Press-Republican

Outdoors

February 10, 2013

Stomping and sliding on the snow

(Continued)

We went along the lake and tried to blaze our own trail, although someone and their canine had done the same another time. Here, the snowshoes felt great and were perfect for getting through everything. I cannot wait to try them on something more difficult.

The second adventure put me on a set of cross-country skis for the first time since physical-education class in high school. In high school, I was not into cross-country skiing. I’ll admit I thought it was lacking excitement.

My grandfather gave me a set of skis, poles and boots that I think were never used. I finally tried them out, and they were a blast. I went behind SUNY Plattsburgh’s Field House on the Blue Trails. I probably looked like a deer trying to walk for the first time when I started to move. I didn’t have a clue what to do.

We made it through some trails and then I started to think about how much fun the hills would be to go down. The problem was, I never really skied downhill before. I fell quite a bit. On one long hill you get quite a bit of speed, and I crashed three times. I’d fall when my feet would get too close together. I’d fall when I couldn’t turn quickly. Each time I fell I grunted, laughed and got back up and kept trucking along.

I tried it again with another beginner at the Field House and found out fresh snow is important. Trails that get used often get too much wear and tear. It makes bare ground exposed — ruining the sliding surface, but it also makes everything sort of icy and not the best surface. So my best advice for that is to get out as soon as possible when the snow falls. And if it’s been awhile, try going somewhere where you don’t think many people go.

Kyler Klix is the night editor for the Press-Republican. He moved to Plattsburgh from the Finger Lakes after graduating from Plattsburgh State. He enjoys fishing, hiking, camping and other outdoor activities. Email him at kklix@press

republican.com.

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