Monday, March 10, 2008
Myself and car load and friends traveled to Houghton in the heart of Michigan's upper peninsula. Our objects were two-fold: to cross country ski the "Great Bear Chase" ski marathon and to telemark ski powder at Mt. Bohemia. After spending the night at some friends' lodgings in Houghton we woke up early making sure to arrive at the hills opening. I threw on my borrowed telemark gear and was riding up the chair lift before long.
It must be said that Mt. Bohemia (or as I like to shorten it to..."Boheme") is not your typical midwest downhill run. It's gets an average of 250 inches of powder a year, is completely ungroomed, and drops 900 vertical feet. This being recognized, our first run was not surprisingly down a steeply moguled cut run. From there on out we took to the woods to find the untouched virgin, shin deep powder. It was really my first real taste of addiction that is powder skiing. The highlight was skiing down a untouched steep stream-bed that had giant snow bridges crossing it and floating over mounds of snow covering giant logs and quietly cruizing and carving tele-turns as if floating a fluffy cloud in the sky. When the stream would open ahead you would leap and sail over it. You would dodge through the tight trees picking your hole through the maze branches stumps, and logs. I found it very comparable to surfing waves, it's almost a feeling you're going after... that undescribable floating and carving that sends you so silently and gently down a slope and yet with so much controlled speed. Anyhow we skied powder 7 hours until sheer exhaustion compelled us to stop for the day.
We then woke up earlier to arrive at the Bear Chase ski marathon. In the interest of my upcoming climbing trip and my aggravated shoulder and sciatic nerve I opted out of racing for the weekend. I had a good time casually skiing around and cheering on my friends Andre Watt and Nikolai Anikin as they placed 1st and 2nd respectively in the race. It was awesome weekend with some great adventure and new experiences for myself...