Monday, February 04, 2008

The Weekend's Excitement

Arriving in Jackson on Saturday morning, I saw vehicles blocking the road in front of the touring center and a volcanic plume of smoke billowing up.

"Hm," I thought. "This could be a very short work day indeed."

I soon determined that the fire was in the condos beyond the touring center. A two-unit building had caught fire at the far end. One unit was already well on its way to being a total loss. The beleaguered fire department worked hard to try to contain the fire to that area, but it spread through the attic into the other one. That one is owned by a very enthusiastic couple of season pass holders who got out safely, but watched with concern, discussing whether the fire would get to the closet where the skis were stored. Let's focus on what's truly important.

No one was injured. I have not heard yet whether any skis were harmed.

It was a weird start to a weird day. The winter storm that had arrived Friday afternoon had brought a strange, granular sleet that did not cooperate fully with any method used to groom it or to ski it. Some form of klister provided the closest thing to successful grip for classical skiing, but even that demanded some adaptation much of the time. I kept varying my stride length and feeling for grip before committing to a kick. I've been in worse. Sections were quite good.

Sunday's conditions were fairly similar to Saturday's. We all thought the sneet might have stabilized somewhat, but the groomer turned it into bottomless dry sand again. Higher elevation trails with less traffic on them held up to a firmer surface, but you had to get there. I wasn't going to, in the time I had available. But again, it was better than no skiing at all, and better than a lot of skiing I've done.

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