I like to think of myself as relatively fit and athletic, but after a recent skate ski trip I may have to rethink that. There’s no doubt that winter has taken its toll on my fitness, which has dwindled down to a few laps at the village twice a week, only after I’ve slept in way later than I’d like to admit. However, despite my actual fitness level and lack of skate ski know-how, I thought it would be a great outing for my boyfriend and I to skate ski to Jenny Lake and back – about an 8 mile roundtrip journey.
So there we were at very beginning of the park road and I had already encountered obstacle one: clicking into the bindings. I know you skiers are laughing at me right about now, but as a snowboarder ski bindings are a foreign concept. After numerous failed attempts I fumbled around and figured it out. Needless to say this didn’t instill a lot of confidence in Ryan, who was about to embark on his first skate ski experience expecting me to teach him the ways.
And then we were off…sort of. I led the way, for better or worse, trying to remember the technique I’d learned once before. That first mile was rough as we slipped and slid, trying to get our bearings, falling numerous times on the hard packed track. It was tougher than I had remembered. At this rate, there was no way we would make it to Jenny Lake or even past the first mile marker.
Then something started to click. Ryan called upon his ice skating background and we began to trust our skis and balance as we dialed into a rhythm resembling something like skate ski technique. We were going FAST! Okay, well not super fast but way faster than before. What started out as a not-so-fun struggle, turned into something we enjoyed and something that allowed us to explore more of the park than could be done on-foot.
It’s always a good day when you’re in the mountains, and it’s always a good day when you’re able to learn something new. Our journey, although it left us incredibly sore, opened us up to a new experience and another way to see our beautiful Wy”home”ing.