Sunday, 14 June 2009

Lovely day at the snow

Got up super early (4:40AM) to have time for my morning run before my dad and I headed out to Lake Mountain for a day of cross country skiing. I was planning on doing some study in the car (exams start next week:S) but predictably fell asleep straight away:P

It was beautiful driving up the road from Marysville to Lake Mountain. The devastation from the fires was very apparent, but there's already a lot of regrowth happening. It's quite karmic really to see that all the small ferns and shrubs, which previously were starved of light, are now thriving thanks to the destruction of the tree canopy. Even the trees, which to the untrained eye look blackened and dead, will benefit from the intense heat and smoke that kickstart their reproductive systems. In normal years, there's so much competition from seed predators and other plants that any seeds dropped by the mountain ash will not reach maturity. The fire will have wiped the slate clean. Out with the old and in with the new.

I felt very rusty on the skis when we first started. The snow was icy and not very well groomed (I think they lost all their proper grooming equipment in the fires and are just using skidoos instead, which are a poor substitute), so I was slipping and sliding all over the place. After 200m I found my feet though and enjoyed the feeling of the pure back and forth skating motion. On a sunny day like today where people were skiing in t-shirts and shorts, there is no better way to spend one's time. XC skiing is truly my favourite sport. (Not to say I don't enjoy running or cycling, just not to the same extent)

My dad was struggling a bit today, or maybe I was just feeling good, but I had to loop back a tad more often than I remember doing last season. We skiied up to the Panorama trail, which is always nice, but a bitch to ski back out of (very steep uphill). The decision was then made to have a crack at Jubilee, a black run with a lot of fast downhills and steep uphills to match. It's tough at the best of times, but because of the lack of decent trail grooming, it was murderous today. We both fell over plenty of times because our skis would get caught in impromptu tracks which put you off balance for the bumps to follow. I gave up trying to skate up the hills. The surface was just too rough and I was starting to feel knackered. Dad was really struggling and I had to bully him into keeping on moving. It was a huge relief when we got back to The Camp and had a lunch break.

I'd done just over 20km at that point and decided to do another loop of Panorama by myself while Dad dragged himself back to the car. The trail was much nicer the second time thanks to the sun, which melted away the icey bits (but also started to expose the trail bed underneath - I don't think this snow is going to last much longer without a sizeable dump). I zoomed down the 2km Royston road downhill slope back to the carpark and even managed to get there just after Dad did even though I'd done an extra 4k:P

It was a good 28k hitout and I'm looking forward to the next time (next Sunday hopefully). Legs were feeling pretty buggered, so the final 8k run tonight to make up 120k for the week is not going to be much fun:P

1 comment:

Matthew Morris said...

That's pretty awesome.... run, ski, run!

I kinda wanna go to the snow now lol!