Seasons of Change

The tides are changing into spring and the snow is dwindling fast. I always have mixed emotions this time of year. Although I’m happy to see the sunshine, I have to say good-bye to my dear friend, snow. All that fluffy stuff creates so much joy and happiness for six months a year and brings me together with my mountain community. It’s sad to say good-bye to those friends I see in the mountains doing what we love, ski. But change is good and forward I must go. Until we meet again old man winter!12799278_10153961585104808_6251572300085523987_n1545752_10154063042155802_3166847435775223436_n

Black Friday…

So I should be posting all the greatest deals out there right now on ski gear, winter gear and everything else, but I couldn’t bring myself to do it. It’s the first weekend of winter and ski season (resorts opening) and the holidays. All I could think about and want to do was play outside and enjoy spending time with my family and little lovies.

I opted to #OptOutside with REI and thought that was the greatest marketing plan I’ve seen in my life. We are over-run with consumerism, shopping and the latest and greatest. Which I’m not opposed to modern technology but sometimes, I like to leave my cell phone home, unplug and not look at my computer for a few days. I want to enjoy the simple life. That’s when I escape to my #tinycabin, build a fire to stay warm, shovel the driveway and listen to the creek outside my bedroom window. The simple things in life bring happiness. Families, friends, sunsets, snow crystals glistening in the ray of sunshine sneaking through the clouds as you’re riding the chairlift to the top of the mountain or hiking to the top to ski down, listening to the snow crunching under your feet as you set out on your winter adventure, or watching your little buddy go off the trial in the snow drift and disappear as the snow engulfs him but coming up for air as he’s loving every moment of it. That’s happiness, peace, and comfort which brings a smile to my face.

Enjoy the simple things of life. We live in a fast-track society. Slow down and enjoy the simple things. I promise it will bring a smile to your soul.

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#MountainCrushMonday

Ah…my Mountain Crush is back and I couldn’t be more giddy, happy, excited and elated! Yesterday was my first day out on my skis and it was soooo good to be back. That first trek up the mountain burns, hurts, my feet are yelling at me, my calves feel like they’re going to pop and I swear I forgot how to ski over the summer but the smile on my face says it all, I’m in love and my true obsession has returned.

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It was fun to get out on the very little snowpack we have. I felt alive driving to the mountain in my ski pants, music blasting to my favorite tunes, and bopping my beanie to the beat. Yesterday was extra special because I took my little buddy Teton out for a ski for the first time. He LOVED it! I knew he would. We put his bright yellow booties on him and his plaid puffy vest and up the mountain we went. I’m sure everyone thought, “Who’s this princess with her little princess dog.” But don’t mistake my little buddy for a princess. He hiked all the way to the top by himself and loved every moment of it. He may be small but he’s big in heart just like me. We both have a love for adventure and the mountains. It was also a special day bIMG_1432ecause my nephew Dave came with me and it was his first backcountry experience. He’s a sophomore in HS and Gpa gave him a touring set up. Dave grew up in Minnesota skiing. It must run in the genes because after a few tips Dave was well on his way and looked like IMG_1427a pro. He even skied like a pro. I was one proud day for Aunt Andria.

So it begins, my love affair with snow, skiing, the mountains and of course Alta. I’m blessed to have skiing in my life. I have met amazing people through my travels skiing, riding chairlifts and meeting up randomly on top of High Boy at Alta. Winter is here and my Mountain Crush Monday begins!

#tbt

I’m going to #tbt to my first four consecutive day ski adventure. My sophomore year of college my parents, younger brother and I headed up to Canada to go Cat Skiing at Island Lake Lodge. Don’t worry, we didn’t ski on real live cats or take them along with us. A ‘Cat’ is a large piece of equipment one drives with wheels that are tracks and can drive through snow up steep terrain. The Cat Skiing operations have a box on the back of the ‘Cat’ where skiers hang out as the ‘Cat’ hauls them to the top of a mountain. So, needless to say, my brother Mike and I were pretty excited for our first ‘Cat-Skiing’ adventure.

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Day 1, great powder skiing. A lot of laughs, smiles and politeness. Everyone hesitated to drop in first as to not be rude to the other group members. Day 2, same thing but we were all becoming friendlier with each other and now, taking turns dropping in for first tracks. Day 3 was a true test for any skier, any level of ability. The wind had scoured everything the night before. One turn you were skiing beautiful powder and the next, wind scorched I’m going to die type of snow. It was one of the hardest days of skiing I had experienced up to this point of my 18 years of skiing.

We all loaded the ‘Cat’ on morning 4, sore, tired, stiff and not looking forward to another day of skiing that literally beat my body up. No one was quite sure what the day would bring. It was socked in, dumping snow and the vision of depth was 6 inches, basically pea soup (we couldn’t see past our hand held in front of us). Luckily for all of us and a smart father, a ‘Cat’ can still go to the top of the mountain even in a snow storm. Had we been heli-skiing, we would have been grounded (not able to fly the heli due to weather).

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Emerging from the ‘Cat’ our spirits lifted immediately, we were above the clouds! It was a beautiful morning with the sun on the horizon to the east and the beautiful British Columbia snow capped mountains all around us. The moment that sun kissed my face, I knew this would be the run of my life and all the soreness, anticipation, jitters, ughhh moments erased from my mind and magically disappeared from my weary body. Previously that morning, I wanted to die and never emerge from my warm down comforter. My body hurt from three days of consecutive skiing. I’ve only skied two day or three days in a row, never four or five! When that sun hit my face I was ready to conquer the world and ski some amazing POW!! As we clicked into our skis, my dad looked over with that silly Huskinson grin and I knew what that meant, ‘You snooze, you loose!’ My brother Mike and I didn’t look back as we dropped in first (yes it was our turn to go first). We skied beautiful bottomless powder on that first epic morning run.

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Since that trip to Island Lake Lodge I have recalled the emotions I felt that morning when I woke up on Day 4. My body didn’t want to move. I was tired, sore, worn out. We had skied wind buffed bullet proof snow the day before and I just wasn’t mentally ready to face another day like it. As I crammed my feet into my Doberman race boot, almost crying, I reminded myself I was skiing and skiing is fun. I realized after this trip, I had become a better skier and stronger person from that experience. Sometimes we don’t think we can muster the strength, mind-set or will-power to get through another day but I always remind myself, Andria, there may be a secret stash of goodness waiting for you or a ray of sun with glistening snow crystals passing through it. You just have to take the first step. Even if the snow had been crappy that day, the beauty I witnessed when I stepped out of the ‘Cat’ and saw the rising sun reminded me I’m the luckiest person to be alive and witnessing this exact moment in time.

So get up and move. Take the first step because you don’t know what is waiting for you when you do.

Blogging…

So I decide to start this blog because whenever I’m out on an adventure I always seem to run into someone new to skiing, hiking or whatever region in the world I am in. We become friends and I always pass along a tip or two without even realizing it. I’ve gathered my knowledge from many outdoor seekers like myself and it’s always nice to give back. This blog is simply my advice, take it or leave it, and I’m sure others will not necessarily agree with my ‘choices’ but they’ve worked for me so I’m sure they will work for a few folks out there. I hope you enjoy this blog because I’m really excited to share a slice of my world with everyone.

Cheers! andria