Waxing skis around the freezing point is tricky, especially on the local trails. The temperature and consistency of the snow at any point on the trail is based on a combination of nearness to water, shade, recent grooming, and use. If you choose a wax too warm for the conditions, you have no glide. If the wax is too cold, then no kick to propel you. On Sunday we avoided the waxing dilemma and snowshoed. Tonight I corked 3 layers of red taffy onto my skis and enjoyed a warm ski under a clearing sky with a 3/4 moon.
The warm winds from the southeast started whipping along the Anchorage Hillside a few days ago and we've been anxiously watching the thermometer ever since. These winds from the Gulf of Alaska usually bring above freezing temperatures. On the first windy evening, we watched the temperature bounce from 26 down to 22 up to 27 back to 24 in the span of two hours. We thought that maybe this time, "the perfect winter" would prevail. Alas, 34 when we woke up in the morning. The temperature hovered around freezing through the weekend.
You may think us odd to desire below freezing temperatures, but these freezing-thawing cycles have bad consequences in Anchorage:
~ will the thin layer of snow on our steep driveway transition to ice, turning every departure into a luge run?
~ will every parking lot in town become an ice skating rink, with risk of twisted ankles and broken wrists?
~ and worst, will the snow melt on the ski trails and the tracks turn to ice?
One thing we probably don't have to worry about this year is losing our snow base on the ski trails (or in our yard). In the photo above of our garden gate, you can see where the snow is clinging to the mesh fence but has settled in the yard and at the gate. It's about three feet deep still.