A short report from the hill

We did go skiing on Sunday. Most of the time we were in cloud (so no pictures). There is still lots of lovely snow for skiing. For my family and friends who don’t live around here, if you look in the next pane, I will do the whining that has been promised in some previous entries. [If you don’t see the rest of this article, click on the title… ]

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About the skiing
The first whine is that I no longer have a vehicle that can brave the local backcountry roads. So, the only place I can ski is on the local hills that can be accessed by easy pavement. On Sunday, in spite of the industry on Black Mountain, we headed for Cypress Bowl and Mount Strachan.

The forecast suggested that we might have sun later in the day. Mountains create their own weather, and all day the whole top of this massif was wearing a cap of dense fog. The bottom of the cloud was about the level of the beginning of the Howe Sound Crest Trail.

Within a few moments of skinning up we were in the soup. Actually I love it. The cool fog, the powerful old-growth trees, the booming of several grouse, allow me to be suspended above and apart from the City and civilization. Although I enjoy skiing, this is the real reason I want to escape into the hills.

The day was not warming and the lumpy snow was becoming harder as we climbed. We went only as far as top of the penultimate lift and skied down the steeper slopes. Oddly, as we attempted to skin back up, our very wet skins did not stick to our skis. I just tightened my skins, but that didn’t work for my buddy; and his skins slid right off the skis. I suggested that we put the skis on our pack and boot it up the hill. We did, and we could take a really steep line up. It was good exercise, and my legs feel it tonight. Somehow, we both skied better on the second run.

The Whining
You already know a little about the vehicle-issue. The other matter is my gall bladder. Ultrasound shows it is full of stones; and when one that is the right size decides to depart the bladder, I experience some exquisite pain. So, I will have the organ removed. That operation was scheduled for this month; and perhaps unwisely I put it off until maybe July. I’d hoped to do more skiing. This is the middle of my season, and I was told that it would take at least of month of inactivity after the operation for recuperation. The unwise part results from a new development. Lately the bladder somehow becomes inflamed. This is not enormously painful, but the advice is not to do strenuous activity. That’s why I didn’t ski last week. There seems to be some associated negative impact of all this on the pancreas; so on Tuesday I am supposed to have a CT scan.

I felt fairly well this morning. And after climbing and skiing… tonight I feel terrific!

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