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

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