Well I'm in the home stretch - less than a week before my big goal of the season, the Power of Four skimountaineering race. The last week has not gone quite as planned as I have been struck down with a chest cold and not been able to get out much, least of all push it. It's been a little demoralizing but, as I need to keep reminding myself, the important training has been done over the past five months not the past five days. On the plus side I have been the very lucky beneficiary of a massive upgrade in equipment. Chad bought me some super light Dynafit TLT Mountain boots as a Valentine's gift and my friend Pete loaned me a pair of Atomic randonee race skis. The boots are top of the line, fit like a glove and are the best I have ever owned - I am so totally head over heels in love. The skis apparently are the same as those worn by the fleet goat who, along with Greg Hill, set the record for climbing 50,000 feet in 24 hours. Though Pete is quick to point out the skis have a little age on them, I find age is irrelevant in this case as these are a mega upgrade for me and, quite honestly, akin to putting lipstick on a pig. But this little piggie sure does like her new stuff - with a weight savings of over 2lbs per trotter when compared to last year. Multiply that by the number of steps I will have to make to cover 25 miles with 11,000 feet of climbing and there will surely be much less squealing and oinking. Thanks Pete and Chad!!
Getting new equipment, especially boots, just a few weeks before a big race is not super advisable so I've been wearing the boots as much as I can. I can report they handle everything with aplomb. Powder days in the backcountry? Check. Bump runs and carving the 'roy inbounds? Check. Kite skiing? Check. Bar hopping? Of course!
Kite skiing on Ruedi Reservoir in stormy conditions:
Pete enjoying some mellow but great backcountry skiing on a glorious bluebird day in our local stash. A partial payment for the loan of the lipstick: