I also recently met a cool older guy at a Wilderness First Aid course who’s become a hiking partner. He let me borrow snow shoes and we climbed up to the Santa Fe Ski area. My naive ass was a tad mesmerized by the skiers and snowboarders hopping off a lift and progressing down. I had actually never seen that before. Sympathetic muscle memory twitched in my legs and abs. Ooh. I should try that! The following weekend the same hiking partner took me to Valles Caldera to try cross country skiing on groomed trail. THIS is AWESOME. Full-body blowout, highly recommended! Learning balance, squatting to keep straight, and slowing down in powder was interesting. We banged out 13 intense miles in about 6 hours on a sunny, gorgeous day. It was so boss I got thigh-splints. For real. You know, like shin splints. But your thighs. Wow. The tops of my feet and the inner part of my forearms felt the burn. Mostly quads though. Fantastic.
Right. So I also climb and hike all over our local, 10 min from the city mountain, Atalaya at 9,200′. There’s a good 9-10 mile loop with plenty of ups and downs, and the shady sides are snowy and icy. It’s a good and convenient romp which I try to tackle each weekend.
Snowboarding. Hello, learning curve. I know nothing. I’ve had two sessions so far, the past two weekends. We lucked out with Friday snowstorms dumping fresh powder! While it seemed kinda terrifying at first and rather emotionally and intellectually… er… challenging, the full-fledged physical fatigue simply can not be beat. I swear even my neck muscles are fatigued. I have killer arm strength for a girl, and I could barely move my triceps for days. A lot of it is getting a feel for it, so you can relax into it. Freaking out your whole body goes tight. Then when you fall down you use your torso, abs, and arms to get up. Long traverses make my quads quiver to failure.
I finally got the courage to try turns on my second time out. You pick up a ton of speed that freaks me out, but it’s a blast when you pull it off. Needless to say, I’m hooked. Bought a used board, I’m praying to the powder gods, and have a ton of bruises on my ass.
As if my carpentry job doesn’t tone my muscles and exhaust me enough, I seek further abuse on the slopes weekends. Bring on summer, baby, I’m gonna take on some Colorado 14ers! Thrilled to bust out my tent, thermarest, and sleeping bag. Bring on the Mountain House dinners and olive oil packets! Oh backpacking reminiscence.