The story behind Outdoor Tracks
Hi, I'm Al Christie. Thanks for stopping by!
I’ve always loved the outdoors, and started climbing mountains and skiing and skating when I was three. I confess I don’t really remember much about climbing Blue Mountain in the Adirondacks when I was only three. My dad told me that he had to carry me part way.
My first skates were double-bladed, and my skis were a gift from my aunt. The skis were the kind you see nailed to the wall up at Timberline Lodge –- just a leather toe strap. She got those when a lot of skis didn't even have cables, speak nothing of safety straps or safety releases. My aunt skied in the 1920s – no lifts! – they walked up the mountain, cut a pole for a drag, brake, and rudder, put the skis on and pointed them down the mountain. Today that's coming back - it's called single pole skiing. The single pole is called a "tiak".
Starting early on skates and skis led to my being on the hockey team at Hamilton College in Clinton, N.Y., and also the ski team in my senior year.
Fast forward to 2016
In 2016 I decided to start writing about some of my outdoor experiences for my grandkids. The story idea led to the idea of creating a web site and blog.
Getting people out in nature in every season and showing them how to have fun doing it
In summer, it's hiking and backpacking.
In winter, skishoeing is a great way for the whole family to have fun.
And for the hardy and adventurous, backpacking on skishoes is a great way to explore the backcountry.
And speaking of the newsletter, sign up for notice of latest stories and outdoor adventure tips delivered to your in-box.
My Xcountry skiing experiences on all the trails around Mt. Hood led to the discovery of “skishoes.”
They have the advantage of Xcountry skis and snowshoes combined. They climb better than skis with scales, but still glide, which in my opinion, beats snowshoes hands down.
They “float” higher in deep powder than modern snowshoes, and are less tiring because you’re just sliding your feet rather than picking them up. They’re very easy to balance on because they’re wider than cross country skis, and they’re much shorter, so it’s easy to turn.
They also have universal bindings