- The trails were busy with Christmas day skiers –
I’m a late-afternoon skier, usually starting around 3 pm as Helen continues to remind us, but today I broke from the routine and started at 4 pm. When I pulled the thermometer out of the snow at the nordic centre, it read -22°C. It may have been colder, but I didn’t want to stand around waiting for it to drop even further.
I had Swix VR30 on my skis which is rated for -10/-30 and it worked well. The air temperature was -18°C but once again, soon after starting, I was removing the warm clothing and skiing in my thin shell.
Once on the natural snow I noticed my glide was a lot better and the wax wasn’t quite so grippy. If you’re moving slowly on the man-made snow, ski out further until you reach the natural snow and you’ll find the skiing to be a lot more pleasant, and faster.
I took Banff trail to the meadow, which is where the natural snow begins. From there, I climbed up to Meadowview and after seeing that it was in good condition, I went even higher and went a short distance on Rundle. All recently trackset and groomed, and all good.
Returned on Banff trail which is in excellent condition. As I reached the man-made snow, the moon was shining brightly over Grotto mountain. If you’re planning to ski at the nordic centre this week, check the CNC page.
The secret to getting started in the cold
One of the best purchases I ever made was buying a light down-filled jacket. I use it to get myself started on these cold days. When I’m warmed up, I replace it with my usual thin shell. I always carry the jacket in my backpack in case of an emergency, and often use it near the end of a ski trip when there’s some fast downhill on a cool day. It takes up very little room since it compresses into a small ball. As I’ve mentioned before, it’s vital that you remove your warm clothing before you start to sweat too much because you don’t want to get it wet. You might need it later, and you’ll want it to be dry.
If you got new ski boots for Christmas, make sure you don’t do a ski marathon your first time out on them. You don’t want to be at the end of Cascade Valley and realize you have blisters developing, but still have 15K yet to ski. Today, doing a short ski on a cold day was perfect for testing out my new boots for fit and warmth.
A new photo came in today as an entry in the Emerald Lake Lodge contest. Just a reminder, entries close on Dec 30. Snap a photo while skiing this week and send it in.