With the 33rd annual Denali State Bank Sonot Kkaazoot just 8 weeks out, it is time to be putting the kilometers into the bank. Today with temperatures in the Birch Hill stadium hovering around -16 deg F and snowing, it was an ideal time to do the North Classical trails especially for balance challenged SCUM. On a cold day like today, the only skiers who showed up for our Sunday workout were those old enough to remember skiing at much colder temperatures.
After warming up our 6 decade and older bodies on one circuit of yesterday’s Town Race #3 course, we headed off for the recently groomed North Classical loops. With Frank Soos leading the first part of the Classical Bear, he managed to dump a widow’s maker’s worth of snow onto our youngest SCUM, Sam Bishop. Sam decided that following the tallest skier among us wasn’t a good idea so he took the lead. At the Aurora Run intersection, we headed out the North Star trail and eventually came to the RSDH Bypass sign. As a faithful reader of the Sonot Kkaazoot blog, you will now know that this acronym stands for “Really Steep Down Hill” on this single track trail. Dermot Cole, photographer of the photo below, has another “S” word that he uses, but we’ve used the official acronym definition.
With the newly fallen -20 below snow, the RSDH was no challenge navigating, which is fortunate because with my down skirt fully zipped on the sides, I couldn’t snowplow. Dermot also took videos of our downhill ski technique so we could improve before temperatures warm up. Today, no one crashed even though we totally encased with frost from skiing on trails that varied from -15 to -25 deg F.
What does it take to ski at -20 deg F? Two chemical handwarmers in each of your mittens and a set for either side of your phone. And friends to ski with JUST in case something unexpected happens.
It was absolutely beautiful out on the trails today and while we weren’t skiing very quickly, we were getting quite a workout just to keep moving on both the uphills and downhills.