Tuesday, January 25, 2005
PS an unintended excursion
Its all worth it when you get to the spot, when you get to the spot its all worth it...
copyright castillo 2005
Sitting low in the city one can look to the east and become mezmorized by the bountiful mountains which seem to be only miles away. Snowcovered and inviting Austin and I decided to take a run out to one of the local ski restorts and get our first taste of Alaskan powder...
Seemed like an easy enough task right? Austin was set to try out his new freestyle skis, and I ready to just get out and ride after staying abstinent in the car for the past 8+ days. Pick up the skis at the shop, tell the guy where we're going (you'd think that if there were any issues he would have said so right?) make the journey out of town and into the hills. Twenty minutes later we arrive in the moutains, to look up at an empty resort... That's right EMPTY. Nothing was running, if the wind wasn't blowing so vigorously you could hear a 2x4 drop. The sun is out and we're feeling good about skiing though, as we have been for the past many days... "Well, it doesn't look that high up..." "Yeah, let's hike it." Suited up, strapped the skis to the backpack and started our ascent.
I had my poles out to provide stability and a sense of motion while ascending. It started out all right... Then the learning experience began to unfold. 1. Alpine ski boots are not good for hiking... 2. There's a reason you see people wearing nothing but polypro in those magazines... 3. I am definitely from the midwest. As we were ascending my heart began beating faster and faster, I was sinking into the snow, at times up to my knees, my breathing rapid; I never in my life was convinced so much that I had emphazima. Wow, you really know you're alive though, I'll tell you that much. Somewhere between here and the summit I realized the heavy overcoat had to go... Stopped took that hoss off, packed it away, looked around, view was becoming more scenic and I more determined. Up, up, up, I had to set goals on how many steps to keep pushing toward the summit. I kept kicking tracks into the side of that hill, had to the steepness was not condusive to strap the skis on, so it was the top or nothing, once you reach the top the only place you can go is down right?
Eventually made it to the summit, a vertical incline of 1100 or so feet from the base, after 45 minutes of resting...errr I mean hiking, and resting, resting and hiking. Something like that. Parched. As the continual incline occured I could feel the sun on my face,warmth, hadn't experienced that for a while. Then the summit arrived. Took off the pack, and liberated the Video Camera, basked in the glory of all those small steps to get to the top. Once on the summit the wind was intense, the polypro layer was no longer sufficient and I had to gear back up. We sat aloof the top of the hill for a while enjoying the vastness of our surroundings. The hike alone was worth it. But the fun part was just around the corner, rather down the incline. Clipped into the skis and rode down the only way I knew how... FASTER THAN.... OK actually I rode down quite conservatively, when you hike infinitely more time than you will spend riding down, you'd better make that one of the longest drawn our rides you've ever experienced. I don't think I have ever made so many turns on a descend, trying to savor the flavor whenever possible. Good ride though, steep gradient, wind packed powder, and a trail that deposited you right at the car... Can't complain with that.
Need for water after that was immense, however the majority of my dihydrogenoxide was frozen in my naglene.... BLAST! Eventually broke that up, and quelled my parched pallet. Endorphins ragin like a fiend, I was ready to rock and roll. But I'll have to save that for another day. All in all a good welcome experience from the 49th state!
Be bountiful in your timezone...
It's your world...Capture it.