Off Season Fun: Skiing


Yesterday I took advantage of a sunny day and headed up the Mohawk Trail for some skiing.  I learned to ski shortly after learning to ride a bike, and had already tackled Killington at age 7.  I love to ski, but over the years, I stopped.  For the past 10 or so years I have skied just once.  A lot of it was due to being a new mother, then a single mother, and having a young child.  Skiing, like cycling, is a very expensive and time intense sport.  I had to pick and chose.  And you can cycle a whole lot more days of the year then you can ski–at least where I live in mid New England.

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I went to Berkshire East–a small hill by skiing standards, but with $38 lift tickets and no lift lines, I wasn’t complaining. We’ve had a few nice snowfalls over the last couple of weeks, followed by cold temperatures that allowed for snowmaking, The slopes had packed power, nicely groomed like corduroy.  There were a few ice patches but they were manageable.

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Another plus–there was almost no one there, which meant I never waited for a lift.  Unload at the top, ski down, ski right up to the chair, load back up.  The chairlifts are older so they don’t run very fast, and the hill wasn’t tall so I reached the bottom fairly quickly.  But I got a decent number of runs in, and the conditions were so lovely, it was nice to enjoy carving out turns without reckless teenagers or out of control novices interrupting the run.

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I spent little time in the lodge, but was there long enough to notice this big banner draped on the railing inside.

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After some research I learned that 2013 will be the second annual Berkshire Highlands Pentathlon.  If you like bagpipes, read on. The race consists of 5 legs: a 10k trail run, 23 miles of road biking, 5 miles of kayaking, a mile to the top of the mountain and a downhill ski to the finish.  They hold it in late March because it’s possible to do all 5 events during late winter/early spring.  The allow teams of 2, 5 or single entries (know as Bravehearts).  Yes, there is a guy in a kilt playing the bagpipes on a rock against a backdrop of open fields and mountains.  It’s all for a good cause–local preservation efforts, and looks mildly insane.  Of course, I’m interested.  It will go under consideration for this year’s events to participate in.

-Karen

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About Karen

Mid-life female amateur athlete focused on cyclocross, mountain biking, and road cycling. Always looking to see what is around the next bend in the road.

4 responses to “Off Season Fun: Skiing”

  1. Tim Cary (@tdcary) says :

    Darn, it conflicts with the Westfield 1/2 marathon….

  2. Laura says :

    The pentathlon sounds AWESOME!! You should totally do it!

    re: skiing. I’m going to sound like a ski snob and I promise I am not really a ski snob. I have been skiing like 10 times in my whole life and by skiing I mean pizza makes you go slow; french fries make you go fast. 🙂

    But since I moved out East, I can’t help but wonder how people can ski on just packed powder. I’m used to hearing snow reports saying the resort got 24″ last night and conditions are perpetually powder-packed powder.

    This is the problem with spending a long time in Colorado. You have a very warped sense of what skiing is. 🙂

    BUT! I’m glad you had fun! Skiing is awesome.

    • Karen says :

      I’ve never skied out west but I hear it’s very, very different. I once skied in about 10 inches of powder while skiing during a heavy storm. It was really hard, really slow, and I can’t say I enjoyed it. Although my skis at the time weren’t designed for powder, they were thin, 185 cms–it was like slogging through thick mud.

      I like packed powder–to me it’s ideal. The ice in the northeast is extremely difficult and frankly scares me. It’s so easy to lose control or keep an edge on those patches.

  3. All Seasons Cyclist says :

    What is this “Off Season” of which you speak?

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