Sunday, April 15, 2012

The Last Game in Town

This is what crust skiing looks like near Anchorage in April.  Wow!

Travis Rector photo

And this is what crust skiing looks like in northern Sweden right now.  More wow!

Martin Rosvall photo

Down here in the lower 48, Stevens Pass, the last place still grooming, was calling my name.  It was gray and gloomy early this morning when I met Christopher Fast at the park&ride and we headed out of town; it was foggy and damp when we went over the pass; and by the time we got to the nordic ski center and clicked into our skis and headed up the trail, it had turned into an absolutely gorgeous bluebird day.

It was delicious: temperatures pushing close to 50, a fresh little wind whispering through the trees, and perfect grooming on all the trails.  The snow was crunchy in the cool spots, smooth and creamy in the warm spots, just like a scrumptious dessert.  The limited skiing I've been able to do this year has been on the Iron Horse, and while I love the Horse with all my little skier's heart, it's a lot of flat and a lot of straight. Before I close the book on this season, I really wanted some uphills and downhills, some sharp corners and curving straightaways, some jagged mountains and deep snow, and Stevens Pass delivered.  I felt awkward and breathless at first, but after three hours of skiing, I remembered how to step around turns and climb hills, and I was a very happy girl.  Plus, even better, I got to see my favorite Stevens Pass people, whom I didn't see enough of this winter: Pete Spiegel, Klev and Becky Schoening, Toril and Hugh Owen, Peter Hutzel, and Victor Woo. After all the skiing I could handle today, Chris and I ate lunch at the picnic table in the sunshine, then reluctantly headed home again.  Thanks for the fun day, Chris!

Next week is the last weekend of grooming at Stevens Pass for the season.  Hats are 40% off, Rudy sunglasses are 50% off.  See you there?

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