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Sliding down the mountain

Posted by desflurane on January 18, 2013

For the past few weeks my training routine has been pretty much non-existent.

The weather has been poor. My work schedule has been crappy. My wife had surgery and I have had to fill in as Mr. Mom… The dog ate my homework…

So it was very pleasing when the planets aligned and I was able to venture up to Mt. Rose (our nearby ski resort) for a bit of snowboarding. I bought a season pass again this year and before yesterday I had used it precisely zero times (as a result I couldn’t help myself from mentally calculating how much each run was costing me as I rode the lift).

Down in Reno the weather was miserable. A nice temperature inversion was providing us with freezing cold and gray, dismal skies. Above the low-lying clouds the day was nothing short of gorgeous. Blue skies, sunshine and almost no wind. The snow wasn’t fresh, but coverage was pretty complete. Since I didn’t hit the hill until about 2pm the hardpack had softened up in the sun and was in lovely condition to be ridden.

I haven’t been on my board since the 2010-11 season (I went on to break my leg that summer) and I wasn’t sure how things were going to feel. My left leg has healed quite nicely since the accident and I can undertake essentially any activity I wish, but I had concerns about how well my quads would be able to soak up the bumps – as the muscle mass on the left ham is rather diminished compared to my right.

The first run of the season is always a little bit awkward for me. I have to remember how to skate up to the lift line, how to get on the chair, how to get off the chair at the top, etc. Then the first few turns are always nail-biters. Do I remember how to carve? Can I make this thing carry me where I want to go?

Fortunately this all passed smoothly by, as it does every year, and I soon found myself zipping happily down the mountain.

Normally I tip my board directly toward the closest black diamond sign and get right after it, but I had decided to reign myself in at first, to see what kind of performance I could expect out of my “revised” lower left limb.

I was surprised how good everything felt! It took a couple if runs to start to feel kind of like my old self again, but it was definitely still there!

I noticed right away that my ability to take big hits with my left leg is way down there! Steep mogul runs are no-go for the time being. But fast, flowing stuff is just fine. As a result, I just stuck to the groomed runs and enjoyed the sensation of nice to-and-fro carving. I made a few brief forays into the trees just to experiment and everything was good.

I spent a little time running through the tiny, nearly flat slalom course set up next to the terrain park. It just felt good.

I was only there an hour and a half and made maybe 8-10 runs, but it really boosted my confidence, and seemed to be excellent leg exercise. I’ll definitely try to log some more days up there soon.


One Response to “Sliding down the mountain”

  1. Kitt said

    Come on up the coast to B.C- we are riding here 3-4 days a week still.

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