Dec 24 2007
I’m a firm believer in cross-training. While I never got past Tenderfoot in the Boy Scouts, “Be Prepared” is a pretty decent way to describe my approach to being active. There are very few times during the year when I’m not doing ’something’.
That said, there’s a little time needed when transitioning from one activity to another. Those who did cross this year know full well that just because you can ride a bike fast doesn’t necessarily mean that you can get off the bike and run fast. Different muscles, different pace.
This brings us to the first skiing day of the year. Over the past week, Mt Hood received somewhere in the neighborhood of 60-70 odd inches of snow. Last Sunday (the 16th) I thought I saw the base at around 40 inches or so. As of today (the 24th) it’s between 90 and 100. That’s a lot of snow in a short amount of time.
Erik talked me into heading up to the mountain late last week. Ok, with 12″ of overnight snow, I didn’t need much talking but for some reason skiing hasn’t been on my radar lately. I stopped by the store to get some snacks & stuff, got home & packed, and headed out the next morning.
I don’t ski that much anymore. I’ve got a number of 100+ day years in me but I could probably count the number of days on the snow since Owen (7 years ago today! Happy Birthday Owie!) was born on my hands and feet. It’s tough to dedicate a full day towards getting out. I’m not exactly sure why either. It’s not like I don’t love it. It boils down to making choices I guess. I’ve got a finite amount of free time so it all comes down to where I choose to spend it: cycling, brewing, house projects, skiing, whatever. Obviously skiing is fairly far down the list but not completely off.
Anyway, back to skiing…the snow was excellent. On a scale of 1-10 (1 being east coast “packed powder” (i.e. blue ice) and 10 being thigh-high fluffy powder) I give it a solid 7. It wasn’t as crowded as I’d expected either adding to the enjoyment (if we could just get rid of the snowboarders…). We stayed on the west side of the mountain, mostly on Cascade Express. The lift lines weren’t long, just long enough to let the burn seep out of the thighs but short enough so we were getting cold.
Tele skiing with lift service is a little different animal from heading out in the backcountry. You can pack a lot of vertical feet in a fairly short period of time. I think part of a successful day is knowing when to quit while you’re ahead. For tele skiiers, I think it’s getting off the mountain with your legs and knees in one piece. It takes no small amount of discipline to set your edges and balance your weight each time. As the day wears on, the legs, back, and mind get fatigued. When I get tired, I start getting sloppy and that leads to getting injured. I’ve had one bad injury skiing from fatigue/stupidity (knock on wood) and it’s not something I care to repeat.
We headed off the mountain with a solid 4+ nonstop hours of turns. It was exactly the right time to head back to the car for some food and drink. I’d hoped to stop in Hood River at Double Mountain Brewing for a beer. I’ve heard good things about them. Perhaps next time. I settled for a Lagunitas Brown Shugga – a wickedly deceiving 10% abv beer. Oh how I loves the Brown Shugga.
Vastus intermedius? It’s one of the quad muscles that runs straight down the front of your thigh. It’s used a lot in sitting up from a chair (along with the hip flexor) and, yes, the classic tele turn. Right now mine are tighter than a violin E string.
I’ve got a small handful of photos from my POS (not Point and Shoot) camera. I’ll get them loaded later.