Sunday, May 13, 2007

Training Log: May 12: Saddle Peak Again!!

Okay. The Quote Of The Day officially goes to my partner in crime on Saturday, Mr. Dan Hall. It went something like this:

Kate: How’s it look?
Dan: Oh, good.
Kate: All right! (Skis down to him, he’s looking over a little knoll…)
Dan: (In all seriousness) I’m just wondering how I’m gonna ski downhill on dirt. I’ve never done that before.
Kate: (Realizing that he means it, he’s actually figuring out the edging, rotary, and pressure skills needed to turn in dirt…) Uh, Dan, this might be more of a slow side step kind of event…
Dan: (looking up) Right…

And down he goes… in dirt… to the next patch of snow big enough to make three turns on…

Needless to say, it was a great day, blistering hot by 8:45. We didn’t ski the ridge, because I forgot to pick up Shannon’s transceiver on my way there (shovel, check, skis, check, skins, check… transceiver… duh…) but we were glad of it, because by 8:30 or so the snow started acting like a butter pat sliding on a mountain of oily potatoes. We got up there by 7, so we probably would have been up on the ridge while it was solid, and buried under a wet slide as it softened when the clouds burned off an hour later. YEAH!

So. We didn’t do that. We hiked and hiked and hiked and hiked in the dirt through the glacier lilies and lupine just coming up (Wow! Pretty!), and then skinned up into a little bowl, all the while applying sunscreen and continually re-evaluating the snow. The snow went through a radical change within about 10 feet, we hiked up into an inversion (because it just wasn’t hot enough… ) and suddenly we were punching through about 3-4 inches on our skis.

That’s it, were done, lets ski.

So, I don’t know, 20 turns? Then Dan made a ski cut and I watched my first wet slough/slide. The snow moved like an oily slow motion river, it was so so strange. Luckily, it was on one little roll over, where the rest of the stuff we were on or near was 30 degrees in pitch or less, so we felt okay.

Then, we started pond hopping! You know you have it bad for skiing when you are willing to hike across the dirt to make three turns, then hike across 10 more feet of dirt and ski through old tree debris from an avalanche earlier in the year… which was actually a LOT of fun, because the snow was soft, but not sticky, and the debris were in a little mini gully, so it was like an obstacle course! And I actually got a tiny little wall hit at the end, which was fun.

All in all, it was a spectacular day of skiing, back at the car by 10:45, and just super psyched to get home, grab the kids and head up into Hyalite canyon for the start of our mother’s day festivities!!

OH, and PS! NO BACK COUNTRY MORON! Not even the first turn sucked. Go Kate!! Dan even remarked on it, he said “It looks like your skiing has changed!” Of course, that was almost immediately countermanded by Ben Bevens around the campfire later that night when he said “I thought I saw you in Big Sky, but you were sucking way too much, and I thought, No, that CANT be Kate, she doesn’t suck THAT much!!” Thanks, Ben! Always a pleasure!!

(What’s funny is I know what day he was talking about, and I DID suck that much all day… sigh…)


Anonymous said...

Wow, Kate! It sounds like you guys had a great day! How much longer do you think you're going to find snow? What will you do for training when it's gone?

a said...

Thanks, Liat! It was a blast. We'll have snow in the Bridgers for a while, I have heard that Sacajawea Peak holds snow until July sometimes, but soon we will have to go ski in the Beartooths. We should be able to ski there into late July, and then it will be Mt. Hood for glacier skiing until... well... October. Bridger won't open again to the public until December. Sigh... Thank God a bunch of unsuspecting fools are willing to take me out in search of snow...