Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Back at it again.

I'm very excited to be guest blogging again for S and T and getting the chance to share my outdoor experiences with you guys.

I recently started a new career that has me working strange hours with days off at random intervals. There was a wonderful period when I would get the opportunity to join these guys on the majority of their outdoor adventures. Unfortunately, it’s been a while since I’ve gotten out at all, plus the lack of snow in the northeast hasn’t helped.

One of the nice things about working midnights for the last couple months is watching the snow come down, providing me with a handful of beautiful sunrises over freshly fallen powder. I've been too beat post shift to find the motivation to get out without good snow beckoning to me, and it's finally arrived.

Last Friday morning, after a pretty significant nighttime snowfall, I found myself dropping my fiancée off at work. On my way back out of town, I happened to look up and see gleaming trails intertwined among the trees on some of the hillsides above me. I recalled that I had my Karhu 10th Mountains in the back of my Subaru and was suddenly struck with the desire to get out on the newly fallen snow. Despite having been up all night, I wheeled up an access road to the base of the mountain, strapped in and started climbing.

I had a great time up there, even though the conditions could always be better. I was just so glad to be out, enjoying myself once again in the cold.

I’d hardly been on skis all season so just getting out on the snow, especially after a long overnight shift, was a great way to start (or end) my day. I’m glad I took advantage of the opportunity to get in some turns and am pretty motivated to get out as much as I can the rest of the season. Moving off of midnights in a couple weeks should help…

So, I shared my experience on these trails with my hosts on this blog and, of course, we had to make a special trip back out there together this Monday. Again, I was just getting off shift and might have preferred to go to bed, but my excitement from getting out before, plus having my best friends with me, made it easy for me to forgo my bed.

This time, we all brought heavy gear instead of touring. I was on an AT setup, with S & T dropping a knee (telemark) as usual. We slapped our skins on and began the trek up with my friends' Chocolate Lab, Odin, urging us on. The trails had been tracked out a bit, but it was another beautiful day to be on a mountainside, so we didn't mind.

As we reached the top, we were teased by some skin tracks that seemed to continue up even further, but decided to head back down. We peeled our skins and armored up for the descent with outer layers and helmets. I clicked in the heels of my Fritsche Freeride AT bindings and waited impatiently for T to tighten up his tele bindings.

We'd noticed a pretty nice chute off to one side of the trail we were climbing and decided to take it on the way down. It was relatively open but steep, and was well covered by snow. We could see only a handful of tracks making their way down the mountain, so there was plenty of fresh snow to be had.

I won't do a play by play of our descent, but we all agreed that it was some of the best downhill we've done all season and would have lapped it a couple times if we'd had time.

Unfortunately, later that same day, as well as the next, we received 50 degree temps and rain. I'm hoping not to lose my motivation with the influx of crappy weather. There are whispers of colder temps and more snow later this week. Should be enough to keep the fire burning about getting out.

Thanks again to my hosts for letting me share. Looking forward to the next time and the next line...

Our good friend Mike lives in Montpelier with his lady love Sofia and shares and enjoys the finer things in life like skiing, mountain biking, good food, and good friends.  Here he shares one of his many adventures with us.

1 comment:

  1. That chute your talking about is one of the best runs out there, its my favorite one