Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Arctic Climb

Yesterday, we trekked up Whitecap at about 10 degrees F with a windchill. Every time I hike or ski in cold weather, I think of a couple of my miserable experiences with cold as a kid. 

Back in my USEASA ski racing days in middle school and high school, I raced at the back of the pack at Saddleback in Rangeley. It was butt-ugly cold with a wind that shot right through us. At those temperatures, it's difficult to get the body moving--picture the Tin Man in Oz making turns on skis at 35 mph. When I got to the bottom of the race course, my body felt as if I'd be sitting next to a swimming pool at 10 degrees. Thing is, whoever was supposed to have brought my parka to the finish area forgot or missed it. That meant I had to ride up the lot with my racing outfit on. I'm sure I cried.    

Somehow, my mother and I messed up my pick up time at Black Mountain. She didn't show. I was the last one at the ski area besides the mountain manager, and I assured him my mother would be right along. Didn't happen. After waiting for 15-20 minutes, I walked a mile with my skis, boots, poles, and school bag to the nearest house to call my mother. The wind caught my skis and blew them across the road and--again--chilled me to through and through. I'm sure I wept as I trudged the road in that winter wind storm.  

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