Today was a day I've been saving my pennies for. I went to the Roscommon Cross Country Ski Headquarters (2 hours plus drive for me).
A trail friend of mine named John met me there. He skis a lot and teaches basic skills. He said he'd help me pick out equipment that suited my needs. I promised him we'd take a better picture of him, but we forgot! They have a little cafe and a lovely warming room.
Most of my skiing is done off groomed trails- just out back, as you know. That had a huge impact on what kind of equipment to buy.
One of the best things about going there is you are allowed to try out everything before you buy it. I tried skis without metal edges (like I've been using), and skis with metal edges which are supposed to give you better control. I liked the metal edges. They had a pair my size that were marked down because someone had changed their mind after bindings had been mounted. They are Alpina 160 cm length and 60 mm wide. Mine are on the left- John is on the right.
The BIG question was the boots, and they were the crisis that precipitated when this big purchase was going to happen. My old boots were very used when I got them. I'd repaired them with Shoe Goo three times, but the leather was just giving out and coming apart. And they were for 3 pin bindings, so I couldn't just replace the boots. Nobody makes those any more. (And the skis were never particularly fitted for me- they were just a free pair)
I tried on, and skied in, three different kinds of boots. There was no question at all as to which one to buy. Of course they were the most expensive, but I've learned that my feet will let me play at all kinds of things if I make them happy. These are Rossignol backcountry boots. Notice the square toe, the height and the hinged fitting that goes around the back of the ankle. My heels don't slip! My feet should actually stay IN these boots. They have a lacing system with a button loc, and a zipper over that- no lace to tie.
So, I paid a bit more than I had set aside for this project, but this will be my one lifetime purchase of skis, so it's OK. Mariah was really nice about getting me fitted, and of course, taking my credit card!
They have a trail system right there. I'm not sure if it was a special or always, but over 60 could ski free.
John and I went out and did their longest loop, and he gave me a whole lot of instruction that I really, really needed. I KNEW I didn't know what I was supposed to be doing to control those slippery sticks. Now I have a better idea. I'll try to remember all the tips John gave me and put them into practice.
I had to say "hi" to his wife Lois just through him. She was busy and couldn't come. But many, many thanks again, John! What an awesome day.
And here's how it ended.
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