Another beautiful day on skis. The snow was less great than the other day but the way I see it, the snow doesn’t owe me anything. If I’m going to engage with it, I’m the one who has to adapt. I have no problem AT ALL surrendering to the imperatives of snow. I’m honored to have the chance.
I had to break trail today and learned that my skis, which are named “back country,” seem to be mostly designed for groomed trails — but that could be my lack of skill at this moment. As I skied from snow to ice to some small patches of grass to deep drifts to the lanes I skied on Saturday, I thought about that a lot. I thought about all the skis I’ve owned and when, sometime back in the mists of time, I switched from “fish-scale” — waxless — to skis that needed to be waxed, I never looked back. Sometime I learned back then the advantage of skis whose grip I control.
Groomed trails are nice — you don’t slide sideways, you can predict the surface beneath your skis because it’s been packed and prepared. Breaking trail is often not skiing at all. I had forgotten that, even though in California when I had the chance to Langlauf, I always had to break trail — again, with different skis than I have now. Sometimes that was hilarious as it could mean navigating through low manzanita bushes. Once I skied up Mt. Palomar with the dream of seeing those beautiful white observatory domes in the snow. It’s a five mile trail, all uphill, and some of the trail is bushy and all of it is narrow. It was still fun. The reward came coming down the unplowed road, though. It was wide, snowy, steep — fun. As we whizzed past a family who’d driven there from LA to “Visit the snow” a kid yelled, “Mom, that’s what we should do!”
They’d gone to the snow with a beach umbrella, beach chairs and a cooler. They looked very disoriented. A boogie board would have been a good thing to bring, but they didn’t have that.
Today I also thought how — last year — we didn’t get significant snow until January, and then we got A LOT. The San Juan Nordic Club went around grooming everything in sight — even the driving range! The temps stayed below freezing for a couple of months, so the groomed tracks stayed in nearly pristine condition — the only kicker (ha ha) was waiting until the highest sun of the day (1 pm or so) when any ice that had formed in the night would have surrendered.
It’s doubtful that I will switch back to waxable skis; it will depend how ambitious I end up being and how skillful. For now and maybe forever the waxless skis I own now are fine. It’s a poor workman who blames his tools, anyway.
The other “iffy” tool is “the foot,” but it held up again today, only mildly painful when we were in motion. The thing is, I realized, after nearly 3 months of not being asked to support my weight continually, it’s a little out of shape. It’s only been these last few weeks that I’ve expected it to hold me up for a whole day while I painted, or to keep me upright walking Bear as she checks her messages.
As I did my happy loop of the local golf course I thought, “The cool thing about this is I can get better, more skillful, stronger and as that happens, I will learn more and, I hope, take on a bigger challenge.” The golf course is — right now — all I can contend with. I’m so lucky to have it.
Now we just need another good snowfall. ❤
14 thoughts on “Langlauf Update”
Sounds like the skiing is perfect low impact exercise for the foot! Hope you can get a few more trips around the golf course before conditions deteriorate!
Me too, but snow’s predicted for Friday! 🙂
It sounds like a wonderful experience and I’m glad your foot isn’t giving you too much trouble –
Wishing you lots of snow! Love the painting.
Thank you and thank you! ❤
You are quite the expert. Although I live in the land of snow, I have never stood on skis
I wouldn’t dare get up on Alpine skis any more. It would be grim. 🙂
Love that you’re enjoying! That’s precious indeed!
It is. ❤ Have a wonderful Christmas!
Merry Christmas, Martha. I hope you enjoy a very special day and a Happy New Years too! You deserve it and more!
Beautiful painting! As for xc skis: I’m lazy, so I go waxless. These days I stick to dog-friendly groomed trails, classic tracks, and hope for no icy patches. I have backcountry skis I bought in 1990, but when between homes around 2010, mice made homes of their own in my old three-pin leather boots, requiring that I toss them. Sadly, I haven’t been able to replace them – three-pin systems no longer in vogue – and I’m unwilling to invest in modern backcountry bindings and boots. So groomed tracks it is, in my cheap touring gear, and that’s fine with me. Such a wonderful way to commune with nature in winter, eh?
It’s my favorite thing in life. I found a pair of Fischer’s exactly like my old bac country skis (1980s) at a flea market. They have old bac country bindings. I bought them out of love and nostalgia and they lean against the wall beside that painting. ❤️ so many places around here are groomed by our Nordic club. I’m looking forward to using them as soon as I’m sure I can.
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