Monday, January 9, 2012

Skiers are delusional

I went skiing at Duluth's Piedmont trails last week, first thing in the morning on the day that The Big Thaw began. There was just an inch or two of snow on the trails, not enough for a classic track but enough to cover most of the rocks and sticks. I skied all 5 kilometers and left thinking, "Hmmm...not bad."

Must have been those feel-good endorphins speaking. It was bad. It was awful. Mid-January and there's not enough snow to set a track? Who was I kidding?

The Big Thaw has continued for five days now. Skiers are still finding snow, and they are either hugely optimistic or totally delusional. Here's a sampling from today:

"Only one part of the trail was basically unskiable" (regarding Boulder Lake trails)
"We saw some stubble, but really not bad at all." (from Central Gunflint trails)
"Enough rocks and roots present to make it an exercise in situational awareness" (about Snowflake trails) 

If you want to ski and actually would like some snow that is not awful, head up the North Shore to Tofte and ski on the Onion River Road. Or head inland to the Flathorn Gegoka trails. 

Yes, a bad day skiing is better than a good day at the office. And after all that time sidestepping logs and seeking out tracks deep enough to hold a Hot Wheel, you deserve to be proud. Delusional, but proud. 

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