I haven't written lately because I haven't had time to put my thoughts together and write. I've been far too busy skiing. Now, however, that has come to an end. Last night I went out and skied from slush pile to slush pile in 48f (9C). It was bad, but I got a good hour and a half of slogging in. Today though the temperature has dropped and those slush piles are patches of ridged ice. I might be desperate and/or determined, but I'm not going to waste my time with that.
I have solved a few of the problems that presented themselves at Tuscobia. I remembered how I solved my blister problem three years ago the last time I skied Arrowhead. Dress socks. Thin nylon dress socks worn underneath my wool ski socks really did the trick that year and in the weeks since Tuscobia they have done it again. Breaking in the boots hasn't hurt either.
One of the frustrating/rewarding things about skiing is that every time I go out I find myself learning something new. One friend calls it "opening up locks". Learning to keep my hips forward, learning to keep my weight over the ski. As usual it is one thing to say "complete weight transfer" and another to actually do it. Even choice of ski makes a huge difference. Some skis are forgiving of sloppy skiing, some aren't. I am finding that my chosen race skis are not forgiving, they are fast.
A little more testing needs to be done with my cold weather clothing and camping gear. It is surprising how many little things need to be changed when you go from pulling a pulk to carrying a backpack. With a pulk carrying a few extra pounds or cubic inches isn't an issue. It is a big deal in the backpack.
I have started to have anxiety dreams about Arrowhead. That is a good sign. It means that I am working on my problems, even in my sleep.