It was unusually busy in the Sunshine parking lot at the early time of 8.15 yesterday morning, considering there wasn’t that much fresh snow & it wasn’t a long weekend. It turned out that there were a few races on around the hill. As I had no ski buddy for the day & after Alex encouraged me to last week (he must have noticed that I really don’t ski that well – it was hardly a secret), I spent the day in a lesson. I managed my trick again of paying for a group lesson & getting a private lesson as there was no-one else in my class – score. I also lucked out & got the longest serving Sunshine instructor, Daniel – who was very good (not to mention overly enthusiastic & talkative, as one expects with such jobs).
As it was just me, we had a pretty chilled day at my pace & lots of time to talk about my technique. My goal for the day (made up on the spot – I hate being asked such things) was to be able to ski where I want to go when it gets bumpy or mogul-ly (funnily enough, that’s not a word), instead of having the terrain dictate my turns, & therefore, my path. Considering I’ve only being skiing for a year, I apparently have good steering & other parts to my technique – this came as a bit of a surprise, so I took that with a pinch of salt & put it down to instructor’s encouragement. What I really needed to work on, or so I was told, was completing/coming out of turns – so we spent a lot of time getting me to flex my legs (particularly the outside/bottom one). This involved a lot of touching the cuff of my boots as I completed turns. By the end of the day, I was getting around & diving into the moguls much more confidently. The lesson was also good in that I got dragged down a lot of black runs I’ve never been down before & I made it down the only double-black I’ve done at Sunshine in much better shape. All in all a great & very worthwhile day – sorry to bore you with the details, but it’s mostly so that I don’t completely forget it. Apparently, I passed the test-slope for entry in to Delerium Dive, but I find that rather worrying on a few different levels.
We lost an hour’s sleep last night with the start of Daylight Savings (now nineteen hours behind NZ). Spring seems to have decided to turn up in the last few days – hard to believe when it was -37ºC less than a fortnight ago. The forecast this week is for mostly sun & daytime highs all above freezing & the lowest overnight low only -9ºC – crazy talk. So, there are many big puddles around town & much slush.
But it’s still beautiful in town
With a bit of luck, there will be some uncovered (we live in hope) singletrack soon – I just have to get around to changing the tyres & the drivetrain on my bike.
No one really had the motivation to do anything too energetic today, so after a sleep in & a lazy morning, a few of us spent the afternoon mozying around town. The Big Head (the meaning of ‘Canmore’) is all dressed up for this year’s Ski Nationals.
Canmore has been having a bit of a celebration of that fact – on Wednesday night sitting in the pub eating copious amounts of wings we saw truckloads of snow being trucked in & then dumped on Main St. For four or five days two blocks have been closed off with XC skiers on the groomed snow replacing the cars & pickups. It’s a little odd to walk down the street & see a groomer & tracksetter working away.
While we were walking, & later sitting enjoying chocolate chai & bagels, around town this afternoon in the balmy weather the final leg of a small X-Terra triathlon was run/skied on Main St. We had a spot near the start of the XC skiing (the other legs were swimming [don’t worry, in a pool – not the river] & running) & the finish line. The competitors had to do five laps of the snow to make up their three kilometres.
After that had died down, the snow was open again for public skiing. Although the skiing wasn’t great it was quite novel to be skiing down Main St so we got sufficiently motivated (only just) to get our skis & join in for a couple of laps. It was the first, & probably last, time that I’ve ever skied in jeans – but with so many people around it hardly matter. At least I didn’t fall & get soaked; actually, the highlight of the skiing was seeing so many people fall over in quite ridiculous ways.
Megan & Finn enjoying the warmth – outside our favourite toyshop.