Saturday, November 30, 2019

White Friday

I didn't shop on Black Friday, in fact, I hardly shop unless it is for outdoor gear. Living in a cabin, there just isn't room for stuff, and most of the stuff I see, I can do without. I mean, who really needs a shower beer holder? Even if I drank beer, would I really need to have one for the three minutes I'm in the shower? 

So since shopping was out, we decided to make it a White Friday. Skiing, that is. After a season off, it was hard to wrap my brain around skiing again. It's amazing how, after not skiing for six months, the skiing stuff is hard to find. Where's the gaiters? The Musher's Secret for Ruby's paws? What do I even wear?  

In the end, I wore everything. It was clearly time to embrace winter.


As we drove into the mountains, the situation became unnervingly close to those you read about--Couple follows GPS onto an unplowed road, one unwisely leaves the car to walk for help. Only, we knew where we were going, and we did an inventory: Snacks, firestarter, emergency beacon. Others had given up, seeing the fifteen inches of snow on the road. Bravely, or unwisely, we continued on. The parking lot was bleak and deserted, as if nobody but us was left on earth. An unlucky rancher had abandoned a trailer right in the middle of the road. It was likely it would be there all winter.

I stared glumly out the window. "Why is winter so cold?" I whined. But ultimately, I got out. My Patagonia windstopper coat, circa 1990, stood up admirably to the bitter wind. It was time to ski, or rather, shuffle through two feet of snow on skis, a human groomer.



We reached the Hill of Terror, and I skied down it happily, the deep snow slowing my descent in a way that never happens if I follow a broken track. I have had many a meltdown on this hill, but today was perfect. Not so for the steep climb back up to the top of the divide. I huffed my way toward the top, each step like walking in deep sand.  I refused to concede the lead until I reached the trail junction.  I'm stubborn like that.
It's so cold that I never removed any layers. So pretty though.
Reaching the parking lot, I stared wistfully back at the track. Once again, we had broken trail for someone else to enjoy, but it had taken all of our energy to do it, and the weather was closing in. Live to ski another day, I thought. Staying up here any longer greatly increased our odds of participating in a winter campout. 

"Why is cross country skiing so tiring?" J asked, bent on a nap. I don't know why either, but it is. "Let's go out tomorrow!" he says. "Yes!" I say.








8 comments:

  1. Aahhhh....skiing! :) Not enough snow here in our mountains quite yet. (Although the resorts have opened their bunny hills - and claim they are "open.") My family likes to shop on Black Friday, so I was stuck in stores and traffic this year....:(

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    1. We got dumped on and people are skinning up at Fergi but still not enough base in the mountains for backcountry yet.

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  2. It's tiring because it's hard work!
    That's part of what I love about snowshoeing, it's a workout along with being away from people and slow enough to contemplate the scenery.
    I get out there as much for my mental health as my physical.

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    1. There's enough snow to snowshoe now also. I'm skiing now because it's deep enough that I won't hurt myself! But I'm looking forward to snowshoeing too.

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  3. I can never remember how I dressed for particular conditions the previous season, especially for active stuff like biking and skiing.

    For years I've kept a student's daily planner with what dogs I've skijored with and how far. The student planner is great for winter sports--August to August. So I try to remember to note now and then what I wore, what the weather was and how well it worked so I can look back next year when I don't remember.

    Tom
    Fairbanks

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    1. That is a great idea! I keep track of what I do but not much else.

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  4. Aaaah, the bliss of cold and freshly fallen snow. Definitely the better option to shopping. Alas, our commercial world has taken on board 'Black Friday' sales but I didn't have any snow to escape to. Had I chosen to take a 1500km drive to Mt Hotham, Victoria, snow shoeing would have been possible. They have had unprecidented snowfalls since the end of winter.

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    1. Wow, I hardly ever think of snow over there but I did hear Tasmania had some!

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