A few winters ago I decided to try cross-country skiing. Once I got the hang of it I found it very enjoyable. These last few winters I’ve traveled much of the time and this year I’ve been focused on making the most of downhill skiing. Last week I took a break from steep runs and put on the Nordic skis for a quick glide up to Boom Lake.
A fresh snowfall covered the well packed trail and the forest sheltered me from the wind. When I got to the lake I was surprised to see that less than an hour and a half had passed. Faint tracks led out along the lake shore so I followed them until they became windswept. Breaking trail was fun but reminded me how much more work it is than following established tracks. The Boom Lake trail has some pretty steep sections and tight turns toward the bottom. These were great fun on cross-country skis and gave me the chance to take a few really good wipe-outs!
When I was a little kid I dreamed of being able to spend my winters skiing. I pictured myself escaping the city and being outside, enjoying beautiful views and exhilarating runs. I probably skied a dozen or so times during school trips and a few times with a family friend. It was always enjoyable but I often felt a bit nervous too. At best I skied blue runs. Black Diamond runs looked way too scary.
Last year I started skiing at COP, the local bunny hill. This year I’ve stepped it up with trips to four different mountains and I’m really happy to see my skills improve each time. I’ve gone from cautiously skiing green runs at the start of last year to now jumping off cornices into boulder-strewn double blacks. Best of all, it feels like I’m living that childhood dream I had many years ago.