.: Ski XCOttawa.ca :: Skiing in Ottawa and Gatineau Park

Snow Dances
By:  Ingrid Hagberg   (2015/12/14)

It's now mid December and we still have yet to have a major snow fall in Gatineau Park. There was a brief and tantalizing taste of winter on November 24th, when snow fell, but since then the snow has melted and Ottawa has remained stubbornly green. As we progress closer and closer to the official start to winter, skiers are getting more and more desperate for snow!

Snowfall on November 24th. It was good for a couple days of skiing and then quickly melted.

I spoke to a few members of the skiing community to come up with a list of so-called "snow dances". While they generally do not involve dancing, a snow dance, for the purposes of this article, is any sort of ritual or behaviour done to persuade the snow to fall from the sky. Turns out there are a lot of interesting snow dances to appease even the most superstitious of us!

1. Put a crayon in the freezer and a spoon under your pillow.
This is supposedly a Newfoundland & Labrador tradition, but I suspect Kyle Power would disagree with me.

2. Wear your pyjamas inside out.
No deep tradition behind this one, just plain silliness.

3. Shaking your fist angrily at the sky.
When the times get desperate

First ski in 2013, sometime around November 9th

4. Sitting down on the pavement and refusing to roller ski anymore.
When the times are still really desperate. Not recommended for optimal race performance.

5. Yelling loudly and running as far up a hill as you can. All on a single breath. The farther you can make it, the better the chance it will snow.
A good activity to do if you are in charge of a bunch of hyper active kids.

6. While running in cold December rain it's best to pause at auspicious places (e.g. penguin hill, trail 15, gossip corner etc.) and visualize skiing in those places. This should be followed by someone starting a slow chant of "snow" which others pick up, making it louder and accelerating the tempo of chanting until an incoherent roar forms. Shaking of fists or stamping feet is encouraged. Usually ended by "praise ullr" the patron saint of skiers in Scandinavia.
If anyone actually does this in a group, I would love to see video evidence.

Hopefully these suggestions will encourage you to get out there and do your own snow dances!

Winter is coming!
Interesting Reading. . .
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