Friday night, I did my CF games workout as planned. Scroll down or see my previous post for a listing of the workout. We had 17 minutes to get as many reps as possible, but I had decided I would stop after 40 burpees, 30 fairly light snatches, and 30 more burpees. I was a little worried when another member of our gym failed to complete even those reps in 17 minutes, but I got through this fairly comfortably in 11:52. I had expected a leisurely pace that would take me 14 minutes, but I worked harder than I'd planned and went faster than expected.
These workouts are judged and you and your judge have to sign off after the workout. My judge managed to catch a small failure on my part on my 69th burpee - the 29th in my set of 30. We had to jump at the end of each burpee and each hand had to touch an object six inches above your maximum static reach. On the 69th total rep, my left hand just missed the bar I was using, so I got to hear my judge say "29. Wait, 28." I knew I'd missed it and I would have re-jumped even if the judge had missed it. Luckily, we only needed to repeat the jump and not the entire burpee.
So, there I was - finished - with just over 5 minutes on the clock. I knew I could probably crank out one or two or even three snatches at 135# and I'd have a much higher place in the standings. I also knew I could re-injure my shoulder trying that. So, I asked the judge to fill out the paper immediately, before I was tempted to try a higher weight.
With all scores submitted, I'm in 170th place in the northeast in the male, 50-54 division. One more rep would have put me no lower than 100th place. There were many people who did exactly 100 reps in my division, and a single rep would have leapfrogged at least 70 of them. But, I still maintain that discretion is much more important when returning from an injury.
On Saturday and Sunday, we had amazing weather and spring skiing conditions. Sugarbush had groomed Stein's Run and Ripcord on Friday night - prepping them to set up nice spring bump lines as the temperatures get warmer. These are both steep double black diamond runs, but with the grooming, they were fairly easy, and I skied them quite a bit on Saturday. I took my group to some easy tree runs, we did a number of steep runs, a few bump runs, some racing, and we ended the day on an intermediate trail that provides opportunities for the kids to do some jumps and tricks.
Sunday was more of the same, but with the snow in the trees starting to get thinner, I wanted one final big adventure for my ski group. There are very few places left at Sugarbush that I've never skied. I'm not talking about the trails. I have skied all of the trails many, many times. I'm not talking about the tree runs that show up on the trail map. I'm not even talking about the well known tree runs that are not on the map. I wanted to take my group to a steep run from the top of the Long Trail. This is one of the toughest off-piste runs that exists at Sugarbush, and an extraction is very difficult if a skier gets injured. I needed an Outback guide to go with me - someone trained in the terrain and Outdoor Emergency Care (OEC) or an EMT. A second coach with a small group also wanted to come along. Our boss suggested a second outback guide. Then, we talked a third coach into coming along. And just to supervise and see some new terrain (this one isn't skied very often), our boss came along as well. This meant we had 13 students, 3 coaches, 2 outback guides, and one boss - 19 total people. The first 300 or so vertical feet of this run is super-tight - there is only one path down the line, so we really needed to space the skiers far apart to avoid collisions.
We got off the chair at Heaven's Gate and headed out the Long Trail. We went past Bear Claw, an excellent off-piste run that drops from the Long Trail. We went past "The Church" - a large rock outcropping that provides some real adventure for skiers willing to take some air. And then we went downhill into a saddle on the ridge. From there, we headed straight down.
The snow up top was thin, but the texture was good. As we got further down, the warm temperatures had really messed with the snow. There was still snow, but it was somewhat rotten, thin, and the turns were difficult. Well, they were difficult for me. Some of my students looked they were on trivial groomed trails.
While the conditions were far from ideal, it was an adventure - a long hike out of bounds, dropping into an amazingly narrow entrance and skiing where few people go. That is what our program is all about and it was great to see the students so excited by what we'd done. I wish I'd skied the line a bit more confidently and gracefully, given that my boss was on my tail the entire way down. But, I always tell my students that every safe turn in extreme terrain is a good turn, and I got out safely. All 19 of us got out safely and there were big smiles all around.
Unless we get another big storm (there is some potential for 3/20 - over a week from now), we might be done skiing in the trees for the year. But, if that's the case, we went out with a bang.