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Showing posts from 2015

Skiing is Skiing, No Matter How Much Snow

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There's not a lot of snow, they say. In fact, it hasn't snowed at all, they say. There isn't that much open, they say. The Skiing is Boring, they say.
WHAT?! I'm Sorry, What did you say?!
The skiing is boring? You have to be wrong! There isn't snow everywhere ... well let me explain with a song:
Skiing is Skiing, no matter how much snow We turn left and we turn right, it doesn't matter how far we go.
Every DAY it is different Every TRAIL its own way Every TURN's a new challenge Every DAY you get to play
I am having a sweet time, my ski buddies and I, we are laughing and skiing and sometimes I even cry.
We make our own fun, as we play in the snow, we don't need steeps or powder we can go fast or even slow.
All we need is snowmakers and lifties, just to make everything go. And groomers, ski patrol, & park crew to help us play in the snow.
Skiing is Skiing, no matter how much snow We turn left and we turn right, it doesn't matter how far we go.
We ride th…

Dust on Crust and I'm Grinning Ear to Ear

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Finally.
To wake up this morning and watch the flakes floating through the sky instead of watching heavy non-solid precipitation make puddles in the dirt.
My heart heaved a sigh of relief as I stepped outside into the flurries.
My feet were cold against the squishy ground, but there was an off chance of greatness today and I wanted to thank the earth first.
Would there be enough?
Because holy crap it has rained for like 3 days.
   Would the mountain recover?
    Could it recover?
To be firm, oh crap would it be firm.
A text from a friend confirmed the solid truth of the matter.

But the guns were on.
It had dropped 12 degrees since 7am.
And there were freshies.
Untouched Snow!
Like from the Sky and everything!

An east coast skiers dream.
The first real snowfall of the season and it's dust on crust.
That little bit of untouched snow that falls onto the eerily yellow groomer tracks magically exposed.
Finding that little pocket of built up snow as you fall off the trail, inching e…

Thoughts from the Walkway

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Ahhh, the dreaded walkway.  Killington has a video meme with someone walking a stair machine in full gear with their skis thrown over their shoulder.  It has been called the Stairway to Heaven, a combination never ending song used when disc jockeys need to use the restroom and the trail which lost its existence for the Walkway's creation.  Backpacks litter the top of the North Ridge as people bring sneakers with which to walk out.  There is talk of sponges to cushion the shoulders and packs for ski carrying.  And then there are those who convince others to carry their skis for them ...

To me, the walkway is something different.

It is a place.
A time.
A moment.

The Walkway is where I give thanks.

After the first quick ascent where everyone can see you, I take a deep breathe let my legs get lost in the rhythm.  I keep my eye on the walkway, making sure not to lose a toe stuck underneath the grate and rip my pants.  Or how no matter what I do, I always seem to be stepping up wi…

Killington Opening Day 2015 with Tucker

My big brother and 200+ day skier, Tucker, was definitely feeling the stoke of Opening Day in North America this season ... so here is his version of opening day madness:
Killington Opening Day 2015
                   this season opener in vermont was not to be missed. With all the talk of some mountain in Maine possibly opening before the Beast!?!?! Let the poker game opening day bluff match begin!! That mountain in Maine came out last week and claimed they were going to open on Monday 10/19 and the game was on, all their chips were on the table as the whole world could see. As a retort Killington raised the bet and went in with 10/18, high noon. Then the bluff game got serious... There were whispers that the competition may have a full house and be able to backdoor The Beast, the hype suggested they may open at 9 am... The Beast waited till gameday and went all in on 9am as well. The Beast called that mountain in Maine's bluff and walked away the champion of not only the east coas…

The Night Before

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I'm here, in a chair next to the window wall, watching big fluffy flakes fall in the lamplights.  So many flakes float downward, settling themselves on the untamed and leaf covered lawn.  They are building up and I watch as the autumn ground is slowly covered in a blanket of white.  A sort of peace covers the earth as the night turns dark ... And yet, my heart is racing.  For tomorrow, at noon, my world will change from one of waiting to one where each day revolves around one thing.  A life where my every thought, my every breath, is consumed by a force of nature greater than myself.  It pulls, it draws, it will not let me go.  I feel like my blood has spilled on the ground as simultaneously as new blood has seeped through my veins from above.  My soul is replenished. I am part of this experience of nature that is happening outside my window, yet separated for the greatness by this pane of glass.   I had to go, to break from life and what is supposed to be; I had to go into the worl…

Ten Days in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness: Nina Moose, Lac La Croix and Ramshead

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Everyone must believe in something. I believe I'll go canoeing.
- Henry David Thoreau




We had planned to go this fall, but a sudden change in schedules meant we had two full weeks off simultaneously.  It took us less than a week to dehydrate everything, order a second 115 liter dry bag backpack and throw it all in the car. And drive. And drive some more.  We slept at rest stops and Wal-Mart store parking lots along the way. And then drove some more. We took our Volvo across New York and Pennsylvannia and then headed north through the historical Upper Peninsula of Michigan (where we dined on the same meals as loggers of the 1800s - whitefish paté and pastys) and over to the Land of 10,000 Lakes: Minnesota.  We arrived at the BWCAW with no plan, no maps and no real idea of what we were doing except for all our canoe camping experience in the Adirondacks of New York. So after a unbelievably quick trip to register our canoe in Minnesota, we headed over to Piragis Outfitters (for no other …

The Last Chair Already Turned: A Poem of Healing

its weird.
this feeling that the last day has already happened. that the last chair has already turned.
but it wasn't supposed to.
we were supposed to have another day. a final day a June day
I guess we're not supposed to
it was the closest we've come in years the closest to having that final day of joy a final day to say goodbye a final day to come to grips with the fact that that which life revolves around is no more
it's weird. this feeling that the lat chair has already happened. I was there. I had champagne I toasted the season
but why does it feel like I missed it? like something isn't complete?
Is it because I don't want it to end.   even knowing that it can't I want it to stay forever a piece of me is missing it just vanished in the night and I awoke to find it gone taken from me
I know, I know, seasons change and there is more to life than skiing I get it.
but in my heart, I don't.
A piece of me is missing, the piece that makes me whole but it …

Canoeing The Bog River and Low's Lake: a Five Day Backcountry Paddling Adventure

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There is magic in the feel of a paddle and the movement of a canoe, a magic compounded of distance, adventure, solitude and peace  the way of a canoe is the way of the wilderness and a freedom almost forgotten, the open door to waterways of ages past and a way of ice with profound and abiding satisfaction.      -Sigurd Olsen

When we arrived at the Low's Lower Dam parking area on the Sunday afternoon before Memorial Day Weekend, we were disappointed to see lot so full people were parking up the road!  Quickly though, we noticed that everyone was leaving to go back to work on Monday.  Moving everything to the launch area was a slow process as we waited for several larger groups of canoes and kayaks to disembark from the lake.  We didn't mind though - we will always choose less people on the water over more any day!

The first day of our travels was a familiar one.  Our first trip to the Bog River was almost four years ago (see blog here).  Camp One for this trip would be the last…