Closing Out the Stash

Luke and Tim on the road

The time spent in between winter and spring is always strange to me; I always feel as though I am hitting my fitness peak (from all the skinning and skiing), and that my skiing technique is finally rounding into shape.  Furthermore, my confidence on skis is bolstered by soft snow and warm temperatures, pushing me into more technical terrain.  Sadly, my enthusiasm for the ski season is tempered by the onset of spring and my friends beginning to turn their attention toward other sports.  Many of my friends have already begun their climbing seasons, while others spend our last days skiing lost in their thoughts of warm beaches and mellow breaks.

Tim enjoying spring conditions

While most of the people I know are cashing out their ski seasons, I am still in full ski mode and feel that we have at least a month of adequate and accessible runs left before we really have to hunt out end of season powder stashes or drive really far north.  Despite my concern that my climbing friends are beginning to distance themselves from me ability-wise due to their head start to the season, I will continue skiing as long as mother nature (and gas prices) allow. 

Tim accessing a very bare spot in one of the chutes

With the end of the season looming, Luke and I headed out to ‘The Stash’ on Friday to ascertain its condition and hopefully enjoy some great runs and savor the spring conditions.  It had been a few weeks since my last trip out to ‘The Stash’ – I had lost some enthusiasm for it due to the icy conditions encountered during my last few trips out there – but a rash of sixty degree weather was sure to rectify that. 

Luke hiking up

Upon our arrival at ‘The Stash,’ Luke and I discovered some excellent conditions, a surprising amount of snow on the ground, and blue skies.  While the snow was beginning to be undermined and some bare spots were starting to appear, if you were careful you could navigate top to bottom runs without interruption.  We hiked up the trails we were planning on riding, and it proved to be a great idea as we discovered and made notes of some areas that could be troublesome.  Despite the obstacles, the riding was incredible with patches of amazing spring snow.  And contrary to our mid-winter trips, we were not competing with other skiers or snowmobiles and had the place to ourselves.

Tim savoring ‘The Stash’
I don’t know if ‘The Stash’ has another day in it this season for me, and I guess it depends on what the weather decides to do the next few days.  I do know that if Friday was my last day there this season, then we closed ‘The Stash’ out with style as we did not encounter any other people (a luxury this winter) and enjoyed true spring conditions.  My only regret for the day was that I did not get one more run in.  While it is sad to see the ski season come to an end, I am excited by the enthusiasm my friends are showing about getting out climbing and paddling.  Hopefully I will be joining them soon…just not too soon.