Endurance races, ski trips, musings, and adventures on the East Coast.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Finding Adventure (and getting lost)

It's easy to dismiss the Green Mountains as being too small for significant, epic, adventures. They're not as tall or rugged as the nearby Whites and Adirondacks, and there aren't a lot of open, alpine summits either. But that doesn't mean there isn't adventure and excitement to be had....sometimes it's great to get lost in your backyard.

There was the time this winter a friend and I got pinned down by fierce winds on the top of Mansfield during an early morning powder lap before work. Smart? No. But man, we were awake when we got to work.

And then recently I tried to connect up a couple of lines at a ski area I know well. Seemed easy enough, except that I missed a key turn. Usually not a big deal, but this time I'd dragged some family and friends along for the ride. It was tight and schwacky skiing, something I've gotten used too. But skiing with them reminded me that, to most people, whacking you're way through evergreens isn't skiing.

Sometimes though it gets you to an amazing place. This adventure wasn't any different, but unfortunately the snow wasn't good enough to take advantage of the sweet tree stashes we were moving through (it was actually wet, heavy snow that was tiring to ski). Two hours and a number of "it's just over that rise comments from me" later we hit a road and hitched back to the ski area.

Sure, my pride and confidence were a little diminished. But, now I have a reference for a few hundred acres worth of totally skiable, lift accessible terrain. Not everyone sees it that way, and it will probably be a little while before the family is willing to trust my "lets just punch through over there" attitude. But it's through exploring and adventuring that you get to sweet open trees like this on powder days.

Plus, we had way more to talk about afterwards. How much time can you really spend talking about skiing bumps? Getting "lost", however, will be a dinner table topic for years to come. Plus, its always good to give your younger brother some trash talking ammunition right. Keeps things more interesting. Do, while I felt terrible about partially ruining a great ski day, there were some positives too. But we also got lucky. Nobody got hurt, and we made it out just fine.

It's not good to be reckless; you have to know your terrain, your skills, and your limits. There is definitely a lot of risk in exploring, but for me at least, the rewards are worth it.

My personal lesson: it's good to keep the eyes and mind open. You never know where you're going to find the next sweet turns. And sometimes getting lost is (a little) fun, assuming you make it out okay.

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