Yesterday was the first NH AMC ski trip of the season, so of course we went even though Tyson was still under the weather a little from the flu. My legs could definitely tell it was the first ski of the season. Skinning up the mountain pretty well killed them. I had my new skis and bindings. They are a bit heavier than my old skis. But the fancy tour mode for the bindings was nice. It allows your boot to pivot at the toe kind of like a randonne binding. It gave an odd feeling initially, but then I got used to it. Switching back and forth from tour mode to ski mode is a pain and the neck.
We started by going straight up the mountain, which was where my legs were convinced they were going to die. And I was convinced it was 60F out despite the forecast for 15F. I ended up in the clump at the back with Tyson, Paul, and Larry V. So when I wasn’t panting, I was busy catching up with the other two whom I hadn’t seen much since last winter. Towards the top of the mountain, it kind of flattens off and there are a couple of peaks, so we toured around a bit making sure to hit the official peak. I think next time I do this trip I’ll do it in my cross country gear. The up and the down parts wouldn’t be that different, but the middle touring would be much easier.
For the last leg of the trip, we popped out onto the Waterville Valley downhill ski area and skied down. One of the folks on the trip had hiked up on snow shoes with his skis on his back since he just had alpine equipment. This is nominally a fine idea, but his boots froze solid enough that he couldn’t get his feet into them. So we all waited around while he convinced the lift operator to warm his boots in the lift shack. Then we skied down. I was a disaster the first third of the way down. I could have sworn my bindings were still in tour mode I had so little control over my skis. (I checked about 50 times and they weren’t.) Finally I figured out what I was doing wrong. I was trying to control my back ski with toe pressure rather than shin pressure, which of course doesn’t work with plastic boots. That figured out the rest of the ski down went well.
Tyson, however didn’t do as well. By the bottom he had thoroughly decided that his current skis and bindings don’t agree with his knee. He had done much better on my skis and bindings two weekends ago. From talking with Tony and Paul, he decided the combo they have on order sounds even better. So the good news is it looks like there’s a solution so that Tyson can ski despite his injured knee. The bad news is he doesn’t have it yet. So tomorrow when we are going to be skiing the John Sherburne, I’ll be lending him my telemark skis, and I’ll be a modest lunatic on my cross country skis.