Sunday, January 25, 2015

The Great Divide X-C Ski Sunday School

The more I learn about that sport called X-C Ski, the more I enjoy it and the more I want to learn.  I felt like a student at school today, making very good grades, while skiing The Great Divide.   As you can see in the first photograph, the route seems to go on for as far as the eye can see, it is wide with very, very gentle rolling hills.  Those are the kind of hills I am comfortable on right now but I am looking forward to progressing to not so gentle ones.    The Great Divide Trail lives up to its name of being great for an area to work on those basic skills.   
I purchased new proper poles, poles that are the correct size for me.  I noticed the difference immediately.  I can glide even further with one push from a pole that is 10 cms longer.  I was fortunate that these specific poles were the last in the store and in the country and would you believe they even have a patch of orange near the top.   I enjoyed gliding by open spaces with views like these.
I enjoy taking photos when I am out & about, but today I decided I would limit myself and just snap a few and pay more attention to my X-C Ski technique.  Taking that into consideration, I left my big camera at home which immensely decreased the weight I carried.   I am sure that would contribute to having more speed.  While today's relied upon picture taking option does not offer up the quality of my SX40, I am quite happy with what I got in return.  We had wonderful dancing cloud formations today. 
In addition to being on very gentle rolling hills, using proper poles and carrying less weight, I also included a lumbar pack into the mix.   I am sporting it in my location photo below.  It is large enough to carry everything I need for 3 to 4 hours on the X-C Ski trail.  It has pockets galore.  It has  a wide belt that sits and fits nicely.  I found with this pack, I could move more freely and I maintained better balance.  This pack is a keeper.  
While the views were magnificant, the track in spots was not the greatest.  Given the warm temperture and the sunshine, even with waxless skis, I stuck in sections.  For short lengths where I could not glide, I walked but those areas were few.  Today, I learned why waxless skis are best for these conditons.  
The dog sled teams were out today.  When I see them coming down their track beside me, I think how Canadiana.  All passagers were beaming brightly.  The dogs were obviously in their glory too.  As they sped by, I too enjoyed the speed I was doing and feeling the wind through my pigtails.  
My friend had problems with snow piles on the bottom of her skis.  She didn't realize how bad it was until I took this photo and presented it to her.  The black at the bottom right is the tip of the finger of my glove.  This is what one has to contend with when the snow is not cold. 
At times today, it was a struggle moving due to the snow conditions but I truly enjoyed being out their and skiing.  I believe I have a good glide going.  I now understand carrying lighter weight, wearing a small waist pack and using correct equipment makes a big difference for me.  These were the lessons I learned at Sunday School today.   I am ready to incorporate hills that I can manage.  I need confidence builders not discouragers so hills that I can ski up and down are next on the agenda.  Beyond that, my thinking right now is to be selfish and go for a one on one lesson that would be  geared to only me.  

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