It seems appropriate that on this day that we launch our new, revised Larry's Bootfitting website, that we also go for the first ski of the 2023-24 season. The history of the website is interesting - including the origins of the now infamous larrysbootfittingcovid.com site - but seeing as how the weather forecast is calling for high and dry for the next week we can tell that story later. The first ski of the year only comes along once a year.
This storm cycle has been predicted for a week now, and as a skier that gets the blood racing. On Wednesday I hiked up to the divide and was greeted with snow flurries and cold temperatures. A cold front blasted in that afternoon bringing thunder, lightning, hail and rapidly dropping temperatures. We fired up the wood stove that night, the first burn of the year, and warmed the cabin up from a chilly 48° to a balmy 62° F!
It started snowing in earnest yesterday and when I got home from a day of bootfitting there was a good three inches on the ground, enough to at least slap the skins on and check out the landscape. I never sleep well the night of the first snow storm - too much excitement I figure - so it was out the door at 6:30 am to the local backcountry haunt.
Nobody was at the trailhead, which was fine by me. The sun rose in the east turning the landscape an orange hew, glistening off the freshly fallen snow. I clicked into my 18-year old "really rock skis" and headed up the old mining road. After a summer and fall of hiking in running shoes, the skis and boots felt heavy, but soon the old familiar rhythm of moving on skis took over, swishing and swooshing along. It felt good to breathe the cold air, good to feel the muscles work, good to be alive.
I topped out on a small summit, gazed at the Continental Divide, and saw a world raging in white. The sun warmed my face and all was good. And so the cycle begins again.