Two feet of snow fell on Wednesday and Thursday in our part of Vermont. We needed it badly. All of the old snow was caked down and hard – terrible prospect for cross country skiing.
We had the morning free yesterday to go for a ski, so we began planning a little trip. Julie wanted to go to Glastenbury for a ski on the old road there. It’s actually the perfect place to ski, but I didn’t want to risk driving out into the middle of no where if the dirt roads were still not cleared off completely. Maybe they were, but I was a little nervous about getting stuck.
So she caved in to my idea of going to Lake Shaftsbury State Park. There’s a nice little loop that runs around the park for about a mile. I remembered it as a fairly flat little trail that would be perfect for skiing.
I was half right.
The first half was fine and even the wooden bridge section had enough snow, but then we hit the ridge line. That was where our problems started.
The ridge started off steep. Really steep. I don’t remember it being so steep. I took my skis off because the trail was also narrow, so there was no way to ski up. I trudged up with my feet sinking down until the snow was over my knees.
At the top I put my skis on until I came to a downhill section that was very steep and very narrow. Are you catching on to the theme here? Oh, and the downhill part had a sharp turn with lots of skis.
I’m OK on hills, but this was too much for me to control. So I took my skis off and ran down the hill. And that’s where my problems began.
I tried to put my right ski on, and it just wouldn’t stay on my boot. Something was jammed. I whacked it, banged it against a tree and did everything I could imagine to free up the binding. It was stuck.
Julie came back and let me try her skis on to make sure it wasn’t my boot. Her skis fit fine. So she jammed her wax scraper into the bindings until she got them free. It took about 10 minutes of tough work in 10 degree weather. We began to get cold.
Then Julie tried to put her skis on and guess what happened? She worked at her skis for another 5 minutes or so until she finally worked the binding loose.
We plodded along the ridge for a while and things worked out pretty good. We actually began to have fun; all the while remembering that if our skis came loose from our boots, we may have a long walk back to the car.
We hit our next snag after descending a steep hill (I fell a lot!), crossing a bridge, and then ascending a steep hill. On the ascent I fell and of course it’s hard to put a ski on while on a hill and it’s even more difficult to hop up a hill covered in two feet of snow with one ski on. And remember, that one ski is two feet above whatever your other foot is resting on.
I hopped up and sure enough the binding was stuck again. Julie, my ski binding genius of a wife passed her trustee tool, instructed me in her ways, and I was able to dig it out.
At this point we were close to our car and we eagerly removed our skis and zipped home. I apologized profusely, but Julie didn’t mind too much. She’s seen a lot worse: boots falling apart, skis snapping, and that sort of thing. At least we got to ski.
If you want a good place to ski go to Glastenbury Road. If you want a good place to swim and hike in the summer, go to Lake Shaftsbury!