Waterville Valley Skate Ski
34.0km, 793m vert, 2:49hrs
Laying freshies may be bliss for the alpine crowd, but for the XC skate skier, fresh powder can be a frustrating experience. It can be exceedingly slow. These were the conditions that greeted me at the Valley today. The major snowstorm on Thursday dumped only a few inches in the Whites. This was groomed early Friday. But then another 2+" fell in the morning after much of the grooming was completed. This made for a soft base with powder on top of it. To top this off, I totally missed on the wax. I used CH8 (for around freezing temps) when the temp starting out was more like +20F. Conditions were so slow I had to work the downhills in places. Today was one of my slowest skis ever.
With new snow, nearly all of the thin spots were covered. I went out Swan's, hit Tripoli first, looped Mouse Run/Wicked Easy, then came back for some more punishment on Tripoli. I went totally anaerobic the first time, and struggled to break threshold the second time up Tripoli. Nobody else laid skate tracks on my first set. I cut my losses early and headed over to the south end, since they were still grooming that when I arrived.
The south end had perfect corduroy with no new snow on top. But it was mushy and slow too. I went out Drakes, down the hairpin and back, bonking the whole time. I was the only one laying tracks on the new corduroy, and the Nordic Center was empty except for one worker. Skiing in these conditions for 2.8hrs takes more out of you than a fast 100 mile bike ride, but it was nice nearly having the place to myself.