Saturday, February 9, 2019

Conquering the Hill of Impossibility


 I sat in the pub, watching the snow pile up. We were well on our way to a foot and a half from one storm. A couple looked outside and groaned. "We were having a good day until THIS started," they said. Why you would live in a snowy place if you hate it, I wondered.

The rest of us were busy making plans. I had one goal in mind: to ski down Hays Maze in cross country gear! As you may recall, I failed miserably a few weeks ago, resorting to walking with skis.  Though I am not really a "goal" person, I was determined for redemption.

"Just take the T bar up," J said. Though it was a Monday, it was a mandatory powder day (the lift runs, and people chip in for the diesel). I stared in horror at the T bar. I had seen people fall off it at a high speed, and others grab and miss. One hard thing in a day was enough. I hadn't brought skins, and the long way around to the top would take until dark.

The snocat hove into view and our eyes lit up. We would bum a ride to the top. Luckily Willie was in the mood for company, so I hopped in for a unique, plodding ride to the top. Being in the cat reminded me of driving swamp buggies back in the day. We swayed and tipped our way to the top, but Willie said we wouldn't tip all the way over. I chose to believe.

At the top, two skiers appeared, having skinned their way up. I felt lazy as I put on my skis, but sometimes you have to do what you have to do. I stared down the easiest run on the ski hill. It looked pretty hard to me, but if I stayed off the groomed part, I thought I could make it. And I did, only falling three times into soft, fluffy snow.

Though skiing down the Hill of Impossibility had been conquered, I don't think I'll become a downhill skier anytime soon. Lifts and skinning up just to ski down aren't what I like. Instead I enjoy the meditative slog through flocked trees. Yes, I am strange.

 I have felt a twinge of guilt this week for only skiing. I haven't darkened the gym door in a while. I haven't done a pullup. Crunches, what are those? And I only ran once. But it's hard to waste this good snow.  The trails are deep and silent. I don't know where everyone else is, but they are missing out.

As I type this, another storm is blowing in, with dire warnings of impossible driving and major snowfall. Much of the west is getting hammered, and the PCT in the Sierra in June, my last trip, is up for question.


If it snows enough, I may tackle the Hill of Possibility again. Or, I may just go back to my slogging ski trails.


 Either way, winter is just getting started.  We stared with anticipation at the lake while on a mid-day ski. It is trying to freeze over. This has only happened twice in the ten years I've lived here. There's always hope that it can happen again.


So what should I do today? Run? Go to the gym? Nope. It's a ski day today.




8 comments:

  1. I'm salivating over all the snow you have! Every place around my house is getting snow, except where I live (the west metro of Portland missed out on the latest snowpocalypse). Hooray for conquering the "hill of impossibility!" I'd love to come out and ski with you sometime. Maybe next year when I'm (hopefully) retired.

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    1. Dang, I won't be retired, but I can probably sneak out for that. You can give me some tips...

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  2. I like how it became the Hill of Possibility when you referred to it toward the end of your post :-).
    I don't care for downhill skiing either. I don't see the attraction of speed. I much prefer the meditative 'slog' as well - I feel like I get so much more out it, on so many levels.
    When I worked in Chester CA last winter I adapted my workouts to the season/snow. It was lovely, and fun! The gym will be there...but the snow, well, Spring does eventually come.

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    1. Yes because I know it's possible now. But not always...I'll never really be a fan of speed. Plus I find the scenery so much nicer outside of the ski area.

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  3. We're supposed to have snow for the next 10 days. We didnt hit above 11° today. So everything that snowed overnight blew and drifted with the 35 mph wind gusts. At least front door and porch wasn't buried under snow drifts this morning again. However my car was a little more buried than the days prior.

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    1. I don't even think we are getting as much as you.

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  4. Oh, definitely a ski day. Thank you for these magical snowy images. I'm feeling a tad cooler!

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    1. I'd escape to the tropics for a bit...just for a few days!

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