Sunday, February 9, 2020

return of the winter princess

The winter princess made a brief appearance yesterday. For those who haven't been reading this blog long, the winter princess is me, having a meltdown over difficult conditions. In this case, I was trying to side step up an icy berm on my skis to reach the trail. Not succeeding, I tried taking my skis off, only to sink knee-deep in the snow. Cue the princess!  "This is too hard," I whined. "I'm over winter!"

In addition to my woes, I hadn't brought the right gear for the conditions. It has been such a warm winter that I am used to skiing in tights and a couple layers. But in this ferocious wind, I was unprepared. I had to borrow some long underwear, and I wrapped a buff under my hat, adding a neck gaiter and a puffy jacket under my softshell. There was nothing I could do about my hands, desperately cold in gloves, not the mittens I should have brought. I'm tired of winter, I grumbled to myself. After all, it has been snowing since September. Shouldn't it be over by now?

When I finally managed to step up on the trail, I was annoyed with myself. I don't like the winter princess. Having a meltdown doesn't help the situation any. But as I skied along, a snowy wind buffeting my face, all the other skiers prudently at home, my fingers frozen, I wondered how long I had to be tough. All of those years on the trail crew and on the fireline, you were mocked if you showed any weakness. You had to acquire a tough skin and power ahead no matter how difficult it was. Is it ever okay to be a winter princess?

Note all the snow on my hat, accumulating in just a few minutes.
Maybe once in a great while, I thought.. Having a brief meltdown usually allows the frustration to dissipate and subsequent obstacles don't seem as bad.  Embarking on my second long loop, I realized I had switched out my insoles to the ski boots I wasn't wearing. No wonder hot spots were beginning to emerge on my feet. In the old days I might have just kept skiing and ended up with blisters. Now I think I know when to call it, so I headed back through the campground to the car to get the insoles.

The princess successfully banished, I returned to the trails. Only a few brave souls had emerged from the ski lodge. A combination of near-freezing temperatures, a snow dump of epic proportions, and gusts of thirty miles an hour had kept most away.  Feeling a bit vindicated, I tackled a more difficult loop, finishing without falling. The snow conditions were perfect. I didn't want winter to ever end!

You can rent this yurt. How fun would that be!

Near the yurt, a lodge employee paused on his snowmobile. "What a great day!" he enthused. Yes, yes it was. It was a perfect day.


  1. 1. I need you in my life.Oh how I wished I lived nearer.
    2. The selfie is beautiful.Your face is alive and glowing.
    3. Funny about the insoles. I bought a pair of the Altra high top waterproof a couple years ago and they've never been very comfortable. They killed me after spending time on my feet at the hospital with my mom. I pulled the insoles and found they were my old size. But on a side note I wore them snowshoeing before figuring this out and starting getting hot spots on my heals. Did I stop, no! Stupid! Wore leukotape for a week while they healed. Wore different shoes on my next snowshoe and broke the insoles. That's a first. Cracked the bottom heal supports on both in same place. Not sure if it was the snowshoe bindings or faulty insoles.First time that's happened and they were fairly new.
    4. Kudos for getting out in uncomfortable conditions! I'm definitely a weather princess.

    1. I wish you lived closer too! We would have so many fun adventures! I have never broken insoles! That is a first!

  2. I'd love to be a Winter Princess but from being a Desert Camel, I have now grown webbed feet so must be Daffy Duck.


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