Your Feeble Mountain Yogi Ilg, sky high today on my most Sacred Sweat of all my Durango workouts;  my infamous “Mordarbacken“…now part of the nordic skate skiing ultra: Tour de Ski coming up on my Race Schedule  on January 22.  Behind me is the radiance of my chi-ldhood Sacred Mountains; the La Plata’s caught here in my pic beaming their namesake silver aura.

I actually have not been able to ski this old traditional nordic skate skiing torture/bliss fest which i called, The Mordarbacken, since I was in my twenties!  You can only imagine how stoked I was to revisit this old Ilg Standard which repulsed training partners who were able to finish it with me (only 2 out of 5 did!).   This workout requires 2 hours of uphill ski skating on super-techy snowmobile tracks at elevations starting at 8,793′ and finishes at 11,243′ upon the base of Grayrock Peak (12,604′) which you’ll see in my 11 photos below (watch my YouTube Channel for a music video of this route).

2 hours up of skate skiing…followed by a scintillating, jump-filled descent on tiny edgeless skate skis in 32 minutes…most of which need to be spent in what essentially is a dynamic Chair Pose (Utkatasana)…you wanna come with me?  Sure…you’re gonna have a challenge figuring out however,  which of the photos to use as your new ScreenSaver…reader beware!


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mordarbacken 1

My Stairway To Heaven…this is about 3 minutes into my workout…which was – by the WF Way – completely unplanned in the sense that i did not know what the snow/route conditions would be…as you’ll read later;  it turned out that the WF Gods smiled greatly upon me on this Day of Days…i want you to pay particular attention to the snow quality as we move higher along the Killer Hill…

mordarbacken 2

This is about 12 minutes in…Twilight Peaks smiling at my heaving, mantra-filled breathwork up the initial slopes…

mordarbacken 4

My chi-ldhood friend and Durango Ski Teammate, Chipper White who now operates the fantastic Snowmobile Adventures at Durango Mountain Resort created these tracks while enabled me to skate ski with my tiny Fischer Revolution skate skis up the Killer Hill.  Chipper auspiciously appeared as i was getting ready for my workout and just wait till you see what he provided for me in a few more kilometer’s;  a PERFECTLY GROOMED SKATE SKI  TRACK JUST FOR ME onto the highest slopes of Grayrock Peak!   It pays to have friends in HIGH places!!!  THANK YOU CHIPPER!!!

mordarbacken 5

Mountain Bikers will surely recognize the final name on this Forest Service sign:  Hermosa Creek is one of the world’s finest slices of mountain bike heaven.  ilg loves that trail.  ilg loves it even more when it is covered by my sacred San Juan Snows which keep all the iPod mountain bikers at bay and me on my knees praying to Brahman with Gratitude for still being Here Now!

mordarbacken 6

This is actually the early season rendition of the first start hill of the already equally infamous, TOUR DE SKI, presented by my friends;   National Champion and Durango native, Travis Brown and his mind-boggling efficient wife, Mary Monroe, who work is a world-class Bhakti Yogi service on behalf of Trails 2000…which preserves and creates trails and access to them around Durango.  If you REALLY want a lifetime experience?  Come toe the Start Line of the TOUR DE SKI this January with me!

mordarbacken 7

Aspen grove, approaching  an hour into the Mordarbacken;  hope you know how to V1 on BOTH legs, not just your dominant leg!  Note the IMPECCABLE trail conditions!  Did i say, THANK YOU, CHIPPER!   Pretty crazy Om So Ti that two chi-ldhood friends were the ONLY HUMANS on this massive mountain peak on this late November day!

mordarbacken 8

…hour and twenty in…this is the backside of Purg (now known among those out of the Know, as Durango Mountain Resort). Lift 8 (my favorite) tops out on the summit far right in pic.  Ilg prays you are planning your Winter Private Training Camp or  Intensive with me by now after seeing just a smidgen of what i skied today!

mordarbacken 8

i included this one just so my local Durango bro’s can salivate and weep… scoring first tracks AGAIN!  Pause, yogi, and think about how much leg-searing fun and focus i had today skiing at speeds over 25 mph on edgeless track skate skis!  Speed, my friend, is relative! If i would have crashed into the powder at such speeds?  You wouldn’t have been able to find ilg till spring;  nuthin’ but a VERY HIGH QUALITY nitrogen-rich fertilizer for my beloved Pine Beings as my Bardo Entry.  Fine by me!

modarbacken 9

More salivation for my bro’s… i’m getting purty tired by now;  approaching an hour and 45 minutes of continual uphill skate skiing.   Just writing that sentence makes me wonder at how weird i am!  i loved EVERY SUFFERING SECOND OF IT! i must have laid down several hundred rounds of the Sacred Mantra!

mordarbacken 10

You wonder why ilg has eye wrinkles? i’ve been basically a professional outdoor athlete since age 9.  i’m nearly 50.  Grayrock Peak in background.  This is my turn-around point at exactly 2 hours.  i left a ski-pole scratched love message in the high snows for Chipper right here.   It read:  “THNX CHIP!”

mordarbacken 11

And here, alas, is my decade-old set up which works like Nirvana for such epic workouts like today:   Fischer Revolutions (an ’80’s thing), Salomon Profil bindings, and Salomon skate ski boots circa 1988!   Why stop using what works?!

Mordarbacken 12

Because ilg loves thee so, i actually did something i NEVER do:  Stop my descent to snap this shot of Engineer Peak (12,613′) during minute 3 of my 32-minute “Chair Pose” descent.   You wanna sink into your deepest Chair Pose and hold it for 32 minutes? Great,  you’ll be nearing what it takes to step up to the easiest part of my beloved nordic ski workout;  The Mordarbacken!

did this entry inspire you? please consider a Temple Tithe to help defray my Winter Racing costs ($5,000).

May Go(o)d Bless Your Own Sacred Sweat,

your loving coach

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