backTurns All Year year-round skiing                

Year-round skier:  Mark Harfenist




As yet, I remain unconvinced IÕve really got a streak going. IÕm not particularly trying to have a streak; I just enjoy being in the mountains at every opportunity, and I know of no better way to experience mountainous places than to ski them (interspersed, of course, with plowing deep furrows in the snow with my face, or sculpting discontinuous patterns of craters by cartwheeling rapidly down steep slopes).
     I began skiing a scant 9 years ago at the age of 40. I immediately loved it, and gradually found myself giving up alternate activities - like plodding exhaustedly around on foot, maintaining relationships with close friends, and adequately funding retirement plans and similar financial instruments. I did not, however, make any effort to maintain a streak. In some years I stopped skiing in June and July, only to begin again in August or September; during others, I skied every month but October or November. During one particularly memorable year, I was unwise enough to break my leg before going vacationing in Greenland (where, in any case, chances to ski during midsummer are rather more scarce than one might think). Upon my return I underwent knee surgery and, at earliest opportunity, began skiing again. That was 27 months ago, and without really trying I find myself in possession of a bit of a streak - the major impediment to which will almost certainly be the 2005 summer season now approaching.
     What other information was requested here? I consider myself skiing when sliding down any slope large enough so that I can open up and turn without immediately screeching to a stop; it is not yet clear whether this slope must consist in large measure of actual frozen water. I ski only telemark, having no skills in the making of parallel turns except under exceptionally heroic circumstances. I survive seasonal difficulties by going wherever I would be going anyway, but doing this with skis on my feet; extensive experimentation has demonstrated that, often enough, these places feature skiable snow.
     When not skiing, I am widely known for my run on sentences, love of arcane syntactical structure, and my immoderate use and abuse of that most magnificent of punctuation marks, the noble semi-colon.





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