Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Learning by doing

Oh boy, i've been living up at my "hut" for over a month now and I have yet to blog about it! Typical! So instead of blogging about actual life in the hut, I'm just going to tell you about my skiing adventures. And show you some pictures of my commute.
Here is Stratton Brook Hut, perched on a hill:

Before even seeing the location of my hut, I made it my goal to be able to ski down the entire way without taking off my skis by the end of the season. Then, I got to my hut. I live on the top of a hill, and there are two main ways to get down. One is a winding snowshoe trail, and the other is the Maine Huts Trail, which is a series of sharp switchbacks down the mountain, tellingly named Newton's Revenge. The handful of times I went down the mountain for my days off I walked the switchbacks and didn't put my skis on until I reach the very flat section. I even sledded the switchbacks, which got me down faster but in a slightly less terrifying way than skiing. I thought I should probably let go of my goal cuz that hill is SCARY and I do not really know how to turn.
Here is my hut-mate Hannah (a bonafide excellent skiier) crushing the last section of Newton's Revenge:

Then came the perfectly timed snowfall. We had no guests for the day on Thursday, so the morning after we got a storm of slushy snow/ ice pellet stuff, I headed down the mountain from my back door. It was perfectly groomed in the early hours of the morning by our resident groomer Mark, and I was the first one to use the trail. And so I could snowplow to my hearts desire. And guess what?? I made it down the .7 miles of switchbacks in under ten minutes, feeling exhilarated and proud and shaky. And I skiied the entire rest of the way to my car (3 miles total) without walking one bit. It definitely required some talking myself into it, and yelling "SHIT" a bunch after some hills, but I feel quite accomplished. And now I will probably never do it again unless we get another perfect snowfall. But hey, I can check it off the list so booyah!
Here is my elated shadow after completing the downhill ski:

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