Monday, March 25, 2013

Last weekend of ski instruction for the season

After an amazing ski day last Wednesday, we were expecting more snow and great conditions for the weekend.  And, we got just what we expected.

Before I could ski on the weekend, I needed to perform the third workout of the CrossFit Open on Friday night.  The workout was as many reps as possible in 12 minutes of the following:

150 x 20# wall balls
90 double unders
30 muscle ups

A "wall ball" is done with a medicine ball.  You hold the medicine ball with two hands in front of your chest, squat until your femurs are parallel with the floor, and then launch yourself upward, essentially shot-putting the medicine ball to a ten-foot high line on the wall.  A very common CF workout is called Karen, and in that workout, you do 150 wall balls for time.  My best time was just under 9 minutes, but I'd done that with a 14# ball, not 20#.  I knew that just completing the wall balls would be a challenge for me, but I hoped to at least get a few reps with the jump rope.

And, to skip the boring details, that is exactly what I did.  I completed the wall balls in 11:36.  I'd actually done just under 160 of them, but a few had missed the ten foot target and didn't count as legal reps.  In the final 24 seconds, I managed to get three double unders for a score of 153.  This was good enough to move me from 138th place in my age group in the northeastern US to 108th place.  If things go well, I have a good chance of cracking the top 100 by the end of the Open, in two weeks.

On Saturday, we arrived at the mountain to find 6" of brand new snow.  We warmed up in a tree run before work.  And, as soon as the kids had arrived, everyone headed for the trees.  Most groups were going high on the mountain, so I opted to stay low and look for untracked snow in the lower angle glades.  We did this for most of the day and found a lot of great snow.  It was a fun, fun day.

On Sunday, I had arranged for a guide to take us to the Slide Brook area - sidecountry terrain that requires a guide trained in outdoor emergency care.  We did a few warm-up runs while our guide was busy with an earlier tour.  Then, it was our turn and the snow was fantastic.  Despite large numbers of people in this area, we managed to find plenty of untracked snow during our descent.  After the Slide Brook tour and some lunch, we headed to the natural snow of the Castlerock area.  We skied Rumble, which is probably the toughest trail at Sugarbush.  It's become a tradition in my group to ski Rumble on the last day of the teaching season, if it's still open.  The top was thin, but we hit lots of great snow as well.  Then, we skied a second run in Castlerock that was even better than Rumble.  And suddenly, we were running out of time.  We did one final run, where some of the kids raced and some skied a tree line.  I skied in between them, watching both groups the whole way down the hill.

And then it was over.  Early in the season, skiing with students every Saturday and Sunday for fifteen weeks seems very daunting.  But, after you've spent an entire winter with the kids and watched them progress as skiers, it's always kind of sad to see it end.

So, I'm done with teaching, but not done with skiing.  This coming weekend, I have a number of options - at Sugarbush or at Jay Peak.  After that, I'll miss a weekend of skiing, but there will still be snow to ski on in mid-April, so the season isn't over yet.

April 13th is the first day of trout season in Vermont, and I'm hoping to spend some time skiing and fly fishing on the same day - something I don't think I've ever done before.

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