds. I was a lightweight ski wimp. But adreneline maximized. Some of the big boys found some awesome tree shoots and big vertical drainages. It was one for the ages.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Groundhog says Six to eight weeks more of winter!

According to Tucker County groundhog, Cabin John, its going to be at least six more weeks of winter and possibly eight! The annual ground hog's day ski out of White Grass was really fun. Its a long ski... about six hours and of course its mostly uphill. We got into the sods on Dunkenbarger Trail. It is tight skiing with lots of laurel and rhodies. There were 13 for photo on top of Cabin Mt. It was a good crew who brought snacks, beer, wax and scrapers. It was a sticky snow that made for some slow going and great butt muscle building.

I also got to do the Mountain State Marathon Ski race. It was a 20 km effort on the small hills of the lower trails of White Grass. Whoever says the snow farm is totally flat has not done this race. The climb out of the snowfarm can be brutal. I considered doing the 10km instead, but the racer in my insisted on doing the longer distance. I was nervous considering I had only skated once this year and my left leg was still just not strong enough to be even with the right. But Miss Charlie waxed me right and I got an ugly second. My form fell apart in the wake of Hop's wax and technical prowess. I did get the hole shot, but in the end Hop got me by 6 minutes which is huge in a skate race. Regardless, I am stronger and now remember how fast a flat ski is.

I also got to teach the Women's Ski Day on saturday. It was really fun meeting all the women in the clinic. Some were first timers and others ready for tele turns. Its was a bitter cold morning of learning good fundamentals. A delicious White Grass lunch warmed us for our afternoon tour and downhill control drills. There is another one February 28th.

Its not all skiing these days. There were two days on the bike as well. One three hour road ride that left me chuffed. Its amazing how long my loops take me this time of year and how easily I get bonked. Then went out with Trevor to preview the Superbowl Sunday ride. I was in my granny gear going up Reddish on my mtb. That is pretty bad! It was pretty warm, but very windy. When we got up higher there was snow and ice. This part makes me agree with my friend Jenny who says winter biking is stupid. But going down where the snow was perfect for biking made me very happy. So I think I'll conclude, Winter biking can be fun and stupid. Biking when out of bike shape is hard.

Congrats to SBC for finishing the concrete floor in the bike shop and getting the Ascend system. They are a full service bike shop.