Yeah, it is uncharacteristic but I just completed my first ski trip of the 2016/2017 ski season. It was a night-skiing session at Granite Peak in Wausau Wisconsin. The weather was okay, the snow okay, the light horridly flat (at least until it got dark out) and it was a wake up call for me.
First Ski Trip — The Good.
- Of course, I was finally on skis
- The dark of night
- The photography
- Skiing with friends
- Sending it off a Roller
- Tree Skiing
- Garmin Vivio HR
When I started night skiing I did not like it, but now I have appropriate eye wear and am coming to love night skiing. Especially on days with flat lighting like yesterday.
I pulled my good camera and Benbo tripod out and took them both to the top of Comet chair and took a series of photos. The best of those photos is above. We are looking out over the city of Wausau and maybe Schofield Wisconsin. It went fairly well, but I definitely need some sort of way to sling the tripod around and over my back, at least while skiing.
I met my brother and two longtime friends. Skiing with friends and family is such a good way to spend time, especially when the lifts can carry you all one at once!
I sent it off a roller yesterday. I was definitely airborne and I do believe I landed in good form, but on landing I crumpled. The earth simply gave me a welcome back hug I could not resist embracing it back! I did not roll down the windows nor was I out of balance. I got up quickly (two guys came over while I was down, fortunately, they were on different lines) and proceeded onward. The rest of that run had me mostly checking my speed before hitting rollers and only catching a bit of air off one other one.
At the top on our way from the Comet chair to the Sundance run the trail runs through a copse of trees. Instead of staying on the trail I veered off into the trees. The copse is thin, the snow is not deep, and is not steep. It was definitely more challenging than simply staying on the trail.
I skied with my Garmin Vivio HR and it worked great. The Garmin Vivio HR is a big improvement over phone-app tracking.
First Ski Trip — The Bad
- The daylight
- The locker room
When we started skiing it was daylight out. The light was very flat so chopped up loose snow appeared the same as boilerplate. We took a break and when that was over, it was dark out and we were skiing under artificial lights and that was much better with the lights casting bringing out the detail. I will never look at night skiing the same way again.
The locker room under the tavern is a typical locker room. They have lockers you can rent with three locker sizes available. I do not think the rates are unreasonable but what really irritated me is they built structures on top of the flat lockers to prevent people from stashing their shoes/bags on top of the lockers. Maybe, they have some critical infrastructure there they need to protect, but it really does not appear that way to me. They are simply doing this to force people into paying for lockers.
Fortunately, I did find a spot to stash my stuff, but I suspect the next time I visit Granite Peak they will have eliminated that spot.
First Ski Trip — The Ugly
- My physical conditioning
- Gear Organization
I was somewhat shocked by how quickly legs turned to quivering jelly. The last time I was at Granite Peak I skied 42 runs and my legs dealt with it fine. This trip, my legs were not happy within a couple of runs. Yes, it was my first trip, but this is not good especially with my upcoming trip.
I believe the problem lay in my training program this winter. The last couple of winters I had spent much time in spin class, but this winter I’ve not done that. I have been weight training and base training with my bike on a trainer. I’m going to get into the spin room as soon as I can and hope I can get my legs more enduring soon!
When the sunlight disappeared I started weight training and my cycling came to a near complete halt. I had a few rides and reached my 3,125 annual mile goal (5,000 Km) but pretty much took off from cycling and fitness. The result is +10 pound weight gain and a definite loss of conditioning.
My weight training has been sporadic, with possibly one or two weeks of regular sessions and then a few weeks off. Shortly after the New Year I started base training on my bike in my basement. However, neither of these activities are stabilizing my fitness. I will remember this for next year.
In a word, a chaotic mess. I try to compartementalize things into separate bags but as I was transitioning from my civvies into my ski gear I would put something down on a convenient flat surface and it would usually get covered over. I found myself searching through multiple bags and going back and forth from the cargo compartment, to the passenger doors, to the driver doors looking for things. Perhaps time for a bigger ski duffel and packing cubes.
Both of my phones died last night. Fortunately, one phone lasted through to the end of the skiing. The phones also refused to take a charge from the charge pack as well. However, my work phone was taking a charge from the pack this morning, why not last night? Fortunately, the Garmin Vivio HR was there tracking my skiing. The Garmin does not register airtime but I’m only mildly interested in that.