Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Helsinki XC

There is something quite special about being able to ski from your front door. It's not normal even in relatively snowy Finland. Currently on the quieter roads we've had so much snow and little thawing that they are just covered in a thick layer of packed down snow that is still white. No grit, no dirt, no ruts.
Life on the road
Hence, just pop on your skis at home and skate up the road to where the real prepared tracks start. My route takes me over a pedestrian bridge that crosses a motorway. It still amuses me skiing over the motorway, but perhaps I'm easily pleased.
At the ski area
Then down into the woods, and along a couple of kms of connecting track to the local, lit skiing area with its 1.5, 3 and 5 kms loops. The 3 and the 5 km tracks have amusingly steep hills that test out your willingness on skinny skis to just trust that your skis will stay in the tracks as you hurtle down desperately trying stay in balance whilst trying not to remind yourself just how unsuitable XC skis are for going downhill on!
Shroomin' the fresh groom
Today was perfect. The tracks had been groomed this morning and hardly anyone else had been out there. The sun was even shining brightly enough for me to wear sunglasses for the first time in 2011 - perhaps not quite worthy of a druidic festival involving dancing naked around some standing stones - but an important moment marking the passings of the seasons nonetheless!

1 comment:

THC said...

There is something very nice about cross-country skiing. You are lucky to have a good track close by!

I've had quite a few magical moments going on for hours on wilderness tracks when the weather was just perfect, and there was nobody around. Sunsets especially have been spectacular.

Also, I've noticed that it's actually a really good counter-exercise for climbing. Atleast, my back / hand problems have gotten better by skiing.