Saliva Drooling Down Our Faces

On Wednesday I went the weight room at FH Collins and saw an empty parking lot. It was spring break, but that doesn’t allow me to ditch work.

In fact, these days I’m doing as much as ever, if you can call ski training work. After a long, strenuous racing schedule I’ve finally had a chance to recover. Back to my normal self, it was time to ramp up the training again in order to prepare for the Nationals later in March.

My long hours and hard efforts included the Yukon Championships race, which took place March 2. I was duking-it-out with teammate Colin Abbott. I could have told you before the race it would come down to a sprint finish. Neither of us is strong enough to drop the other one, but we can make each other suffer. We barreled down the trails with saliva drooling down our faces. Maybe he took the time to spit and that’s why I nipped him at the line.

A more enjoyable ski this past week was one up the Ascent trail at Mount Mac. We waxed our skis at the chalet and headed up the Copper trail in beautiful bluebird conditions. It was spring skiing at its best.

We passed Craig Beatty and Miriam Lukszova, who seemed to have every dog in Whitehorse accompanying them, at the start of the ascent. Craig is notorious for skiing this trail. More often than not you’ll bump into him and his white husky.

From the top we had splendid views of Lake Laberge and Grey Mountain, opposite the city. The abrasive snow wore our wax thin but it was all down hill now. We tore down the descent at blistering speeds. The bumpy trail, a popular snow machine route, was riddled with wavy depressions. We’d either absorb the bumps or launch off them to land on the down slope of the next one — like motocross. It was a long ski and an awesome day.

On another excursion this month, I made time to go bison hunting with my teammate David Greer. For this trip we left the skis behind and strapped snowshoes to snowmobiles.

With some tips from expert Andy Preto, some luck, and our willingness to get our butts off the snow machines and head into the trees, we were able to bag our bison on the first day.

But we really did venture off the path, so it was quite a chore to get the beast out of the woods.

Turns out those long hours of training are helpful in a variety of ways.

Beautiful spring skiing and a full freezer, what could be better?

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