Sunday, April 14, 2013

Spring Skiing

You notice I didn't label this post "Crust Skiing."  I am sad to say crust skiing has not yet materialized this year.  After a nearly 2-month crust skiing season last year with amazing sunny days, I was hoping for the same this year, but each time I run into a skiing friend and hopefully ask, "How's the crust skiing?" I've been disappointed.  It happened, a little bit, in some places, for a few days, but not consistently enough for people to be out there in droves.  So today I skied on the trails at Lookout off Ohlson Mountain Road while Denver was snowboarding next door at the rope tow.

A view of the Alaska Mountain Range from the Marathon Trail.

Spring skiing is still a joy--even if it is on trails.  For some reason, the thought of going around in circles on ski trails is anathema to me at this time of year.  It is the season for letting loose, being free, being unhindered by things like....trails.  Without good crust skiing conditions, I opted to head out on the Marathon Trail--one way as far as I would care to go.  It wasn't groomed, though it still had an icy base.  In some places there were 4 inches of fresh snowdrifts, while in other places the trail was speedy as heck (in other words, ICY!), so it was a process going from snowy patch to icy patch and back.  But there was hardly anyone out there (I saw 2 other couples, neither on the Marathon Trail), so it was sweet to have the woods and hills to myself (keeping a casual eye out for bears just out of hibernation...).  It looks like someone had hiked the Marathon Trail today--fresh footprints went one way out to the road, but I didn't meet them.

My sunshine spot on a yurt platform.  Still plenty of snow, as you can see!

There is a yurt (it looks like it was recently taken down, but the platform outside the yurt is still there) near the top of what one of my friend's has dubbed "Suicide Hill."  Slow slogging up the hill meant I was tired so I took off my skis and made myself comfy on the yurt platform, taking in some serious sun.  Since the sun often doesn't really warm things up in the winter, it was exquisite to bask in the truly warm sunshine.  I felt like my face was being fried to a crisp (it wasn't--I'm just a bit more tanned). 

The view from that spot always makes me yearn to ski and be free.  The open spots are crust skiing mecca when the conditions are right.  Until then, I can dream on!  Here's to hoping for crust skiing soon!

The hills beckon!  A wonderful, wild playland off the Marathon Trail!

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