Monday, March 25, 2013

New Boots!

Six years ago, when I first began telemark skiing, I was unsure if I'd stick with this strange new sport.  Unwilling to invest the big bucks for new boots, skis and bindings, I searched high and low for used gear.  So when I spied a pair of secondhand tele boots at the local consignment store, I grabbed 'em.  These $32 boots ended up lasting six whole years.  Sadly, while skiing three weeks ago, I noticed huge cracks in the plastic shell.  Damn!  Time to finally replace my thrift store bargains.

Size matters!  Click on any photo to enjoy a larger version. shiny and new!

After just spending a ton of money to ski in Utah, I felt bad telling my hubby I'd need to drop even more cash on new boots.  Luckily, Roger took it fairly well.  And it helped one of the local ski shops happened to send out a 25% off coupon.  Good timing!

I'm...too sexy for my boots....too sexy for my boots

A nice guy at the above-mentioned ski shop guided me toward a pair of Scarpa T2 Ecos.  They were a pretty bright royal blue, and after molding the liners to my feet, fit like a dream.  But new ski boots are always a gamble.  What feels good in the store doesn't always translate to comfort and control on the slopes.  So it was with great apprehension that I joined the Tele Ladies for the maiden voyage.

Katie and Sue loved my shiny new boots.  They oohed and aahed and made covetous statements.  Katie jokingly said I'd better guard them or they just might accidentally go home with her.

Katie and Sue lost in the fog

We hit Mt. Hood Meadows the day after a huge rainstorm.  The slopes were soft and wet.  And the snow was fast.  After numerous adjustments and general boot futzing, I took a shakedown cruise down an easy groomer.  Ahhh....the turns came smooth and easy.  My feet felt good.  The boots were gonna work.

I'm the envy of my tele friends

After the previous day's monsoon, Meadows apparently thought no one would come skiing and only had one lift running besides the bunny chair.  (Really, Meadows???)  The sun was starting to burn off the misty clouds.  And the snow was just fine.

Admiring my feet

Finally at about 11 o'clock another lift opened.  Katie and Sue, tired of doing laps on Express, wanted to check things out. So we traveled over to the Vista chair.  While loading, I noticed thick fog rolling in.  My friends and I arrived at the top to find it totally socked in.  You couldn't see things more than a couple feet away.  Hmmmm......maybe this wasn't such a good idea.

The sun finally made an appearance

Katie and Sue have climbed dozens of mountains, skied many peaks, and have lots of experience with backcountry navigation.  So I'm not sure why they appointed me to guide them down through the fog.  But I was the chosen leader, so I gingerly picked my way across alternating icy and soft snow.  After "skiing by Braille" for a few dozen yards, I spotted another person faintly through the white curtain.  I tailed the mystery man until we got low enough to finally make out some landmarks.

Icy slopes glisten in the sun

The Tele Ladies didn't like conditions one bit and suggested we take an early lunch.  So my friends and I hung out in the lodge for awhile, filling our bellies and swapping funny stories.  Katie and Sue were almost ready to call it a day, when I spotted sunshine streaming through the windows.  While we were inside, the weather did a 180.  The fog was now completely gone, replaced by blue skies.  We had to go back out!

Icy old tree

By this time, Meadows had wised up and opened the upper Cascade lift.  Our "tele-trio" headed up high to check things out.  The groomed track on the upper slopes was velvety-soft and super fast.  The best we'd had all day.  But you didn't dare stray off the groom.  What snow hadn't been smoothed out was covered in a sheet of bulletproof ice.  Ice even coated all the trees and rocks.  A pretty sight, even if it wasn't very skiable.

My buddies show off their telemark stance

Another great day on the mountain!  I had a blast roaring down the slopes in my shiny new boots.  They felt great and even helped me ski better.  I think these boots and I are gonna have a long and happy relationship.


  1. Love the new boots and as always, the pics!! I did exactly the same thing with hiking gear. Little by little, I've picked up "good" things along the way and now have quite the hodgepodge of mostly unmatching clothing and socks. I'm on my third set of boots and it wasn't until I splurged and bought really, really good ones that I truly realized what a difference it made and that there's a HUGE difference between water "resistant" and waterproof!

  2. I'm so glad the new boots worked out for you! Great timing with that coupon, huh? :) I love when things work out like that.

    I always enjoy seeing your snowy photos. The icy old tree is really neat!

  3. Tonight I got home from work and my husband's new boots were on the counter. He is planning on climbing Mt. Baker in August. Anyhow, I didn't really want to know the price...but alas I asked. To make me feel better - he said, "...look, I can even use them for telemarketing". Ha... For us Midwestern folks...we hadn't heard the telemark term too often! Hehehehe...

  4. That skiing can be expensive eh?

  5. Your remark about your friend's 'covetous statements' cracked me up...LOVED it!
    Have a great weekend!
    Blessings, Aimee
    PS: Ski equipment back in my know the good old days...was never, ever that awesome:)

  6. I love being above the clouds and your photograph of skiing down in the fog was beautiful. Congrats on the new boots!


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