Assessing my Nordic skiing progress

Posted: February 22, 2011 in Uncategorized

In January, I went Nordic skiing for the first time at Jackson, followed by an excursion to Waterville Valley two days later. After spending the first couple weekends on campus, I’ve been out skiing the past two weekends.

1) Windblown XC (Feb 12, 2011)

I led an outing club trip to Windblown XC in New Ipswich, NH last Saturday. The center had some great views, but was a little hillier than both Jackson and Waterville had been (or at least had less easy trails). I thought I was a little timid during the course of the day, so don’t necessarily know that I improved a ton. But it was a fun day. It’s nice taking trips to other parts of New Hampshire besides the Whites.

2) Wolfeboro XC (Feb 19, 2011)

As fun as Windblown was, I have to admit that this past Saturday’s excursion to Wolfeboro XC had it beat. We had a pretty beginner-oriented group, but somehow myself and Kraus (the other official leader) ended up being the worst skiers. Here’s Kraus posing by the “Kraussy’s Crossing” trail sign (as for the pose, he said “Make it look like I know what I’m doing”).

We started out on the center’s easier trails before trying out a couple intermediate ones. Since I still haven’t mastered the whole slow down or stop bit, I had some decent wipeouts. Everybody fell at least a couple times, but Kraus and I took the overall title.

The turning point of the day came when we at the intersection of an intermediate and advanced trail. We hadn’t done anything advanced yet (quite frankly, we didn’t have any right to), and everyone voted to take the intermediate trail, but somehow we ended up going down the advanced one instead.

It was actually pretty awesome. I basically just bombed down the downhill, stayed alive on the straightaway, then had a spectacular wipeout where the trail curved. Everybody had so much fun that we did the loop again. I wiped out again. It was awesome.

If you don’t believe the whole “spectacular wipeouts” part, here’s a post-wipeout shot from the other advanced trail we took that day. You know it’s a good trip if you draw blood.

Despite what the above may suggest, I actually think my skills progressed at Wolfeboro. I definitely got better on slowing down, and I focused on skiing on the groomed portion (rather than just in the tracks), which made me a lot more comfortable with that.

It looks like there’s another Nordic excursion or two in my future before winter is over, so hopefully I’ll be able to test whether these advancements stick around. I’d like to make Nordic a focus next winter, possibly acquiring some gear and getting into skate skiing, so that I can end my collegiate career with solid skills in one winter sport.

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