“Now is the winter of our discontent
Made glorious summer by this sun…”
What an odd winter the American West is experiencing. Dry. Warm. Almost spring-like, even. Snow, or rain, is supposed to arrive shortly. Which will only further complicate the precarious backcountry snowpack. Indeed, I have emotionally written off the possibility of skiing deep, light powder before next winter. Which is not to say that I wouldn’t jump at the chance to do so much sooner.* But currently I am fixated on spring, on mountain biking, and weathering the strangest, and possibly the most pleasant, winter I can remember.
*I am optimistic that the spring corn will be stellar.
After all, any depression incited by the lack of skiing has been offset with singletrack. Real singletrack. In mid-winter. With dirt, and even dust.
It won’t last. It can’t last. Can it?
Perhaps the most telling sign of how truly bizarre this season has been is the disappointment incurred when a storm is forecast.
“What? A storm? I was going to ride today!”
How quickly our expectations, even for January in Utah, have been skewed. Nevertheless, the eternal-November has been (in the short term) rather intriguing. A gift from the bike gods? Alas, it is a gift that could (in the long term) prove more burdensome and costly than any of us would like. Shallow winters usually precede droughtful summers. However, last winter was so entirely spectacular that perhaps 2011-12 is but a regression to the mean. A simple statistical correction.
Whatever it is, or turns out to be, I won’t complain about the terrible skiing. Not so long as the distraction of singletrack remains.