After last week’s extravaganza with snowshoes, we vowed our next visit to the canyon would be on cross-country skis, silently gliding up and down the mountain…or at least that’s how we envisioned it. So, on Christmas Eve morning, we headed out, rented five pairs of cross-country skis, and Colton, Miara, Trent, Ben, and I headed back up the canyon.
In a weeks time, the canyon had frozen over and the groomed trail that crunched under our feet last week was now as hard as cement and really slick. We quickly discovered exactly how hard the snow really was because most of our party had hit the ground before we’d skied even 100 yards.
Once we all got somewhat situated though, we made awkward but steady progress up the hill, following the groomed track.
All that progress was interspersed with a lot of (embarrassing) crashes. We were getting passed up right and left by people who actually knew what they were doing.
After a couple of hours, we took a quick lunchtime break to hike up to our spot from last week. Our snowman had disappeared, but it was still a nice quiet spot for a rest. We boiled water for cider and cocoa and ate some sandwiches and rested until we were all getting pretty chilly.
Ben took a walk to the top of the hill to see what was up there. We should have gone with him, because he captured some of the most impressive views of the day.
Once he returned, we packed up for what we thought would be an easy descent since we had done all the real work going uphill. That theory was quickly defeated as we all skidded down the mountain, frequently toppling over and getting tangled in our own skis and giggling at our pathetic attempts at controlling our speed. So much for all that graceful gliding we’d envisioned.
Still, when we weren’t laying face down in the snow, the canyon was beautiful and peaceful and our fellow skiers and hikers were friendly, wishing us well for the holiday. Perhaps on a less icy day, this could be the perfect way to spend a winter day.
And of course, since the grass is always greener, we’re now looking for the next available opportunity to give skate skiing a try. Wish us luck because, based on our shaky cross-country skills, we’re going to need it.