Friday, February 19, 2016

Skating into the Unknown

Okay, the title is a little melodramatic.

But starting tonight around 10 pm, February 19, 2016, I'll be embarking on a skate skiing adventure in Yellowstone National Park with two friends, Gabe Joyes and Kevin Redmon. This post is brief because I still have to finish packing.

Here are the rough deets:
Skate skiing: 150 miles
Estimated caloric intake: 12-15,000 kcal
Begin skiing: Friday night around 10 pm
Finish skiing: Sometime Sunday

You can follow along here:
(Gabe is bringing a SPOT locator beacon)

We will ski from Pahaska Teepee on the east side of Yellowstone, in and around the Grand Loop (North side first), stop at the Old Faithful lodge for something like 4-5 hours of sleep and a square meal, and ski the southern half of the loop and back out to the car at Pahaska Teepee. Of note is that we're starting at night on purpose to catch the fresh grooming. Conservatively anticipating 15 hours to the Lodge, 15 hours to return to car (roughly 80 miles and 70 miles in legs).

Of note is that I had never been on a pair of skate skis until this most recent December. My progress to date reminds me of a post by Semi-Rad, The Power of a Fear-Based Fitness Plan.

I can move pretty well on skate skis now, but I'm still a newbie, and certainly the most novice skier of the group. I struggle a bit with hills- it takes a certain rhythm and body position to do it efficiently (I get it sometimes...)

Skate skiing is hard work, burns a ton of calories, and uses a few muscle groups much differently and more intensely than any other sport. The hips, glutes (especially the glute med.), the shins and calves all get worked pretty hard. My feet get sore because I clench unnecessarily hard for balance- part of the newbie effect.

It's going to be a challenge, but I think it is going to go fine. It's a safe outing. There are warming huts at regular intervals, a lodge in the middle, yurts in another spot, and there is snowmobile and snowcoach traffic, so if something turned dire we could bail. We're bringing enough gear to be safe and warm, and more food than I can comprehend. Kevin and Gabe are bringing an enormous amount of caffeine, so we'll at least be pooping regularly.

All for now- see you on the other side!


  1. It'll be key to fall a lot. Like every mile or two. Hope you guys have good weather, have a blast!

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