Sunday, September 9, 2012

Killington: First Run Down Skye Lark for the Season!!

I don't know about other ski areas, but Killington has this wonderful tradition of mowing the grasses on the more predominant and wide trails. This creates a wonderfully gushy cushion of hay on which the snowmakers can easily blow snow. A true natural base, if you like. The hay bends to cover some of the gnarlier rocks, something greatfully appreciated as we reach the sketchier phases of the season.

But in the fall, the mowing of the trails means only one thing to me:

It's Time to Take some Runs!!


This isn't normal trail running - still a great way to make a pleasurable ascent in the early early mornings - this is ski trail running.

Where you make slalom turns, GS turns, pivot turns...even super G turns when the undersurface isn't too full of potholes (Warning: Upper Bittersweet!!)

Quick Feet
Core Twists
Balance
Ankle Edging

Sounds like a PSIA manual.
Ugh.
That is NOT why I ski
(although technique does help...a lot)

But I'm making turns.
Down Skye Lark.
Down Lower Bittersweet.

Checking out the trail work.
the bits and pieces of regrading.
the snowmaking pipes that have been cleaned up.

My ski season has started.

Thank Goodness.

I don't think I could have gone too much longer without feeling the variances of the mountain beneath me.

Yeah, it's not that perfect smoothness,
and technically there is actually so snow or skis.

But the gravitional pull is still pretty strong,
I am going downhill at angles.
I am earning my turns.

You even get to dive into the woods for a few extra cautious turns in the moss covered rocks and fallen branches.

Foot placement becomes wicked important here.
It makes snow-covered tree skiing seem almost...easy

Have you ever gotten your foot stuck amongst down trees up to your knee?
It's a real harsh reminder to look ahead!

Vespi always thinks it's pretty funny though.
And greets me with a big lick across the cheek.

And what is the reward for all this?

Is it that all my hard work will pay off when winter comes?

or is it getting to take in the beauty of the green mountains from places we only see tradtionally in the winter?

perhaps the knowledge gained of the terrain underfoot and exploring the multitude of secret trails that are sprinkled over our mountain?

the quality time with the puppy?

or is it the pure joy of feeling the wind in my hair as I cut turns down the mountain?
The freedom of having an entire mountain to explore,
the thrill of the descent
the playfulness that defines skiing,
snow or not.

I am young.
I am free.
I am skiing.

Well, kind of

May You Find the Spirit of the Mountains Within You

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