Thursday, May 13, 2010

The end

Last weekend was a bit of a strange one.
Here it was, the second weekend in May, and Jack and I were trudging up through the forest in Summit Pass toward Raven's Ridge.
There was still a good three feet or so of snow left even at the highway elevation, but the tree wells were melted out, and in a few place we slipped through on a narrow ridge of snow left between two spruce.
The sun overhead beamed brightly, birds that had not been heard in months chirped merrily, and the lake, with it's former shield of icy armor, was now withering away.
The spring season as long set in at the lower elevations, but these high places have held out longer.
With each passing week we trekked higher and higher, farther and farther, searching for lands where winter still clung.
The slopes below have grown soft and wet under the suns rays, but there are place where the snow will not melt, and winter will fight to hang on.
This weekend, we may not find that place.
It's hard to believe I think.
I look across the pass and see a mountain I skied almost half a year ago, yet, it was still in the same season.
I think for a minute as Jack notes how many days he's put in this season.
I realize that, including skate skis, I've skied every weekend since sometime in mid-November except for two. Those two were spent trekking through the warm southwest soaking up sun with a very special friend and vitally recharging for more dark and cold nights alone.
It's absurd to me.
What's more absurd, is that when we get off this mountain, it will be weeks again before I touch my board.
Sure, perhaps I'll ski some in the coming months.
But lately, it's become a way of life to spend weekends, cruising over impenetrable alders crushed beneath a half dozen feet of snow or more, trekking high on narrow ridges and exploring buried forests.
I look up at the sunny blue skies, and I think to myself, hoping some higher being might hear, "It'll be OK if it starts snowing now."

It won't, and even if it does, it'll be the wrong kind of snow, it too will succumb. It'll come again though, soon enough.

1 comment:

Jack said...

More than 5 consecutive glisseless days was an odd feeling.

Ah, but it's never over. A little more walking, but it's still there, up higher...