Wednesday, December 30, 2009


We are still up at the cabin and right now it’s snowing hard, so hard that I can’t even see the other side of the valley.

Everyday now we have been burning off the Christmas joy, with such events as post holing a quarter mile up the side of the mountain in waist deep snow. “Post holing” for those who don’t know it, is a term we use here in Utah to describe the action of physically walking through deep snow in just your boots. The footprints one leaves behind are deep enough to set a fence post in securely. This also conjures up the sheer effort that is required to lift your foot up high enough to clear the snow in order to take one step forward and once again to have it sink down several feet. The hillside was far to steep to zigzag your way up on skis, so instead you would take them off, hold them in your hands and watch as your legs sink down into the snow to your mid thighs. Yes, we were post holing up the mountain. As one might guess, progress is reduced to that of a snail.

We were doing this because are oldest, Markus wanted to build a ski jump halfway up the side of the mountain and Victor wanted to try his hand at Telemark skiing. That’s three pinning, as we use to call it, where the front of the ski boot is attached to the ski and the heal is left free. It generally takes more balance than regular downhill skiing.

Karin followed Markus, as he post holed up the side of a steep tree filled incline, up high enough on the ridge where the snow was deep and I went with Victor as we post holed up the side of a steep, but more open expanse to practice turning. Lina decided it best to just ski around at the bottom and wait for us. She had the smartest idea of everyone. Once Victor and I had marched halfway up the hillside, we put our skis back on and went over a few of the basics on Telemark skiing. Well that didn’t seem to work to well for Victor. Trial and error was to be the best method, so off he went with a slow-arced turn to the left and then a crash. The pieces were picked up and once again a slow-arced turn to the right followed by still another crash. Through this crash and burn technique we gradually made our way down the mountainside. At the end of the day my knees were feeling the workout.

The next day we ventured forth on cross-country skis up a steep canyon not too far from here. The excitement there was coming back down the icy trail through the trees and rock outcroppings. More often than less this meant flying down the hill out of control, only to crash off the side of the trail as a form of speed control. At the end of that day, we were all comparing our injuries.

We are heading back to civilization tonight, back to Salt Lake City. After five days of skiing, maybe a day of rest would be good for the soul. Maybe some of that Christmas dessert would even be better!

Richard Boyer

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