January 2, 2009

Skiing Spectrum

This ski season is among the many reasons I have to be thankful. Nice storms came early and we are on track for another terrific season. Now that it is winter, we can reflect on the first half of the season. According to Kruser, the season starts July 1, or the summer solstice, I can't recall which, but he also says that the start of the season is irrelevant because, as he states in true Kruser mode, "IT'S NEVER OVER."

I guess he's earned the right to declare the new season after skiing every month consecutively for 22 years. Yea, that's right 264 consecutive months on skis. It's actually a little more now, but who's counting (besides Kruser)? OK, back to the subject: Skiing Spectrum.

Like water droplets creating a rainbow, water crystals suspended in sun-lit air can also create a mesmerizing halo-like color spectrum, especially when it's cold and clear like it presently is in the Anchorage day-trip radius. The snowpack also exists in a spectrum of forms from vapor-like powder to the morphed anti-powder glacial ice.

The first half of the season (it started on July 1, remember?) has provided many opportunities to sample the spectrum from skate skiing to turn-earning to mechanized lift-served skiing. I've been fortunate to enjoy the spectrum in these boots.

From backcountry touring to earning turns, free-heel and fixed, to skiing with a bigger carbon footprint via mechanized lifts, and in the continuum from blue ice at the firn line to cold smoke in the glades, the first half of 2008/2009 has been a great 2-plank ride.

I really need to do some skate skiing.

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