Day 16: Jan. 30, 2016
- Leavenworth Ski Trails
- Kilometers skied: 18K
- Season total: 126K
You have to love a place where you can eat good food, party, see a killer concert and then go skiing the next day.
After a night of rockin’ it at the Timbrrr! Winter Music Festival (shoutout to my new favorite band, Lee Bob and the Truth!), I hit the tracks at Leavenworth the next morning. Admittedly, my head was hurting, but nothing a day on skis couldn’t fix.
First I loaded up on an excellent breakfast and a few cups of restorative coffee at the Icicle Inn. By 8 a.m., I was skiing on the Icicle River Trails at Leavenworth Fish Hatchery. Conditions couldn’t have been better for skate-skiing — the trails were groomed, frozen and fast.
“This snow will make you feel like Superman,” said Jim Ward, owner of Sulla Vita, an excellent Leavenworth restaurant. I ran into Jim as he was coming off the trails. Part of my foggy brain was due to the wine I’d had with Jim the night before — but for some reason, he looked great. Why me?
In the cool Icicle River Valley, fog hung at tree level as I blazed around the hatchery’s 8K of flat trails in no time — then skied the outer loop a second time to get in a little more. I burned to the finish as the fog was lifting in the valley and in my head.
Later, I hit the Nordic trails at Leavenworth Ski Hill. The old-school ski hill is a ropetow-served alpine ski area, but it’s also home to the town’s most challenging Nordic trails that snake up the mountainside.
In contrast to the hatchery trails, the ski hill was nearly empty. These hilly 7K are a push and will challenge even the fittest skier. Conditions were great and by the time the sun poked through to bathe the ski hill in warm light, I was feeling human again.