Good ski days–heck, any ski days–have been in short supply around here. Either I’ve been hurting, or the snow’s been crap, or it’s been raining….but yesterday everything finally coalesced to make a nice day.
The boots seem to finally be broken in. They’re a stiff and responsive boot; essentially an advanced level but one of the lower advanced levels. What that means is that I’ve had to learn that any move of my foot and ankle translates into ski movement much more sensitively than it has before. Dealing with this requires the development of quiet legs, upright body, staying balanced and on top of the skis without falling into the back seat or leaning downhill. IOW, I’ve got to be on top of my game, and yesterday, I finally got myself dialled into the boots. When we stopped, only my right big toe was numb. That’s progress–seriously.
Snow conditions were nice, too. With the warmer winter, we’ve not wanted to venture down to the lower runs. Grabby snow hasn’t helped with my boot issues or my sore spots. Yesterday, though, the snow was firm, packed, and crunchy. We did one run down Kruser and then turned around to head up to the Mile–which was in perfect shape. I did some body placement/turn drills down Kruser; primarily my go-to drill, which is the poles across the palms in front of the body, facing downhill, working my turns while facing the fall line. It clicked. As a result, I started smoking my way down the Mile, only going back to being hesitant when the snow got more chopped up. Still need to develop confidence in these boots in crappy snow. But that will come.
We did seven turns in all: seven miles plus connecting tracks. 6 turns on the Mile, 1 turn on Kruser, connecting run to Kruser, a quick shot down Glade to Norman, another quick shot from the top of Norman to the Mile. A good ski day.
The high overcast and lenticular formations over the top of Hood warned of incoming weather. We’d hoped to beat it and we managed to do so, leaving Timberline just as the precip moved in. For once I was able to spot the Willamette from the Mile chairlift. We also watched the clouds move in across the north Willamette Valley during our last ride up. One moment you could see the shadowy forms of buttes and the dark brown, swollen river. The next, they were wrapped in gray shadows and no longer visible.
By the time we reached the barn, it was raining steadily. Mocha was happy to see us; husband was surprised at how quickly she can turn from the manger to the stall door to be ready to go. I found that it was easier to work my hips and sit upright after a good ski session and my upper body seemed to be much more stable. Mind you, this is all walk work. Mocha’s got at least another six weeks of restricted work and it’s probably more like twelve more weeks, until that hoof wall grows out. At least she’s making good progress.
We did go for a short outside hack after our work, even though it was misting. She didn’t mind, and stepped right out.
Afterwards, we went home, did chores, and a lot of other stuff. I had to chuckle at the memories of the times when we skied, then came home and collapsed. Guess the old farts are getting into better shape.