When an uncle died in the early 80s I was asked if I wanted a gold watch to remember him by. I opted for cross country skis. These were bought as a package from a shop in Newcastle and had a fish scale bottom. The theory was you could glide forwards but not back. I remember doing the Dodds a number of times and they worked well on relatively flat terrain. These skiis were about 7 feet long and stopping and turning were almost impossible ( for me). I decided to learn to ski properly as soon as I could afford it and to get proper touring skis.
Stybarrow Dodd and Great Dodd
So eventually I got some ordinary skis and used to go camping at Aviemore during Feb half term. This lead to Snowcoach holidays at Brides le Bain in the French Alps. The dream of ski touring was still in my mind. Two things seemed against me, the incredible cost of the boots , skis and bindings and the fact that I was never going to be a good skier. I could do a red run on a good day and that was about it. 3 years ago I bought some cheapish touring skis off ebay and some touring bindings. For 2 seasons I just used them as downhill skis. Then in January there were some second hand Scarpa touring boots on ebay and last week I got the skins . Ready to rock 25 yrs later!
Lake District Ski Club run on Raise from White Stones.
0830 Im tramping acroos the moor from Red Moss. The snow looks good high up but as can be seen above the level is quite high. Put the skins on at about 5oom and ascend Hart Side. Skins were brilliant, you can go up quite steep hills. They dont glide on the front stroke as cross x country skis do, at least mine don't. So I accended Stybarrow Dodd. Took off the skins and skied down to the tow on Raise.
No tripod so best I could manage.
Top of ski tow , Raise.
A 10 minute walk from the top of the tow takes you to the summit . The views were superb. The photo below shows someone using a kite to snowboard.
The top of the west face of Raise had superb snow and I managed some good turns. I did this run 3 times, using the lift to take me back up, before the long slog over Stybarrow Dodd.
Looking back towards Watson's Dodd.
When I got to the top of Great Dodd I finished off the tea in the flask and took off the skins for the final run down to Matterdale Common.
Shelter on Great Dodd
It was along walk back to the car with the heavy skis. It was a great day out, the only down side is that the day after I can hardly move as I'm so stiff.
A Simple Desultory Philander in the Borders
12 hours ago