We planned on a weekend of track skiing this weekend as Jennifer was told not to do the Polar Bear Plunge by the doctor. A bummer, because it was actually cold out on New Year's Day.
I went out Friday with Sabrina and Anne to help Anne learn to ski. She told me she watched a lot of videos on YouTube and then tried it for the first time last week. Sabrina and I tried to help her by imparting the knowledge we had to give her a better time.
We went out to Cabin Creek. I'm not sure how cold it was there, but it was 20° in Seattle when we left in the morning. I ended up wearing my puffy coat for most of the time out only taking it off for a few of the longer uphills. (And then promptly freezing on the downhills that followed.)
We did the normal full course without the Mount Ozibaldy loop. We got there a little after 9am and appeared to have the place to ourselves. That allowed us to stop frequently and give Anne pointers and instruction at the tops and bottoms of all the hills. Near the end of our loop we started to notice a few people.
Now it was crowded. Sabrina and I talked Anne into another short lap and then we went back to the car. Anne seemed satisfied with the day and Sabrina and I were impressed with her improvement being on skis for only the second time.
On New Year's Day Amy and Jennifer were joining us and we were heading to the flat Hyak Sno Park. Our day started well enough and Sabrina and I raced ahead trying different techniques to acquire speed. We stopped as I warmed up so I could remove my puffy coat.
While we waited for Amy and Jennifer to catch up we practiced standing (kick?) turns. Shortly after starting up again I almost fell when my ski came off. A woman skating by stated something like "what a freak accident." Everyone caught up to me and asked what was up. I told them my ski came off. But when I went to put it back on I realized the binding was missing a piece. We spent about ten minutes looking for it before Sabrina found it already buried in the snow in the bottom of the track. I attempted to repair the binding, but realized that I couldn't and resolved to walking back to the parking lot. Jennifer and I parted ways with the rest of our party, but not before Sabrina gave me the advice of standing on the ski with the broken binding.
Jennifer and I skied back to the parking lot. At first I just shuffled my feet not wanting to have the ski and my foot separate. Then I started varying my technique between a left foot kick and double pole glide and a shorter stride where kicking with my right foot meant pressing down on the ski to keep my foot in contact with it. At one point I was doing so well I had wished I continued further. But passing was quite difficult as I realized when I got near the parking lot and had to wait for a young boy who kept falling. Trying to pass would have meant stepping out of the lane, picking up my ski and then running past the person in front of me far enough to get back in the track and sort myself out. Hopefully this does not put an end to my Nordic season.