The Last Hurrah

It was hard to let go of winter. Only a few weeks before the road to Maroon Bells was groomed and beautiful. T-Lazy7 Ranch was still grooming the road for their snowmobile tours and laying a classic track just because they are nice people.

maroon bells, aspen xc skiing, on line xc lessons
March 20, 2016. A Bluebird day on the road to Maroon Bells.

The spring skiing still felt like mid-winter conditions and didn’t want it to end. We (I) decided to give it one last ski on April 14. Just a week before it was still skiable and talked the wife into one last hurrah. Imagine my disappointment and embarrassment  when we got to the trailhead after the 35 minute drive only to find bare pavement.

Ashcroft Ski Touring Center, XC skiing. Cross country ski skating
April 14, 2016. The last ski of the season.

Trying to save the day we (I) came up with one last option of the skiing the season-closed Ashcroft Ski Touring trails. I figured the extra 1000 foot of elevation, and another 30 minutes of driving would help save the day, and it did – a little. It was rough and dirty snow but it was still skiing I suppose…

That gung-ho attitude is more from my past life then present. I prefer things a little easier these days. I like the midwinter skiing when my wax is perfect and the sky is sunny. Better if the drive isn’t too far too. But beggars can’t be too choosy. In perspective, I’m one very lucky person to live in the mountains and not in a city where skiing is a weekend expedition.

It’s a bit of a shock when my mind drifts back to those younger days of my totally self-absorbed gung-ho attitude toward cross-country skiing. We spent hours waxing skis and basically living the sport. Not all that was bad, because it created a love and skill for a really cool, and fun sport. I still love skiing but my perspective is different. It hard to justify putting in hours of off and on season exercise, especially when there are a multitude of other interests in my life, including family. Same goes for the hours of hot waxing trying to get the last bit of advantage for this aging body – especially when I come up with the waxing results of the Alley Loop last winter in Crested Butte

I guess, the best attitude is to take cross country skiing at its face value: It’s just fun, great exercise and a great avenue to enjoy being outside in the winter. Next time though, I think I’ll skip hour drive in April for the last hurrah and go for a walk closer to home. Oh yea, I almost forgot – and to make sure my wife’s skis are waxed better then mine!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *