‘Tis the Season

It’s hard to believe I am excited about skiing this

‘Tis the ski season, it is starting to feel like it has finally arrived.  Yesterday’s snowboarding session did little to scratch the snow itch; in fact it has only made the snow sports craving worse.  I was pleasantly surprised as to how well my body reacted to snowboarding and how quickly the skills came back.  I have done little in the way of preparation this year, my only real effort in preparation has been to drag the bicycle trainer in front of the television when I watch ski movies.

In past years it felt almost like I was relearning the sport at the beginning of the season.  In contrast, after only a few runs this year I was lost in the Zen of riding. The board seemed to carry me down the mountain with me barely thinking or acting.  I am grateful that my skills have come back to me quickly, and am hopeful to get on some more exciting terrain in the near future.  

With the snow cover varying day to day and rain in the forecast, I headed back to Wachusett with hopes of getting some more runs in while there was still snow on the ground.  I was not anxious, however, to keep re-running the same trail as yesterday (there is only one open).  In the spirit of keeping things fresh, and keeping my mind excited for all things winter, I decided to ditch the snowboard and bring the telemark gear.  Also, to keep things interesting, we would forgo the lift in favor of skinning up the mountain and letting our legs do the work of the lift.

Not exactly a winter wonderland down here

Skinning at the resort is a great way to get in a workout and to prepare yourself for the back country.  By skinning up the hill you get a fantastic cardiovascular workout: I like to think of it as nature’s own elliptical machine (except when you are done on nature’s, you get to ski).  Furthermore, you can really test your fitness and skiing ability when you’re descending on legs you just punished on the ascent.

The conditions were not as nice as the previous day, as the sun never materialized, but the snow conditions proved to be above average.  I was again pleasantly surprised by how quiet the mountain was but I am not complaining.  A friend and I managed a few runs in before we both had to leave for work, and the morning proved to be a huge success.  We both scored some turns, got a workout, and got to flush that first awkward telemark day out of our systems.

‘Tis the ski season.