|Arriving at the Bowl|
Marathon season is over! Time to get back to skiing while there's still snow. I'd been putting aside skiing for a while, only getting a few days in the last month before the marathon. This was my first chance to take advantage of good weather for anything but running. I had a little apprehension, wondering if my legs were recovered enough for this but there was no time like the present to find out. Monica and I stayed up in Gorham, NH so we could get an early start for Saturday which promised to be a nice weather day. After an early morning breakfast at McDonalds we pulled into Pinkham right around 7:00 which was still early enough to get a spot on the right side of the main lot. By 7:20 I was in my telemark boots with skis on my back; Monica was on alpine gear so she was carrying skis and boots and wearing hiking boots. There was less snow down low than I'd hoped for so I ended up attaching my skis to the pack for the first 1/3 of the trail before switching to skinning until we reached Hojos, which took around 1:25. That was the fastest I'd ever made it up there with skis on so maybe there's something to all this running for getting into shape after all. Along the way we encountered some rain which turned to snow, but there was clearly the promise of a bluebird day.
|Monica on Tuckerman Ravine Trail|
Just a short break there as we wanted to beat the crowds and we climbed up to the Bowl, arriving by 9:15 or so. Left Gully was our objective so we headed up to some rocks below the Chute and started our change over. There were some folks up in the Bowl but not that many, only a few people we skiing already. The Crevasse below the Lip was nasty looking and I was amazed at the people climbing below and through the area. We spent some time rearranging packs and leaving unneeded gear before headed up the still empty boot ladder. There were only a few folks above us, maybe a dozen at most. The climb was as usual, steady, slow, and enjoyable. Just below the top out was quite steep; we were using our hands in the foot holds above us. By the time we reached the top there was nothing but sunshine; a completely blue bird day! We watched a few folks who had arrived before us drop in while we rested and hydrated. Eventually the top was clear so we put our skis on and got ready. Monica skied the run without stopping so I have no pics of her. I took my time with a few stops along the way. Conditions were prime; soft corn on top of a pretty firm base. The first couple of turns are on very steep terrain, requiring some jump turns and careful balance. It's a stark contrast from running and hiking, which is basically putting one foot in front of the other. I have to say I was enjoying the thrill.
|The steep part of the Left Gully boot ladder|
|Monica ripping it up on Hillman's|
It felt great to have a day back on skis after missing so many days this winter. Going to Tucks is a lot of work but well worth it, sort of like running the marathon. There are times on the way up the boot ladder that you wonder if all this work is going to pay off in the end it always does. It's hard to say if I'll ever run another spring marathon like Boston. Training in the winter is just so difficult and it requires me to give up something that I also love. I'm looking at a fall marathon right now, perhaps running one with my brother which would be a lot of fun. In the meantime I'm recovering the best way I can.