Saturday, March 22, 2008

That's more like it!

Last night after work the trails in Wolfeboro were a hacked-up death slab covered with blown-down debris and the frozen decisions of previous skiers. It had its humorous moments, like when I hooked a piece of debris with my left ski while blowing a snot rocket at speed. But for the most part I was just getting it done to get the workout.

Conditions were challenging, but not in a fun way. All the obstacles, the sidewalk-hard formerly granular remnants of corduroy, the continuous carpet of pine needles, branches, beech leaves, bark and frozen tracks, combined with a blasting wind gusting near 50 above the treetops as factors that eroded control. Glide varied as the surface changed from raspy ice to sticky pine needles. I wasn't about to step onto anything remotely steep. The mostly flat, rolling terrain of Sewall Woods provided all the gravity thrills I wanted to handle.

I finished a short hour bathed in stinking sweat from the exertion and the stress of clawing my way around in such unrewarding conditions. It was made worse because I had heard from several people during the day how excellent it had been before the sinking sun allowed the cold to sink its talons into the formerly loosened snow.

It was better than Nordic Track, violent vomiting or having a culture swabbed from my urethra, but it wasn't a ski memory I will savor.

Today I was able to get out in Jackson during the day. The temperature remained in the mid 20s for most of the day. The wind moderated much more than the forecast predicted.

Grabbing the opportunity for some high-grade classical skiing, I applied a modified version of the officially recommended wax of the day. George had gone out earlier, in colder conditions, on the straight-up version: blue klister binder with blue hard wax over it. Even he hedged the bet into Blue Extra. I went further and pushed it to VR 45 for the top layer. I should have done two layers of 45, but it did a fine enough job anyway.

The funny thing is, every classical skier I asked was using a different kick wax and every one of them was happy with it. It was such a nice change from days we've had recently on which no one liked their kick wax. And today's offerings included universal klister, the aforementioned blue klister binder with several different hard waxes on top, straight blue klister, and some leftover KR 50 violet klister with a thin smear of KR 70 on top. That one should not have worked at all. But there it is.

At the same time, the skaters were having fun, too. And the sun was bright, the sky was blue, and so forth and so on. It made several incidents of petty bullshit that happened during the working part of the day much easier to take. Go endorphins!

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