Saturday, March 02, 2013

Backcountry Race-Ski Venture

Michelle wanted to try out her new race skis, and I was happy to have a partner to train with on the AT skis. It was cool to see Peter's smile when he found out we were going backcountry on our race gear. Peter was just back from his World Skimo Champs venture in Europe.

This was my first actual backcountry tour on AT gear, despite the fact the three races I had just been in covered very backcountry terrain. I was hoping I'd not be too far behind Peter & Michelle on the descents .

Driving on the Smith-Dorien Trail gravel road from Canmore, the wet mud conditions turned snowy soon enough as we went higher in elevation. Soon the snow was too deep for the car to head to our planned destination. We parked on the side of the road, geared up, and made our way towards nearby Commonwealth Ridge.
Peter set the first tracks on the approach, then Michelle. I took my turn once the climb started now having to choose which way to go up. As this was a training effort and I knew it was slower setting a track, I went a good clip not wanting to be too slow for the team behind.

Michelle took over at a good time when we had to make alot of steep powdery kickturns.

Backcountry AT race-gear skiers - Peter Knight, Marg Fedyna, Michelle Roberts
The fresh snow was at least 30 cm deep. My first descent was shaky. Once we figured out a loop with more clearing, it was a good time!

I took many powdery tumbles, enough to have soggy socks by the end with snow making its way into my boots. Easy to get stuck in the deep powder, making for a challenge to get out of its depth. Will look into gathering appropriate clothing for AT as wet socks are not a safe option for the backcountry.

GPS download looks more like 14.4 km and 1400m elevation gain

Super fun time!

Marg & Peter taking a food break - photo Michelle Roberts

2 comments:

Aaron Falkenberg said...

That gps graph is insane! Well done!

Marg Fedyna said...

It omits all the trees we had to dodge! Fun workout to climb, with a rewarding powdery descent. Hope to entice more endurance folk like yourself!