The Return of Winter
“Good to Go!”, your friend says as he checks your avalanche beacon. A high-five sends you down the trail on your first tour of the season.
Swish. Swish. Swish. The familiar sound of touring skins gliding on the snow once again graces your ears. A slight breeze blows down the new snow from the treetops. It’s good to be out again!
Ten minutes after leaving, your hip flexors start screaming at you. Your feet throb with each step as they reacquaint themselves with your ski boots. You’re sweating like a pig, and it’s 15 degrees outside. You’ve finally realized that you’re out of shape. Because instead of running up and down mountains, you drank beer and went fishing. Dry-heaves fill the gaps between conversation. You’ve made this approach many times, but the first day is always the roughest. Regardless, you smile because you get to go skiing again.
Shit. You left your lunch on the kitchen counter. A friend offers you half of their sandwich, along with some trail mix that has likely been in their pack since the Spring. It’s beginning to look like you’re buying beers at the end of the day. Oh well.
The winds at the top are bone-chilling. You get ready as fast as you can, bobbling your gear as you transition and looking like a total rookie. Descent plans are discussed and a lineup has been made. You’re nervous about making that first turn, do you even remember how to ride? That time comes and you disappear into the white room…
At the bottom, your friends grins are as big as your own. Until the moment you realize you left your pant vents open and snow made it’s way in…now they’re grinning even more. Everyone transitions to uphill mode without even asking, “Wanna do another lap?”.
Back at the local brewery, everyone celebrates another opening day with a round of beers. The excitement of another season is evident as plans are already being made for next weekend, and beyond. It’s good to be back on snow, sharing the skin track with your best friends and making memories with every turn. Winter has returned!