Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Brownie points for trying

Or maybe that should be asphalt-grey points for trying.

Here it is, getting on for the middle of January and we should be out there x-c skiing. We're not skiing because there just isn't enough snow to do it. That didn't stop us from trying but it did stop us from continuing.

We removed our skis from their temporary prison, waxed them and then made ready to head out to the wetlands. We had had quite a bit of snowfall this past weekend but it was of the dry, fluffy, shredded coconut type. You know the kind I mean, where even 5 centimetres of it can be swept away by a broom or a pair of boots. We figured the snow would settle a bit and provide enough of a good base for us to at least make some concerted effort.

So, Adam and I got out to the wetlands, clicked our boots into the latches of our respective skis and started our trek, the raw, biting winds from the north more of a nuisance than an impediment. I knew we were going to be into serious trouble almost right away as every time I put either of my poles down, the tips made almost instant contact with the asphalt below. At one point along the 2-300 metre entry into the wetlands proper, I looked down and saw the telltale yellow stripe that so evenly divides the pathway. I found myself looking around to make sure my skis did not wind up on bare asphalt lest they be almost instantly ruined. Apparently, Adam felt the same way because we were roughly 400 metres inside the wetlands when we both decided that the conditions were just not going to work.

Skiing on bare asphalt will ruin the skis. The wax gets scraped off very efficiently for about the first two slides, then the actual structure of the ski (wood, fibreglass, carbon fibre or whatever the skis are made from) gets scratched, torn and otherwise shredded to nothingness and the result is ruined skis and likely some bruising from the falling over that invariably happens to people like me.

So far, this hasn't really been the best of winters but it's still early in the season so there is still lots of hope and we do get the beloved brownie points for trying.

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