We opted for quantity over quality this weekend. Isaac wanted to go ice skating; Tyson and I wanted to go skiing and flying; I had a list of projects for the rental house; Tyson had a list of projects for the Bearhawk oil cooler; and Isaac wanted to see friends. So what did we do? All of them.
We learned the town skating rink has loaner ice skates and hockey sticks. So Saturday morning Isaac and I went ice skating. He’s not bad for only having skated twice before. I apparently need remedial hockey training to not hit the other player. Meanwhile Tyson filled the Bearhawk with gas at Jaffrey.
We ate a quick lunch and then I flew us north. Did I mention it was ~10F out and colder in the sky? We landed in the snow at Gorham. I drifted sideways on landing. My first reaction was right rudder. That’s a critical response on dry land. The skis, though, kept sliding left. Ok, let me try lifting the left wing. That’s the correct response to a cross wind and doesn’t depend on friction with the ground. Nope, moving too slow to get lift. Still sliding downhill towards the left runway marker cones. Uh… power. That’s the other directional control for ski flying! A burst of power got me back to the middle of the runway. I couldn’t see a slope, but there must have been one because even when taxiing, I kept sliding sideways.
Isaac had been anti-jacket on the flight up, so we had a brief rewarming interlude (jackets, mittens, balaclava, helmet, hot tang, and trail mix bar). We all swapped from our warm snow boots to our telemark ski boots.
I had been hoping we would do two laps at Bill Hill, or at least a warm up run on the short end of the glade followed by a full run from the top. Unfortunately, by the time we were skinning up, we clearly had to limit ourselves to one run for safety sake. We needed to be aloft and out of the mountains before sunset.
Between no warmup lap, styrofoam-stiff snow, and exposed rocks and stumps to dodge, none of us had-our best turns. Tyson started out looking good, but lost it later. I started with old school telemark and early lead-changes. Midway down, I found my mojo: I aggressively leaned forward down the hill and drove my skis through the snow. I got four snappy turns in before falling. After that I reverted to timid technique.
We returned to the plane at a reasonable time. The air on the flight home was smooth enough we even enjoyed in-flight hot chocolate. High class service!
All Photos from skiing and flying
Skiing GPS track
GPS Track home
Sunday Isaac and I skied the Notchway trail with Sarah and Fenton. Isaac dressed warmer than Saturday, which made it a fun afternoon x-c. We also made good progress on chores at the vacation house,
Tyson built a cover plate for the Bearhawk which should have reduced the airflow over the engine and oil cooler. (Yes that’s the opposite problem he is usually trying to fix, but with highs in the single digits, we have different problems.) He test flew two configurations. Neither affected the airflow one bit. He’s working on a plan B design.
All photos from skiing Sunday