Today was my first ski of the season, if you can call it that. After weeks of running, waiting for snow, it was finally here. I’m pretty leery about early season snow. Unlike my husband who heads out on his skis at the first sign of a snowflake, I prefer to wait for the real deal. But I had to admit that there was plenty of snow right outside my door this morning. So I waxed up my classic skis and headed out.
It was deep all right. Thick and moist too. Lacking groomed trails yet, I made my way up Seven Bridges Road. For once, I considered the snowmobiles my friends, as they had packed down a nice trail right down the middle of the road. It was far easier following their path than trying to break trail.
Although the wind howled overhead, the road was pretty well sheltered. The trees were laden with snow, some bending way over under the heavy weight. And the world was silent. Progress was slow, and getting any glide from my skis was only a wish, but the early season novelty of the new fallen snow was ample compensation.
Continuing onto Skyline Drive and summiting at Hawk Ridge, I came into the full force of the wind. It raged across the open viewing area and obliterated the snowmobile tracks. Down below the city faded into greyness and Lake Superior was left to my imagination. The only reality was the snow beneath my skis.
I hoped for some benefit from retracing my tracks on the return trip, but it was a futile wish. If anything, the snow was softening and increasingly clumped up on the bottom of my skis. It felt more like walking than skiing. That’s when I coined a new phrase – ski-shoeing. Tramping through deep new snow being held up by long sticks instead of snowshoes. At least I had the benefit of my ski poles.
It may not have been glorious skiing, but it was a start. And it felt great to be outside in the snow. Perhaps tomorrow I’ll dig out my snowshoes.