I know some peeps will be quite surprised to find a pic of a mogul field here. I've never been a fan of moguls, mainly cuz I've always sucked at skiing them. I couldn't ski them in my alpine years or snowboard years, and now I'm trying to ski them in my telemark years. I'd rather ski anything instead of a mogul run; corduroy, ice, a cat track, a golf course, hell I'd even rather skin uphill than ski down moguls.
I've always known though that skiing moguls is the key to being a good skier. If you can ski moguls, you can ski anywhere. And by anywhere, I mean the steep and tight trees of White Grass and any other Eastern woods shots. I want to learn how to ski them. I figure, I learned how to telemark ski at age 40, so maybe I can learn to ski moguls at 45 right? I mean, the knees oughta be in fine shape from the years mashing around on a single-speed eh?
Yesterday was warm and sunny, and I had an hour or two free, so I book it to Whitetail with a plan to head straight for the mogul run and try to learn something. I like soft mushy corny snow. It's almost like powder, only it's not. But it isn't ice, and that's what I like about it. You can lean hard into your turns, and the variable depth and consistency tend to keep you off balance so you have to work to keep from flipping over the bars. If I'm gonna learn moguls, soft snow sure beats icy snow.
Pull outta the alley here at home at 1:17, and am ready to hop on the chairlift just after 2:00. I go to adjust my poles back to resort length, and what's this? The flicklock cam is gone from one of them! Hmmm, maybe that's what I heard rattling around in the back of the Suby. Ran back to the car in my loosely-buckled T2s, luckily I'm only parked 4 cars from the front. I find the missing part and use the only tool I happen to have in the car, a multi-tool from my road bike kit. Run back up to the area, this time noticeably slower up the stairs.
Onto the chair and head straight for the mogul run with a confident attitude. I know you have to be aggressive in skiing moguls. And it's that aggressive stance, quick thinking, and quick feet that you need to ski the trees, steeps, and any other challenging terrain.
Now, here's where my story breaks down. My mogul runs were spectacularly unspectacular. No different than any other mogul run I've had in my ski life. I was simply trying to link 5 decent turns together in the fall line. I think I got to 5 once, and I think I even hit 7 once. Two runs and a ball of sweat later, I bail and head for some confidence-building groomers on Far Side. Maybe I progressed a hair. This is going to be a really long road.