Sunday, November 29, 2009

First Backcountry Day

End result = Ouch!

Saturday morning we headed up to Whistler for my first backcountry day. After a not so quick stop for coffee at Galileo Coffee in Britannia Beach (apparently they have gotten a little too popular. My breakfast was almost cold by the time I got my coffee!) and then waiting in one of the slowest lines ever to buy a lift ticket, we were finally in the gondola and on our way by 10am.

The day was gray with some soft falling snow. Visibilty wasn't great and there was some wind on the high ridges. This was my first time on skins, using free rides and in my new boots. It was a weird sensation to walk uphill with skis on. At first I felt like I would just slide backwards, but unless it was a very steep pitch, the skins did their job. There was a LOT of skinning. And it was not easy. But what was even harder was trying to go downhill. An experienced powder skier I am not. I have been having back issues for the previous week, and after a while, my back was saying enough.

I was looking at it this way. In order to have those perfect, euphoria inducing runs, you have to have bad ones too, whether its your body or the weather or some combination. I often think on the difficult runs how they are necessary to truly enjoy the good ones. I think yesterday's experience was the same. It wasn't all bad, but it was all hard. I think being out there on a bluebird day will be worth the few not so great days that are needed to become proficient - both and going uphill, and moreso for me, downhill.

We made our way back in bounds and made it back to the chair just in time to make it to the gondola to download. On the way home we stopped at Howe Sound Brew Pub in Squamish for some dinner and a beer. They have a lot of great beers, and we took 3 large bottles home with us. By the time we got home I was in full pass-out mode, but managed to stay up for the hockey game.


Exhausted from skinning

Whistler backcountry

This morning when I woke up, my entire body was feeling it. The worst part is the top of my calves. I couldn't bend my legs! I have had trouble walking all day and have spent most of the day on the sofa. Good thing we went on the Saturday and not Sunday so I had a day to recover!

1 comment:

Julie said...

"It wasn't all bad, but it was all hard." I LOVE this!! I am so going to use this expression of yours -- I'll give you credit for it too. :) :)

What an adventure -- no wonder your whole body is sore -- HOLY MOLY! What a day! :) :)