Tuesday, January 27, 2015

More tree skiing

Last week was off to a great start.  I had a great lifting night on Monday, hitting some good numbers on front squats after skiing trees all weekend.  On Tuesday, though, I really struggled with my workout.  By the time I got home that night, it was clear that I was getting sick.  I had a cold back in the second week of November.  I remember thinking that I was glad to have it then, thinking I'd go through the ski season without any head colds.  In mid-December, though, I got another cold.

Again, I thought that would be it for the winter.  I'm now on my third head cold of the fall/winter.  This time, my wife got sick as well, and she's pretty miserable right now.

So, I rested last Wednesday and Thursday.  Friday, I had plans that precluded going to the gym, and I was still less than 100%.  That meant I got to the mountain on Saturday fairly well rested.  Saturday was a beautiful day, with temps that climbed just above freezing.  After some warm-up runs, I did a little teaching, and we then headed for some intermediate tree runs.  The kids asked about skiing Slide Brook, a side-country zone with intermediate trees that leads well beyond the resort boundaries.  This zone requires a guide with wilderness first aid certification, and the guides were all busy on Saturday.  When I told my group that we couldn't ski Slide Brook, one of them asked if we could ski Rumble instead.

Every mountain has its own version of Rumble.  At Stowe, it would be Goat.  At Mad River Glen, it would be Paradise.  Essentially, picture something with all natural snow, no grooming, steep, tight, and with features to dance around the entire way down.  Every 1 of my 5 students wanted to ski Rumble.  I asked who had skied it before, and only 2 of the boys had.  So, we headed to the Castlerock chairlift.

After a fairly long wait, we managed to get up to the top.  I was surprised by the coverage on Rumble.  It wasn't completely clean, but it was pretty good overall.  The boys didn't listen very well as I described the trickier sections of the trail, so we had a couple minor "incidents" on a right-turning corner defined by 2 big rocks.  After we cleared that section, it was a race to the bottom.  Everyone cruised through the bump lines to the bottom.  We skied a few more tree lines in the afternoon, but Rumble was clearly the highlight of the day.

Sunday turned out to be a fairly cold day, and I was worried about hypothermia if we tried Slide Brook that day.  But, I was able to find a guide for us, plus my boss decided to come along for her first ever trip through the basin.  I was able to lead most of the way down (normally, I'm the sweeper in the trees, and leading is a lot more fun), and we went really fast at places.  The coverage was good enough that nothing too big was sticking through the snow, so we motored along.

Regretfully, when we were done, the line for the bus back to the resort was very long, and I think we waited almost 45 minutes.  This cut into our skiing time for the day, but I still showed the boys some new and adventurous terrain.

It's looking like #Snowmageddon2015 (that's the trending hash tag on Twitter for the past 24-plus hours) is going to mostly miss the Sugarbush.  I'm sure we will get some snow there, but anything beyond 6" or so would be a miracle.  The forecast doesn't show any days above freezing, so the snow should stay fairly soft until the weekend.  Regretfully, after 4 of the previous 6 weekend days being fairly cold, this Saturday looks to be the coldest ski day of the season to date.  But, we will still be out there.

My head cold is mostly gone by now, but not 100%.  I got to CrossFit last night and had another good front squat night.  My goal right now is to go to CF today, tomorrow and Thursday, and then rest on Friday.

On this date last year, I was 3 weeks post-op for some significant surgery.  I was starting to play around in the gym a bit, and I wasn't skiing yet.  So, when I complain about having a head cold, I know it's really minor compared to a year ago.  I'll take this January over last year every time.

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