K2inCanada's Blog

January 6, 2013

5 degrees and rain – a typical winter weekend at home

Filed under: Home, Kayak, Ski — K2 in Canada @ 3:55 PM

A typical Vancouver winter weekend: +5C and rain. So what would you do?

Yesterday, Jeff, John and I went back to Manning for a long ski. With all the skiing I now have under my belt and the cold pretty much gone (but for the odd runny noses days) I felt ready to tackle the trail at Manning with full force. We would have gone to Callaghan (shorter drive) but the forecast was for rain there too while Manning said -3C and light snow.

We left home 15min late – Jeff was mad like hell because of it…. John didn’t seem to upset that we were 15min late picking him up… Nevertheless we made it Manning within 2hrs from John’s place, the road were pretty good. It rained till just before Manning but we did arrive at the resort with light snow. The temperature also said -7C. So I risked taking my Peltonen with the grip tape despite all the fresh snow in the tracks. It worked okay, except for when a piece of paper got stuck to the tape :-). I turned right towards the ski hill while the boys had turned left to warm up on the Beaver Pond trail (5km loop all flat). I was going to tackle North Gibbsons today. John always talks with awe about that hill – steep, long, horrifying… But to get there I had to tackle a few other hills first. Grip was soso with all the fresh snow in the tracks and some of the hills weren’t tracked for classics. So there was some herringboning involve but overall I felt good – much better than last time, no stopping to cough. I finally got to the start of North Gibbson, after having to cross the road. Started out flat but than up after the first corner. I almost managed to stay in the tracks the whole time. The hill was really only steep for the first 20-30m or so, after that it turned into a gentle climb with even some flat sections. I am sure I would have found it awfully steep if not for the expectation of this being a killer hill. This way I was positively surprised. All this new snow though made for some hard work since it slowed me down on all the flats and downhills so I got less rest than usual. Well okay and I had to stop for pictures. Just after the top, the boys passed me – darn. I was hoping I would make it to the end before they catch up. But at least I had clean tracks now :-). After having conquered the big hill I hit Strawberry Flats for the first time (never made it all this way 2 weeks ago). Nice flat loop but again with fresh snow a bit of a workout still. I had a look at the “downhill ski area” – didn’t look like much before returning back to the lodge – doing Strawberry flats twice – choosing South Gibbson for the return route. All sudden I was getting VERY tired. Mostly my arms and back – had no more double poling in me which is usually my strong suit. Weird – where is all this stamina I apparently build up over those 10 days of skiing the province? Maybe I should not have done a weight workout the night before (first time back in the gym for 3 weeks) – but it wasn’t much of a workout so I thought. The boys caught me again just before the Lodge. They must have done the Gibbson loop twice. I had told myself if they do not catch me before the lodge I’ll do the Beaver Pond trail as well. So was I glad they caught me? Yes and no 🙂

Back at the lodge – we soak for 20min in the  hot tub (really that should not cost an extra $5 but should be included in the $20 trail pass) before heading over to the Bear Den Pub for a bear and mountain burger.

Today I went paddling of course. Haven’t been in a boat for 4 weeks and was itching to get back into one. Originally I thought we would have K1 practise today but that isn’t starting up again till late January. Fine by me since that gave me the opportunity to sleep in this morning. Maybe I should have gotten up earlier since the rain didn’t start until mid morning. And I washed my bikes first and hosed off some moss in the drive way first before leaving for the lake. It rained even harder in Burnaby and a light breeze from the east pick up just when I left the dock. The boat felt heavy and slow but at least my balance was fine and I put a solid 12km paddle in – took me 75min though and 3 blisters. Coming back on my first lap I saw the seagulls attacking a juvenile bald eagle until mom came sweeping in to interfere. On my second lap the young eagle was sitting on one of the posts watching. One day I need to get stable enough to take a camera with me in my K1. This way I could only get one on the dock using the self-timer.

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