Posted by outdoorparent in Getting After It
on 06 10th, 2009 | 12 responses
We’re hoping to run some trip reports from parents. If this sparks an idea feel free to contact us. I know most everyone has put away there skis for the summer, but up here in the Northwest there’s still plenty of snow up high and these photos were just too good to pass up. Enjoy.
The Trip: A backcountry spring skiing over-nighter
Where: The Eastern Cascades (no powder stashes were harmed in the creation of this post)
When: May 2009
The Players: Howard and Michael.
This trip was a pinnacle of sorts in a 5 year progression. He loves camping, campfires, nature, and SKIING. Michael has always wanted to go "backcounty skiing" with me and my adult partners, so this was a chance for him to experience it firsthand.
After Michael was born, I eagerly awaited opportunities to take him out. I can remember cross-country skiing when he was 2 months old in a chest sling. He's always loved the motion - of cross country skiing in the front-mounted baby backpack, outings behind my bicycle in the baby dragger, long training runs in the jogger. At age 2, I started him on plastic cross-country skis. He would ski for for 15 to 30 minutes, at which point he was "done.” Then I'd put him in a backpack and do a "short" tour while he napped. He's done a few 5 mile day hikes prior, so I had some inkling of how he'd last throughout the day ~ the early warning signs of a need for a break.
With a combination of a (human) rope tow and lots and lots of candy bars, we made it to the base of the summit cliffs of my favorite backcountry ski area. I have had a number of adult partners who did not fare so well. I realized Michael was an exceptional case as I pulled him up the first steep section. I thought to myself “Pulling him isn’t so difficult, after all.” Then I looked back. Michael was skating his downhill ski to help propel us along. It was much harder without his help.
Many tricks & techniques were employed, from the hip-carry over logs and streams, towing via rope harness, ski-skating, side slipping slopes, the pole-pull-cata-pult, the single-ski slip-shot, and holding hands through the tough spots. I was delighted that he enjoyed the trip to the extent that he did.
On the way down, we negotiated a narrow icy trail through thick north slope pines, made big turns through open glades, and finished with a delightful roller-coaster glide back to camp through a series of open meadows, carving a serpentine track around the trees and patches of bare earth.
I got a big rush of pride and happiness that he really loved the experience. I felt like I was having a positive and hopefully lasting effect in someone's life. My confidence that I can actively manage an extended outing to be fun for a kid also grew.
This is a map of of our route that Michael drew afterwards.
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