Winter is…here

Ashley on the summit of Mount Flume

Ashley on the summit of Mount Flume

We have finally made it to the part of the year where my anticipation of ski season really begins to bubble over. Ski movies have started being released; locally there have been numerous showings, at various venues. The first ski resorts in the Northeast opened this week, led by Killington, Sunday River, and Sugarloaf. While I am beyond anxious to ski, driving 3+ hours to run laps on one or two trails of man-made snow just isn’t going to happen. In all honesty, having to pay to ski is also a deterrent, and not having a discount at any of the open mountains has certainly helped to keep me away.

Doug on the Summit of Mount Liberty

Doug on the Summit of Mount Liberty

With ski season right around the corner now, there are a million things I should be doing in preparation. A shakeout of my winter kit shows that most of my shells are in dire need of re-waterproofing, there are some nicks in my ski pants that could use patching, a pair of boots that needs molding, two pairs of skis to be mounted, and a ton of tuning to do. Even worse, is that I am sure that once I dig into it, I will find even more to do (and/or my girlfriend’s boards will need tuning/she will find more for me to do).

Looking back at Cannon Mountain and Little Haystack

Looking back at Cannon Mountain and Little Haystack

Having spent last weekend far from the ski bench, opting to spend a rainy Saturday book shopping in the city, and making up for a lackluster fall climbing season by hitting the rock gym Sunday, I am far behind where I should be. It seems that every ski season shakes out this way—in spite of endless enthusiasm and a multi-month build of ski stoke, I still always find myself scraping the summer wax from my skis the night before my first day out and wishing I had gotten around to retreating my jacket the first rainy/snowy day out. Don’t even get me started on the neglected preseason training in the gym.

First snowball of the season

First snowball of the season

With ski season obviously coming fast, this past weekend seemed the perfect opportunity to spend some time at the bench, and begin preparations for the season. So with that in mind, I went hiking. If the desire for skiing was strong before, it has been turned to pure lust. Heading north Saturday morning, I was aware that the mountains had received a little bit of winter weather the day before, but was not prepared for them to look as wintry as they did. Gaining elevation as we hiked, the dusting in the parking lot quickly became an inch of snow, which quickly became a boot top’s worth of snow. In my head, I began to regret not bringing skis, thinking I could have made a few turns (rocky turns, but turns nonetheless).

Doug enjoying a winter wonderland

Doug enjoying a winter wonderland

The mountains’ winter appearance has made fending off the ski bug a near impossible task. I can only hope that a more local mountain opens this coming weekend, or I might find myself making the long ride north to a distant mountain just to carve some turns I actually paid full price for on Saturday morning.

I’m sure Friday night will probably be spent scraping the summer wax of my skies.

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