K2inCanada's Blog

February 14, 2016


Filed under: Canada, Kayak, Ski — K2 in Canada @ 5:32 PM

DNF = Did-Not-Finish, twice this weekend.

Saturday was the Cascade Loppet at Manning. And even though I was somewhat down all week long with a cold I was looking forward to skiing the loppet. I know the course very well and my shoulder is starting to feel good again. I was tired and the nose was runny but neither should have stopped me from finishing a 30km loppet. I wasn’t going for beating my time from last year. What did get me though was the snow. I tested all my skis at start area at Lightning Lake. Manning had gotten ~20cm of fresh snow over night but it was wet snow – rain had barely turned to snow around midnight. And the tracks were quite icy. Hard Wax didn’t work, Grip Tape was marginally better and crowns didn’t seem to give me any more grip than the hard wax. Jeff went for Klister but I don’t want that gooey stuff on my skis. So I picked the grip tape ones, my Peltonen are usually the fastest skis I own. I should have known better. There is a lot of climbing in this loppet and condition can change quite a bit. And so it did. Going from icy and no grip for the first few kilometers to soft once we hid the hill at North Gibsons. I only made it maybe 15m up the trail until my skis started icing up. So the climb up was pretty much a walk for me. I had hoped that once I get to the top, I can kick off the snow and ski down. But that did not happen. All the trying to stomp off the snow only resulted in a sore left knee. I had to take my skis off and hack of the snow/ice that stuck to the bottom of them. No fun. Took me a while to get the sticky snow off only to have it grow back as soon as I started going again. So I walked down all the way as well. As I finally got to Strawberry Flats I thought my skis should work again but it took another complete stop to get all the snow off again (and I am sure I scraped off half the grip tape in the process – I was pretty mad :-)). I was almost ready to walk back to the road which wasn’t far and get a ride back to the finish line. But I did not. I managed to make the skis more or less work for the rest of the way back down towards the turning point/finish . I wasn’t the only one having issue with grip but since I was so far behind already I figured I give the volunteers a break and not go for the 2nd lap up North Gibsons. Jo, the organizer was ready to give me a 15km time but I just didn’t want to see a 2+hrs time posted anywhere for 15km :-). By the way, at least 5 of the 30km racers lapped me, including Jeff who was also struggling with his wax. Being done early had one advantage – lots of time to sit in the hot tub and have a snooze (we had to get up at 5:30AM that morning) before lunch and awards. And despite not finishing I got my cookie medal for trying :-). Lots of draw prizes as well.  Will I get at least one more good ski in this season….?

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Starting area at Lightning Lake – the weather was fine in the morning but went downhill from there throughout the day

The weather had deteriorated throughout the day from almost sunny to light snow/drizzle to heavy rain as we got back to Vancouver. And instead of nursing our egos at home we went to the movies – The Revenant. I wasn’t quite sure what I expected but not that. It was a powerful movie. It was not the easy entertainment you usually get from a mainstream movie. I would totally recommend it but if you don’t like open brutality in a movie, I would advice against it. The camera work is exceptional using only natural lighting and real outdoor locations – many of which in Canada! Quoting an article which puts what I felt into words: “Pushing both brutal realism and extravagant visual poetry to the edges…“.  “…a sensationally vivid and visceral portrait of human endurance under very nearly intolerable conditions; this is a film that makes you quite glad to have been born in a century with insulation and central heating“. We finished off the day with a beer and some good food at the BRR pub across from the movie theater. A good end to a mediocre start of the day 🙂

Today, we woke up to more rain and grey skies. I would have stayed in bed all day if that would result in a sore back :-). But it took till mid day until we set a food outside to go to Burnaby Lake. It was still drizzling pretty heavy – some would call it light rain – when we got to the lake. Jeff did his run and I went for a paddle. I actually had looked forward to the paddle despite the rain. I had felt good in the boat last weekend and figured I can step it up a notch today and do a real workout or a 12km paddle. Well, I felt off as soon as I sat down in the super lancer and the feeling did not go away. Balance issues like last year! I was ready to quit after 2km except that would have put me at the far end of the lake and I was not going to walk and carry the boat back. By the time I made it to the boathouse I pushed myself on a 2nd lap – can’t give up that easily. Didn’t help much but at least I got almost an hour in. Nevermind, I fell quite short of my 12km goal. Better to spent the rest of the day on the sofa :-).

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Grey in grey – usually a great day for a K1 paddle. Just not today, sigh!


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