Sunday, March 30, 2008

Backcountry skiing?

Lately, I've been trying to squeeze in a little more skate skiing before it is too late. A couple of days ago (before it snowed this weekend), I decided to try and get an early morning session in over at the Wasatch Mountain State Park, which is just up the road from our temporary residence in Midway. I arrived and was disappointed to find that most of the "groomed" track looked like this:

I was pretty bummed that the ski season was apparently over, not to mention the time time I wasted gathering my stuff, waxing my skis, etc., only have to turn around and head into work. Then, I looked at the non-track portions of my surrounding and saw that everything else looked like this:

I tried it out, and found that I could ski on it just about as well as any groomed track that I've skied on, so I ended up getting in almost an hour-and-a-half of pretty good skiing in. I guess it's about as close as you can get to "backcountry" skiing on skate skis - it just happens to be on terrain that turns into a golf course in the summer. The main drawback is that if you aren't careful, you will be heading full speed down a hill and run into something like this:

Fortunately, if you jump at just the right time, your skate skis give you some good lift and you can sail right over these 20-30 foot bare patches. In reality, it was more like me trying to do my faux telemark-turn stop before I hit these patches, which really looks more like a flailing snowplow turn. I haven't figured out how to do anything on skate-skis beyond the standard V1,V2, and V2-alt, none of which I do all that well.
Anyway, upon returning to my car, I was greeted by a park ranger that was in the process of writing me up for skiing on the state park after the ski season had closed down. Apparently I'm quite the hell-raiser, what with all the illicit skiing, rolling through stop signs on my bike, and what not. Fortunately, I was able to smooth talk my way out of a the ticket he was planning on giving me, but was not so lucky on the expired registration ticket. Doh!

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