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Wednesday, February 03, 2010


So far in Kodiak it has been a pretty bad winter for snow down low and cross country skiing. I still plan on racing in the Tour of Anchorage in March but training for it has been difficult. Worst of all, Anchorage has had great skiing. Usually when it is warm in Kodiak it is also warm further North and the rest of Alaska shares in our misery. But this year the 'pineapples' have all been 'tipped over backwards' and the warmth has been moving East to West from Juneau towards us, keeping the temperature gradient tight, and the rest of Alaska cold. It means not only have I not been able to train but that everyone else in the race has had great snow for training.

Nonetheless, here on Kodiak we are blessed with tall mountains close to town and even when there is no snow down low there is almost always snow up high. I have been able to go skiing practically every day. Only it has been of the downhill and not nordic variety. Still, I have been getting exercise climbing mountains. And really I can't complain too much - when I lived in Wisconsin I would have been very happy with how much snow I have to train on.

It's funny because I occasionally check on the Anchorage ski conditions by going to the Nordic Ski Association of Anchorage's trail conditions forum. I am amazed by how much the skiers complain when the trails have not been groomed perfectly, when someone takes their dog onto the trails, or even when someone skiis the 'wrong way' on a trail. I think the majority of the Anchorage skiers have forgotten what it means to break their own trail or ski in the rain.

I see the conditions this year as a challenge - I want to beat those spoiled Anchorage skiers with their groomed trails and copious amounts of snow. Patrick

Photo: Rime ice builds up on an alder branch a few days ago on Pyramid. I've been skiing in the rain a lot this year.

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