This year started like most others, with excitement looking toward the coming winter and dreams of getting out and finding those beautiful days to make beautiful memories. A dry October and pretty dry November morphed me into a wishing phase, wishing it would just come and give us the winter we are all hoping for. As November ended and we tipped into December, the wishing became waiting, however impatiently but still hopeful. Ending December and starting January with such a dismal snowpack, things quickly became desperate, I’m not particularly superstitious person but I started re-evaluating what I could be doing wrong to bring us such a poor winter. Have I not danced enough dances, said enough prayers? Should I have burned my own skis instead of my husbands? (Shhh! Don’t tell!) Now there is a small bit of hope with this incoming big winter storm. I’m still a skeptic and not holding my breath but please let it be so! Thus, I’m crossing my fingers this storm brings about what I’m hoping.
I’m crossing my fingers for the backcountry community and myself that if we do, in fact, get a solid refresh on our snow, that we can remain diligent. After being so patient for so long I’m just as ready as any one to tear into that new snow just like a kid on Christmas when their parents finally make their way out to the tree to start opening presents. It’s easy to forget that in one of the presents is a venomous snake that can easily be avoided if we can maintain our restraint through constant evaluation and intentional decision making. Remember, we cannot control how much snow we get and how it interfaces with our existing, poorly structured snowpack, but we can control what terrain we choose to expose ourselves to. We have a new recording on YouTube from a live presentation given by Ben Bauter last night at Roosters B Street that is a great watch if you are needing a quick refresher on terrain management.
Cross your fingers that we do get snow, and please, hope that everyone can get out and enjoy some untracked turns while still returning home safely. Look out for those red flags while your out and pay attention to what the snow has done and continues to do in the near future. We can read the packaging on this new storm and avoid disaster. Don’t let yourself be surprised by the potential danger lurking below. Continue to be patient because even though we miss them, those bigger lines will still be there later, it’s worth the wait. In the mean time, get out there and have some fun. Dance those magic storm dances and, as always, pray for snow.