While kicking and gliding my way along today on the XC skis, it got me to thinking back about just how all, or at least most, of this ski stuff started.
In the mid 90's, Pennsyltuckie received a HUGE dump. I'm talkin' about two feet of cold, beautiful snow. The normal crew (which was anything but normal) all headed out on our cross country skis to a place called Kings Gap. We kicked and glided our way through the park eventually finding ourselves at the top of a descent hill. Not too steep, but definitely to the point of not being able to just straight line it. Some traversed their way down while some tried to make turns. All told, I probably linked three turns in 350ft of vertical, but the seed was planted. I went back the next day with a buddy of mine, Kurt, to give it another go. The results weren't much better, but we knew we were on to something.
Kurt called early the following day and told me about the skis he'd just ordered and urged me to do the same.Within a couple of days, the shop called and I was mounting bindings to a fresh pair of Fischer E99's in my kitchen. Once again, we made plans to head to Kings Gap to give it another go. This time... THIS TIME we made some turns. Don't get me wrong, we did our fair share of crashing, but MAN was it fun!
Word in our group spread like wild fire and before we knew it, there were a good handful of us with skis that would handle anything Kings Gap had to offer. Even the steepest 30 degree pitch was no match for our gear and determination.
Kurt and I had the place dialed and we had a day up there that I'll never forget. There were about 6 of us.... the perfect number for car shuttling. We took turns driving. One guy would give up his run to do the driving while the rest skied. At the end of the day, the place looked like a ski area. Most particularly the area where we shoveled snow onto the road so we wouldn't have to stop part way down the "run".
There would be other storms. Other days on skis that would stand out. But not like that Saturday in January.