Wednesday, February 02, 2011

"If you don't like the weather, wait a few minutes"

This is a familiar phrase to those of us who live in Southern Alberta. It seems true all year long. Summer days can bring wild sweeps of temperature readings in just a few short hours as in winter. Maybe more noticeable in winter, and often more appreciated.

Last week on Thursday morning, I headed out for a quick gravel grinder before having a "photog-nerd-fest-lunch with a bunch of great Calgary photographers. It was 7C (44F) when I headed out. Then, on Friday, snow and cold blew in. Monday I went for a ski behind my house, and it was -27C (-16F) when I left the house mid afternoon. Now, today, we're expected to warm up to above freezing again. Crazy.

With the warm spell we had last week, XC skiing wasn't an option, as we had lost a lot of snow. A single speed 29er serves well to get you outside and seeing things. It was muddy and much like the riding of spring.

gravel slop
With a hearty dump of snow and cold temps over the weekend, back to skiing again. It makes for a fun change up for sure.

I still find I make the mistake of over-dressing when I'm out skiing in the extreme cold. I had a balaclava on, and ended up taking that off right away, unzipping my coat half way and opening up the arm-pit vents. Sweating at -30 can be dangerous, it's a delicate mix of not getting tingly cold, and not over-heating. Being outside for an hour and a half, I came in with sweat-drenched gear. Fine if I'm right behind my house, but I'd hate to end up like this while out on a ski trail somewhere. The dialling-in continues.

With the old ski tracks melted away, and 10" of new snow, I had to set some new tracks for myself. The first few laps were a slow slog, but now they're ready for some faster skiing. Here's a quick video of me setting some new tracks. Most of the time my ski tips remained hidden under the white stuff.


Pondero said...

The cold blast (for us) down here really helped my appreciation for how different our geography is. Stay safe out there.

Doug said...

I think we're a lot alike. I can sweat even on the coldest of cold days. And I can't wear a balaclava, even in sub-zero weather. It just holds in way too much heat.

They use the same saying here. Of course we have the added variable of the world's largest fresh water lake. It effects the weather. The temperature can easily change 20 degrees instantly when the wind direction changes depending on if it's blowing off the lake or from the south.