Tuesday, January 23, 2007

The Woods, not so Good

On a scouting trip up the hill behind the house, Laurie and I found somewhat good sliding on the level bits, with one or two inches of fluff over the crusted two or three inches on the ground before last night's little contribution.

Climbing up the steeper, wooded rise at the back of our land, we found the snow too thin over many of the obstacles to give us reliable purchase.

I'll try a couple of jump turns on anything, but nothing was safe on this stuff. If I skied smoothly and tried to steer the turns, the skis would bite into the crust or catch snags under the thin cover and refuse to come around. If I put enough torque into them, they might break loose abruptly from whatever held them, and snap across to a new angle which might or might not be the one I had intended.

Jumping worked only slightly better. With long skis in tight spaces, I jump sequentially, one-TWO, setting the rear ski at a wide angle, tip nestled against the front ski. Ideally, as the skis slide forward I can bring the rear ski closer to parallel, though still trailing the front one, then slide it forward as I rotate to launch the next jump. With grabby crust and snags, the rear ski tends to stay in the wide angle and won't slide up alongside the front one. I get stuck in an ugly stem. A few times I nailed the perfect angle to land the jump and set up the next one, but it didn't seem to be worth the trouble. We skied back down to our woodsy trails for a few more minutes.

Over the next three weeks, Laurie decreed, we should have a 12-inch storm each week. Tuesdays, Wednesdays or Thursdays would be convenient. That would also get the snow down and give the ski areas a chance to groom in time for the weekends. And those midweek days wouldn't interfere with people traveling to the ski areas on Fridays.

Shouldn't we be in charge of the weather? We have a workable plan here.

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