Spring is coming quick this year it seems, but I'm doing my best to not let off the gas on ski season. I have noticed the past half decade or so that March is usually fairly lousy in terms of skiing here in the Colorado Front Range, and actually warmer and less snowy than April and often even May. But that requires some faith and I want to keep the momentum rolling for a bit more before turning in the skis for the bike and backpack. I've worked five of the past six days, but have managed to get some skiing in each of those six days, so that's a positive sign.
Came back Friday from Crested Butte and conditions were firm. Nothing glorious about it. Saturday was similar, but then Sunday it snowed, and while it was not enough to cover up the firm stuff underneath, it was good. Monday was similar, but then it got warm, but oddly the past two days have been good skiing actually, Not powder, but soft. The wind blew last night which added a little wind crust, but it was still fun. A good 86th day out.
I was talking to some folks at work yesterday, and they were lamenting how skiing wind crust made their skiing feel lousy, and how they felt like they were regressing. I know the feeling – on some days conditions are such that it's more survival skiing than pretty skiing. In my opinion, that's OK. In fact, it's part of the beauty. Skiing is an outdoor sport, and the variability of conditions makes it what it is. It's not basketball, played in a controlled environment, and that's the fun of it. Fun being the operative word. As long as you are enjoying the process, the quality of turns is irrelevant. That's the human experience of the whole thing.
We're putting together a little event Saturday night. It's the last full day of winter, and also a big full moon. So we're going to have a party, after work, on skis – Intergalactic style. Friends, snow, the moon and bonfires at 12,000 feet. A celebration of a great winter that was, and many future winters to come.
In the meantime, it's keeping focus on the season. Skinning up today, I checked out the willows for early spring buds. None yet, at least not in this location. I won't lie – I'm excited for this biking season because I get to ride with Elaine, and the thoughts of an early ride on tacky spring dirt with those little pasque flowers blooming and the smell of pungent pine in the air is creeping into my head. But that will come soon enough. Tomorrow we're going for Elaine's first 14er ski descent, and after that it's skiing every day as long as conditions allow and rejoicing when the next storm arrives, because it always does, and in late March and April, it can be massive.