Sunday, 18 January 2009

Cascade Fire Road Ski...

Just got back from an AMAZING ski day! Xcountry ski day that is. Had a brilliant time with my buddy Trudy on the Cascade Fire Road. It starts at the Lake Minnewanka day area, just north of Banff - in case anyone wants to check it out.

Total trip distance was 29 km. After a short descent from the parking lot there is 22 minute of climb (which leads to much fun on the way back). Not a bad climb, just a steady one. I kept up a steady pace and in my head had a toy soldier theme going on as I thought, 'Trudge, trudge trudge, trudge. Trudge, trudge, trudge, trudge.' It actually kept me in good rhythm.

The next part of the trail is relatively flat with a short downhill that takes you to the first bridge. This area is just gorgeous. Well, the whole trail is gorgeous actually becuase you are in the Cascade Valley surrounded by glorious mountains and trees. Can you say Susi happy place?!
After that section there is a bit more flat then more undulating hills and climbing. Actually there is a lot of climbing on the way in. The turnaround point for us was the second bridge, 14.5 km in.
I felt really strong in my skiing - although I'm pretty sure I'm going to be feeling my back and shoulders tomorrow in the swim. The legs...well, the legs are still feeling the P90X a bit, and the two subsequent bike rides, so they will continue to be fatigued. At some point I will rest them I'm sure.
Trudy gave me a few tips, but said overall my technique wasn't bad. I was pretty stoked about this because I'd been watching peoples skiing and trying to imitate them. I do this with most activities as a way to try and learn. Apparantly I was watching the right people skiing! (Most notably Trudy who kicks butt out there!!)
We stopped at the turnaround point for a quick bite. Trudy took a couple pics of my new IMCDA Finisher bike jacket that I was wearing. I JUST got it!! It's awesome as a ski jacket too.
The way back was much quicker with all the downhill, but I was struggling on some of the flat bits because of the sun/shade affect on the snow. In some areas it was a bit of a slog and in others it was quite slippery. I was kicking it on the downhill though - two pole twice then tuck and go! I loved it.
It took us less time to get back, which was a good thing because the only bummer of the trip was that I could feel my blister again - which I had covered with physio tape, and I could feel a toe on my right foot. Well, a nail really. I find it truly hysterical that I have been in three half Ironman races and two Ironman races and have never had as much trouble with my feet as I have on the last two ski trips! It's crazy. When we got home I took a look and found the tape ripped the skin off the remainging blister, and my toenail is black, so there is the possibility I might lose it. I submit Exhibit A and B for your viewing pleasure.

Huh. Third toe on the right is black...oh and look, I see I have another blister. Will it ever end?!
Have no fear though, I took a ton of 'nice' photos to share with you the view that I had for a good portion of the day. The photos are actually from the turnaround point back. We skiied straight out without stops, but on the way back I took photos. Man I love it out here! Oh, and hopefully this clears your noggin' of the previous two photos.
Peace out my wonderful friends and enjoy the photos!!
The view from the second bridge and turnaround point for us. Trail continues on...

Looking back at where we skiied from.
The snow crystals were HUGE and made it look like wee diamonds were everywhere in the snow.
Plants in the shady areas still had frost on them. It was hard to capture how sparkly they were with the photo.

Heading back over the first bridge - that's Trudy out in front.

Looking west from the bridge. Here's where I pretend I'm Ansel Adams (my favourite photogragpher) and start with the black and white photos.

Looking north at the first bridge.

Almost back to the parking lot now. This is Cascade Mountain.


  1. Hi Susi...I am a new athlete of Greg's,,Cascade is a great trail,,nice & quiet. Pics are great!

  2. Cute toes. Nice jacket, hope I can get one like it one day. The nature photos are pretty good too.

  3. Susi - nice feet.... yum yum.... perhaps new ski boots would help?

  4. Those pictures almost made me miss C town. But not quite after my snowshoe race yesterday!

    Jacket looks great!

  5. You got Keith back for the pics of his bloody mess he put on his blog! LOL!!!

    What an adventure you had -- you are a total ski babe!!! :) :)

    And what's this Kelsey about a snowshoe race? I'm waiting for you to start your new blog. Tap...tap...tap!!!!! LOL!

  6. Sounds like a nice workout....great pics including the war wounds....oh and sweet jacket!