You got the winter blues?
Inconsistent weather of freezing cold, great snow, rain, freezing cold, great snow, rain…repeat. Should I run, bike, ski, hike, or read a book? Winter is a difficult time of year for a consistent outdoor exercise routine. But sometimes the mountain gives us a sweet surprise.
I had a great day of skinning up Mt Mansfield with my dog last week after that rain. I just wanted to get some exercise and be in the mountains. I did not think the snow would be any good to ski. But to my surprise, it was so good I had to take a little video to show my family and friends that the skiing is actually good…fresh powder good. Check out my short video.
And if you are looking for a fun activity to heal those winter blues, then try skinning. Grab a buddy who knows what they are doing and start with an easy trail network.
What is the deal with skins?
You put skins on the bottom of your skis, which prevent your skis from sliding backward, allowing you to hike up the mountain. Most skins will have glue and a metal clip or a loop that attaches to the tip and tail of your ski. You do not lift your skis off the snow when skinning, you simply glide them forward, as if you were cross-country skiing, not snowshoeing. Its great cross training for your hips and shoulders, especially for runners, bikers, swimmers…etc. Take comfortable strides, depending on the length of your legs, and don’t push yourself too hard too soon. It is a low load awesome exercise for the entire body. You can really open up your whole body from your shoulders to your hips while skinning.
Sometimes your hips and shoulders get tight from doing the same repetitive motion all week. Open up your hips and shoulders while skinning up some beautiful winter trails with a good friend who knows what they are doing, like my dog. It is such a fun winter adventure to get you through those winter blues, with a friend, or loyal companion.
Check out our local VT ski shops for more info about skinning like www.skirack.com or www.gearx.com.