Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Winter's Gift

The winds turned cold and the leaves fell from branches as the masks of the season changed to fall. As the first snows came to the nearby peaks of the Beartooth mountains, our nearby ski community was blessed with ample snow. Early storms blanketed Red Lodge in beautiful veil of white. Meanwhile, in Billings snow was more or less a fleeting beauty. As winter's cold grasp came to the land, it came to pass that my ski's lived perpetually in my truck. On every opportunity I could muster I found myself on the slopes and often meddling in the side country of Red Lodge.

Watch my winter of Red Lodge side-country!!!! 

The winter depths of snow came to be a welcomed friend and the mountains loomed with adventures. I became addicted to tight powder filled trees; dodging their trunks at high speeds. I came to understand the addiction that is powder. Amongst my most memorable days of skiing came from my day of back country skiing and skinning in Cooke City. There we climbed and nearly 5000 vertical feet of untouched powder. The winter was a transition, as nordic skiing was largely unobtainable in any reasonable quality. If I were to exert myself on skis then it may has well have been in the interest of powder turns. And so skinning up the mountain and working for my turns slowly took the place of nordic racing this year. But the winter only seemed moderately cold to a harden Minnesotan and back in Billings I found myself commuting by way of bicycle nearly year round.

With each season comes a renewed thankfulness for its gifts and yet a longing for the next. The warmth slowly crept back to the land. As the winter's grasp loosened, I came to be grateful  for the meditative silence of winter and the lightness of powder under foot .