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Last night's full moon ski (in absurd detail)

Sunday, January 31, 2010

This is probably going to be a long post but last nights ski was AMAZING. For those who wish to live vicariously through me read on. We got a casual start at 4:20pm. It was chilly and cooling off fast. As long as we were moving it was fine but stand still for more than a few minutes and woowee! We were trying to get to a certain point about 5 mi in to where we would see the full moon come up over the mountains. We were also trying not to work to hard as to get a sweat going, it was going be in the 20s in a few hours and we did NOT want to have wet bottom layers! As the sun was setting there was this beautiful alpine glow on the snow covered hills around us. At one point it was so intense i would have sworn we were going to ski on orange sherbet ice cream. We didn't have a good view of the actual sunset but I don't think they would have compared to the ones we already photographed (the back ground pic on my spark page) (check it out it is the coolest sunset pic ever)
We went from Badger Pass toward Glacier Point in Yosemite NP. It was 5mi downhill to our spot and of course 5mi uphill back to the car. I have to say we were completely blessed by the condition of the snow. It was deep, hard packed, with a really kind dry layer on top. I though for sure after the sun went down we would be skiing on fist sized crust balls and sheets of ice which my skis don't take very kindly too! It wasn't like that though, it was the best snow I had skied on in a really long time and it never got icy or crusty, even at 10pm.
Soon it was starting to get dark and and we were making our way through the pine lined corridors. I have really crappy night vision, always have. That's why I buy my hiking sandals at least one size too big, so when I'm cruising around at night I don't explode my big toe on a toe shark ( rocks protruding through the ground just enough to trip you or eF up unprotected toes) The moon had not come up yet so I busted out my head lamp and that made all the difference in the world. The spot we were trying to get to was, as is usually the case, much further than we had thought. We knew moonrise was at 6:21pm and it was every bit of 630. We were still kinda stuck in the trees and we could see the sky getting "brighter" beyond them. The stars were amazing, you could see all of Orion, not just his belt. What I think was Mars was so freaking bright that as we skied it would occasionally look like a distance flash bulb through the trees.
Just before we got to the spot, you could start to see the moon through the dense trees, I was so excited!! We finally got into a clearing and BLAH BAMM!!! It was like "someone get that spot light out of my eyes"! I had to laugh out loud, my hubby was all lit up like he was on stage and we had shadows like the sun was out. It was so cool to go from "I cant see a friggin thing" to "I could read the news paper out here" We took a bunch of pics that I will post later if any of them come out. It didn't seem like I was getting anything off my camera but we haven't checked Sam's yet.
I had to use my head lamp for about another hour until the moon was high enough to illuminate our path. Then it was like magic. We were the only ones out there and I had my own personal lighting tech provided my Mother Goddess herself. As we headed back the moon was behind us so I had great fun chasing and playing with my own shadow. I'm WAY easily amused like that ;-) The snow sparked like someone had spilled a truckload of glitter on it. As we skied along I kept looking into the trees and the heavy snow that still weighted them. In the snow covered trees and rocks I started to imagine shapes like when you watch the clouds. I saw everything from giants to teddy bears (again easily amused). I can only describe last night as magical. I could see snow covered meadows through the trees and I swear I thought I was going to see snow fairies sparkling in the air around them.
It was getting REALLY cold as we got closer to the car. I stayed super warm thanks to the 5mi uphill climb to the car. However, both the water bottles in the side pockets of my pack froze along with the cliff bar I had been munching on. I put a water bottle and cliff bar in my pockets closest to my body and they got me through. We got back to the car a little after 10pm. My hat, jacket and backpack were completely covered in frost.
We had been skiing for almost six hours and I was WAY beyond exhausted. The small of my back was killing me even though I had stopped to stretch it about every 15min. Does anyone know why my back hurt? Improper posture or technique maybe? I don't know but I could hardly roll over in bed last night. BUT hey I burned over 3300 calories!! All and all it was worth it I woke up pretty sore but nothing a steady tap of Advil couldn't fix. We hiked about 4 miles up here in Oakhurst today and I'm feeling pretty tight again, gonna try and get a good stretch in before bed.
Thanks for taking the time to read this long ass post. I was just so excited about the trip I wanted to share every detail!!!!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • KAYOTIC
    Sounds like a great ski! What a beautiful description of the trees and moon and stars...

    About the back, were you wearing a backpack or fannypack? Maybe that was putting some stress on the area? Also posture or core strength might be something for you to look at. Do you have someone who can evaluate that for you? Last time I was out skiing like that it was my feet that were killing me, but on backpack trips my shoulders or upper back get super sore. It it's low back, to me it seems like the core strength might help (at least it's a good thing to work on)
    3639 days ago
  • THINTOK
    Wow, just amazing! Thanks for sharing!
    3640 days ago
  • EATNBOOGERS
    Awesome!
    3640 days ago
  • ASTER2606
    That's awesome. We of course either have snow or we don't in Wisconsin with a top elevation of around 1600 ft. and a low of maybe 600 or 700 ft. North and South matter more here than elevation. I did get to see that sky, but our snow was rock hard from melting and refreezing and maybe getting thin in spots.
    3643 days ago
  • CHOCLAHOLIC
    That ski outing sounded AMAZING! You have a knack for descriptive writing! Thanks for sharing with us ! (and I have to say, I'm jealous! most of our snow has melted or turned to very hard ice,... will be quite awhile before we can do any xc skiing around here!)

    choc
    3643 days ago
  • CHOCLAHOLIC
    That ski outing sounded AMAZING! You have a knack for descriptive writing! Thanks for sharing with us ! (and I have to say, I'm jealous! most of our snow has melted or turned to very hard ice,... will be quite awhile before we can do any xc skiing around here!)

    choc
    3643 days ago
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