The plan put in place for today was to X-C Ski the groomed Moraine Lake Road trail just below Lake Louise in Banff National Park. The intention was to do an out and back all the way to the Viewpoint which would increase the distance and elevation gain a small amount over last Saturday's Ski on the Great Divide Trail. That was the plan and we were successful in accomplishing that goal, but it played out in a way that I did not envision nor plan for. Like I have stated here many times before, we are masters at finding a way to save the day! I believe today it was determination, fortitude, being winners not quitters and having the will to dig deep that lead us to success.
We went for the early start from the city, but as life would have it on a highway with less than stellar driving conditions packed with thousands migrating to the mountains, we were stuck in traffic and delayed significantly. My driving there dining routine was thrown off schedule and I arrived at the trail head hungry. We checked out the trail to see the night's snowfall lay heavy and wet with one skier track set trail running through it.
We geared up and hit the track!
#1 Beginner Moraine
It seemed surreal skiing through a fog patch with drizzle at times. There was no one in sight, actually nothing in sight except the tree-lined trail. The track was terribly wobbly but thank goodness at least there was one. We forged on. After quite some time into our ski, the snow began sticking to the bottom of the waxless skis. I had experienced this one time before and understood that it would improve, just keep going. Well, it didn't get any better! We took a moment to discuss our original plan that was in place and made a revision. There would be no getting to the Viewpoint for us today, we turned around and headed back. Then along came......
.....Andrew, our Knight on shining X-C Ski grooming equipment!
He set down a track!
Then, just like that the snow stopped!
The sky cleared!
We took another moment to once again discuss our plan. For the second time, we made a revision, we did an about face and happily aimed for that Viewpoint. At first all was swell, the sky turned blue and there was a view. We gleely glided! Then, just like that I came to a dead halt near doing a nose dive. I turned to look at my friend and she is stopped trying to remove the snow from the bottom of her skis. Our skis were picking patches of snow out of the track. Then, along came.....
.....Andrew, our Knight on shining X-C Ski grooming equipment! He shared with us that the lone lady leading up ahead found it easier to ski off the track, off to the side. We heeded this knowledge and veered to the side and it actually was easier. Eventually we made our way back to the groomed track and once again, gleely glided. Success! We made it to the Viewpoint of some of the peaks of the Valley of Ten Peaks.
our destination shot
my XO learning to love this sport shot
We shared lunch time with the lone lady.
I thanked her for breaking trail before it was groomed.
Speaking of groomed, then, along came.....
.....Andrew, our Knight on shining X-C Ski grooming equipment! He was happy to see the three of us accomplished our goal. Thinking back now, the numerous times he stopped to share info and to see how we were doing, he was going to do whatever it took to make sure we could gleely glide and to make sure we reached what was seeming like to be an elusive Viewpoint.
After dining, (I did not have enough food and fluid, not expecting to be out this long and not expecting it be such hard work) we began the ski back. I was looking forward to the long, gentle, downhill sections where I could just let it take me. The sections where I had to work I felt I just wanted this over with. I was tired, hungry, sore and just plain and simple had enough. I took a few moments at this spot to admire one last scene knowing I was near the end.
I took a little time to play!
It was not perfect X-C Ski snow!
Yet it was perfect snowman snow, wet & sticky!
It was a long ski and a long day. That 21.1 kms on a track that is measured at 16km return was due to our two plan revisions plus early on I did a little back and forth on some gentle hills. It was a day of learning, I learned I need more food and beverage with me for on the track and at dining times.
It was reinforced that it pays to stick with it even when you are stuck!