When I first moved to Alaska 22 years ago, I remember going skiing at Kincaid Park on what I considered perfect, heavenly snow conditions and hearing locals describe it as not worth skiing on until conditions improved. Gradually, over time I'm afraid I've also adopted higher and higher standards for what I consider decent skiing here in town. A few weeks ago, after we'd been skiing on thin snow for a month, I was apologizing on behalf of all Alaskans to Kathrin Schratt for our meager snow conditions and she responded, "These conditions are fine. We never ski this early at home. I think the skiing's good here." It made me remember when I first moved here and had the same perspective. It made me want to recapture it. And this year it's not so hard to do; all you need to do is look around the interwebs to see that we've got it pretty good here.
I was reading Viktor Brannmark's blog recently where he was describing a good race course on perfect snow conditions in northern Sweden. Then I looked at the photos and saw good man-made snow on the 3km race course loop. It was pretty brown everywhere else. Then I read a report from an old friend from my old Lillehammer Skiklub, reporting that they were having lots of good races in town because all the races from around southcentral Norway were being moved to Lillehammer's Olympic Stadium because it was the only snow around. And I've followed Lukas Ebner's travels around Europe looking for snow to train and race on. I've seen that it was a lack of snow that cancelled the La Clusaz World Cup races. And here in the USA, they held a nordic combined continental cup race on the tubing hill last weekend because it was the only place in Utah that had some snow.
It all made me feel pretty good about the conditions at Kincaid this morning, where we skied all over the trail system, and finished off the workout with a lap around the snowmaking loop.