Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Got out for an early morning ski with some great friends this morning. Skied one lap in 2 hours and managed to get 3000' and a lot of great powder turns in, and I was still back at my computer at 9:00. You gotta love that. It was a really beautiful morning, calm, cold, clear and a blanket of new snow covering the multitude of old tracks.

The funny thing about the early morning sessions is that it all seems so crazy when your alarm goes off a ridiculously long time before the sun is even approaching the horizon. When I am dragging myself out of bed I can come up with all sorts of excuses, which is why it is a really good idea to dawn patrol with other people, so you can't back out at the last minute.
I find it helps to have everything ready the night before... I prepack my pack, preload the coffee maker, and even have my beacon and ski clothes stacked beside the bed. Planning on minimal brain activity before 6 AM is usually prudent.

Once I am out though, it almost always feels more than worth the discomfort of the early rise. When I am with people, conversation and company distracts me from my sleepiness or non-cooperative body. Today I got the full run down on randonnee rally racing techniques from a friend who has competed a number of times in the Wasatch Powder Keg, a race I am entering in
a few weeks; a first for me. I bombarded him with questions as we raced up the uptrack, hoping that if I kept him talking I might be able to keep up.

We got to the top, and paused just long enough to take in gorgeous views of sun drenched snowy peaks and noted a few distant ski tracks made by other dawn patrollers. Then we ripped the skins and enjoyed 3000' of primo Wasatch fluff all the way to the car.

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