Thursday, February 26, 2015

Ski Bum Soul

Sometimes life moves too fast.
Rushing and racing
From home to work to the bar to the hill
Trying to hold onto the reigns
Of something you never had control over in the first place.
Your Soul.
It hides away slowly,
Always ready 
For a soul filling adventure
One where you close your eyes, put on your skis and let the mountain take you where it will,
Through the woods
Through the fields
Listening to your soul
And for once - following it.
May You Find the Spirit of the Mountains Within You, Merisa

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Dressing for Yesterday

the frigid horror of 
six degrees farenheit
a severe wind-chill warning 
and a not-so warming sun bright in the sky
was still running through my mind.

and then the thermometer read 
-20 F
when I checked immediately upon waking up this morning.
- 20 F?????

 So I rolled back over 
and snuggled into the boyfriend's back.

The view from Pico Mountain after skinning the Hershey Highway
 and dreamed about how cold it has been.
constantly
the kind of dream where you 
wake up shivering
constantly cold
and unable to break into the warmth
save for your few treasured minutes
in a nice hot shower

So this time I grabbed enthusiastically 
for that would make me finally be warm enough
that I might actually sweat
and being completely warm
I do love winter,
so badly it hurts,
but even I hate the permanent chill in my spine.

My warmer touring gloves,
with waffled warmers
an extra layer everywhere
and within 20 minutes I was
steaming
sweating
warm
pulling the hood off my head 
feeling the steam come off my head
like a chimney

Steaming
Sweating
Warm

I found the cure
and I am finally so cozy and comfortable
except for the pain of moving
sliding each boot forward
my hamstrings are stretching
calves and hip flexors are screaming
Move Quicker, Stride Longer
the harder you push,
the warmer you are
and I am 
steaming
sweating
warm

finally



Jason Beaupre, a serious Peak Bagger & an old friend
of the boyfriend's, on his first ski touring experience
May You Find the Spirit of the Mountains With You,
Merisa

Monday, February 23, 2015

Make Your Own Skin Track

a mountain adventure takes an unexpected turn
The wind was howling, I realized as I stepped out the door to the house, skin covered skis in hand.  Taking a deep breathe, I hoisted my skis over my left shoulder, careful to keep my dynafit heel pieces from getting caught on the shoulderstraps of my backpack.  A big gust of wind came moving across the driveway and the reality of the wind chill advisory came to full effect.  I suspected that this was going to be a much different adventure than what I had originally set out to do.
I throw my skis down at the trailhead and quickly move into the woods.  My hood is pulled tight, covering my top knotted hair with a Skida headband to cover my ears.  It’s so cold that I can feel the bite in between my eyes, even as my eyelids begin to stick together as I move further along.
Six Degrees and Severe Wind Chill Warnings: Perfect
But the sun was glorious.
As soon as you stepped into the glow of the sun, you felt warmed to your very bones.  It shone through the leaf bare trees that lined the forest, all the brush buried under the vast amount of snow.  The whole forest has become just an amazing winter wonderland.  It reminds me of the aspens in Steamboat.  But it’s right outside my front door.  Right here in Vermont.
The wind is biting through the trees as I make my way through the woods.  Some are thick, and wear there snow like top hats, piled high above their highest point.  Others, seem to just be lightly painted with a light, fluffy gloss.  The light seems almost woven into the forest, crossed by all variety of trees and their increasingly long shadows.
I have no idea why I got into the woods at all today.  My original intention was to climb quick and hard on the groomed trails, but something else called to me.  Instead of containing forward with my plan, at some point I chose to go to the left.  Off the beaten path, taking my first strides carefully, I broke trail for a few hours.  
The snow was perfect.  This last new snowfall fell atop a fairly firm surface - we now have a new base depth with the last snowfall building on that.  It was perfect for meandering about the forest, taking the long way to the reward.  No set route, no real plan, just letting the slope of the mountain and the spacing of the trees determine my course along the tree-covered ridgeline.
Just gliding along, letting the spirit of the mountain guide my soul.  
Somehow finding myself at the perfect powder stash.
I am home.

May you Find the Spirit of the Mountains Within You,

Merisa

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Yet Another Powder Day at Killington

open my eyes,
Slowly,
It's my one day off from work
and I really, really want to sleep in.

I get up like I always do,
The first thing I always do
I pull back the window curtain like I always do...

SHIT!

It snowed.
A lot.
Again!
How is this happening to us?
It's the East Coast!

I have got to get to the mountain!!!!

Sure, it's rediculously cold.
Sure, it's ridiculously windy.

But none if that matters
as I make my first turn
snow hits me in the knee
And then right at my groin.
What?
I'm not in the woods
Or in a snow drift
I am out here, on a regular ole trail
And getting powder shots up to my waist??
Holy crap --
What must the trees be like??

I can't get enough.
Every spare moment
Every spare thought
I cannot sit still
Knowing there is untracked snow
Out there
In the mountains
Waiting for me to leave my mark

Sometimes it is gorgeous
A perfectly drawn line in the snow,
The leaving of a schuss on a clean, pristine white blanket.

Othertimes it is ugly.
Hooking a branch or a tree
And I end up in a tree well
Or upside down and backwards

And sometimes,
The woods they leave their mark on me.
A bruise on my left wrist from a random sideways stump,
Scars across my face from the constant whipping of tree branches,
Bruises on my shins from when my skis went on one side of a lowflying branch and my body on the other.
A bruise on my knee when a not so nice tree decided to stop me during a fall.

But who cares?
The snow has been so soft you can go anywhere.
Do anything.
Be anyone.
Be yourself.

May You Find the Spirit of the Mountains Within You,
Merisa

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Snow Moon: A Moonlit Ski Tour Up Killington

What an absolutely gorgeous snow moon we had this week!  Had a helarious moon lit tour with a great ski sister through the Vermont woods.  Not sure what was more fun - all the giggling while breaking trail up or the sexy fresh pow on the way down :)May You Find the Spirit of the Mountains Within You,
Merisa

Monday, February 2, 2015

Video: Skiing Every Day at Killington

Ever wondered what it's really like on my uphill adventures on Killington?  
Join Killington TV as they follow me up the mountain one morning!


Ever wondered what it's really like on my uphill adventures on Killington?  
Join Killington TV as they follow me up the mountain one morning!

May You Find the Spirit of the Mountains Within You,
Merisa