As the aspen groves that pepper the state set themselves ablaze with technicolor hues of orange, yellow, red and green—the days grow shorter and temperatures plummet.
The subconscious shifts as daydreams of climbing splitter cracks transform to fantasies of steep and deep conditions in the mountains. Condemning the sport climbing rack to the fringes of the gear closet, the winter toys once again emerge for another season.
With each passing year we continue to build our library of memories and experiences. As philosopher George Santanyana so eloquently states, “those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it,” and here we are at the forefront of another highly anticipated winter season.
With so much eagerness for what the future holds, take a moment to reflect on what made last season so special. Relive those moments and define the goals for what this winter holds. Learn from the mistakes and close calls to continue to hone the craft of mountain travel.
It was a great opportunity to review my last season in photos, reliving the highs and lows of a season that provided thousands of feet of vertical gain and relief. Countless sunrises and sunsets provided the framework to the hours spent in ski boots with good friends in the mountains.
The snow has begun to fall from the sky and decorate our communities, and with it comes the inherent risk of traveling in these harsh elements. Take care to enjoy yourself as much as possible while living to ski another day. The mountains were there before us and will be there long after we depart. Do not fall subject to a sense of urgency, and remember: With experience comes wisdom, and wisdom is the best defense you can have.