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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Cross country skiing and a little frostbite

On New Year's Day (the fourth anniversary of our first date), my family went cross country skiing for the first time at Soldier Hollow, which is where the cross country skiing events were held for the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.
This was yet another one of my parents' awesome memory-making Christmas presents to the family. On Christmas morning, we unwrapped a box with toy soldiers on skis and Christian immediately figured out the activity.
January 1st was a beautiful day in Utah -- bright and sunny with hardly a cloud in the sky after multiple days of constant snow. The mountains looked gorgeous on our drive up to the resort! It would have been the perfect conditions for skiing, if not for the extremely low temperatures. The high at Soldier Hollow that day was 13 degrees. Needless to say, we bundled up!
The babies loved hanging out in the lodge and getting their skis on. Joshie especially loved having his trail pass clipped onto his pants. He proudly announced "I'm official!" to anyone that would listen.
With all our gear ready to go, we took a quick family picture and hit the trails!
As usual, the babies caught on really fast and were pros! It was adorable watching them shuffle around on their skis.
We fully enjoyed maneuvering around the fresh snow in the beautiful Utah mountains. 
After awhile, the babies got tired and started hitching rides with the big kids.
Around that point, we mixed up our easier trail with the Olympic trail and ended up on some pretty steep hills...
... which naturally resulted in a few of these.
But eventually, we found our original trail and made our way back to the lodge.
My parents, the babies and Heidi all headed home to conclude a perfect day of cross country skiing. The boys and I stayed behind to go out on one last run. It's never good when you predetermine the "last" one of anything, is it? At that time, the sun was starting to set and the trails were going to close soon. Oh, and it was -11 degrees.
I only went a little ways before my hands started to really hurt, so I gave my brothers my gloves since I wouldn't be needing them and headed back to the lodge. That's precisely when I managed to get frost bite on my fingers. I'm not just talking about cold fingers or a little bit of frostnip -- we're talking full-fledged frost bite with blisters, lost feeling, peeling skin --still, almost a month later-- and the whole deal. Seriously.

I later learned that I did absolutely everything wrong to get it: letting my hands get wet in extreme cold (when I took a little fall and landed in five feet of powder on the side of the trail), then warming them up inside the lodge, then taking them back out into even worse cold, then giving away my gloves and exposing them fully to the bitter conditions and a slight wind, and then, if that wasn't enough, carrying my freezing metal poles with my bare left hand from the trail to the lodge. I would have been okay had I not given away my gloves but apparently, Mother Nature isn't a big fan of charity.

Anyway, Matthew turned back not long after I did, so Christian and Matt decided to go on a few hard trails since it was just the two of them. We started to get a little worried when it got darker and darker and there was no sign of them.
Finally, when it was pitch black and the trails had been closed for over an hour, look who arrived! They'd gotten lost and had a hard time finding their way back since it was, after all, pitch black outside. It was also beyond freezing. Look at the frost on their beanies! Poor kids. We hurried and warmed them up and then blasted the heater the entire way home.
And thus ended our crazy fun adventure at Solider Hollow. We all agreed that next time, we'll go when it's about 40 degrees warmer. You know, like 29 degrees instead of -11.


  1. looks like you had a great trip!! :)

  2. what a fun family activity! i haven't been cross-country skiing in years but now i totally wanna go. just maybe when it's a little warmer that -11 degrees :)

  3. Oh Ash, I am dying here reading about the FREEZING temps! There is nothing more than I hate worse than being COLD! It is the worst feeling!! Thanks for sharing the pics and all the details of the fun family ski trip! That looks like a ton of fun!..except in warmer weather for sure!!

  4. Sounds like so much fun... except for the frostbie! OUCH!

  5. Wow!! This looks like it would be so pretty out there, but I would be so cold and so tired!!

    I posted about the SoCal Blogger Meet-Up! Hope you'll be able to come :)

  6. I always wanted to try that. It looks like hard work and a need of a lot of muscle strength. You look super cute in the snow, how do you manage that? Every picture it's like you are in a glass ball while the winding is blowin and the snow/rain is coming day. Simply beautimous!

  7. Kami- It's definitely a workout! And you're way too nice :-)

  8. I would have loved to have joined you guys for this outing! I've always wanted to do that and the little boys on skis is so cute. Any chance you'll be in Utah March 7-13th when we're out there?

  9. I wish, sis! I have grad school orientation, Matt has an event on base that he has to be at, and we're both speaking in church over those dates. But we're definitely still planning on making it out to DC this spring! Sometime in April, most likely. We need to coordinate.


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