*Then, being February 18, 2010.
Backcountry skiing is generally a social endeavor. A partner is less about good company, and more about insurance. Although when the company is good, as is usually the case, then it’s just that much more enjoyable. But every now and then, albeit rarely, I like to go alone. Why? I like the solitude and the quiet. If you’ve ever toured† with me, then you know that I tend to consistently and perhaps incessantly, talk. There are moments when I’ve even driven myself nuts, and had to exercise all the self-control I can muster just to shut up. What’s worse, is that most of what I am letting out of my brain and into the air is incoherent nonsense that only makes sense if you can connect the rather precarious and far reaching dots floating around in my head. A task that, though I created them, often eludes even me.
†Touring can include: road trip, bike ride, lunch, or instant messenger.
The problem is very nearly eliminated if there is simply nobody around. At least then, the prattle is confined to the grey mush inside my wool cap. And so, yesterday alone I trudged through the heavy, wet snow and aspen trees. Under the bright, wonderful sun and the radiant blue sky. I made a few turns. I hiked one of the steepest skin tracks I’ve ever seen. Twice. It was nearly completely and utterly bereft of any switchbacks or low angle contouring. I have no idea who put the track in, but it was decidedly not somebody prone to mindless meanderings through the woods. It was direct and to the point.
Unlike most of what passes through the widening filter between my brain and my mouth.˚
Nevertheless, it was a day well spent. With long views, deep snow, and good company.