Monday, February 22, 2010

11. Try skate skiing

A fun thing I'm finding about trying new things is that the more I try, the more new ideas and opportunities pop up. This last weekend, I wound up doing a Wilderness Program double-header: trying skate skiing on Saturday and doing a snow shoe hike (which will be its own Serendipity post) on Sunday. I never even heard of skate skiing until a few weeks ago when my friend Dan S. gave me a lesson at Bolton Valley in classic cross-country skiing (New Thing #7). During that lesson he explained the difference between the two styles to me, and at the end of lesson we ran into my colleague Mark (of Mozzarella-making [New Thing #6] fame) and his son Jax doing (what else?) skate skiing. So of course, when the Wilderness Program set up an afternoon lesson with Dan as an alumnus instructor, I just had to sign up.

Skate skiing, I have discovered, is both more fun and harder (at least for me) than classic cross country skiing. In order to skate ski you basically push your ski out to the side and transfer all your weight to the side that's pushing out in a motion reminiscent of ice skating. On the level and especially on downhills, it's great. The problem is uphill, where once I'm tired (about 5 seconds into the hill if I'm lucky) all thought of pushing to the side goes right out the window, and I wind up looking like a cartoon where my legs just keep moving but the ground beneath me doesn't. So, I can either keep working on the uphills or find some trails that don't contain any at all. Any question which I'll try first?

The hills notwithstanding, our afternoon lesson was highly entertaining. In fact, captured in three different pictures was a funny little interlude. First, our teacher Dan, caught a nice moment of Meghan, Megan and Rachel all snow plowing down a hill. Unfortunately, to take the picture, he was skiing backwards and as you can see, fell into a fairly steep ditch. And as we gathered around (and I thoughtfully captured his entrapment in the snow on camera) he took a picture of us all staring at him. Happily, he got himself out of his snow trap remarkably quickly and yielded to the group's entreaties to please find a run with fewer uphill sections, and we had a lovely time. The last shot is all of us -- Ashley, Meghan C., me, Megan D., Dan, Brian and Rachel -- posing for a self-congratulatory group picture before heading home.

52 Ways to Say I Love You Hungarian, with thanks to Valerie, and her dad, Lou.

Hello - Hallo (hollow)
Goodbye - visczont latashig (vee sont la tash eeg)
I love you - szeretlek (ser ret lek)
May I have 2 beers, please? - kerek ket sort (kay rek kate shurrt)

Coming Attractions

February 26-28. Road trip to Bar Harbor to see the the earliest sunrise on the East Coast from Cadillac Mountain with list co-originators Siham and Leah.

March 13-21. Spring break winter sports extravaganza -- a chance to finish off the winter sports list -- downhill skiing, snow boarding, jump and spin on figure skates, and a night time ski or snow shoe hike, and possibly do some cooking lessons. Julia might be coming to town for some of it, and Dave might be giving me a snow board lesson. Who else wants to take the opportunity to get outside in Vermont before mud season sets in for good?


  1. Look at you, taking names and kicking hills ass!

    My favorite photo is where you have assumed a tranquil supine position with the skis. Which I'm sure was your exact intention.

    hell yeah I'm coming to town! And you are wearing the pants. Which I am now going to refer to them as the "Hot Pants". For obvious reasons.
    Expect to get stared at if we go out. A lot.

  2. Hey Julia,
    Although I have taken more than my share of spills so far this winter doing all these new things, this particular one happened to Dan.

    But you just gave me a really fun idea -- I think I'm going to start a special file of Epic Fails of my New Things -- like the first try on the mozzarella and any of my many slips in rock-climbing. Good thing you made me think of it before I tried snow-boarding; that's going to be the mother of all falls and fails, so should provide some great shots. Thanks, you're always coming up with brilliant ideas, even when you're not even trying! (And when you come to town, I'll break out the infamous party pants so we can go get a drink and think of still more fun ideas).

  3. Once again, I am incredibly impressed. You are having your own Olympics, given how many winter sports you have undertaken over the past 2 months. You deserve a gold medal for trying things!