It’s November and the ski season is chasing us down in big steps—
The high mountains glow with their white slopes. I’ve had to scrape my windshield a couple times. And I drove through a snowstorm coming back from my last climbing trip in the desert Southwest. Some ski areas have announced early openings.
I feel like a kid (almost!) at the beginning of every new winter, barely able to contain my excitement. And, why not, it is FUN to be excited!
Time to go into the basement, dig out the ski gear, give my boards a fresh coat of wax, put new batteries in my beacon, fill the backpack with shovel, probe and extra layers.
Then, I’ll have to wait some more. Because it isn’t actually time to go skiing yet, at least not out-of-bounds or in the backcountry.
I don’t go into the backcountry much in early season conditions because I find it too dangerous. Thinly hidden obstacles like rocks and roots could end my ski season in a hurry. So I wait patiently until there’s a bit of a base on the ground. I might take a few laps on a groomer at the ski area just to hold me over until the backcountry games begin. And when they do, backcountry skiing is about the best thing on earth.
So, be patient. And then, have fun!
If you need a little help with the fun part, come join us for an early-season Avalanche Rescue Course. 1-day Avalanche Rescue Courses are essential for backcountry newbies and as refreshers for experienced backcountry travelers. They’re a fantastic way to kick-start the ski season.
If you’ve got some backcountry experience and are looking for a mind-blowing, powder-skiing extravaganza, come join us in Hokkaido, Japan.