UPHILL SKIING ACCORDING TO LYNE BESSETTE
Are you looking for a new winter activity? We talked to Lyne Bessette, who is passionate about this sport which is winning more and more adepts in Quebec.
Uphill skiing is really a very complete sport for those who love to spend time outdoors while working up a good sweat! Ms. Bessette confides, “I’ve always loved endurance sports. When some of my friends introduced me to this sport, I immediately loved it! Since I don’t bike or jog in winter, uphill skiing offers me the perfect mix of cardio and fun!”
Uphill skiing consists of going up a ski hill, where the sport is allowed, with seal skins under your skies, without needing to take a chairlift or groomed trails. It allows us to discover beautiful new spaces often found in the backcountry of the regular trails used by skiers and snowboarders. For a more demanding sports exercise, skimo (for ski mountaineering) is practised with shorter skies and a lighter boot than for regular uphill skiing. An interesting option for joggers.
Mount Sutton who is a resident of the Eastern Townships, is the ex-Olympian’s favourite sports centre. “I live only a few minutes away from the mountain, so I can really take advantage of it a lot! In two hours’ time, I can go up three times, have a mug of hot chocolate in the Alt. 840 m. mountain chalet, and hang out a bit with my local friends!” she explains with enthusiasm.
Before jumping skis first in the powder, to introduce you to the sports, we asked our expert to give some much-appreciated advice:
- Identify the different geographical and weather markers of the mountain you’ve chosen (winter weather conditions, precise location of shelters or chalets, trail maps for when you head down).
- Don’t make the mistake of overdressing, you’ll really work up a sweat before you arrive at the summit!
- Prepare your backpack for your outing: A down-filled coat, a change of clothing, ski goggles, a helmet, water and snacks.
- Take some time to understand how your equipment works before starting out on a first expedition. For example, master the different modes for your boots and binders (uphill versus downhill), properly place climbing skins under your skis and put them away between each ascension, etc.
- Never lift your feet. “Imagine you’re wearing a pair of wool socks and that you’re 14, dragging yourself across the floor! Your climbing skins work better on snow and your body will thank you for not submitting it to useless weight transfers!”
Now you’re ready to have some real fun as you head to one of the many playgrounds of our magnificent snow-covered mountains.
Have a great day of skiing!