I like to drink beer. More specifically, I enjoy drinking good beer (I blame ten impressionable years of working in liquor stores). Although my budget would seem to be a hindrance to my affection for good beer, it rarely stops me from buying good beer; rather I scrimp elsewhere – like eating peanut butter sandwiches for two meals a day (as long as I have a nice IPA to wash them down with). I suppose my love of a cold beer at the end of a hard day does little to separate me from most of the skiing and climbing world.
It may sound strange, but over the last few months beer has been a motivating factor for me. Beer can be pretty expensive when you live in Massachusetts, especially when compared to our neighbor, New Hampshire. In addition to the expense of beer, Massachusetts also tacks on a bottle deposit. These costs can add up pretty quickly…especially to a person with parents who would drive twenty miles out of their way to save five cents a gallon on gas.
The cheap beer effect has really helped keep the stoke up, despite the crazy weather we have had in the northeast over the last few months. In the fall, if I had a doubt that Rumney or Pawtuckaway might be wet, or I began to waver thinking it would be too cold to climb, I always thought to myself: “I can at least buy some good beer cheap on the drive home.” This winter, when I find myself doubting coverage, or wondering about the ski-ability of certain terrain, I remind myself that, if nothing else, I can return with some cheap, delicious brews.
It was this logic that got me to join Doug and Mark this past Sunday on a foray to Mount Moosilauke to summit a New Hampshire 4,000 footer and make a ski descent. Arriving at Moosilauke, I was certainly surprised by the very good snow coverage on the mountain. In spite of the fact that there was little snow to be seen on the drive up, the mountain itself appeared to ski-able from top to bottom, albeit on very firm (read: icy) snow. I spent the better part of our ascent hopeful that the sun would poke out and soften the snow, but it never did. While the skiing for the day could be described as “survival skiing,” the company was great, the weather was perfect, and I came home with enough Tuckerman’s Pale Ale to last me until my next journey north.