Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Back on the skis - Goat Creek XC

Two weeks was long enough to give my shoulder a break before I went stir crazy, so on Saturday I joined seven others (Finn came along for the ride too) to cross-country ski the Goat Creek trail to Banff (the trail starts up behind Canmore & runs the length of the other side of Mt Rundle).  Some warm, moist air rolled in from somewhere & unforecast snow fell on us all day.


It was pretty sticky & for most of the first half of the day, I had big clumps of snow sticking to the bottom of my skis - I definitely put too much grip wax was on.  Consequently, I couldn't glide down the hills for quite some time & had to keep the walk/grip action going.  Before the first creek crossing, most of us were starving - so here was our lunch stop.  All that extra resistance had obviously made me hungry - as well as the lunch I brought, (some of) all the food Kristy & Joel had brought to share was much appreciated - more sandwiches, zucchini slice & ANZAC biscuits.

By this time I'd scraped a lot of the grip wax from my skis & after lunch I was finally able to keep too much snow accumulating & even glide down some hills.  On one particular hill I was sliding quite nicely until the snow built up too much on my right ski & it stopped in a hurry.  Not wanting to put my arm out to break my fall I ended up with a face full of fresh snow - much to Adam & Karin's amusement.

The snow kept falling & there ended up being quite a bit on the Chariot.  Extra weight for Megan to stoically pull.

Although the trail has a net descent of a few hundred metres, to many of us there seemed to be a lot more climbing than there should be.  But I didn't mind, as after lunch life was much easier for me as I didn't have to work downhill as well as up.
Adam, Karin & Megan on one of the descents near the end of the day.

After fifteen or sixteen kilometres, Finn decided that he'd had enough of the inside of the Chariot - so I ended up with the pleasure of towing it while Megan carried Finn.  This I was pleased with, as having the Chariot trailing behind me made life a little more interesting.  Five and a half hours later (plenty of stops with a nice big group) we made it to the parking lot at the end - some walked up to the hot springs while three of us returned (in the car parked in the lot the night before) to the trail head to pick up the other cars to return to Banff & pick every one up.

I'm slowly learning how to use my GPS & actually getting out & doing a trail helped to give me something to muck around with.  So here's a little plot of Saturday's outing - which you can manipulate a bit.  You can see how much my speed increased in the second part of the day (View Details down in the bottom right).

Sunday, Alex & I headed out to Sunshine for the morning.  It was still snowing a bit & down out of the wind the skiing was pretty good.  But up in the wind the slopes were well scoured out & pretty nasty.  I was pleased how my shoulder fared - not falling on it helped a lot.  After lunch we did a couple of runs before rushing out to beat the avalanche control access road closure.  I had a little time before dashing off to Calgary on an airport run to pick up (another) Alex returning from her weeks of snowboard-cross competitions.  After that somewhat tiring weekend - it's nice to be sitting at home now on the couch watching a pretty cheesy episode of Chuck.

No comments:

Post a Comment