Sunday, November 14, 2010

Spring Skiing in November

The weather in Garmisch has been unseasonably warm. You'd think it was May or June instead of November with the warm, sunny weather. Even the mountains are warm compared to how they should be at this time of year.  The snow that fell on the mountains in the ski area by my house has all melted away. 

Right after the first snowfall a couple of weeks ago the Zugspitze glacier opened for skiing. The Zugspitze, which is Germany's highest mountain, has a small ski area. Because of its height, it's the only place to ski in the area at the beginning and end of the season. It's also the place to go when the other ski areas don't have much snow. The Zugspitze ski area improved several years ago when they replaced one of the t-bars with a chair lift. It's the only chair lift on the Zugspitze, but there are three different runs you can take from the top of it. The runs are rather short, and the hardest ones are intermediate level. 

Because of my work schedule, today was my first day on the ski slopes. I went up on the Zugspitze. It was a beautiful, sunny day.  The snow was soft, like spring snow. I started off with a short-sleeved technical shirt, a lightweight long-sleeved technical shirt, and my jacket. After a couple of runs I ended up shedding the long-sleeved shirt. It was even warm enough to eat lunch outside. As this post's title says, it was spring skiing in November, though it felt more like April. The down side is that there is a small base of snow (official report 85 cm) with a lot of rocks showing. At least it was easy to see the rocks and avoid them. For now it's best not to ski off-piste because of the rocks. But it will be a lot nicer after another snowfall or two. I felt like I skied pretty well for my first day, though I just skied for a couple of hours. Burning out on my first day wouldn't be any fun. I'll get stronger and gain more endurance as the season continues. It was also very uncrowded for a weekend. There was almost no waiting for the chair lift and the runs were almost empty, which was very surprising. I heard that it was very crowded yesterday because of the good weather. Maybe a lot of people got scared off from coming back today. I'm not complaining because I hate waiting in long lift lines. 

During ski season I'll ski two to three times a week and run twice a week. My runs become a little longer to make up for not doing it as often. I'm looking forward to more snow and a good ski season. 

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