The previous week had seen me struck with Covid at last. So a weekend was wiped out and could also go some way to explain my poor performance at the Bangers and Slash banked slalom (excuses).
With snow sport closed at the resort, I felt I could utilise the snow still filling Main Basin to practice skinning in my Splitboard. I had some short fitting grip skins I wanted to try as well as fine tune my technique.
Although this was a post season split board practice session, the access lift was still running, so I used that before hiking to the rescue hut.
The weather was pleasant enough, no wind, but overcast with high grey cloud.
Ski Tow gulley was a bit short of snow, so I started hiking up to the Haggis Trap. From there I put on my split skis and started shlepping up the slush. It was steeper than expected and the snow was super slushy. I was trying out a shorter, grippier set of skin, however even with split skis across the fall line I found myself sliding downhill.
It was hard going but good practice. My technique was definitely brought in to question as I’d occasionally slide backwards or a ski would scoot to the side as the extremely wet slush collapsed below my feet.
The thick pile on the grip skins also absorbed moisture and felt heavy. The G3 Grip skins didn’t see to cope well with slush and when I transitioned I found lots of snow had ingress between skin and ski.
I took a good while to take in the views at the top, have lunch and use my little telescope (or monocular) to scope out distant points of interest.
The slush was a bit sticky on the way down with massive water content.
At the bottom of Main Basin I met Mick who was about to make for the summit.
By the time I’d transitioned to climb mode, he was off.
Mick walked up the rocks at the side and made better time than me skinning, but it was all practice.
I did make a slightly better job of my second climb. Kick turns were a bit better too.
It was a simple and enjoyable day where I could empty my mind of thoughts. The walk back down was pretty enjoyable too.