With the ski clinic over and our friends mostly back at home, 'Bent and I bravely headed out on our own.
I know it sounds lame but our bodies were kinda tired after the sudden leap into ski season so we had a lazy start to the day. The muscles we use for other sports feel fine but apparently skiing uses a few muscles that don't get such a good workout in summer, and they're a little surprised at all the action. On the bright side, I'm not feeling the altitude as much as the last time we were here. That has nothing to do with fitness - just good luck.
It might have helped if we'd eaten the Breakfast of Champions we had on Saturday. 2011 world mountain bike champion Catharine Pendrel was here for last week's ski clinic, and we ended up in line together at the bakery where she helped us by listing healthy ingredients in a muffin she likes. Naturally, that's what we bought since it seems to be working for her. I noticed on her Twitter that she met retired cyclist Axel Merckx skiing here a few days ago. Apparently it's good cross training.
We drove over to Sovereign Lake and did a big loop starting up Aberdeen. The trail had been rolled two days ago but hadn't been track set. It had been well used and was a little slick and rutted in places, so it wasn't the easiest place to practise proper classic technique. However, it was incredibly beautiful as we climbed up (and up and up).
As we climbed higher, the views got better and better.
This picture is cross-country skier porn!
Our destination was Silverstar summit - the top of the ski chairs that come up from the other side of the mountain. First we stopped at a lookout near the top.
Then we got to the summit. The resort opens for downhill skiing in three days so things are just about ready to go.
'Bent was shooting video.
And of course, I was hugging trees.
While 'Bent was leading the way with the GoPro on our descent, he missed our turn back to Sovereign and nearly took us down the wrong side of the mountain. Fortunately, we figured out our error before we lost *too* much elevation. Adding to our nervousness was the fact that we needed a more expensive ski pass to go on both sides of the mountain, so we weren't just lost - we were breaking the rules!
We came down via Lars Taylor and got chilled with the wind on the descent. After a break to warm up at the Black Prince Cabin, we continued around the Carl Wylie trail to the stadium, then went back out to do Woodland Bell and some other "green" skiing near the parking lot.
While we were having snacks in the ski lodge, Munny Duncan of Salomon came up to introduce himself and compliment us on our choice of clothing. We had a great chat and discovered a whole bunch of mutual friends and Salomon colleagues. Such a small world.
Speaking of which, the Tarnopolsky family just got here, and we had a nice evening of dinner and conversation with them. I'd also hoped to entice Urthbuoy up here for a nice, relaxing skate ski but he didn't take the bait. :)