Thanks for everyone that chimed in on yesterday’s CrossFit post. Obviously, it’s a hot button of controversy, but I do appreciate that no one called me names over my opinion. So that’s good.
Other than getting feisty on the interwebs, I’ve been turning my head towards the mountains quite frequently. Why? Ladies and gentlemen, we have snow!
It’s nearing that time of the year where I start kissing my beloved hiking trails goodbye and turn my attention towards the fluffy stuff falling from the sky. I get that people in other states dread the approach of the cold and the ice, but in Colorado, it’s practically a national holiday.
And no, I’m totally not kidding!
Even better? I think this year is going to be a fun-filled winter of exploration and adventure for me and my two planks. Why? Because I’m diving into backcountry skiing!
You see, I’m a longtime inbounds skier. My mom put my sis and me in lessons when I was four and I’ve been skiing ever since (excluding a few years in my teens when I was too cool for life in general…or so I thought). I grew up skiing at Loveland, Winter Park, and Copper Mountain, and took amazing skiing for granted without realizing how fortunate I was to have world-class slopes within a few hours. We moved to Maine and I got to experience east coast powder at Sunday River and Sugarloaf before returning to my beloved Colorado.
I moved to Steamboat in fall of 2006 and immediately signed on for a season as a kids’ ski instructor. I spent all winter chasing toddlers down the mountain and honing my patience levels! After returning to Denver to begin my graduate program, I realized I missed the instruction side of the mountain, so I spent the next few seasons as a volunteer adaptive ski instructor through the National Sports Center for the Disabled.
My M.Ed was focused on outdoor sports for at-risk populations, so this experience was priceless as I worked with a variety of kiddos and adults. I learned how to fit ski boots on a child with Down Syndrome; how to encourage a child with autism to branch out and try new ski runs; how to secure an epileptic onto the ski lift; how to convince a blind skier to trust me; and how to communicate with an ex-war vet suffering from PTSD. I even began training so that I could work with para and quadriplegic skiers on a sit-ski, but unfortunately, grad program got in the way and I had to quit volunteering.
I’m hoping to find another adaptive program this winter (maybe one that is closer than a 2 hour drive?), but I am also excited to explore the Colorado backcountry on my skis. You see, Will and I have decided that the 2013-2014 ski season will be dedicated to adventuring in the out-of-bounds snow in the mountains. After (finally) taking our Av 1 course last winter, we both feel prepared. I’ve been backcountry skiing a handful of times, but never committed for two reasons: I hadn’t taken the course and I didn’t have the proper gear. Well, I took the course and Will bought me the gear for Christmas last year, so I’m ready!
We’re even so sure of our decision that we decided to completely eliminate a season pass this year. May not sound like much but that is a HUGE deal to me! We are buying a 4-pack to Copper Mountain so that we can ski with my mom and maybe some friends, but that is it. We even have a scouting day set up with a new friend at the end of October. We’re going to hike up to a few peaks and check out the ski potential for later in the winter.
Honestly, I’m really looking forward to the experience! I get tired of lifts and people at resorts, but more importantly, I’m thrilled at the prospect of an even more peaceful experience on skis. Imagine grabbing fresh tracks with only you and a few friends in the immediate area. Pretty amazing. And is it even more weird that I think I’ll enjoy every quad thrashing-lung burning-sweat inducing climb?
Do you ski or board?
Inbounds or backcountry?