It’s been a while since I have done much on XC skis. Mostly, we have just toured around the perimeter of the lake. On the ice, on the level. Beautiful, it not challenging.
Yesterday, after snowshoeing, Paula asked why we don’t ski more, and I did not have a good answer. So this morning I started marshaling our gear. The skis were in good shape. I tightened the bindings, waxed the bottoms, and sharpened the edges on mine. Paula’s boots and poles were in good shape. Mine, not so much. My skis are 30 years old. The boots are quite worn– the toe of one did not look like it would hold the binding for long.
I ordered new boots, and poles, but really had the bug to ski today; something more challenging. In the past, when I was the outing coordinator for the Albany Chapter of the Adirondack Mountain Club, I had frequently guided ski trips to Great Camp Santanoni, into Avalanche Pass, and even up Phelps Mountain. In fact, I had bought my current skis after leading a trip into Avalanche Pass on a cheap pair of XC skis, with no edges. I don’t know how I didn’t hurt myself on those old skis.
So early today, I skied Mensink Road, our to the bridge at Mud Pond. The road to Blue Spruce had seen some truck traffic and many snowmobiles. It was pretty packed and wide. The hills were fun. I soon had my kick and glide stride back. From Blue Spruce to the closed bridge, the trail had been packed by a solo snowmobile. Perfect for skiing. The woods were beautiful. As I approached the bridge, a Ruffed Grouse exploded out from under the snow. Just stunning. I was able to maintain a good glide while climbing up and dropping down the hills.
It was sunny and clear, but quite cold. Eight below when I left the truck. I knew the temperature would not matter, as long as I kept moving. It was a glorious morning.
Well, I have got the bug again. Can’t wait to get back on the skis.