Getting Better at Langlauf

I’ve decided to use the German word for Nordic skiing — Langlauf. It’s easier than writing “Nordic skiing” all the time.

We got about an inch and a half or two inches of sweet wet snow last night and when I took Bear out for her walk, we went to the golf course mostly so I could assess the conditions. After about a half a mile, I knew the conditions were good enough for me.

One benefit of having lived in Southern California for 30 years is that this Colorado woman isn’t a snow elitist. If it’s skiable, I’ll ski it.

It was more than skiable. It was really great. And, my abilities have improved. What took forty minutes the first couple of times took only about 25 today, not that I’m in a hurry, but that indicates I’m getting my “ski legs.”

It’s really wonderful when, for so long, my abilities to do almost anything — even stand around — only deteriorated.

Last night I watched an episode of Nature (on PBS) called “The Wild World of the Vikings.” In it, a Viking skied, OK not a REAL Viking, a re-enacting skiing Viking, but I just thought, “That’s just so cool.” The whole program was fascinating and beautiful, but that was my favorite 30 second (if that) bit. I have always felt on “die Langlaufski” absolutely free, not tied to some chair lift or gondola, no lift ticket to buy, and nothing but the freedom of snow in the mountains. Because I’m getting better at it, I’m hoping that I will get on mountain trails this year. We’ll see.


P.S. Polar Bear Yeti T. Dog has discovered that I enjoy it when she rolls in the snow. Her new thing is to lie on her back in the snow while I scratch her tummy. She’s really not like the other kids.

20 thoughts on “Getting Better at Langlauf

    • She does, but she’s a very easy master to live with. All she wants is snow, walks and affection. Sometimes I forget completely that I’m performing according to her wishes. 🙂

      • You’re welcome! I expect there may be a little more coming — it’s still raining here, though not hard, and we expect a break tomorrow and then more on Sunday through Wednesday! What a year! We’ve already exceeded the average annual rainfall for the July-June year!

      • It is good — and scary — there’s lots of new fuel to burn, but it’s mostly grasses, which seem easier to control than heavier brush! In the meantime, the greens are gorgeous!

        • I love it. The grasses are good. They’ll hold the soil, don’t burn as hot as chaparral and forest and yeah, easier to put out. For about a decade after the Cedar Fire my town and environs were “low fire danger” just because everything had burned already. If you think about it, that gives breathing space for people to deal with future dangers (if they do it).

      • A really good example — the Thomas Fire a year ago in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties stopped in its tracks when it met the area of a fire from a few years previous. The worst fears are that an area that hasn’t burned in a long time will catch fire. With the bad year we had last year, combined with new grasses, we should hopefully do ok this year!

        • Up on Garnet Peak I saw where the Cedar Fire stopped exactly where a fire had burned two years earlier. And then, the year before I left, a fire came up from the back of the Lagunas and stopped right there, where the Cedar Fire had burned. It’s pretty interesting if you’re not the one being evacuated.

          I’ll post the painting on Twitter.

        • Oh yes! I’m glad I got to see it. Sometimes I miss those mountains. A Bavarian friend of mine came to visit. We took a hike and he called them the “friendly mountains” because they’re not trying to kill you!

  1. Bear is like Ophelia. Only she doesn’t want her tummy rubbed, she’ll drop do a back scratch and then pop up and look at me, and I have to say whoohoo and off she runs! So good that your skiing is improving. I have a week off and I keep hoping that conditions will improve so I can ski where I walk Ophelia.

    • Snow loving dogs are the best. I hope you get to ski, too. Today was great. Sandhill cranes are here and I could hear them all around me, though I didn’t see them because of the tall cottonwood trees. It was Bearadise.

  2. I love that you were able to get out for a ski, Martha! Cross-country skiing really is a freeing activity, isn’t it? I love how you described not being “tied down” – it’s perfect. I get a natural high every time I set out on a cross-country ski trip. It just makes me happy. I’m happy you had the snow you did!

  3. Is langlauf the same as cross country skiing? Weirdly enough, I only did downhill skiing while I was in Germany. Where i thought it was just called a variant on the word ski—something like Schielaufen. Can’t remember now. Funny, I’ll never forget the fear and beauty of riding the high flung ski lifts all the way up the alps. Those rails ran very high off the ground, and the safety bar had failed to
    Come down for me. I rode with a death grip on the bar next to me. I survived, but did not take that particular run a second time.

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