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28 February 2015

So, What's Happening?

Perhaps some of my blog followers might wonder 'what's happening', considering it's been a while since I've posted a report to my blog.  The long and short of it is that nearly all of my recent adventures have been spent enjoying the sport of Nordic style skiing, a.k.a. cross-country skiing, or XC-skiing.

It's difficult to pinpoint precisely what it is that makes this sport so appealing to me.  But, high on my list would be the pure joy of gliding on skis through open woods and fields.  Also, I take pleasure in the powerful aerobic workout that this sport provides.  Another factor that attracts me is the "no fuss/no muss" ability to just grab your skis/poles and head for the woods.  Although I still enjoy winter hikes on snowshoes, these adventures seem to entail more preparation, plus additional decision-making about what equipment to bring along.

Similar to hiking, there are options as to where to perform the sport of Nordic skiing.  You can ski on groomed trails which are generally equivalent to hiking on well-maintained hiking trails.  Or, you can ski off-trail, either through open woods, or un-groomed corridors such as logging roads, and roadways that are closed to vehicular traffic during the winter season.   All of these options are enjoyable to me.  However, if pressed to choose a personal preference, it would be skiing the un-groomed corridors, and skiing off-trail through open woodlands when the conditions are right.

For sure, there are some scenic destinations that are unreachable on Nordic skis.  But rest assured, plenty of scenic vistas can be reached by skiing.  Perhaps this can best be illustrated by sharing the following series of snapshots that were taken during my Nordic skiing adventures over the past several weeks in my home State of New Hampshire.




TRAILS (Groomed and Un-groomed):


First photo shows a portion of the Mt. Washington Hotel nestled in the Bretton Woods area of NH.

Second photo shows a building at a golf course very near to my home.  I skied there one evening, shortly after sunset (not my best nighttime photo, but will have to do!)

To sum it up, as odd as it might seem to some, I'm less than eager for Springtime to arrive since that will put an end to my Nordic skiing adventures.  However, I'm certain  that once the spring season gets into full bloom (pun intended), it won't take long to make the transition from skiing to "boots on the ground" hiking, and I'll enjoy every minute of it!


Telemarkmike said...

Great pictures! I've been doing the same thing; loading up on backcountry skiing over in the Adirondacks. With the cold weather entrenched for the last six weeks, the snow has remained light and fluffy and the skiing has been fastastic.

One Day in America said...

I noticed that you hadn't posted anything for awhile but I had a feeling that you've been out enjoying the tons of fresh powder you've been getting this winter.

And wow, these pictures from your recent cross-country ski adventures are amazing! We could use some of the white stuff here in snow-starved central Utah.

I like the way you began this post with an overview/assessment of cross-country skiing—you hit upon all the factors that make it the ideal winter sport.

Looking forward to reading about more of your winter adventures in March, John!

1HappyHiker said...

Thanks for dropping by to take a look at my blog and your kind words about my photos . . . much appreciated!

And yes, the XC-skiing this year (as well as last year) has been super fantastic! As we both know, our lovely snow is no match for the longer days with stronger sunshine, plus the inevitable rain. Nonetheless, there should be several more weeks of decent skiing ahead of us. Don't know this for certain, but suspect that you guys over there in the Adirondacks might have a slightly longer ski season that we do here in the Whites.


1HappyHiker said...

Hi Rita,

Thanks for your comments!

I was gratified to read in your remarks that you characterized cross-country skiing as "the ideal winter sport". Obviously, I share those sentiments. And furthermore, I also admire those who are just as passionate about their favorite winter sport, be it snowshoeing, alpine-style skiing, snowboarding, ice climbing, or whatever. Being actively involved in any outdoor winter sport is fun and healthy!


Unknown said...

John, as always, your photos are stunning. And this is a fun coincidence-- I've just gotten into cross country skiing this winter, as well! In fact, the longest trip I've ever taken was just yesterday, and there will be a blog post very soon for that one :-) I'm glad to see you've been playing in the snow. Maybe I'll see you out there sometime soon!

1HappyHiker said...

Hi Ryan! Thanks for your comments!

You have my best wishes for experiencing as much pleasure with cross-country skiing as I have. This sport has greatly enhanced my wintertime fun. I took it up a few winters ago, but this year I’ve really gotten into it . . . one might even say obsessed! :-)

Regarding your comment about maybe meeting up sometime soon, we seem to have a history of running into each other at some of the most unexpected places. And so, who knows! :-)


Larry said...

I wondered about the lack of posts, glad to hear that you were out and about on your skis. I am a bit jealous, I've been out on my XC skis locally as well, but the tracks that are laid down in Central Park (Manhattan) are not anywhere close to being as scenic as your venues--but our snow has lasted for over a month and that's rare down here! The first photo with that range in the (morning or setting?) sun is outstanding!

1HappyHiker said...

Larry . . . it’s always so nice to get feedback, and so your comments are very much appreciated.

And regarding comparing the scenic quality of XC-skiing in Manhattan versus here in the White Mountains of NH, perhaps you’d agree that each venue has its own unique beauty. Your comments prompted me to bring up some Internet images of people XC-skiing in Central Park. I saw definite beauty there!

Lastly, regarding your question about the first photo in my blog report, that particular image shows the southern Presidential Range, and it was taken at sunset.


Steve Smith said...

That's a great set of photos, John, and a fine description of the pleasures of X-C skiing. It's been a great season for any type of fun in the snow. Nearly two months of powder! Hopefully it will keep up for a few more weeks with moderating temps.


1HappyHiker said...

Thanks so much Steve for your kind words about my report and photos!

It has indeed been a very special winter, owing in large part to the “nearly two months of powder” that you mentioned! It doesn’t get much better than that! I certainly share your hopes that these magnificent snow conditions will persist for a few more weeks. But even if it should all come to an end sooner rather than later, I suppose there’s little room for complaint since it’s been one heck of a ride! :-)


Summerset said...

Nice! I think it is good to have another recreational option for the winter. There are lots of nice places you can't snowshoe - like all those groomed XC trails. Glad you're out and enjoying winter whatever way you can!

1HappyHiker said...

Hi Summerset . . . thanks for not only dropping by to read my blog, but also taking a moment to post your thoughts!

Nordic skiing has opened up a new world to me for enjoying the beautiful sights of winter. Although skiing off-trail is my preference, I must admit that it’s nice to have the option of skiing on trails that are already broken out for you by grooming machines! I still enjoy snowshoe treks, but am drawn to the ease by which skiing can be done on a whim, without the more detailed preparations involved for a day-long snowshoe trek to the mountains.


Matt M said...

Thanks for posting your beautiful pictures and I have miss reading your posts but glad you are enjoying the winter.

1HappyHiker said...

Thanks Matt! Once every last patch of skiable snow is gone, then I’m hoping to get back into posting articles about hiking adventures. In the interim, consideration is being given to possibly posting some reports of hikes that were done in the past, but never made it to my blog.

Your support as a follower of my blog is very much appreciated!