Saturday, December 26th
Tahoe XC Center
Trailhead elevation 6,570'
Spectacular! A foot of new snow on a deep base. Piston Bully groomed. Deep hard tracks. Blue Extra kicked well. Skied the outside loop with Kathy and Chris Mommsen. Rolling trails through deep forests of Redwoods with some views of Lake Tahoe. Get there early, the parking lot gets filled and you may end up parking on the residential streets nearby.
Kathy and I spent Christmas in Sacremento with our son Chris and his wife Alia. Saturday morning we drove up to Lake Tahoe to ski a few of the Nordic centers in the area. We first hit Tahoe XC Center on the north end of the lake. If anyone forgot why they picked up cross country skiing in the first place the answer is right here in the Sierra Nevadas. At the Tahoe XC, we found a comfortable old trailhead building with ticket sales, ski rental, and a cafe. As mentioned above, the trails were in perfect condition and so well marked we hardly had to stop at trail intersections to find our way. We kicked and glided 25 easy kilometers with stops at a few scenic overlooks. We even got to enjoy a hot chocolate in a tiny cabin far out on the Silver Trail.
Wave One update
As you know, the real purpose of the blog is to keep you up-to-date on my training to qualify for the first wave of the American Birkebiener. For the last couple weeks, I've (Kathy too) have skied about five days a week on the man-made snow at Hyland Park. We've also gotten in strength training at LA Fitness 3x/wk. About once a week I try to get in a long ski of three hours or so. The two missing links in my program are speed workouts and technique work.
Kathy and I have been trying to get out on the man-made snow loop at Hyland Part every day. It's been very warm and the management could close the trail any day. Sunday we woke up to light rain. After careful consideration we decided skiing in light rain early this morning was better than the possible heavy rain later in the day.
6:30am - We arrived.
Three cars in the parking lot. Snow, mostly, was in great shape. Kathy and I skied easily together for 90 minutes. Jack Cheesebro showed up on his Rossignol Zero racing no-wax skis. I chased after Jack and we skied together for an hour or so. We chatted about skiing, the Birkie, Colorado, skiing at elevation, and we talked about the murder trial over near St. Croix Falls, Wisconsin.
All told Kathy and I skied nearly three hours. We would like to get a long 3.5 - 4 hr ski in each week. So this wasn't too bad. The second half was a bit faster than I normally ski --- which is exactly what I need. Jack is a stronger skier than me. And has better cardio. He's been a first wax skate skier for a couple decades. We returned home. I felt like an old wet noodle after the ski. But no serious pain, just sore arms. Plan on getting out early Monday. We are skiing as long as the snow holds.