Now and Then
*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.
markApril 8, 2010
I’m guessing you were in Mill D. And I’m guessing it was the same skinner we were on Tuesday. I thought the same thing about how ridiculously steep it was. I also thought you had been up there earlier that day with Keith and therefore you were to blame for the steepness, but apparently not.
Grizzly AdamApril 8, 2010
Yes, Mill D. And I was up there with Keith, but the track had already been put in when we were there. We probably just missed seeing you Tues. The goods were good Tuesday night. Yesterday afternoon… not so much. Wet and heavy. It did not help that I was up there at the warmest time of the day.
bartApril 8, 2010
Perfect skinner huh!
Grizzly AdamApril 8, 2010
I wondered aloud if you or Jared may have been the author of it.
GregApril 9, 2010
I too enjoy the contemplative silence found only in the solitude of the trees. That’s on of the reasons I ride by myself 75% of the time.