Saturday, March 12, 2011

Season Finale

Before heading off to the hot, sunny desert southwest, I squeezed in one last ski for the season. Skogs and I headed up to Waterville with suspect conditions. Two others bailed, fearing rain and poor conditions. The big board in the Nordic Center showed us pretty much all of the north end was groomed, but Swans and a few other south end trails were closed. Sounded good to me. We drove over to north end lot to begin our ski.

My goal was to ski conservatively, so as to not put myself into even a shallow hole before heading to Tucson. I really should have rested instead. My wife and I both come down with a touch of a cold last night, exactly the same symptoms. Really bad timing, but so far it seems a mild case.

Heading up Livermore Road, we found excellent spring conditions. Corn snow, but not too soft and not too wet. I V2'd most of the way up with little exertion. At the top of Upper Snows, Skogs led the charge down. He dusted me on the initial chicanes and it took me a while to catch him on the flatter parts. We took Lower Snows down to the wall near Swazeytown. Skogs had no interested in climbing Beanbender, but with fast granular, I didn't think it would take too much out of me. He would ski back up Upper Snows until I scooped him up on my way down from Beanbender. Corn snow glide does let you find a granny gear even on 30% grades. That was the easiest climb up Beanbender for me this season.

We bombed down Livermore together then crossed over to do Tripoli. This too climbed well, especially as vertical was gained. It was probably just below freezing up top, so it was crusty and scary fast. Skogs totally embarrassed me on the descent. I suspect he was 25% faster and was out of sight in no time. He may have hit a personal speed record on skinny skis. I death-wedged the steeper spots in futile attempts to keep speed in check. I was on my rock skis with no edges. Skogs was on brand new skis. Had I known conditions would be so good, I would have brought my new skis. The snow was clean and there were no thin spots.

Can you tell which one is Beanbender?

We wrapped up the session with two laps around Moose Run/Wicked Easy. Nice fast V2 cruising material there. I finished with 34km, 2630ft in 2.1hrs on the Garmin. That's a wrap for the 2010/2011 ski season for me.

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