Yay winter!

27 Mar

The tide has turned and the good side has started taking territory again. No, I’m not talking about Libya. It’s winter that has recaptured some far flung outposts.

Here in Oslo the carnage of spring has slowed. The snow depth readings on my snow dashboard has shown the rate of loss way down over the past three days:

Moreover, doping off on the Interwebs, I saw advances in far-flung spots. The most improbable of those was Rim Nordic in the mountains behind Los Angeles. After closing for the season because of warm rains March 7th, they got snow again Thursday and Friday and were able to open for one last weekend. I’ve been there a couple times while away from Norway. The resort is run by friendly and enthusiastic people and has nicely groomed trails. I highly recommend it!

I also saw that Craftsbury Nordic Center in the US state of Vermont has a whopping 73cm base. The picture I linked to above shows lovely trail conditions on March 24.

Here around the house I skied today on both sides of the valley. On the East side I again broke my all-time speed record without really trying.The first km was nasty cement-like stuff with crap blown down from the trees and peoples’ footprints all over it. But the rest was firm, fast, extra-virgin corduroy. Moreover the ice patch I slipped and fell on walking home had shrunk, so I didn’t need to break another pole.

I went in fact on mismatched poles, one carbon and one super-sexy carbon titanium. While perhaps very fragile, I now see in comparison that the top model is crazy light and incredibly alive. But since I broke the right hand one, going on a mixed pair I had the super good pole on my weaker side. The effect was interesting, and not at all bad. Power on the right versus left was perhaps a little more balanced.

Whatever the case, I flew through the forest with every nerve tingling joyfully. I looked forward to the climbs for the sheer thrill of projecting my body up and over them. That fun was compounded by the feeling of progress I’ve made with my paddling gear. I now pull my “hang arm” all the way through and then also ride out the glide better on the off leg. That new recipe keeps my speed up on even the steepest climbs.

Tomorrow I’m debating whether I’ll cross the valley before work or just stick to this side. Since the goal is to lap up all the gravy on winter’s plate I skied there too on my way back home. It was bumpier and had suffered from all the trail-trudgers and “custard” skaters. But if the prep man goes out late (or early) enough, I think the damage can be sufficiently reversed to let me unfurl my wings.

Speaking of birds, le coq à la crête noire now has a rival on the East side of the valley. A grouse has decided it owns the East-side trail-head and has been squawking its head off every time I come over to ski. My dear little cantankerous fellow, I understand your feelings. Please give the dog walkers, joggers and similar ski trail vermin a good beak-lashing for me too!

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